Instead of giving in to the siren call of the vending machine, you need to have better ways to cope at your disposal. Here’s how:
1. Give yourself a time-out. Most cravings last about ten minutes. Keep items like Hershey’s kisses around for such emergencies; eating a few won’t harm your diet, since they have only 25 calories apiece.
2. Map out your meals. Before stress gets to you, make sure you stick with a healthy high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal plan and eat three meals a day with two small snacks.
3. Exercise regularly. It can work wonders in relieving stress. Not only does it spark the release of pain-killing endorphins, but research also suggests that exercise can stimulate the release of serotonin and other mood-enhancing brain chemicals.
4. Stock your snack drawer with healthy choices. Good items to keep on hand include packages of low-fat microwave popcorn, small servings of pretzels or dried fruit, individual boxes of dry cereal, or cups of soup.
5. Develop your own stress busters. The key is to find what works for you – what helps you calm down and feel grounded – and to carve out at least 15 minutes a day for that activity.
6. Improve your coping skills. If you can’t do anything about the situation, try to come to terms with it the best you can or learn from the experience. This plan of action can help you cope better with difficult experiences.
7. Ask for help. If work-related stress sends your eating habits out of control and you can’t get them back on track yourself, it may be time to seek assistance.
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