Unexpected Importance of Food Tracking

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Recently, a client gave me unexpected feedback about the food journal I have them use each week. While I understand there are difficulties with tracking1 (unreliable food data entered, challenging in social situations, time constraint), the pros often outweigh the cons.


If I don’t know what a client is eating, I can’t help them with their nutrition or lifestyle goals. It’s certainly impossible to see which foods are problematic, especially if there’s a digestive issue at hand… quite often, symptoms don’t appear immediately, unless it’s a food allergy (less common than many would believe).


A current client suffers from a couple health conditions, is on multiple medications, and wants to lose fat. We’ve worked on these issues in that order, by their request. (My clients decide 100% what they wish to work on, and in what order.)


While I know the multiple positives of a food journal, I never considered this aspect: uncovering a relationship between symptoms and medication.


Food tracking is helpful, especially as we’re like reintroducing things. I think it would be helpful for me to be able to see like, how did I feel? Because like you said, two or three days later, you don’t necessarily remember accurately.

Modifying it and changing it has been so helpful, even when I emailed my doctor—because I had never spoken to him. So, I sent a message and said that I had recently started seeing a nutritionist who is also a life coach… and that you would have me tracking my symptoms and in tracking symptoms, I found something that I wasn’t looking for, you know?

But that was the reasoning behind why I think I want to take it to him, so that he doesn’t think I’m just being like, ‘I don’t like this anymore.’ It’s because I had a reason as to why I want to discuss my medications. I accidentally found it through the tracking and found symptoms were consistent with the timing of medications.

I am so thankful for you and all you are doing to help me through this journey that involves so many other factors than just food.


As I then explained, Doctors are scientists… food journals are helpful data for them. Another client takes food journals to their doctor to review because it shows a direct link between foods they’re eating and their blood sugar and blood pressure. Most importantly, it shows the willingness on the part of my client/the Doctors patient and their health outcomes. They’re willing to take the time each day to write it down and be honest with themselves. This takes a lot of courage.


If you’re interested in reducing your symptoms or losing fat, food tracking is an important key to doing that. I understand food journals and apps take time and have some risks associated with them. But I think you’ll find it useful to look at hard, cold data when you want to make a change in your life or health.


Each of my clients uses a different tracking method based on what they want to accomplish—many create their own forms, or use an app. If you’ve never used one before, here’s a basic form I created as a springboard for clients: Ayur III Food Journal-UPDATED – Pandorable Wellness (pandorasproducts.net)

  1. Barriers and Negative Nudges: Exploring Challenges in Food Journaling – PubMed (nih.gov)

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