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What’s Eating You? Keeping a Food Journal: May 16, 2012

Amy Sweat battled the bulge for years. At her lowest point she tipped the scales at 240 pounds. Diet after diet only deflated her self-image.

“I’ve tried Atkins, I’ve tried Weight Watchers, I’ve tried just eating no carbs, I’ve tried a lot of different things and it just hit me on day, I just want to be healthy.”

That led Amy to sign up with a dietician. Julie Stacey works for Lee Health Solutions.

“I usually ask them about their work schedule. When do they wake up? When do they go to bed? How often do they eat? Do they skip meals?”

Then she hands them a book, a food journal, which will become their daily diary all things eating.

“They’re going to write down the foods hey eat, they might write down their calories, they might write down what they were feeling at that time. It’s really eye opening for them and they’re able to learn a lot from it,” says Stacey.

“I’m a huge stress eater. My life is full of stress, I think everybody’s is. Fast food for lunch, it always had to be something really quick,” says Sweat.

Instead of a ‘how to’ book, the food journal was a ‘what not to do’ guide. Seeing bad habits in written form creates an opportunity to chart a new direction.

“I always try to set goals with my clients. One is always regarding diet maybe it’s drinking more water eating more fruit or eating more vegetables. But the other part is that I also set an exercise goal with them,” says Stacey.

Amy learned to read food labels and choose healthy foods. Combined with regular exercise, she lost 60 pounds.

“I have no clothes that fit in my closet right now. It’s crazy,” says Sweat.

Her food journal replacing diet books as a personal record of success.