We almost missed it.
As a weight loss coach, I encourage my clients to keep a food journal of everything they eat during the day. Journaling is a valuable tool for weight loss, especially when paired with weighing yourself daily. It can help you identify trends, understand your body’s normal weight fluctuations, and provide another means to communicate with your body. It does not need to become another tool to beat yourself up.
I had an interesting experience with an overweight client with type II diabetes. I continually encouraged her to start a food journal and document what she ate. But she was reluctant.
However, she was very good at tracking her blood sugars.
She mentioned that a recent blood sugar was in the 400s on a particular Sunday morning, and later that evening when she checked again, it was back in the low 100s. Looking back, we deduced that she likely missed the prior evening dose of her medication, leading to a high number in the morning.
As we talked further, I asked her what she had eaten on Saturday night, leading to such a high number. She relayed that she had eaten a meal that included corn, potatoes, and crab. Also, her friend brought over a cake my client ate and washed it down with a regular soda drink.
Additionally, she relayed how that same Sunday afternoon, she went to a picnic where she ate potato salad, baked beans, and rib tips and followed that up with carrot cake.
It was interesting how she ate foods high in sugar in each setting. Yet she remembered the high blood sugar episode from her missed medication dose.
My client currently takes pills to manage her blood sugar and wants to avoid going on insulin. I believe her. Yet the medication masks these episodes of high blood sugar.
When we look for possible simple solutions to empower ourselves, our clients, and our patients more effectively, are we too often overlooking simple tools like putting pen to paper and journaling what we eat?