It is crucial that clients can begin to self-evaluate their own diet (or nutritional intake), so that in the long run, they will be able to make correct choices for continued success without supervision. Ensuring the correct use of a food diary is paramount to collecting accurate information about the clients eating habits. Time should be taken to ensure the client fully understands what information you want recorded and when you want it done. Consider these points when using a diary:
- Complete diary after each meal, not at the end of the day
- Record accurately what was eaten
- Identify amounts eaten
- Note the time of intake
- Specify any fluid intake
- Note when activity or exercise was done
- Identify energy, moods, and mental clarity 1-2 hours after food was eaten
As a weight management specialist, we need to know exactly what are clients are eating, when, and this is affects them as an individual, before we start to make decisions on how to alter their nutritional intake. Questionnaires and the consultation provide the opportunity to link signs and symptoms of imbalances, deficiencies or disturbances within the body. Medical history, current health issues, nutritional analysis, sleep analysis, stress and lifestyle pressures and coping mechanisms, current and previous training programmes, additional functional medicine tests and even genetic analysis can all provide valuable information in developing specific individual strategies.
In order to really provide an effective strategy for each individual, it is imperative that all related aspects are considered. The human body is such a complicated organic machine, that it is virtually impossible to completely understand all chemical pathways, interactions and disturbances. However the better and more comprehensive the understanding, the more effective the fat loss strategy will be and the healthier the individual.
It can be a lot easier to take a quick snap of your food before you eat it, than writing it all down. It also makes it easier to remember what you ate each day, and visually accountable for what you are putting in your mouth at each meal.
Here is an example dietary recall sheet to use with your case study and clients moving forward.