How to Avoid Stress Eating

by Anya Razmi

We’ve all been there: it’s the night before a test, you’re stressed beyond belief, and you reach for last night’s pizza or brownies from the fridge instead of your textbook. But while snacking may give you comfort in the moment, it’s not exactly healthy long-term (and you know it!). So here are a few foolproof habits that might just change your late night indulgences for the better.

 

  1. Work Off Your Stress

Which sounds impossible, maybe. And you’ve probably heard it before. But trust me, it works! (No pun intended). Not only does exercise release endorphins that make you feel better, but taking your mind off of derivatives or French conjugations for a while gives your mind a chance to revamp and focus. Plus, exercise is an excellent outlet for excess anxiety. Crank out a couple sets of sit-ups or practice those sports drills your coach is always telling you to do. Besides, it couldn’t hurt to burn a few calories!

 

  1. Curb Your Cravings

It’s too bad your body isn’t programmed to crave Brussel sprouts or spinach. However, swapping out your late-night indulgences for healthier options will get rid of your hunger guilt-free. Reaching for Doritos? Grab a bag of baby carrots or healthy trail mix instead. Maybe it’s not as satisfying, but both are crunchy, easy-to-grab finger foods. Looking for something sweet? Try grapes, raisins, or low-sugar dark chocolate. Even banana chips or dried fruit might do the trick.

 

  1. Put Healthy Snacks in Your Study Space

If it’s in front of you, chances are you’ll probably eat it. So when you’re not hungry, grab a bag of carrots or salad and put it on your desk. Then when you feel the urge to munch on everything in sight, it’ll be right in front of you. Maybe vegetables aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, but when it’s that versus an entire trip the kitchen, you’ll probably opt for the easy way out.

 

  1. Don’t Buy Unhealthy Snacks

If they’re not there, you can’t eat them. So take my advice – go grocery shopping when you’re not ravenous, and you might just have enough judgement not to run to the chips section. That way when you look in the pantry, it’s physically impossible to grab a bag of Doritos. Try it for a couple of weeks – believe me, it works!

 

  1. Indulge – in Moderation!

Sometimes, you just can’t help it. If you’ve been studying for five consecutive hours, your judgement isn’t exactly at its best. Go ahead – grab that brownie. But try not to take another! In moderation, sweets are great pick-me-ups.  Once in awhile, they can’t hurt.

 

Besides, it’s the night before a test and you’re stressed beyond belief. Sometimes, you just deserve it.