Why Food Tracking Is the Best Way to Reach Your Health Goals

August 10, 2021
Why Food Tracking Is the Best Way to Reach Your Health Goals

In this article:

  • Food tracking can help you lose weight.
  • You can use a calorie counter to keep track of food.
  • Tracking physical activity and weight can also help with weight loss.
  • Lark is a calorie counter and more. It is a weight loss and health coach with food tracking, feedback, and more.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an easy way to lose more weight? What if it did not involve skimping on portions or cutting out more foods? It is possible!

Food tracking is a simple way to lose more weight. That is what the research says. It is easy to log meals, especially with an app such as Lark Diabetes Prevention Program (Lark DPP). Here is why food tracking can help you lose weight and reach your health goals.

Weight loss is key to health. Extra weight can cause many problems.

  • It increases blood sugar. It raises risk of diabetes.
  • It increases blood pressure. It raises risk of hypertension.
  • It raises risk of heart disease.
  • It puts pressure on joints.
  • It can cause sleep apnea and respiratory problems.

Losing extra pounds can improve health risks. And food tracking can help you lose weight.

A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at self-monitoring and weight loss. After 6 months, people who logged their food at least two times a day lost more weight than those who did not.

The result was similar in a study in JMIR mHealth and uHealth. Participants who logged their meals more days lost more weight.

Why does meal logging work?

  • It lets you be sure of what you are eating and how much.
  • It makes you aware of your choices.
  • It increases accountability.

Let’s say you are going to log your food. You may decide to eat some baby carrots instead of a bag of chips because you would rather log the vegetable.

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How a Calorie Counter Works

A calorie counter counts calories. You tell the calorie counter what you ate during the day. The calorie counter tells you how many calories you had. 

The calorie counter may be a website or a phone app. You can type in your personal information. That way, the calorie counter can estimate how many calories you should have each day. 

  • It uses your height, weight, gender, and age.
  • It asks for your physical activity.
  • It factors in your weight loss goal and when you want to hit it.

Lark DPP includes a calorie counter. You can try to stay under your calorie limit most days to lose weight. If you are overweight and have prediabetes, losing weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

What Else Food Trackers Count

Food trackers can count nutrients in addition to calories. Food trackers can look at these nutrients.

Food trackers may also look at the food groups you are consuming. 

A food tracker lets you know what you are eating. It can also give you goals for intake. That way, you can make choices that help you reach your health goals.

How to Track Food

To track food, all you have to do is enter your food into the app. You might do this by typing the name of each food and beverage that you ate. 

Log each meal. You might want to log it right after you eat it. Or, you can set aside time each day to log all of your food for that day.

  • Consider portion sizes so you can tell the app how much you ate.
  • Remember to log condiments, cooking fats, and other “extras.”
  • Log each bite, even if it was small.
  • Include snacks.

More accurate logging can give you better results.

Food Tracking with Lark

Lark DPP has food tracking. It can help you lose weight. It can help you reach your health goals. This is especially true if your goal is to lower risk for diabetes. Here is how food tracking with Lark works.

Calorie Goals

Lark gives you a daily goal for calories. The goal is based on these factors.

  • Your age. Calorie needs go down as you get older.
  • Your gender. Males need more calories than females when other factors are equal.
  • Your height. Taller people need more calories.
  • Your weight. Heavier people need more calories.
  • Your activity level. If you are more active, you need more calories than if you are less active.

These factors go into an equation. The result is an estimate of your daily calorie needs.

Lark also factors in your weight loss goal. In Lark DPP, the goal is to lose 5 to 10% of your body weight by the end of the year-long program. The calorie goal in Lark is a bit lower than the estimate of your needs. That can help you lose weight.

Food and Nutrient Goals

Lark DPP asks you to eat more healthy foods and fewer less-healthy foods. An eating pattern like this can help lower risk for diabetes.

  • You may want to eat more vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, whole grains, and fish.
  • It can help to eat less sugar and fewer refined grains, fried foods, and fatty meats.

Lark may count key nutrients, too. These can include fiber and saturated fat, for example.

You can earn green badges for hitting goals for calories, nutrients, and food groups. You can earn green badges every day. The more green badges you earn, the more on track you are with your nutrition goals.

Going Beyond Food Tracking with Lark

Lark is more than a calorie counter. It is a weight loss and health coach. Lark DPP is designed to lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Coaching includes instant feedback when you log meals. There is also a physical activity tracker. Plus, Lark has information and tips for weight loss and health. 

More Self-Monitoring Tools in Lark DPP

Self-monitoring can help with weight loss. Lark DPP has tools to aid you.

  • Physical activity tracker. You can enter your exercise yourself. And, your phone’s motion sensor can sync with Lark. That way, Lark can count your physical activity and give you tips.
  • Weight loss tracker. Lark DPP comes with a digital scale. The scale can sync with the app. Every time you step on the scale, your weight automatically goes to Lark. That way, you can easily monitor your weight loss. Plus, Lark can tailor coaching to your progress and goals.

Education and Tips in Lark DPP

Lark DPP includes the DPP curriculum from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As you go through the program, you also get tips and tricks. These can help you do the following.

  • Build healthy habits.
  • Choose nutritious foods.
  • Become more physically active.
  • Enjoy time with family and friends while staying healthy.

Lark is a friendly, compassionate coach. Your program is personalized, so it is never too tough or easy. 

Eating healthier and losing weight are some of the most important steps you can take for your health, and nutrition tracking can help. Tracking your foods and beverages can hold you accountable with your good intentions and make sure you know exactly what you are eating and how much.

A good nutrition tracker can fit right into your lifestyle without weighing you down, and it is not hard to find one. Lark offers intuitive tracking features, such as recognizing favorite foods and keeping a history of your choices. Plus, Lark’s nutrition coaching includes instant feedback to celebrate the good choices you made and guide you towards any possible improvements next time.

Lark’s nutrition tracking is part of the entire coaching program for weight loss and improved health. The program may be available to you at no cost if your health insurer participates! Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark. You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.

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Written by Natalie Stein on August 10, 2021
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health
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