Many individuals restrict their food intake to prevent weight gain. This restriction has both homeostatic and hedonic effects but their relative contribution is currently unclear. To isolate hedonic effects of food restriction, we exposed regular chocolate eaters to one week of chocolate deprivation but otherwise regular eating. Before and after this hedonic deprivation, participants viewed images of chocolate and images of high-calorie but non-chocolate containing foods, while experiential, behavioral and eyeblink startle responses were measured. Compared to satiety, hedonic deprivation triggered increased chocolate wanting, liking, and chocolate consumption but also feelings of frustration and startle potentiation during the intertrial intervals. Deprivation was further characterized by startle inhibition during both chocolate and food images relative to the intertrial intervals. Individuals who responded with frustration to the manipulation and those who scored high on a questionnaire of impulsivity showed more relative startle inhibition. The results reveal the profound effects of hedonic deprivation on experiential, behavioral and attentional/appetitive response systems and underscore the role of individual differences and state variables for startle modulation. Implications for dieting research and practice as well as for eating and weight disorders are discussed.