Self-Monitoring and Binge Eating
“In the moment” recording of relevant thoughts, feelings, and behaviours is a core strategy of standard cognitive and behavioural therapies. ⠀
Monitoring your daily eating patterns has been shown to be one of the most powerful therapeutic strategies to stop binge eating. And, no, I’m not talking about calorie tracking!
Instead, by monitoring I mean writing down in the moment what you’ve eaten, where you’ve eaten, how much you’ve eaten, and what precisely you were thinking and feeling during the times you were eating.
You might understandably be thinking “why on earth would I want to do this?”. ⠀
Well, let me tell you how and why self-monitoring is a fundamental strategy for stopping binge eating. ⠀
1- Monitoring provides you with crucial information about your eating problem: If you write down all of those things I mentioned earlier, then you’ll be able to fully understand all of the things that are triggering your binge eating. You’ll start to notice trends that weren’t so obvious earlier. For example, you might recognise that your binges are occuring only when (a) your mood suddenly drops, (b) you have an argument with your partner, (c) you break one of your diet rules, or (d) you go for very long periods without eating. All of this information is needed in order to stop binge eating! ⠀
2- Monitoring helps you change: Monitoring your eating accurately and at the time you are doing it will reveal that the apparent automatic, out-of-control behaviour is nothing of the sort. You’ll realise that you don’t need to binge whenever you feel sad or angry or whenever you break a diet rule. You’ve just gotten so used to doing it! Monitoring will show you that you’ve got other options to deal with these negative events. ⠀
Try and record your eating behaviours and thoughts for a week and see if you can notice anything. This might be the catalyst you need to break binge eating!