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Can Calorie Reduction Drastically Affect My Mood?

Fitday Editor

Calorie reduction can drastically affect your mood. Food has an impact on your mental health and your mood. When you drastically reduce your calories, you set off physiological processes in your body that can cause depression and sadness.

Skipping Breakfast

One of the common dieting strategies is to skip breakfast. You have gone all night without food and when you skip breakfast in the morning, you experience large drops in your blood sugar level. This alone can lead to feeling sad or depressed. When you skip breakfast, you are drastically reducing your calories for the morning. This is appealing to many dieters. However, studies show that skipping breakfast actually leads to eating much larger meals later in the day.

It is important to eat a healthy breakfast every morning that not only keeps your blood sugar constant but also prevents you from feeling starved and possibly binging later in the day. Be sure to include foods in your breakfast and other meals of the day that keep your blood sugar constant. Examples include apples, peaches, soy, beans and whole grains.

Nutrient Deficiency

Another way that calorie restriction can impact your mood is through a deficiency of specific nutrients. For example, if you have cut out red meat and other foods containing iron, you may be dealing with symptoms of anemia. This is particularly the case for many women. Iron deficiencies can lead to fatigue which will impact your mood. If you have to cut down on meat in your diet, consider including iron-rich foods such as spinach, lentils and iron-enriched breads.

If your diet is deficient in B vitamins due to calorie restriction, you may experience greater stress or frustration. B vitamins are effective stress relievers. Be sure to include foods containing B vitamins, such as bananas, potatoes and whole grains, into your diet.

Choose Healthy Fats

Fatty foods are often the first foods to go when you are cutting calories. When people are feeling bored or depressed they often reach for fatty foods. This is a natural response because fats enhance your mood. Choose healthy fats to keep your mood elevated. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the best sources. Examples include flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts and fish such as salmon.

Drink Water

Drinking water while you are dieting will also help you tremendously. When you change your diet or restrict your calories, your body often undergoes a detoxification process. You need adequate water to carry toxins out of your system and to transport nutrients to your cells. Being dehydrated can also put you in a melancholy mood.


When you reduce your caloric intake, be sure that you are not also eliminating key nutrients such as iron and B vitamins. Eat a healthy breakfast daily to keep your blood sugar from dropping too much. Choose healthy fats and drink lots of water. All of these steps will help to prevent any mood swings and allow you to stick to your diet plan.

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