Food and Mood

Just finished an interview for a national magazine on “Food and Mood”. It reminded me about how intimately our mood and our food are connected.

The article was about “what foods help our moods”, but may-be the larger question is “what do our moods have to do with what we eat”.

It’s interesting that the emphasis is usually on how things from the OUTSIDE of us affect our insides and in reality so much of what is going on INSIDE of us affects our outsides.

This is really evident in terms of weight loss and weight gain. The way we feel about ourselves, work, life, if we are fulfilled or dissatisfied has more to do with what or how much we choose to eat than how eating a food has to do with how it “makes us feel”.

One of the reasons diets don’t work is because the “work” is being done on the outside of the problem instead of the inside. I have been a nutritionist for over 30 years and have seen tens of thousands of patients who want to change the way they look or the way they eat.

When we start to “work” on the goal, within a relatively short period of time, they become aware that there are underlying feelings and emotions associated with not eating foods that help them to “medicate” or mask their feelings.

They often become discouraged because the feelings are uncomfortable and sometimes painful. It is our human nature to AVOID pain and move towards pleasure. It takes courage to truly tackle and confront the underlying issues of “food and mood”, rather than focusing on the outside of the problem, to focus on the inside instead.

Here is an exercise you may find to be of value. If you are dealing with mood or food issues, keep a journal for 10 days, writing down everything you eat and how you feel when you DON’T eat what you want and how you feel when you DO eat what you want.

Just becoming more aware of what you are putting in your mouth and how it translates to how you feel after you eat a particular food, can be the start of a healthier and happier relationship with food and your mood.

All the best,
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