Easy methods to Use a Photograph Meals Log to Get Higher Consumer Outcomes

Right here’s an unpopular opinion…

Macro-style meals logging and monitoring (assume: MyFitnessPal) is NOT one of the best ways to educate your shoppers on diet.

There, I mentioned it. Now hear me out…

I’ve been a nutrition coach for over 10 years and have labored with greater than 1,000 shoppers. I now use my information and abilities to assist health club homeowners and coaches develop and systemize their very own companies, so I get to see how teaching strategies work on a big scale.

I’ve tried many various diet teaching types over the past decade: completely macro-based, behavior teaching with meals monitoring, and fully habit-based with no macros in any respect.

What if I informed you that once I stopped having shoppers rely macros, they skilled:

  • Higher outcomes
  • Increased compliance
  • A happier journey
  • Much less stress
  • Higher consuming instinct
  • An extended coach/consumer relationship

Nicely, that’s precisely what occurred.

Make no mistake: I don’t hate macros. They positively have their place.

(Associated: The complete guide to using—and coaching—macros.)

However for 99 % of shoppers, I simply assume there’s a greater method.

So what’s it?

Over 150,000 health & fitness professionals certified

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Photographs, folks. Photographs.

I’ve shoppers monitor what they eat by taking an image of their meal.

It’s easy, simple, and efficient—and because of this, you get excessive compliance.

However the very best half? It offers far more data and training alternatives than typical monitoring.

I do know what a few of you’re saying:

“You’ll be able to’t decide energy or macros with solely images!”

It doesn’t matter.

On the subject of meals, there are extra necessary particulars to deal with than WHAT shoppers are consuming.

And images provide help to see what macro-tracking can’t: the total image.

To get essentially the most out of them, although, you’ll must know what to search for.

I’ve a technique for that.

I name this methodology The 5 Ws.

Who, when, the place, why, and what.

Let me clarify every, together with the teaching alternatives they current.

(And for extra diet, well being, and training recommendation, join PN’s FREE weekly publication, The Smartest Coach in The Room.)

1. Who’re they consuming with?

Who somebody eats with can influence the meals decisions they make, in addition to the quantity of meals they devour.

Have you ever ever had a pal who eats tremendous wholesome? Ever end up making more healthy decisions whereas consuming with this individual?

The inverse can be true. It’s extra tempting to go wild on a Friday evening when your pal, accomplice, or coworker is indulging, too.

Typically, merely serving to your consumer acquire consciousness that they have a tendency to overeat round a sure individual could be a game-changer. (And no, I’m not suggesting they finish the connection.)

2. When are they consuming?

Did your consumer  (unintentionally) wait till 3 pm for lunch as a result of they received busy or didn’t plan correctly?

Right here’s an instance of when this sort of information may be tremendous helpful. Should you uncover a sample of missed meals, you possibly can take a look at why that’s taking place and both:

  • Choice 1: Assist your consumer construct extra construction into their day to forestall lacking meals
  • Choice 2: Give you “if-then” eventualities for when it does occur. Instance: “IF I miss my lunch, THEN I’ll get XYZ meal/snack”

3. The place are they consuming?

You’ll be able to study rather a lot from your consumer’s consuming surroundings.

Are they sitting at their desk in entrance of their keyboard, working by lunch? They won’t be taking the time to chew their meals totally, which may result in overeating.

Right here, you may work on consuming to 80 % full as a subsequent step.

(Study extra: How to eat until 80% full)

Are they sitting on the sofa watching TV? They is likely to be chowing down mindlessly, another excuse people overeat.

On this case, you may deal with studying to eat slowly.

(See: The 30-day slow eating challenge.)

Are they consuming at a dinner desk? That’s nice! They seem to set time apart for meals and are creating nice habits right here. (Are you able to say brilliant spots?)

Does their meals seem to return from their very own kitchen, or is it in takeout containers? In case your consumer logs hen, broccoli, and candy potato on a conventional meals monitoring log, you don’t know if that’s home made or picked up from an area fast-casual restaurant, probably laden with hidden oils and plenty of sodium.

This could possibly be a chance to teach them on totally different meals preparation methods, and clarify why a home-cooked meal could possibly be a better option for his or her targets.

4. Why are they consuming?

As coaches, we’d actually profit from asking this query extra usually.

Do folks at all times eat out of starvation? Hardly.

Folks eat for a plethora of causes, and starvation is commonly not the driving drive. For instance, folks often eat as a result of they’re comfortable, unhappy, harassed, drained, thirsty, or bored, or it could possibly be on account of surroundings, behavior, tradition, or custom.

Should you discover {that a} consumer’s stress consuming, you would assist them discover methods to raised handle their stress, equivalent to meditation and train.

Or maybe they’re a social butterfly, and for them, consuming is a part of the social expertise.

You’ll be able to collaborate along with your consumer on methods to make the very best decisions doable whereas celebrating with their family and friends—relatively than feeling like they’ve to remain residence.

Ignoring the numerous the reason why your consumer eats could make them really feel like there’s one thing unsuitable with them. As a substitute, assist them develop the instruments to lean into their WHY in a optimistic method.

5. What are they consuming?

To me, that is the least necessary query. As a result of in my view, there’s not a fantastic teaching alternative right here.

In case your consumer isn’t making nice decisions, greater than seemingly, one of many different 5 Ws is at play.

How does it work, precisely?

Listed below are some sensible suggestions for placing this technique into follow.

Use picture logging when onboarding shoppers. For the primary two weeks working collectively, I’ve shoppers take every day images of their meals.

Then, they add the images into folders organized by meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks, for instance.

After the primary two weeks, I let the consumer select in the event that they need to proceed taking images.

Search for patterns. You may discover your consumer is often skipping breakfast or snacks whereas feeling hungry all through the day.

These patterns present a fantastic place to begin to your teaching.

(You’ll be able to encourage your consumer to search for patterns as they eat through the use of assets like Precision Vitamin’s Eating Behaviors Journal and How Food Feels Journal.)

Make it collaborative. I don’t usually do official “evaluations” of consumer picture logs.

You by no means need your consumer to really feel like they’re being graded.

As a substitute, attempt asking questions on their images relatively than making statements about what you see.

For example, you may ask: How did this breakfast be just right for you? How did you are feeling a couple of hours later?

Let your consumer counsel subsequent steps. When you’ve labored collectively to determine some areas for enchancment, ask your consumer what they really feel like they might change with confidence.

That is the place they determine on a brand new motion to follow.

My purpose isn’t to influence you to desert macros.

(Particularly if that method is working nice for you.)

Relatively, I need to share an alternate software that’s profoundly affected the best way I coach.

Give it a attempt.

I do know it may be scary, however in my expertise with over a thousand folks, you’ll get higher outcomes and far happier, extra balanced shoppers ultimately.

Should you’re a coach, otherwise you need to be…

Studying the way to coach shoppers, sufferers, pals, or members of the family by wholesome consuming and way of life modifications—in a method that’s personalised for his or her distinctive physique, preferences, and circumstances—is each an artwork and a science.

Should you’d wish to study extra about each, contemplate the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.

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