The influence of diet on mood

Written by: Dr. José Antonio Hernández López
Edited by: Top Doctors®

"When I diet, I'm in a bad mood," is a phrase typical of many people when they change their eating habits. Some, on the other hand, assure that they feel like new, always in a good mood and with a better character than before. This is normal; no doubt the diet has a psychological component that makes one, on the other hand, be cranky if it leads to starvation, but which, on the other hand, can improve mood if it fits well into the lifestyle of the patient and helps you feel better physically and with your own image.

It is not uncommon for the lack of energy and encouragement that arises during a weight-loss plan to be caused by inadequate diet. When you eat healthy but little, the person perceives that he is getting hungry and instead of feeling good becomes irritable and moody. The key is, then, to eat healthy in quality and quantity.

For the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC), you should be aware that each person does not buy, cook or eat in the same way if they have a good day, are depressed or angry or have other feelings. Therefore, and because not every day are good, they suggest to keep in mind that eating well influences emotional balance and that alterations in emotional balance should not prevent the individual from continuing to eat well.

A balanced diet requires an adequate supply of nutrients to the individual needs of each person. 

What foods can generate a bad mood?

Precooked and prepared foods, such as chips or fast food , reduce serotonin levels, whose deficit translates into discomfort and moodiness. Diets high in flours and sugars favor excitement, especially in children.

Low levels of serotonin (a nervous system transmitter), coupled with stress and lack of healthy food intake (such as fruits and vegetables) severely affect the brain and emotions, discharging into anger.

On the other hand, people who are on a diet tend to have a sense of guilt when they consume some unhealthy food within a healthy diet, which makes them moody, disappointed and sad because they do not meet their own expectations.

What attitude to food produces bad moods?

A balanced diet requires an adequate supply of nutrients to the individual needs of each person for the maintenance of health and the prevention of diseases.

It is important to consider both the quantity and the quality of the food consumed; should be attractive to enjoy what you eat and see the improvement of eating habits not as a short-term goal but as the fundamental basis of a lifelong diet. The hydration and the contribution of fiber are also indispensable for the maintenance of a state of well-being.

Eating in a pleasant environment, without distractors such as television, makes you enjoy more of the organoleptic characteristics of food and increase the feeling of satiety. On the other hand, eating slowly makes them chew food better, thus helping digestion to prevent bloating, heaviness, gas or bad digestion.

Changes in diet

Some patients are accustomed to using food as a solution to moods, to calm just that emotion. But eating will not solve the problems. Channeling them through exercise or other therapies may help.

It is important to know that you can eat everything and enjoy the gastronomy without getting fat or having other negative consequences. The key is not to cram and chew well, taste and enjoy the food from the first bite.

If someone decides to go on a diet, instead of focusing on what they should not eat, they can learn and know what they can eat, and choose healthier options. Doing it well usually will make you feel positively, because you know you are doing the right thing for your health.

No one should ever stay hungry. Although the person is eating healthy but little can feel moody and the feeling will be negative. You can find perfectly the balance between eating well, and rich foods, with maintaining a correct body weight.

Studies and research say that certain foods produce more well-being than others, because when they are ingested, they cause the brain to release endorphins, hormones that favor mood and increase pleasurable sensations.


1. Nutritional support: fundamental in the elaboration of a personalized diet, in which one considers preferences and energetic demands.

2. Medical Support: Fundamental especially for analytical control for both deficiency and excess nutrients.

3. Nutritional coaching: used as a new approach to complement the nutritional technical counseling work carried out by Nutrition and Dietetics specialists. Accompany and increase your motivation and confidence to carry out the changes.

4. Psychological Support: Mood conditions food needs. Sadness can suppress appetite and anxiety can make the patient compulsively

5. Physical exercise: in the new nutritional pyramid appears physical activity. The daily exercise was already a recommendation, but now it is specific to dedicate one hour a day (or do 10,000 steps a day). Performing physical exercise is a very important factor for health since it allows both improving and maintaining it and its benefits are at all levels: physical, psychic and social.


Tatiana Mendizábal - Nutritionist

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. José Antonio Hernández López
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eminent specialist in Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Hernandez Lopez has a long history of over 25 years. Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery Specialist in Family and Community Medicine, both studies completed at the University of Zaragoza. Moreover, it is also Specialist in Nutrition and Dietetics and is accredited Training in Anti-Aging Medicine, Cosmetic and Aesthetic. He has combined his clinical work with teaching, giving various courses First Aid Courses Cargo Handling and First Aid. He has also collaborated with various media as Onda Cero Rioja, between the period of 1993 to 1996. He is currently Medical Director of the Clinic and Logrono Nutriestética holds the post of President of the Rioja Society of Aesthetic Medicine. Member of the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine and the Spanish Society of Nutrition.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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