Your relationship with your food journal is key to your long term success.
Since Ideal Protein was founded, the founders have been adamant about the importance and value of the food journal. It’s included in the starter pack, the coach makes sure you have 7 pages left at each check in, it’s the first thing a coach looks at when you go for your check in, it stares at you from the kitchen counter, peaks at you from your purse, it gets food on it, and it’s the keys to the kingdom. The kingdom being keeping the weight off.
Something about pen and paper. Something about writing it down. Something about committing. Something about a daily ritual. Something about using it to plan. Something about it is magical.
Studies have shown that keeping a food journal, along with having a plan and a coach results in over 80% of people maintaining their weight after losing significant weight. And yet for some keeping that food journal feels really hard. It only takes 5 minutes a day to do it. So why is it so hard? It seems it’s a moment of truth, a moment of accountability, a moment of facing your own reality. It’s also a moment of trusting your coach and doing what you have been told works (no matter what you think of it!).
It’s a good question to ask yourself, “why am I struggling with the food journal?” and “what is it about the food journal?”. Is it being asked to fill it out? Is it your rebellious side? What are you rebelling against? After all, you signed up to do the diet, you want to lose weight and you paid to know and do what works. Funny beings we are. What am I actually dealing with? Note: This question is for those that ongoingly find using the food journal a struggle.
What to do if you are struggling to fill out your food journal.
At Ideal Protein they train coaches to not do the check in with the client if there is no food journal. That’s because it’s a food solution and without knowing the details of what you ate there is very little trouble shooting the coach can do. And it’s just how the program works – follow the Phase 1 sheet, fill in a food journal (recommendation to use it to plan ahead a minimum of three days out) and come for a weekly check in. That’s it – and it always works. As Ideal Protein says “it’s so simple but not always easy”.
What to do if you are struggling? First, let it be okay to have some struggle. Get curious about what is going on for you. We promise you there is always an amazing gift from everything life presents us with. My favourite approach with struggle is to redirect my focus. To look at my thoughts and then choose the ones I actually want. You will often hear us say “you get what you think about”. So if I am thinking – “this is so tedious”, “I don’t feel like doing this”, or “it’s okay I’ll do it tomorrow” then I check in to see if this is really how I want to think. Does it feel good to think this? Only YOU can answer this. It’s possible that what is right for you (and what feels right) is to see that now is not a good time for you to be on the diet and that is why the “food journal” issue is such a battle. Or you may realize that it’s not feeling good to think that way and you’d prefer to think “thank you for bringing me tools to help me feel better in my body, thank you for helping me plan my meals and bring more consciousness to this area of my life, it’s fun and easy and super helpful to use the food journal”. Now how does that feel to say that to yourself? You really do have a choice. And there is no right way – there’s just the way that feels right for you.
You, your coach and your food journal.
You want to listen to yourself and do what your coach tells you. They don’t need to be at odds with each other. If you have a commitment to moving past the struggle then your coach can work with you.
And remember after phase 1, 2 and 3 the coach is going to give you a BLUE food journal and ask you to fill that out for one year. Why? Because most people struggle to maintain their weight loss but those that use the 17 check ins in the one year lifestyle program and use a food journal have much much much much higher rates of success at keeping that weight off.
Your coach is on the same page as you. They want you to feel awesome, love your body, feel healthy, be healthy and enjoy food. Sometimes you may think they don’t understand. They do understand, they know the struggle and they also know people get through it one food journal at a time.
Enjoy your weight loss journey and remember a whole bunch of stuff on Phase 1 is setting you up to maintain your weight loss. You have found an amazing program.