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3 tips for balancing your diet in stressful times

When stress levels go up, many people stress eat to soothe themselves. Three simple hacks can stop the stress eating cycle and create better overall health.

April 13, 2023

3 tips for balancing your diet in stressful times

For many people, high stress levels are the norm due to work/life balance issues, health concerns or difficult family matters. Life happens, right? If you’re like many people, turning to food is a source of comfort in stressful times.

“Stress eating” is common, so you’re in good company. A study by the American Psychological Association shows that in response to stress, about 38% of adults reported consuming junk food or overeating.

But having too much of your favorite junk food only delivers a temporary boost. When you’re stressed, it’s important to focus on ways you can maintain — and even boost — your health. A nutritious diet helps protect you by supporting your immune system, so you stay healthy to tackle stressful situations better.

3 stress-busting tips to help you feel more centered

Tip 1: Plan ahead

Whether you do your own grocery shopping or have your groceries delivered, meal planning sets you up to make healthy choices, especially in stressful moments. If you’ve shopped smart (or had someone else do it for you), it will be easier to eat smart. Bonus: meal planning makes it easier to manage your grocery budget, too.

Create a meal plan that includes healthy favorites and choose nutritious snacks so you’re less tempted to grab a bag of chips when you’ve got down time. Stock your pantry with some of these items…

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Low sodium canned beans and vegetables
  • Canned fish
  • 100% fruit juice boxes
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts

Tip 2: Stay on schedule

When you’re juggling work, home, and activities, keeping a consistent schedule can be hard. It’s easy to let regular mealtimes slip. If you can, try to keep a regular mealtime at least a few days a week.

Tip 3: Say “ahhhhh”

Add a short meditation practice to your daily routine. It can help lower stress levels and support other healthy habits. New to meditation? Get an app and try a quick guided mediation. If you need help managing stress eating, give mindful eating a try. This combines making smart food choices, focusing on your meal, eating slowly and deep breathing.

Even with careful planning, maintaining a nutritious diet can be a lot to manage. Especially for people living with chronic health conditions or mobility issues. It can make meal prep hard.

Mom's Meals® can help

We offer a simple and convenient solution: delicious and nutritious home-delivered meals created by professional chefs and dietitians. Choose from a broad selection of ready-to-heat-and-eat meals, including condition-specific menus. Plus, you can store the meals in your refrigerator up to 14 days after they are delivered. Explore your choices.