The SparkPeople Diet: What You Need To Know
Chris Downie, aka the “SparkGuy,” came up with the idea of SparkPeople as a way of giving back to others. The fully-functional, free-of-charge diet and fitness plan that he came up with is now becoming an internet success. Downie was an extremely successful eBay employee and liked the idea of helping people find what they need so that they could lose weight and get healthier and fitter.
He also liked the idea of doing this in a community that offers help, advice and support–all free of charge. It launched in 2001 and currently has over 11 million participants in its numerous programs.
The multifaceted website revolves around weight-loss programs. But not just any weight-loss programs. SparkPeople is a program that helps people improve a number of aspects of everyday living so people can enjoy life as much as possible without going overboard on nasty eating habits that wreak havoc on their health. It also incorporates fitness in a variety of styles. There are also goal-setting and motivational components to the program that help keep people off the couch and away from starchy, processed foods.
What SparkPeople is All About
Basically, the SparkPeople diet is a reflection of Moliere’s quote, “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” Sadly, we live at a time where people snack way too much on foods that have no nutritional value at all whatsoever.
Similar to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, the SparkPeople diet includes the following:
• 15% proteins
• 55% carbohydrates
• 30% fats
SparkPeople recommends newcomers to peruse Downie’s book, The Spark. Published in 2009, it consists of a 28-day, all-inclusive weight-loss plan that was carefully drawn out to foster quick results live a healthier, more fulfilling life. The great part about this plan is that you get to choose your “mode” of weight loss, “moderate” for those who are highly active, or “aggressive” for fairly active people.
Another great thing about SparkPeople is that you can customize your own meal plans. This is helpful because what your body needs, and what your taste buds have grown accustomed to are unique. There’s an interactive wheel that helps you create personalized meals within your caloric limits.
It’s a good idea to start brainstorming recipes from the book The Spark Solution for the first 2 weeks. After that, you can vary your recipes by adding (or taking away) certain ingredients—as long as you follow the SparkPeople nutrition guidelines. There’s also The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight, which is full of recipes and cooking ideas.
Moreover, there are over 300,000 recipes on SparkPeople submitted by members with goals and motivations similar to you. Plus, you can share your favorite recipes with others. And if you get lost in the kitchen, there are cooking suggestions and lessons from cooking experts and other members, that can help you turn ordinary recipes into healthier, tastier versions.
Updated on a daily basis, DailySpark blog articles help you find what you need, whether it’s just a push in the right direction, a workout idea, or simply some reassurance that you’re not alone. Written by nutrition, motivation, and fitness experts, these blogs tackle every subject from a number of angles so that you can be sure to find what you need.
A new addition to the site is a paid feature called SparkPeople Live. This feature offers support and guidance around the clock, every day. It helps members connect to one another and to experts. It also provides members with the opportunity to take live seminars and classes.
The reason SparkPeople is successful is that they don’t leave anyone out. They offer programs that cater to every personality.
The SparkAmerica program offers fitness contests and challenges across the country. These program get people moving and motivated.
SparkSavings is a great tool to help people balance their budget and increase their savings.
The BabyFit feature helps expecting moms to track their pregnancies and ensure that they have a healthy delivery and a healthy baby.
Since teenagers have their own developmental needs, the SparkTeens program helps meet those needs with the help of experts. This includes customized fitness and nutrition programs.
Weight Loss Diet and Calorie Counter
Available via iTunes, the SparkPeople Weight Loss Diet and Calorie Counter tracks your weight and manages your diet. It has a great food database to help balance your meals. Using the fast diet and fitness tracking feature, you can choose which workouts are suitable for you. The app also includes a simple calorie calculator so you can find out how many calories are in any meal. Motivational features in the app offer points and trophies for each of your achievements. On Google Play, there’s a slightly different version called Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker.
SparkCoach is your own personal, customized virtual coach. This can be found both on iTunes and Google Play. The aim of this app is to help you set personal fitness and weight loss goals and stick to them. Pep – Fitness Community is another motivational app that allows you to share meals and moments with people who have similar goals and interests so that you can get the support you need to keep reaching your goals.
SparkRecipes has the world’s biggest database of healthy recipes. It is also available on both iTunes and Google Play, The recipes in this database come from food experts as well as SparkPeople members who all have the same goal: to eat better without breaking the bank.
Perfect Produce is an app designed to help you pick out the best produce. It also teaches you how to store and cook your produce in a way that brings out the most nutritional value without taking away from the delicious taste.
The best app designed to help you make the right food choices is Nutrition Lookup.
Low-Carb Lifestyle Recipes
Whether you want to lose weight or keep it off, the Low-Carb Lifestyle Recipes app offers plenty of recipes that can satisfy your palate without loading on the calories.
Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes
The Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes app gives detailed instructions on slow-cooker recipes (for stews, desserts and main dishes) that use simple ingredients.
Quick and Easy Recipes
Everything from breakfasts and dinners, to salads and desserts – the Quick and Easy Recipes app has it all. You even get your own recipe box to store and share your recipes. There is also an app for Easy Vegetarian Recipes, Easy Paleo Recipes, Gluten-Free Lifestyle Recipes, and Diabetes-Friendly Recipes.
In the 30-Day Challenge app you will find a month’s supply of tips, healthy recipes and options. There’s also the 30-Day Skinny Jeans Challenge to help users get back into shape and into your skinny jeans in no time.
What makes SparkPeople so successful is that it doesn’t follow strict diet guidelines. It’s adaptable, it’s easy to customize, and it has a mixture of tools. The best part about it is the way that it hones in on the things that you can eat, rather than what you can’t. Because of this, you don’t feel deprived or deflated.
You might also be interested in reading about some of our other featured diets.
About The Whole30 Diet
About The Weight Watchers Diet
About The Engine 2 Diet
About The Flat Belly Diet
About The Raw Food Diet
About The Ornish Diet
About The Volumetrics Diet
About The MIND Diet
About The Macrobiotic Diet
About The SparkPeople Diet
About The HMR Diet