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Welcome to Food Logging - Badges

August 7, 2020
Welcome to Food Logging - Badges
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If you log meals and snacks in Lark, you may notice that sometimes you may get green, yellow, or red badges for individual meals or snacks, and for different days. Green badges show the best parts of your diet, red badges let you know what you can improve on, and yellow badges are somewhere in between. 

In general, the goal is to get more green badges and fewer red badges, but how do you crack the system so you can max out your green badges and minimize your red ones? And why would you even want to? Here is some insight into how badges fit into Lark's nutrition and weight loss coaching. In this overview, we will cover what badges are and which foods and nutrients will land you green, yellow, and red badges.

Badges Overview

Lark's nutrition coaching is designed to help you achieve weight loss or maintenance goals, and to stay as healthy as you can, whether you are trying to improve your well-being, prevent chronic conditions, or manage one or more conditions. The way to do that, through eating well, is to keep portions in check and to choose nutritious foods. 

Lark is not into calorie or carb counting, or into strict monitoring of dozens of nutrients. That is too hard. Instead, the idea is to shift gradually towards healthier portions and food choices without worrying about the details too much. Part of the strategy is to get instant feedback from Lark when you log foods. 

When you log foods, Lark gives you an instant response. You might hear about one or two parts of your meal may affect weight loss and health. Lark also checks the foods and nutrients you logged and may award green, red, or yellow badges for the meal and for the overall day. 

  • Green badges mean you hit a certain goal.
  • Yellow badges mean you were close.
  • Red badges mean you did not hit the goal.

Goals can be related to getting at least a minimum amount of certain foods and nutrients that can help with weight loss or health. For example, a goal might be to get at least 28 grams of fiber in a day. Other goals can be to stay under a maximum threshold of foods or nutrients that are linked to weight gain or disease risk. For example, a goal may be to stay under 40 grams of added sugar in a day.

The badge system is a quick way to see, at a glance, how what you ate compared to what your goals were. In general, the more green badges and the fewer red badges you get, the more on track you are losing weight and eating a nutritious diet to maintain health. It is pretty simple - just check your badges to see how you are doing!

Green, Yellow, and Red Badges

Lark uses a green, yellow, and red badge system that is a lot like a stoplight.

  • If you see a green badge, good job! Keep up those patterns!
  • If you see a yellow badge, get motivated! A small change or two can get you to a green badge!
  • If you see a red badge, it's good to know! Now you have something to work on that can help you lose weight or improve health.

Which Foods Should You Choose?

Now, how do you get those green badges? In general, eat more of the great foods and nutrients, and limit the less-healthy ones. This table is a bit of a cheat sheet that can help you ace Lark's food coaching system. Just choose more of the foods and nutrients in the boxes with green backgrounds, and fewer of the foods and nutrients in the red-background boxes.

Food or NutrientSample Sources"Healthier" - Eat More of These to Get Green Badges!Healthy Fat

Nuts, peanuts, seeds, olive oil, canola and other vegetable oils, avocado

Fiber

Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soybeans

Fruit

Apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, banana, kiwi, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, pear

Veggies

Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, onions, cucumber, snow peas, cabbage, okra, beets, asparagus,

Whole Grains

Oatmeal, whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat crackers, bulgur, farro, amaranth, whole-wheat couscous

Healthy Protein

Fish, shellfish, egg, beans, nuts, lentils, skinless chicken and turkey, reduced-fat dairy products

"Neutral" - No Badges Here

Caffeine

Coffee, black and green tea, some energy drinks, chocolate

Grain

Wheat and flour-based products such as bread and baked goods, cereal, rice, cornmeal, quinoa, crackers, pretzels

Pickled

Pickles, kim chi, sauerkraut, pickled beets

Meat

Beef, pork, lamb, veal

Protein

Healthy proteins and meat

Starchy Veggies

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, acorn and butternut squash

"Less Healthy" - Limit These to Get More Green Badges

Calories

Almost every food, with higher-calorie foods tending to be high-fat, high-sugar, and/or high-starch, and often processed

Carbs

Grains and grains products such as bread, cereal, and pasta, snack foods, starchy veggies, sugar and sugar-containing foods, fruit

Saturated Fat

Fatty red meat, skin of poultry, butter, full-fat cheese

Fried

French fries, fried chicken and fish, doughnuts, fried cheese sticks, onion rings, fried shrimp

Sugar

Sugar, honey, brown sugar, molasses, sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, candy, jam, sweetened flavored oatmeal and yogurt

Sodium

Canned soup, broth, processed foods, bread, pizza, processed meat, cheese, burritos, pickles, chips, pretzels, snack mixes

 

Meal and Day Badges

You may see badges for individual meals and for the overall day. Each meal's badge is set at a level of one-third of the day's total badge. It is possible to not get a specific badge for an individual meal, but to see that badge appear for the overall day. For example, you might have a breakfast without vegetables, and therefore not get a green badge for vegetables, but have enough vegetables at snacks, lunch, and dinner to get a high total for the day and receive a green badge for vegetables for the overall day.

You can check your badges anytime by going into your food data page by tapping on your user profile and tapping on the "food" tab. You can tap on a specific date to see which foods you logged and which badges you earned that day.

Are you ready to go get some green badges? This was an overview of the basics. You can also get info on the different foods and nutrients that affect your green, yellow, and red badges in Lark by going to the individual pages. 

Healthier Foods and NutrientsNeutral Foods and NutrientsLess-Healthy Foods and NutrientsFiber
Whole Grains
Veggies
Fruit
Healthy Fat
Healthy Protein

Meat
Protein
Starchy Veggie
Grain
Pickled
Caffeine

Calories
Carbs
Saturated Fat
Fried
Sugar
Sodium

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