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Eliminating the eye roll

It’s probably an expression you’ve encountered at least once in your practice: the eye roll. A familiar reaction to the idea of keeping a written food diary, the eye roll conveys a whole host of feelings from anxiety to frustration to lack of faith in one’s ability to follow through with the request. But MealLogger helps you turn the eye roll into an “Oh, I can do that!” This has been the experience of Sharon Stewart, RD.

When counseling clients at Facebook, Sharon would work with people during their initial consultation to establish their goals and set out a game plan. Then she would ask them to track their meals with MealLogger. Clients with previous experience with some form of food diary would often roll their eyes at the idea of logging everything they ate, counting calories, tracking macros or the like. But when Sharon explained that they only needed to photograph their meals (and sync them with their account so Sharon could view them on her end), their reactions became much more positive.

Most people – clients and dieticians alike – have busy days. So finding ways to work together more efficiently to achieve healthy eating goals is a benefit for everyone. Logging meals as photographs is fast and easy for clients, but it’s also quick for Sharon to check how clients are doing. She notes that she can look at the colors of the meals in the weekly view in MealLogger and get a quick overview of a client’s progress and give them a nudge, if they are getting off track.

Using MealLogger is far more empowering than your average food diary, too. Once Sharon explains to clients how they should be eating, using an appropriate plate model as a reference, she asks her clients, “What would your meal makeover be?” Then they have the power to analyze their own meals and suggest concrete changes. Sharon explains that MealLogger allows clients to really SEE what they need to change.

In fact, just the act of logging their meals helps motivate clients to focus on their intended changes. Many of Sharon’s clients have said, “It’s really affected my thinking about food. I’m much more intentional about what I eat because I take a photo first.” As Sharon encourages her clients to pay attention to how they are feeling when they eat a meal, clients often like to add notes in MealLogger to detail their hunger cues, pace of eating and fullness. Then they can look for their own triggers and patterns and improve their mindful eating.

For Sharon, access to the photos of clients’ meals means she can review their latest entries before each follow-up visit so she can give them specific feedback. Because the photos themselves often serve as visual cues to remind the client of a situation or story behind a particular meal, it helps them to be able to discuss the factors that influenced the meal choices they made.

In fact, with their MealLogger experience, people are able to recognize on their own when they are not eating as mindfully as they should. Even after their active work with Sharon ended, several clients returned to using MealLogger for support to get back on track again.

With the help of Sharon and MealLogger, clients gained the tools they needed to manage their healthful eating themselves. That means the next time they encounter dietary challenges, they’ll be empowered to say once again, “Oh, I can do that!”

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Empowering at the Uppsala Health Summit

At the Uppsala Health Summit in Uppsala, Sweden, Michael Quarshie from MealLogger and public health researcher Dr. Pilvikki Absetz helped in hosting a workshop called “Empowering Healthy Behaviors.” The workshop covered strategies and partnerships to help people change or maintain healthy behaviors and looked at how technology can aid behavior change.

Most often, when trying to change behavior, we focus on why the change needs to be made rather than on how to do it. While knowing the why is important, research evidence clearly shows it is not enough to create lasting change. Helping people figure out how to change is perhaps even more important.

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"How-To" Guide, Virtual Coaching in Sports, Why it works

3 Reasons Why Written Food Logs Are So Last Century

Counting calories is a time-consuming, soul-sucking practice that, despite being a common way to track eating, is not as beneficial as we might think – for professionals or for patients. There is value in having patients record the foods they eat, to understand what they are consuming and offer accountability, and it is critical that patients understand relative calories (like, high for brownies versus low for broccoli), but it’s not necessary that they record every single calorie they intake.

Most professionals know the drawbacks of written food logs, but let’s highlight the biggest ones here: Continue reading

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Virtual peer support groups deliver real-life results

Researchers from the University of Helsinki presented their findings of a four-week feasibility study at the Connected Health Symposium in Boston in October 2016. The results showed that virtual peer support groups with overweight, diabetic men and women moderated by a nutrition professional using MealLogger can effectively promote healthy eating. Continue reading

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Do you want to lead our sales? We’re Hiring!

If you’re an experience health marketing and sales professional, MealLogger is hiring for a VP/Director of Sales position.  Become a critical team member on the ground floor of our growing company.  Does getting digital tools into the hands of people to better their own lives appeal to you? Do you feel that health counselors aren’t reaching enough people? Do you enjoy a challenge? Then you might be for us and we might be for you!

wewantyou

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MealLogger at the Nordic Eating Disorder Conference

MealLogger was proud to present at the biannual conference of the Nordic Eating Disorder Society. The conference was hosted in Helsinki at the end of September. Speakers at the event included Dr. Cynthia Bulik (UNC), Dr. David Clinton (Karolinska Institute) and psychologist and psychologist and cognitive psychotherapist Pia Charpentier.

Pia is also the founder and CEO of the Center for Eating Disorders in Finland (CED) and shared some of the CED’s experiences in using MealLogger. You can click here to read more about how CED has been using MealLogger with 40 patients.

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Using image-based food journaling with eating disorder patients in an out-patient setting.

 

Dietary counseling is central to rehabilitating patients with eating disorders. Encouraging patients to develop healthy and regular eating patterns forms the crux of effective therapy. Because many patients with eating disorders experience anxiety about food quantities, calculating precise nutrient intakes is not typically recommended. Obtaining an accurate log is nonetheless essential to troubleshooting, making meal photographs an invaluable tool in effective nutrition counseling.

The Center for Eating Disorders (CED) in Helsinki, Finland, has used MealLogger with 40 outpatients for an average duration of 3 months with each patient. 23 of the patients had been diagnosed with anorexia, 10 with binge eating disorder, and 7 with bulimia. Each received extensive app-based outpatient support. Continue reading

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Competitions

We make huge strides when pitted against each other, since winning innately feels great. MealLogger allows professionals create customized challenges for their more competitive clients, so they can go head-to-head and experience fantastic progress along the way. Create competitions that start out easy and become progressively more challenging one week at a time. A sample challenge for weight loss clients might look like this:

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Clients can see where they stand on the scoreboard, and once the competition concludes, prizes can be awarded, either between the participants themselves (i.e. free dinner) or by the trainer/gym (i.e. free training session). The prize should be nominal, nothing fancy, as everyone involved knows that the goal is health- and weight-related, and squaring up against friends and acquaintances can be exciting in and of itself.

To illustrate, check out a recent healthy eating challenge that Sports Dietitian Andrew Pierce ran for the Columbia University Football Team.

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Nordic health care provider Attendo expanding the use of MealLogger to provide mobile lifestyle counseling for goups

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One of the largest health care providers in the Nordics, Attendo, has decided to expand the use of MealLogger as part of a new mobile group-based lifestyle prevention model in Finland. The model combines traditional group interventions with mobile coaching and peer support. While each group meeting is organized by a registered nurse, a dietitian provides virtual support to each group via MealLogger.

“Based on our pilot in the fall, we’re convinced that combining traditional group coaching with a solution that incorporates mobile technology and peer support, we can start offering our clients solutions that are modern and engaging, while also being cost-effective” says director Antti Raimovaara. Continue reading

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Uncategorized, Virtual Coaching in Sports

Cost-effective Mobile Lifestyle Intervention in a Primary Care Setting to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Attendo Engagement

A mobile group intervention model was used in a primary care setting to deliver cost-effective mobile lifestyle counseling. During the 3 month intervention, study participants lost on average 4.6% of their body weight. Each group was lead by two nurses, who received mobile support from a dietitian. Continue reading

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