Healthy Eating During Times of Stress

Listen to Your Body

Work to Address Emotional Eating

  1. Get down to the root cause.
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Fish

Slow Down and Make Time

Make a list of everything you eat and drink. For a few days, keep a food and beverage journal. Keep track of everything you eat and drink and how you felt when you decided to eat, especially if you ate when you weren’t hungry. Were you exhausted? Are you feeling tense?

  • Eating too fast
  • Always cleaning your plate
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
  • Always eating dessert
  • Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast)

Form a Daily Eating Plan

Patricia Brinkman from Ohio State University offers three eating plans that provide reliable assistance and allow individual food choices.

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy
  • Seafood and plant proteins
  • Empty calories, including foods with added sugar, or drinking excess alcohol
  • Refined grains
  • Saturated fat foods
  • High sodium foods
  • Vegetables — 2 to 4 cups
  • Fruits — at least 2 cups a day
  • Whole grains — 3 to 4 ounces a day
  • Fish/Seafood — 8 to 16 ounces a week for Omega-3
  • Nuts and soy — 4 to 6 ounces a week
  • Olive oil — 1 to 2 Tablespoons a day.
  • Dairy (1% or skim) — 1 to 3 cups a day
  • Alcohol — 0 to 1 drink a day

Daily Meal Plan Example

Meal preparation allows you to eat your favorite foods while ensuring that you don't overeat. Having various well-balanced meals on hand will help you keep track of what you eat and stick to your specific diet objectives. It's not difficult to plan a daily menu as long as each meal and snack include some protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat. The article below explains everything you need to know about each meal:

NAU Campus Resources

When self-care begins to fall to the wayside, NAU has options to guide students on their healthy food journey. Many of these resources also help relieve stress, including stressbusters — a 30-minute session where students experience guided tracks, coloring time, meditation, and breathing exercises.



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