Mundane, numerical-driven food journals are slowly losing favor among nutrition professionals. Rather than a numbers-driven journal, photo-based food journaling lets clients quickly snap a picture of their food and post it to the app. Healthie allows providers to enable custom tracking metrics such as pre-meal hunger, post-meal fullness, perceived healthiness of the meal and more. This science-backed style of journaling enables clients to view their food as a whole, rather than hyper-focusing on numbers.
Studies prove that keeping a photo food journal can lead to:
- Improved taste perception of food
- Better recall of details surrounding meals (including who, what and when meals were enjoyed)
- Fewer barriers to journaling
- More adventurous eaters
- Healthier food choices
- Increased mindfulness in food choices
- Increased compliance due to fewer feelings of judgment about food choices
After all, photo food journaling won’t help your clients if they’re not doing it.
Here are the top 5 ways nutritionists actually get their clients to keep a food journal:
1. Set Expectations Up Front
Before clients purchase a counseling package with you, let your clients know your expectations of partaking in photo food journaling. Successful Healthie users will often state expectations on their website, in an initial phone call or in a package description.
One Healthie user states, “information about the Healthie app and food tracking is on my website, so that when prospective clients meet with me, it’s not the first time hearing about it.”
2. Make It Easy For Your Clients to Photo Food Journal
“From the second my clients sign up to work with me, they have the tools they need to succeed in photo food logging,” states Emily, a happy Healthie user. “Healthie allows you to customize the welcome email that gets triggered to clients, so I include intentions about downloading the Healthie app and tracking food/workouts/weight, etc.”
By providing the needed tools , such as the Healthie app, photo food journaling becomes a seamless and expected component of working with you. One way to easily add this to your offerings and coordinate with clients on food, lifestyle, and activity journaling is through Healthie’s Free Starter plan. Learn more about these free services here.
3. Explain Why Food Journaling Is Important For Success
As one Healthie nutritionist states, “On the first call, I educate my clients on why it’s so important and what the evidence shows to be most effective for helping them reach their goals.”
By teaching your clients the benefits of photo food journaling, you’re showing them, “Hey, this is for YOU, not for me, but we’re in this together!“
4. Support Photo Food Journaling From Day 1
Believe it or not, your clients’ success with photo food journaling is more on you than on them. This is especially true when you first start working together. From day 1, engage with most entries, so your clients know you’re checking in on them. If you don’t see your clients’ food journaling, send a message to nudge them along.
Then, at each appointment, ask your clients how tracking is going. Are they finding it difficult? Do they enjoy it? What would make their food journaling experience more enjoyable? Airing any potential obstacles is the first step in preventing any barriers! Healthie’s Client Engagement Portal, you can establish wellness goals for clients to track on a daily, weekly, and long-term basis with customizable client notifications/reminders. Click here to try this feature, and many others, for free today with Healthie’s Starter Plan.
5. Always Use Positive Reinforcement
Be the motivational coach your clients are looking for, especially when it comes to photo food journaling. Since the 1920s, behavioral research has shown that positive reinforcement is a beneficial tool for helping individuals learn new behaviors.
Encourage your clients to photo food journal by consistently leaving positive feedback. Even if their choices aren’t exactly what you had hoped for, keeping your commentary positive lends support. Your clients will be more likely to continue to photo food journal, which is a photo in the right direction towards reaching their goals.
Make tracking food journals easy for you and your client by signing up for a Free Starter Account with Healthie!
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