UT University Health Services

Handle Stress without Turning to Food

Although feeling physically, emotionally, and/ or mentally exhausted and stressed may seem inevitable, using food to handle these feelings will negatively impact your health.

Using caffeine or energy drinks and/or eating mindlessly to stay energized will cause unwanted short-term and long-term effects. In the short term, caffeine and sugary snacks can result in a rush that leads to a crash or fatigue. In the long-term, eating mindlessly can lead to weight gain.

Rather than eating to manage stress:

  • Develop stress management skills to protect your overall health and well-being.
    Information on stress management
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Consistent sleep patterns can prevent exhaustion and help regulate your hunger/fullness cues.
    Getting Better Sleep
  • Maintain hobbies to keep your life in balance and minimize your reliance on food to handle stress. Consider these options:
    • Joining a club sport or intramural team
    • Trying scrapbooking, painting, or drawing
    • Taking an Informal Class
    • Running at Lady Bird Lake
    • Taking regular naps
    • Volunteering
    • Riding a bike
    • Joining an on-campus organization
    • Going bowling
    • Planning a weekend getaway to unwind with friends
    • Consider the Counseling and Mental Health Center’s free Mindful Eating Program for help with difficulties in turning to food or eating mindlessly to manage stress

Nutrition Links

Additional Nutrition Topics
Registered Dietitian Consultations
Mindful Eating Program
Nutrition Handouts
Nutrition Peer Led Workshops
Hunger and food insecurity - UT Outpost



hours Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm by appointment Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm
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512) 471-4955 (512) 471-4955
email uhs Email UHS

University Health Services is committed to providing high-quality care to patients of all ages, races, ethnicities, physical abilities or attributes, religions, sexual orientations, or gender identities/expression.

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