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Spark People: A Review

Updated on September 17, 2015

SparkPeople: Website For Losing Weight

SparkPeople is an comprehensive website designed to help people with the fundamentals of losing weight. The best part is, it's completely free! All of the site is paid for through advertising, and through the investments of the owner, Chris Downie. The site is an one-stop shop for weight loss tools, resources, and a supportive community.

I am familiar with the program because it is one of the tools that helped to lose thirty pounds, and I am glad to let others know that this excellent resource is available.

Introductory Video To SparkPeople

Founder of SparkPeople

SparkPeople was started by Chris Downie, who had a dream of helping people with their health. He shares in his book, The Spark, that as a child, he constantly felt afraid and anxious.

What helped him tbrough the dark times was running and feeling the oxygen pumping through his body when he exercised. Downie wanted to share the feeling of exhilaration he felt when exercising with thousands of people by creating a place that would help them to exercise and eat right.

Tracking Is Key To SparkPeople

This chart is an actual one from my account at Sparkpeople. The blue represents calories eaten for the day. The orange represents calories burned for the day.
This chart is an actual one from my account at Sparkpeople. The blue represents calories eaten for the day. The orange represents calories burned for the day.

Goal-Setting, Community and Information

SparkPeople also has many other excellent features to help the dieter. Here are some of them:

  1. The site offers tools to assist in goal-setting, including a target weight, target exercise minutes and calorie goals. If you are unsure of how many calories you should be eating, the program will assist you by calculating your goal weight with how long you need to lose the weight. The calculator is able to offer this calculation by using the figure of one pound being equal to 3500 calories. So for every pound a person wants to lose, they need to have a deficit of 3500 calories, from a combination of diet and exercise.

  2. SparkPeople also has an excellent community. Each member has access to her own mini webpage, as well as a blog where she can write about whatever she wants. People have the capability of commenting on each others blogs, pages and progress. Community is also found in various support groups, based on themes, such as location, amount to lose or hobbies.

  3. Informational resources are also a very important part of the SparkPeople offering. There is a daily newsletter called the “Daily Spark” which offers weight loss and fitness information, motivational tips and inspiring success stories. As well, there is a wealth of articles and videos for all aspects of healthy living. Success stories from other members round out the resources by providing real life examples of individuals who have lost weight from using the SparkPeople program.

Weight Loss Programs

Which of the following resources, if any, have been most successful in helping you to lose weight?

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Tracking Your Food And Exercise

The foundation of SparkPeople lies in its tracking system. Each individual that joins is given an opportunity to track all of their food and all of their exercise daily. The numbers are then recorded for as long as the person remains a member. Tracking provides a sense of accountablity and honesty. When things are eaten, they are recorded. A person begins to become aware of what they are putting in their mouth and how many calories they are eating every day. Correspondingly, the member can see how many calories are burned every day, from both exercise and daily living.

SparkPeople also provides a unique charting capability that shows you visually, how your calories in compare to your calories out, helping you to plan and implement your weight loss menu. As well as tracking food, the program also gives you space to keep a record of your exercise minutes, and will calculate how many calories that exercise will burn.

SparkPeople: An Excellent Method To Lose Weight

SparkPeople is an excellent method for losing weight. It is a great way to receive support and become honest about what you are eating and how much you are exercising. There are so many tools available on the website that it literally is a one-stop-shop. I would definitely recommend this site to anyone who needs assistance in losing weight or even just getting healthier.


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    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Health Explorer, I appreciate your comment. Yes, consistency is certainly one of the most important things.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      9 years ago from Canada

      RNMSN, hi! If you've been looking for a way to lose weight, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. (And I don't get any money for saying that, by the way!) It has so many tools and helps that keep you on track.

      If you decide to join, I'd love to hear how you like it and if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help. Take care and thanks for commenting!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Az

      OK I heard the two magic words "its free" along with the fact you have lost weight! way to go

      and all I go!!

      thank you so much for writing this...I must lose this weight!

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      9 years ago from Canada

      @Alex, thanks for stopping by. That's neat that you saw a video. I noticed that they had quite a few videos when I was doing research for this article. Take care!

      @Steff, it's a great program, especially if you are used to being on the computer, anyway. I wish you all the best in your goals and I'd love to hear how you like it, if you end up going on there.

    • steffsings profile image


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I've been thinking about losing a few lbs and getting more fit. I didn't want to try ANOTHER gym membership, so this is right up my alley. Great information.

    • iAlex profile image


      9 years ago

      I remember doing some SprakPeople exercises I found on youtube. It is targeted more towards women I think, but still I enjoyed it. Some great exercises.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, Kashmir! It is a great program. Nice to see you again and thanks for the vote of confidence. Take care.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very useful and helpful hub of information for anyone looking to lose weight.

      Vote up !!!


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