How can I avoid overeating when I am stressed at work?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The stress-eating cycle is hard to avoid if it’s hardwired into our brains. But with a few brain-tricking tips for keeping you satisfied during the day, you can stick to your diet and weight-loss plan.
  • Pack a lunch. Bringing your own lunch puts a cap on the number of calories you consume and keeps you from buying food when your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Make sure to pack a lunch that has the right number of calories but will be filling. That requires ensuring your lunch includes fiber, protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Keep fruit around. Hunger attacking at your desk? Be careful! Before you know it, you’re at the local corner store buying a bag of chips or chocolates. Avoid this at all costs. It’s okay to snack; just bring a bunch of bananas or apples with you to snack on. I keep pears in my desk for this reason. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
  • Go for a walk. You may think you’re hungry when you’re actually bored or looking for a distraction. Take a walk in the neighborhood or around the building. You can even run quick errands. Walking builds up your endorphins, which energizes you and boosts your mood. If possible, go to the gym. A research study on mice suggests that the best time for a workout is the afternoon. It energizes you for the rest of the workday and can promote a healthy circadian rhythm.

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Overeating is common during periods of stress. To help prevent it from occurring, try to have healthy snacks such as vegetables and fruit available. Also, including healthy starches, fiber and protein in your diet will help you stay full longer. Having the items mentioned above nearby can make a difference in your overall health and caloric intake.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.