Stress eating proves to be the greatest pre-midterm pastime

Makenzie Drukker, Micaela Shields, & Charmaine Ye, Makenzie Drukker, Michaela Shields, and Charmaine Ye

Listen up children, midterms are almost here!  That means it’s time to study.  You freshmen are probably freaking out, while seniors are looking forward to coasting through one of their last rounds of major high school exams.

Emotional and stress hunger is characterized as a sudden and urgent sense of appetite.  It is usually a associated with a specific craving.  People tend to eat more than they ordinarily would, which causes a sense of personal guilt afterwards.  Comfort foods are meant to comfort—hence the name; however, once a person is finished eating, he or she is neither less stressed nor more able to study efficiently.

Like procrastinating, students know that stress eating does not better their condition, but with all of the chaos of testing, it is inevitable.  We are here to give you a list of the top five foods to snack on:

Chips  Be it the classic Lay’s or a healthier alternative (think Stacy’s Pita Chips), chips are an ideal snack for midterm studying.  Only one hand is necessary for consumption, so you can have some uninterrupted quality time with your textbook and, if you really want to be fancy, buy some dip and up the ante on your study party.

Candy  Any and all varieties will suffice, though Jolly Ranchers, M&M’s and lollipops are particularly good for stress eating.  Feel free to finish up the leftover Halloween candy and stocking stuffers that we know you have lying around.  A “Candy For Stressful Times” stash is sometimes necessary, especially when you have just started studying for your biology midterm, and it is tomorrow.

Mac and cheese  This childhood favorite is a go-to for stressful times.  Think of it as a throwback to the days when your best friend was an actual person, not SparkNotes.  (For those whose best friend has been SparkNotes, Socialization 101 is a class.  Go see Mr. Fish.) Mac and cheese takes only minutes to make, and the cheesy goodness is comforting, satisfying and actually semi-healthy.  OK, that’s a lie.  But at least it gives you a quick break from studying.  If you’re feeling gourmet, Annie’s is a viable choice; but Kraft is also always a crowd-pleaser.

Ice cream  Although the health teachers may advocate salad, celery sticks, fruit, or something healthy (read: boring) like that, Ben and Jerry are your new study buddies.  Anything chocolate is sure to help you through these hard times.  Tears are a perfect topping for ice cream, so feel free to confess your imminent failure to a very big bowl.  For those who prefer sweet over salty, sprinkles can brighten anyone’s day.

Anything and everything in your fridge    When all else fails, raid the fridge.  Stress and food seem like a match made in heaven.


A Word for the Health-Conscious


For those of us, meaning most of us, who are up late and reviewing until the last minute, food is a great way to stay awake.  Emotional or stress eating is something that we all have resorted to at one point or another.   While mindlessly grabbing at a bag of potato chips may help ease the pain of studying, sooner or later, you will probably come to regret it.

If your stress eating is out of control, here are some suggestions of healthy foods that are much better for you during those late night study sessions.

To avoid this bad habit, it is important to know your limits.  If you are aware of your limitations while studying, you won’t hit the point where food becomes necessary or appetizing.  Ask yourself if you are truly hungry because realizing that there really isn’t any hunger can be the first step to solve the problem.

Nevertheless, we know that most high school students have little self-control and will just gorge themselves with food.  Certain foods enhance the mind and can actually help you instead of hurt you. Fish, soy products, fruit, salad and nuts are foods that all have certain aspects that promote mental power.  A healthy diet makes for a healthy mind, and a healthy mind makes for more productive studies.