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Mood and Food

Does Your Mood Affect Your Food? 

  With another semester underway, work and perhaps emotions are in full swing. When tensions are high, people may reach for food as comfort, also known as emotional eating. This response to stress can lead to choosing junk food as a means of creating a sense of reassurance or safety. Emotional eating may also lead to unconsciously consuming excess calories.

 Some ways to avoid emotional eating:

  • Eat only when you are hungry. Listen to your stomach, rather than letting other factors (like that ten page paper due tomorrow) influence your eating habits. Having a better understanding of why you eat may help you make healthier food choices in the dining halls.
  • Participate in enjoyable activities. Search for activities that you enjoy doing to reduce your stress such as exercise, yoga, photography or calling a friend. These alternative behaviors are ways to relax without the use of food.
  •  Take time to savor your food.  Eat in a calm environment, without distractions, and give yourself ample time to eat and enjoy your meal. The dining hall provides a perfect atmosphere to de-stress and enjoy time with friends.

Got a case of the mood munchies? Try these healthy dining hall alternatives:

Instead of…

Try This…

Cookies

Trail Mix

Potato Chips

Popcorn

Ice Cream

Low-Fat Yogurt

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Don’t Let Your Mood Dictate Your Plate!

Revised By:  Mary Tursi              Reviewed By: Dr. Worobey, Department of Nutritional Sciences References: Do you know why you eat? Available at: http://dnrc.nih.gov/pdf/nutritionmonth-brochure-08.pdf Accessed on: October 28, 2012
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