While journaling is the most effective tool it is the most resisted. Try asking your client what she is willing to commit to change in her eating habits for a week. Something she is certain will move her closer to her goal. Start small. The change ideally is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Then build on her successes.
The absolute best way is to have your client do a food diary. A week is ideal, but if you can get two days, that is great. They may find that the very act of keeping a food diary means they eat less — much easier not to eat that candy bar then go into your iPhone or pad to write it down!)
If they resist, you can (if you want to be blunt) ask how committed they are to losing weight if they are unwilling to do that?
If you have a food diary from them, you can both agree on one elimination of substitution per week e.g. No wine with dinner, no eating after 7:00 p.m., adding small snacks in the afternoon, etc.)
I ask my bootcampers and clients what they’ve had for breakfast, or lunch. I suggest a healthier option if there is one. I also ask them what they plan on eating for thier next meal to get them thinking about planning ahead..
In group settings it’s great to re construct a food/meal choice, it gives others the opportunity to re think their choices. I also like randomly asking things like: How many grams of fiber have you had today, or how many grams of sugar did you eat yesterday: or how much sodium should you eat in a day: or how many calories are in your snack?
Basiclly I want to create awareness of proper food choices.
With that being said, don’t forget, we are trainers not dieticians. We can give out basic, sound nutritional guidance but we must watch that we stay in our scope of certification and training.