SparkPeople believe that typical diets are temporary solutions for a long term problems. According to their website, most dieters tend to gain back every pound they had lost with quick fix diets plus more within the first year of weight loss. SparkPeople strongly believe in lifestyle changes. This is why they created a four-stage process which helps dieters make the change from “dieting” to “lifestyle change”. SparkPeople provides a diet plan which is far from yo-yo dieting and is just steady weight loss with permanent results.
How the Plan Works
The SparkDiet is broken into four stages. Each stage brings the dieter closer to making the necessary changes for steady weight loss. SparkPeople believes in rewards and has designed a system to reward members for logging in daily and meeting goals.
Stage 1: Fast Break
This stage is the beginning stage which is planned to power the other stages. SparkPeople doesn’t want to shock dieters into weight loss with life-altering changes. Instead, they want dieters to choose and focus on three small, simple goals which will help get the dieter off to a good start without overwhelming them. During this stage, dieters will learn six strategies for successful weight loss.
Stage 2: Healthy Diet Habits
During this stage, dieters will exam new habits. SparkPeople encourages dieters to choose six simple new changes to their life which will guarantee dieters will reach their weight loss goals. By following this step, dieters will accelerate their weight loss by adding in the new habits and by also using the SparkPeople meal planner, nutrition tracker, and fitness tracker. The stage helps dieters build a healthy lifestyle.
Stage 3: Lifestyle Change
This stage plants the new lifestyle changes deep into the lives of dieters. The stage gives dieters the opportunity to learn to live with their collection of new habits. It teaches dieters to stay motivated and consistent. SparkPeople believes persistent self-motivation is the key to keeping momentum alive and making weight loss different from any other time in a dieter’s life.
Stage 4: Spread the Spark
In this stage, SparkPeople will help dieters to go to the max to achieve weight loss results and then pay it forward. Sparkpeople believe that when members are successful achieving lifestyle changes and weight loss then the members should help other members in SparkCommunities. Everyone can draw upon others to get the support they need to be successful. Members can achieve goals and then help others do the same.
3 Important Aspects of SparkPeople.com
Dieters want weight loss fast, successful, and permanent. SparkPeople wants that too. That is why they have three major key points that they believe will accelerate weight loss, raise motivation levels, and will be the end of false start dieting.
Community really means support. Support is what dieters need to press on toward achieving goals. SparkPeople has tens of thousands of people from around the world using their site as a gathering place and a forum to meet, motivate, and trade ideas. SparkPeople recommends for new members to become familiar with the forums and blogs and post regularly to receive the support they need for better weight loss.
Planning and Tracking
SparkPeople’s main concept of weight loss is to burn more calories than consumed. To assist members they created planners and trackers to count for members. They suggest creating a weekly meal plan and track the calories of what was eaten. The meal planner combined with the nutrition tracker, along with reporting and journal tools, gives the members a clear picture of the progress members are making.
Learning about Yourself
SparkPeople provides a Diet Personality Profile, Fitness Personality Profile, Main Motivation Worksheet, and Healthy Lifestyle Checkups to learn about the inner person. The strategy works best because where other diets are a one-size-fits-all approach, SparkPeople feel that all people are different and various methods works best for individual needs. SparkDiet can be customized to fit unique member needs.
SparkDiet also encourages members to find other ways to chart success other than the scale. They believe the benefits of weight loss and healthy lifestyles far out way the numbers on a scale. For example, measuring different areas of the body can chart progress and reveal positive changes even when the needle on the scale doesn’t budge.
SparkPeople,com provides several trackers not only to track progress, but for dieters to really see if they are staying within the guidelines of their program. Trackers are key for success.
My Nutrition Tracker helps dieters to choose a meal plan and calorie guide. Then dieters can track what they ate and enter it in an online menu. At the end of the day, members can see a chart of how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, folate, and fat they consumed that day.
Fitness Tracker comes with a tutorial video of how to use the tracker. In this tracker, members can choose how to plan out their weekly fitness goals of cardiovascular exercises, strength training and much more. It comes complete with print outs of exercise demos, print outs of weekly progress, and charts.
SparkPeople offers various reports to track progress. Many reports are available under Nutrition Reports, Fitness Reports, and Weight and Other Reports.
- Daily Calorie Breakdown
- Calories & Nutrients Over Time
- Daily Nutrition Feedback
- Daily Nutrition Report
- Calorie Differential Over Time
- Daily Calorie Differential
- Fitness Minutes Over Time
- Strength Training Over Time
- Cardio Report Over Time
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Calories Burned
Weight and Other Reports
- Weight Over Time
- Other Measurements Over Time
- Monthly SparkPoints
- New Members Sparked
- My Spark Summary Calendar
- Quick Track
- SparkPeople Special Goals
- Fast Break Goals
- Other Goals
SparkPeople believe there is more ways to measure weight loss success than just the scales. They see weight loss as a journey to progressing toward personal goals. They provide useful tools to measure these goals. It is called SparkPoints. Every time a member reaches a goal, they are rewarded with SparkPoints. These points encourage people to perform activities and tasks which are proven to help members reach their goals.
Members receive SparkPoints for:
- Tracking foods
- Tracking fitness
- Reading articles
- Spinning the Fun Wheel
- Posting to Message Boards
- Drinking water
- Logging in daily
- Reading SparkPeople Emails
- Making a SparkPeople Blog
- Reading other SparkPeople blogs
- Creating a viewing reports
- Posting to Facebook
- Taking quizzes
- Making one time challenges
- Reaching Bonus/Milestones
- Spreading the Spark
In the Healthy Lifestyle section, members can discover thousands of healthy living articles, videos, quizzes, which are all created by SparkPeople experts. The main categories of this section are nutrition resources, fitness resources, motivation resources, and wellness resources.
Popular Quick Links Features in Healthy Lifestyle
- Lifestyle centers
- The SparkDiet
- DailySpark Blog
- Poll Center
In the Health Conditions section, members can find information from trusted sources like Harvard Medical School and SparkPeople. They can learn more about prevention and managing various health issues so they can live better. Main Health Categories are: Health A-Z, Health News, Condition Centers, and Diabetes Program.
Quick Links to Condition Centers in Health Conditions
- GERD (Heartburn)
- Healthy Skin
- High Cholesterol
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Healthy Heart
- High Blood Pressure
- Seasonal Allergies
Community means support at SparkPeople.com. Members who use these community features are more likely to reach their goals. Main community features are: Spark Teams, Message Boards, Challenge Central, Secrets of Success, SparkPages, Member Blogs, Success Stories, and Community Highlight.
Free Mobile Applications
SparkPeople.com wants their members to have ease of access. They have created some special versions of their website’s key features to use on Internet-connecting mobile devices. These applications can track dieter’s progress to help them stick with their goals even when they are not around a computer. These special applications can be installed on any iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, or Android device.
- Weightwatchers.com offers many of the same tool as SparkPeople.com for an expensive monthly fee without providing all the resources that SparkPeople.com provides.
- SparkPeople.com is free. All it requires is a simple sign-up procedure. Even providing an email address, SparkPeople.com doesn’t spam members.
- The website offer so many tutorials, videos, and tools to help dieters to lose weight.
- They encourage a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercise.
- For people who want to lose weight but cannot afford to invest their money into expensive weight loss plans, then this is the perfect solution.
- The only negative aspect of the perfect plan is that sometimes members get tired of logging everything they eat or don’t do like exercise.
- Occasionally, the website is slow which makes logging take longer.