LIVING

Food & Mood: What's The Deal?

12/01/2015 02:01 EST | Updated 12/01/2015 02:59 EST

Think about a time when you chose to eat nourishing foods mindfully. How did you feel?

Now, think about a time when you had a sporadic and unbalanced eating pattern. Did you feel any different?

You may have noticed that what and when you ate had a significant effect on your mood.

I can vividly recall waiting for breakfast at a restaurant in St. John's, NL this past summer after walking around for more than an hour being indecisive about where to eat (typical me). I was starving and had forgotten to pack a snack. My poor sister had to deal with my foul mood until breakfast was served. However, shortly after eating, I was in positive spirits and ready to take on the day!

Don't make the same mistake I did. The single best thing you can do to keep your energy and spirits up is to eat nourishing foods at regular times. Eat on a schedule that works for you (and your hunger cues), but try to be consistent — especially with breakfast.

Letting yourself get too hungry can result in irritability (a.k.a. hanger) and overeating. So try not to go longer than four hours without eating. Instead, eat when you are just starting to feel hungry — a rating of about four out of 10 on the hunger scale.

While trying to master eating balanced meals on a regular schedule (a tough feat), here are some other ways you can use food to improve your mood:

Food & Mood: What's The Deal?