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!”