Food affects Mood : Mood affects Food

A new client of mine is getting over a VERY stressful weekend.

A weekend in which her emotions got the better of her….and as a result, she found herself face to face with some pretty intense cravings for pizza, coca-cola and tubs of double-churned chocolate ice cream.

The cravings won.

emotional eating chocolate Food affects Mood : Mood affects Food

By Monday morning, the stress was at least partially under control, but she was now feeling a ton of guilt & nausea from pigging out on all that food.

After reminding her that she should have called me instead inhaling all that food, we had a nice long chat about:

  1. how our moods affect the food we eat
  2. how the food we eat affect our moods

She was already quite aware of how her moods affected the quantity and quality of the food she ate.

When she felt sad or mad or glad, she also felt like eating pizza & coca-cola and ice cream.

What she wasn’t aware of was how her emotional diet of pizza, coca-cola & ice cream:

  1. set off a flood of hormones & neurochemicals designed to
  2. make her crave more of the high sugar, high salt, high fat foods she had just inhaled.

She also wasn’t aware that when we combine her diet-induced hormonal & neurochemical triggers with the ones caused by her emotions, she was doomed to end up with a truly vicious circle of poor eating choices.

Because in addition to the physical sensations of hunger and the specific cravings for sweet, salty & fatty caused by her hormones & neurochemicals, my client also got to experience the incredibly crappy mood altering effects of her weekend emotional eating binge.

She actually felt worse than before she pigged out.

Sad. Angry. Frustrated.

Plus she regained 3 of the pounds she lost in the previous week.


Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. Jamie Gibbs

    April 17, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Very informative! I’m only on day 2 of a new regime, so the cravings haven’t kicked in yet. With this advice I’ll be able to keep them in check :)

  2. Tiffany Quinn Youngren

    October 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Ha! Nice visual :D Exactly why I try to have dark chocolate on hand (Dagoba Xocolatl is my fav) – just two squares does the trick.

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    May 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Thank you so much for the post. Now i see the effect of food on our mood health and vice versa.