Video | How to Make a Food Journal REALLY Work

Old school calorie counting, weighing and measuring simply don’t work. In fact that approach can backfire. Listen as Dr. Perry explains how she uses a food journal with her clients to help them effectively achieve their goals.

Hey it’s Dr. Perry! Today we are going to talk about food journaling and for you dudes out there if that sounds a little too feminine. Let’s just call it a playbook. So, it is imperative when I first start working with a client that they provide me some information regarding where we are starting from and that is one of the primary reasons that I pretty much insist upon a food journal at least for a couple weeks. And for some people a little bit longer. The second thing it does, in addition to providing me information, it helps raise awareness for yourself as to what you are doing. So, one of the first areas of pushback that I get is around time. “Well, I just don’t have time to do it.” And the way I am going to show you how to do it does not take that much time. And regarding time, if improving your health or dealing with a chronic health condition is an important goal to you then you are going to have to put some of these things, food journaling being one of them, higher on your list of priorities and you’re going to need to make the time for it. I know there are plenty of time wasters out there. I engage in them. Could be Facebooking, could be you know, research on the internet, which is a common one for me. So, you are gonna have to really, but we will be talking about some ways to manage your time a little bit better. But the first thing is you need to realize that some of these important things are going to be priorities and for a period of time you’re going to need to carve out that time in your day to make it happen if you are serious about accomplishing these health goals.

So, that being said I don’t see value, in fact, there are some reasons I am opposed to traditional, conventional, old school ways of doing a food journal. Like Weight Watchers, counting pointing, like using an online tracker such as MyFitnessPal. Now again that can be a tool that is easy, an easy way to keep track of what you are doing. So, I am okay with you using it but we are not going to be counting calories, measuring fat grams, or carbohydrates. That is not the purpose of the way I want you to journal. So, if you do like the idea of a tracker, I am okay with that, however what needs to be written in addition to that, and this is why I think it is easier to do the food journal the way I am going to suggest to you, is that you write down the time of day, what you ate, in general the quantities but I don’t want you measuring. And importantly, is going to be using a Hunger Satiety Scale to measure your degree of physical hunger prior to eating and your level of satiety afterwards. So, I use a scale with zero being right in the middle and -10 to +10 on either end. So, most people when I ask them, “Hey what do you think a healthy intuitive eater who primarily eats when they are physically hungry minus what, what point do you feel would be best for you or that would be an optimal place to start eating when you haven’t let yourself get too hungry but your body is calling for food?” Most people answer somewhere between a -2 and a -4. And then, what about satiety? Well they seem to answer the same way +2 to +4 which is exactly what I do, which is exactly what I recommend. So, think about it, if you’re in that -2 to +2 range, you’re probably going to eat a little bit more frequently. And if you’re only going to a +2 then you are probably going to be eating smaller quantities of food. So that’s great to have that flexibility because let’s say that you know it’s gonna be several hours before you eat again, you might want to eat to a +4. That way you can make eating fit into your lifestyle. Healthy living to fit into your lifestyle. So, there you go.

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