Q&A: How Do I Curb Stress Eating?

Find out dietician Kathleen Humbert's suggestions for keeping your diet on track, even when you're stressed.

Q. When I'm stressed with work, I tend to eat more. How can I stop doing that?

A. It's natural to crave comfort foods when you're feeling anxious, but you can't let a bad day derail your diet. Here's how to stay on track.

  • First, recognize why you're turning to food. Write down your worries or talk to a friend about how you're feeling. Tackling the reasons behind stress eating will help you overcome it.
  • Try another outlet to relieve anxiety. Listen to music, go dancing or head out for a walk.
  • When you're about to eat some cookies, force yourself to wait 20 minutes to see if you're really hungry. Even if you are, in those few minutes you may decide to opt for a healthier snack.

Do you have your own nutrition question? Enter it in the comments section of this story. One question will be selected to be answered by nutritionist Kathleen Humbert.

Kathleen Humbert is a dietitian at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Originally published in the July 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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