If I have one of my clients keep a food log, it’s usually for a few days to a week. My goal is to get them to start to really recognize and become cognizant of what they are eating, but not to make the totally focused on it or subconscious about it. I can accomplish this by having them do this for a few days so that it doesn’t become onerous (just one more thing to think about…) and serves as a good starting point for us to discuss what’s going on, and healthy options.
Generally, the client chooses the strategy that they believe will help them effect behavior change.
If the strategy for meeting a particular goal is food logging, then the client would have expressed that they are ready and committed to make that goal a habit. It’s essentially something they want to do.
It is not my practice to make clients to do anything that they haven’t decided for themselves as far as behavior change is concerned.
Thanks for your question.
I do not automatically ask clients to keep a food diary as part of their training with me.
However, if they are asking me to assist them with weight management, I point out to them that keeping a food diary and sticking with it is one of the best predictors of successful weight management.
I do not make it a mandatory task because some clients are very resistant to the idea, and I simply respect their decision to opt out after I have laid out the pros of using one. I do, however, point out that the reluctance of keeping a food diary may warrant further reflection on their part.
If they are keeping one, I am always open to reviewing it with them, pointing out areas where a change can bring a good return on investment.