March 18


Weight Loss by Phone

By Sue Ingebretson

March 18, 2014

diary, journaling, phone, photographs, weight, weight loss, weight management



I’m a geek when it comes to behavioral psychology. And, there’s no better topic to demonstrate self-sabotage, limiting beliefs, and resistance to change than weight loss. That’s why I’m always interested in studying weight loss strategies and when I found this one was as close as my phone? Count me intrigued!


Have you heard the adage — what gets measured gets done? Well, this tip takes that old saying to a new level.


Before I reveal this tip, let’s look at the top three things that sabotage our weight loss or weight management success. Do you know what they are?


1) Eating when we’re not hungry (and doing so mindlessly)
2) Underestimating what we’ve just eaten
3) Dieting (any plan that’s supposed to be temporary will have temporary results … meaning the results don’t stick)

Years ago, when I was writing my book, FibroWHYalgia, I was researching journaling as a stress management tool. I remember reading about a study in Portland that used journaling for weight loss. They found success was not only predictable with journaling, but that the rate of success directly correlated to the number of days per week that the food journals were kept.


In a nutshell –
Consistent Journaling = Consistent Results.


But let’s get real. The practicality of writing down everything you eat is a hassle. And, if you don’t do it right away, it’s easy to forget. Sure, there are lots of apps these days that can make it pretty simple, but let’s take this journaling thing to the next level. This tip is as simple as it gets and sounds like a retort from a 3rd grader.


—–>   Take a picture – it lasts longer.


Seriously, keep a picture diary! Take a picture of absolutely everything you’re going to eat. Just fixed your breakfast smoothie? Snap a pic. Grabbed a to-go lunch from a drive-thru? Get it all out of the bag and take a pic. Snacking on pistachios in the afternoon? Take a pic of the bag or bowl before you eat, and again after.


Email the snapshots to yourself and keep them in a food folder for your review. This isn’t a punishment exercise, it’s an enlightening exercise. It has multiple benefits.


A) You can’t fudge how big (or small) your portion sizes are
B) You can easily see what you ate for the day and relate that to how you feel.
C) You can go back and use the photographs to review what meals worked well for you and which ones – not so much
D) You can use the photographs to remind yourself of recipes and ingredient combinations that you may otherwise forget
E) You’re more likely to self-edit what you plan to eat when you know it’ll be photographed
F) The pictures serve as validation of how much or how well you’re eating (for those who may feel deprived and otherwise underestimate how much they’re eating)
G) The pictures are useful when looking to make healthier substitutions


Your phone is almost always at hand, right? If we’re eating, it’s there. If we’re snacking, it’s there. Why not let it do some journaling work for you? And, this is completely private. No need to share unless you want to.


Can you think of other ways that a photo food journal would be useful? Do tell!


Enter your comments below.

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Stop-Feeding-Yourself-PAINDo you know why breakfast has the greatest potential to contribute to your PAIN? If not, grab your free Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN guide here, and learn why!


Sue-IngebretsonWould you like to begin your own self-discovery process and heal from the inside out? Check out Sue’s Rebuilding Wellness site – and click on the Work With Sue tab to learn more. Simply email that form if you’d like more information. 

  1. What a wonderful idea! A picture is indeed worth a thousand words so they say;) I think it would be a good idea to encourage the brain to ‘see’ the reality of food intake. Clever except I don’t have a system like that to use. I could use my digital camera. I will keep that in mind.

    1. There are blogs devoted to this topic and some people use their phones, and others use “better” cameras. My brother is an amazing photographer, but he always says, “The best camera is the one that’s in your hand.”

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