The “Menu of the day” is never a simple choice of what food is left over from our last visit to the  supermarket.

Menu of today” could include sadness and ice-cream while “Menu of yesterday” was a rich salad of joy, tomatoes and carrots.


  • Why do we feed ourselves so differently from day to day?
  • And why can it sometimes  become hard to maintain an healthy diet?


The answer can be found in what psychologists call emotional eating.

Eating emotionally means using food as an anxiolytic: the reason why we eat does not concern the satisfaction of hunger (physiological eating) but, rather, the search for  a peaceful state of calm.


  • Are you thinking about a problem that you do not know how to resolve?
  • Are you feeling lonely or bored?
  • Are you suffocating with the worries floating in your mind?
  • Do you need to be conforted?


If you answer in the affirmative to these questions and then proceed to start eating, you are an emotional eater.

In simple terms, the scheme  is as follows:





In this sense, food would seem a simple and valuable method to instantly feel better.

However, there are two sides to every coin: on the one hand, there are foods (or some quantity of food), which powerfully distract us from stressful or sad events that happen during the day.

On the other hand, negative feelings cause us to eat the sweetest and fattiest foods.




According to a recent study at the University of Delaware our priorities regarding food, change when we are in a negative or  a positive mood.

Being in a bad mood increases the importance of immediateness: we have a sense of  urgency to make the negativity stop.

We want something – a sedative – that makes us get better rapidly.

We want something – food – that fills our body and empties our brain.

The focus is on what is close in the here and now” according to the professor Meryl P. Gardner.

The aspects about nutrition (quality and health), which are more abstract, lose their importance, replaced by the readiness, easiness and taste of our food.



Confort Food (also called indulgent food) is what we look for when we are passing through a bad moment.

Comfort food is characterized by simple preparation and a high quantity of carbohydrates that, increasing serotonin levels, rapidly makes us feel calm and relaxed.

Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, apple pie, chocolate … comfort food differs among countries but always provides an endorphin-rich comfort zone.

Here is a list of the typical comfort food for every country:  Confort Food around the world.


So, what happens when we are in a bad mood is that we ingest a higher level of sugars and fat than when we are in a good mood. This means that a bad mood leads to unhealthy eating behaviour and higher incidence of obesity.

Instead, being in a good mood does not make us feel the urgency to eat immediately but allows us to focus on the more conceptual aspects of nutrition: we frequently wonder  how healthy the food we are about to eat is or where it comes from, when we are in a good mood.

Good mood significantly reduces emotional eating and as a consequence, allows us to follow a healthy diet.


You should surround yourself with people with whom you feel comfortable. You should create an environment in which you feel safe and enhanced.

Choose happiness when you can and you will eat better and less.

There is no need to fill your body if the emotions that fill your mind are not a burden.