Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Monday, December 9, 2013

4 Tips To Avoid Stress Eating During Finals

Monday, December 9, 2013 | 9:26 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , No comments
It's the week of finals and suddenly there's so much to do and not enough time to do it. With projects, papers, studying, all-nighters, and early wake-ups, indulging in your favorite (and maybe not so good for you) foods seems like the perfect way to relieve some of that finals stress. When we turn to food to relive stress, it tends to be food that comforts us and makes us feel good, which a lot of times is a carton of ice cream, a slice of pizza, or your favorite piece (or bag) of candy. The truth is, finals may not only be a stressful time of the semester but a time where weight gain occurs in stressed out students. The combination of a large amount of sedentary time studying and test taking, little to no exercise, and stressful or late-night eating is a recipe for weight gain. Another truth is that we may not even recognize that we are in fact stress eating due to being completely preoccupied. So how do we avoid this stress eating before it takes place? Here are four tips to help you avoid stress eating during this semester's finals

Stock up on healthy foods and snacks
You may argue that you need to eat a little more to keep your body and brain fueled during the crazy whirlwind that is finals, and this can be very important! If you're going to eat and snack while you're working hard and stressing out a bit, make sure you're eating lots of nutrient dense foods. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole wheat crackers and hummus, any foods that will give you more vitamins and minerals per calorie that will keep your mind fueled and your body feeling good.

Drink more water
Drinking lots of water throughout the day will help curb an appetite and help keep you full without adding extra calories. If you find yourself still craving something more, drink tea. Tea will have the same effect, keeping you full and curbing your appetite while satisfying that craving for something "yummy." Tea also offers a great deal of antioxidants which is a powerful brain fuel!

Add a little exercise
Physical activity is one of the greatest stress relievers there is. If you feel those food cravings coming on and it's not time for a meal, take a break and get some exercise! Go for a quick walk around campus, do some push ups and squats, make a quick 20 minute gym break -- whatever type of physical activity suits your fancy! Exercising in the midst of finals will not only relieve your stress but it will also give you more energy to keep you going, give you a better nights sleep and improve your mood.

Find a food-less place to get work done
If you can, pick a study haven that is far, far away from food. Instead of doing your work at home, in your dorm room, or the dining halls, find a spot deep within the library or in an empty classroom. This way you will not have food tempting you at all times or at your disposal when it's time for a break. If you want a snack while doing your school work, bring a healthy portion of fruit or vegetables with you to your secluded work area so you will not over eat or eat something "unhealthy."

Meet with Northeastern Dining's nutrition assistant Meghann Jurkowski TODAY, Monday, December 9, at International Village from 12:00 to 1:00 where she will be available to answer any of your healthy eating questions as well as sampling some healthy sliced apple nachos. Hope to see you there!

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