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Bulimia Tips: Self-Monitoring - Keeping a Diary

Abstract: Keeping a diary (self-monitoring) of all you eat is an important treatment method for people with eating disorders.

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Bulimia Tips: Self-Monitoring - Keeping a Diary

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Written by: Fabio Piccini, doctor and Jungian psychotherapist, in charge of the "Centre for Eating Disorders Therapy" at "Malatesta Novello" nursing home in Cesena. Works privately in Rimini and Chiavari. E-mail:
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 17 Aug 2008.

Give me tips to handle my bulimia.


The word self-monitoring is used to describe a therapeutic technique that includes a range of activities that patients suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia or other eating disorders can learn to carry out in order to tackle their Eating Disorder.

Self-monitoring includes the following activities:

  • keeping a food diary
  • weighing yourself the same day every week
  • calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • checking your progress each week

A food diary is similar to a training diary used by athletes. A good food diary consists of a series of columns containing the following information: time of day, food and drink consumed, where you eat, binges, compensation efforts (like gymnastics, self-induced vomiting, drug use) and finally, thoughts and feelings during the eating episodes. The diary can also be designed to show how your eating habits deviate from a healthy diet plan.

The diary must be kept every day, every time you eat or drink something and not at the end of the day.

Its aim is to help you understand what happens when you eat.

Once a week you should check, roughly, the trend recorded in the diary and on the basis of this, specify a goal for the following week. Obviously the kind of goal must be based on the results achieved and should be a step forward.

Even if for some weeks the diary shows that you have not moved forward to more healthy eating habits, you should not give up, but continue to struggle on.

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