Food Logging with Your Lark Program
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Why should I log food?
Research says it works. People who track their meals in Lark have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off! Even if you think you know exactly what you eat, science shows that logging it compared to just thinking about it works. These are some reasons to start logging food.
- Lark gives you instant feedback!
- It lets you see trends and patterns, so you can discover that you may eat healthier on certain days or at certain times, or you might see why you are not losing weight when you thought you were eating right.
- Every single person is different! So if you're looking to lose weight or just feel better, Lark will tell you what trends in your meals are contributing, or hurting.
- You'll get engaging lessons about different types of food!
- Lark's coaching is based on the latest guidelines from respected authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and American Heart Association (AHA)! So it's just like you have these experts right in the palm of your hand.
Which foods should I look for?
It can be fun to look for healthy foods that your Lark Coach will praise you for eating after you log them. These are the foods to try if you are aiming for more green badges.
- Fatty fish, for a dose of lean protein.
- Vegetables, for a load of fiber with hardly any calories.
- Fresh frozen fruits, for fiber and antioxidants.
- Whole-grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice, for a dose of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins and minerals.
- Lean protein, such as beans, eggs, chicken, and yogurt, for a filling meal or snack without unnecessary calories and fat.
Which foods should I limit?
Some foods are low in nutrients and high in calories or nutrients that can be harmful in excess. Fried foods, sweets, and white bread and other refined carbs are among them. These foods may be:
- "Calorie-dense," or a lot of calories in a small serving, and far too easy to overeat without getting full or getting a lot of nutrients. Examples include cookies, fudge, butter, crackers and bacon.
- High in less-healthy nutrients, such as unhealthy fats, sugar, or sodium. Examples include ribs, sugar-sweetened beverages, potato chips, French fries, and ice cream.
Your Lark Coach discourages certain foods that are linked to higher body weight or higher disease risk.
How can I know how to get the nutrients my Lark Coach encourages if I am not a nutritionist?
Sometimes, your Lark Coach may give feedback on a meal and comment on a specific nutrient, or give a green badge for meeting a goal for a certain nutrient. Just like foods, some nutrients are good to increase, while others are good to limit. Unlike with foods, though, we may not always know where to get which nutrients.
Luckily, generally "good" nutrients are in generally "good" foods, and "less-often" nutrients are in "less-often" foods. For example:
- Fiber is in beans, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts - all great foods for weight loss and blood sugar!
- Healthy fats are in avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and olive oil - again, all foods linked to better health.
- Excess carbohydrates and added sugars tend to be in refined grain products and sugary foods and beverages - all linked to higher body weight and risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Saturated fats are in fatty meats and butter - both high-calorie foods that may be linked to certain health concerns.
- Sodium tends to be in processed foods, such as pickles, canned goods, packaged snacks, bread, and baked goods - all foods to consume in moderation.
Learning which nutrients are in which foods is another reason to keep logging, since your Lark Coach picks out parts of your meal to talk about. Over time, you can learn a lot about which foods to choose, even if you are not an expert in nutrients.
If worrying about nutrients is too...worrisome...just worry about foods. Choosing less-processed, wholesome foods will lead to getting the nutrients you need.
How often should I log?
It is best to log as soon as you can after the food so that you do not forget what you did. For foods and beverages, that can mean logging meals and snacks three or more times a day, or, if necessary, setting aside time once a day to long the entire day's worth of intake.
For physical activity, your Lark Coach can pick up your motion automatically as long as you have your phone on you, but you can take notes and edit any activities as soon as you perform them to be sure they are accurate.
For weight, a good rule of thumb for most people is to record weight regularly, in the early morning. If you are using a bluetooth or cellular scale that syncs automatically, your Lark Coach will already know your weight so you do not need to enter it.
What does my Lark Coach base her nutritional coaching on?
Lark's coaching is based on the latest guidelines from respected authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and American Heart Association (AHA)!