Food log graphic
As trainers, we know that our clients must improve their diet in order to reach their fitness goals.  Cataloging food is one of the most powerful tools that we have for an effective transformation.

But in my experience, it is very challenging for clients to consistently record their food intake.  Most people are generally willing to recall what they’ve eaten recently while they’re in a session with me, but it doesn’t seem to happen consistently between sessions.

I am really curious what works for other trainers.  Please comment on this post with the food log method you have found most successful.   Below, I have outlined the TOP 4 FOOD LOGGING METHODS I have tried with my clients:

1 – “My Fitness Pal”– Many trainers use this app for clients to share their virtual food log.  You enter your weight and your weightloss goal, and the app gives you a daily calorie quota.  You manually input your food, and the app lets you know how many calories you have left for the day.  I personally find this narrow-minded focus on calories to be off-putting and conducive to continued compulsive behavior around eating.  I would love to hear some feedback about the experience you have had with this app and your clients in the comments.

2 – “Google Drive” – This is the method I use most often with my clients. I made a food/mood spreadsheet that asks clients to record what they ate and how they felt throughout the day.  It is essentially a shared excel spreadsheet, so I have real-time access to the data and complete control over what questions I ask.  This way I can always see what’s happening with my client’s food, but discourage obsessing over calories and weight.   However, the interface is ugly and it is inconvenient to use on a mobile device.

3 – “Notes app”- The notepad app is provided on most smartphones. When I do my own personal food logging, I find this method to be the most convenient. The drawbacks are that there are no metrics or analysis available and a client’s entries are not automatically shared with the trainer.

4 – “Pen and paper” – Many of my clients have had success with this method.  They just carry around a dedicated notebook and write their food down.   It’s simple and the notebook provides a visual cue to stop and record the food.  However, with this method, it is very challenging for the client to share the food log with the trainer between sessions.

I’m sure there are many other methods, and other apps out there. Fellow Fitness Pros – I am really curious to hear back from you!

What food logging method do you suggest? 

What actually works for you?

Please comment below so we can all learn from each other.