As much as you want to stick to a healthy diet, the stress-craving struggle is real. After a particularly distressing email from your boss, don't you find yourself heading to the office pantry for a treat or two? Got a text from your clingy ex? A cookie run seems like a good idea. Don't worry—you're not the only one! According to a study published in the journal Appetite, stress is a factor that can trigger people's impulsive eating habits, which tend to strike most often during weekday afternoons.

Are your cravings starting to get out of hand? Fight off those urges with these tips!

Pack healthy.
If you can’t fight the urge to eat, you might as well munch on something healthy. Instead of a chocolate bar or salty chips, opt for yogurt or sliced fruits. Satisfy your cravings with healthy alternatives.

Identify your triggers.
If looking at your ex-boyfriend's Facebook makes you want to grab for a chocolate bar, then it’s best to stop stalking him. Knowing your probable triggers and avoiding them can help prevent emotional eating.

Look for a lunch buddy.
Ask a co-worker if you two could eat lunch together and commit to eating healthy together–having someone who's just as determined to follow a well-balanced diet will make it less likely for you to cave.

Walk around at work.
Sneak in some exercises at work. Here's a tip: Taking a stroll inside the office (or even outside) can combat your usual afternoon slump and help you regroup. Instead of reaching for that chocolate macadamia cookie from your stash, try walking around for a few minutes.

Ask yourself again.
Before biting down on that glazed doughnut, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Decide if you want to eat it because you need it or just because you want it.

PHOTO: Andrea Rose/Flickr Creative Commons

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