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Avoiding Stress Eating

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default Avoiding Stress Eating

So one of my main downfalls has always been stress eating. When I'm under intense pressure, I feel like I have to be able to let something go, and it's usually my calorie counting.

Each semester at university, when finals loom over me, I stress eat really badly. Finals are next week, and I started last night.

Does anyone have experience in this, and how do you just not do it? It really doesn't help my stress, because not only am I stressed over everything else, I also start to hate myself for my eating junk and not controlling it. Last semester was my toughest yet, and I ended up gaining about 10 pounds in two months that took me three months to get rid of.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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I have gotten into sipping flavoured teas. It isn't the same as eating a bag of chips but I get a taste sensation that kind of helps. I also saw a recipe where you make hot air popcorn and grate a small piece of dark chocolate over it.
Good luck with your exams
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Mmm, popcorn and dark chocolate - sounds delicious!!

I think stress eating depends on the type of stress and the type of food you're craving. I've heard if it's more anxious and tense stress then the way to go is crunchy food to give you something to bite into (literally) - so maybe replace chips with crudites? When it's more that you're craving soft smooth foods it's due to emotions like loneliness, so make sure you stock up on healthy soups, guacamole, humus and yogurt.

Hope that helps!! Good luck with your finals!!
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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I stress eat at work. Keeping crunchy veggies, gum, and plenty of flavored water handy helps. Sometimes just pausing and thinking through what I'm feeling, why, and then knowing I'm doing what I can to make my deadline helps. I feel like yes, I really do have some control, and I'm going in a good direction.
Make sure to take enough study breaks to blow off steam - and then actually go blow it off! Go do something goofy and active for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. My university would have 23 1/2 hours quiet hours for dead and finals weeks, with a "h*** half hour" every night where you could stick your head out the window and scream if you wanted to. One year we went and had snowball fights on the quad. Going for a brisk walk is good, though too.

Make sure you're fueling your brain with good food, and getting good sleep (dark room, good temperature, quiet/white noise).

Good luck to you in your studies.

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Old 12-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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Finals! I so do not miss them!

I have had really disastrous finals times and really good finals times in terms of weight loss efforts. My best time was when I was studying to take the bar. I lifted weights to deal with the intense stress. I don't know if it's available to you, but I had lectures saved to my MP3 player, and lifted weights while listening to those lectures. It was an enormous stress relief, and I felt like I was still being productive.

I also drank lots and lots of herbal tea if I had to stay up all night. I could avoid the caffeine (and the subsequent crash) because I drank enough to require frequent bathroom stops. I know if sounds counterproductive, but it helped keep me alert, forced me to move around some, and kept me feeling full.

Good luck with finals!
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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Having a structured plan with my meals and snacks divided and ready helps me immensely. If you have a school meal plan, check out what the offerings will be over that week and write down your plan, including specific snacks. If you don't, try to pre-cook and divvy as much of your food as possible to cut down on your stress.

If it's all spelled out/counted ahead of time, then all you need to do is follow the plan.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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stock up on low cal things to munch on, veggies like celery and carrots, cauliflower is pretty good raw. Dill pickles are usually 5 cals or less a serving. Air popped popcorn is lowish, alot better than chips if you dont dump butter all over it. you can air pop it in a brown lunch bag in the microwave. if you like sweet and cold, I have been known to make up crystal light and freeze it. you can make it into a popsicle or cop it up into a slushie type thing
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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*chop
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your ideas and well-wishes!

I wish I was able to listen to lectures and exercise, that would be great! But I'm in the sciences, so my studying has to be sitting at a desk doing calculations.

I don't live on campus, and I have plenty of healthy food available. I just make really bad choices when stressed, but I'm trying my best to not make those bad choices this semester.

At worst, I hope to at least maintain these two weeks. I can always get back to losing after the stress is gone.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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When I'm stressed, celery with peanut butter helps. There are practically no calories in celery, it has fiber, and it has that crunch I want. And peanut butter has that creamy sweetness and is better than a lot of other options. Good luck with finals!
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:57 PM   #11
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When I am stressed I make sure to always have a granola bar handy so I can eat a little something without having something like a bag of chips where I feel like I have to eat the whole thing.

I've recently discovered a brand called the Raw Organic Food Bar. They are the best, and in many different flavors, only thing is they are too expensive to eat very often. But still, if you're in a hurry run into a Whole Foods and grab one instead of going thru a drive thru...
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