Recording food intake ? a diet under control?
All those who are bothered by an eating disorder know well how unpleasasnt it is when life gets limited to a constant control over body weight and calories. Whether we try solving our trouble ourselves or we seek an expert help, following questions will emerge sooner or later: „Why am I still underweight despite consuming a seemingly large amounts of food?“, „Why some days are alright and other days I have several bulimic binges?“, „Why do I so often feel a desire to eat and overeat after 10 pm?“, „Why after having eaten a sweet or fat meal, I keep a diet for several days or I eat too much on the other side?? It is an old proven truth that when looking for a problem solution, we should try an easier one first and only in case it doesn´t work, we shall try a more complicated one. The easier and at the same time very practical and comprehensible way of knowing one´s eating habits and vices is to record one´s food consumption. The records should then be studied with the expert on eating disorders or with a self-help manual and learned from. Examples of food intake records can be found in tables in „Download“ section. If you decide trying this method, you can download and print the tables. Every day you have to thouroughly record all food and drink you consumed, and additional information on important facts like time of eating, feelings during and after meal, place of eating, vomiting or exercise following the meal etc. Such a record is a very private matter, everyone writes it only for him/herself, sometimes also for the therapist if agreed on. It is important not to hide away or change any facts, simply be frank. To give you an idea how is the record used, I will describe three examples: 1. In anorexia nervosa, there is often a problem of feeling very full after a meal. Such a feeling leeds to a fantasy that we have eaten too much and so will put on weight uncontrollably. Yet our weight may be deeply under the norm or keeps falling and we are threatened by severe health problems. The food intake record helps us see more realistically what we have really eaten and thus make a distinction from unpleasant feelings rather due to fear. The food record can be compared to a recommended diet in the ?Diet? section. 2. In bulimia nervosa, the food record may tell us for example that if we eat outside a kitchen or dining room, e.g. by TV or in bed, we often eat more and then we have to go vomiting. The problem is often that if we do something else while eating (watch TV, read a book etc.) we lose control over the amount of food we consume, we can exceed it easily and then it makes no difference… 3. In binge eating we may find out that our irresistible appetite after 10 p.m. may relate to the fact we have supper at half past five and we restrict this meal. This leads to a natural feeling of hunger and besides we subconsciously know we have cheated our body. It has been proven that such feelings increase the risk of overeating. This article did not aim at all-encompassing description of food intake records, rather at stimulating your curiosity and possible interest to try it out. More information can be found in ?Literature? section or gained in a consultation with an expert.