As part of my weekly coaching sessions with Jenna at Beautea she has had me complete a food diary. This has been great for me as it is an important piece of my practice as well. By keeping my own food diary I could get a deeper appreciation of how the experience can be of benefit for anyone who feels out of control with food. So why are food diaries so important? Why do I get you to go to through all that laborious, time-wasting, grudgingly boring task work? 1. If you have a problematic relationship with food in general, a food diary can help you to normalise your eating routine. It will help you understand how you use food in your life and help you to find a routine that works for you. Rather than focusing on calorie counting a food diary should simply give a problematic eater a regular pattern of eating and should always be about being present rather than restriction. 2. A food diary brings in awareness and avoids what Cognitive Behaviourist James Stabler calls “the highway hypnosis of a food trance”. Mindful eating is the cornerstone of every success story I’ve encountered. Writing things down brings consciousness into your daily eating which will also enable you to determine whether you’re actually hungry or whether there is something else going on. Being present allows you to make food choices that will benefit you. 3. If you eat emotionally, a food diary can be your best friend. Food diaries not only help you track but they provide a space for journaling your thoughts and emotions around food. This will enable you to critically analyse what’s going on and why so that you can brainstorm some suitable alternatives. By stopping, writing down your emotions and food intake, you’ve empowering yourself to fill up on what you really need (hint – it’s probably not food). 4. Accountability. By writing down what you eat, you and your practitioner can have a look at any foods that may not be serving you. It’s a way to lesson the pressure of figuring it all out on your own and gives you the support you need to find out what’s best for your unique body. 5. From a health perspective, I can decrease the total amount of calories consumed if overeating is something you battle with. Studies have shown that by simply engaging in food tracking your overall food consumption can reduce by 40% without even trying! So yes, it takes time. But if you could achieve all of the above or any of the above would it not be worth it?