Weight loss and fitness businesses have been booming for decades, and there’s no sign of them slowing down. There are books, magazines and DVDs dedicated to diet and exercise. There are support programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. And online, there are lots of sites that dieters can join for a fee to help them in their quest to lose weight. Understanding the Exercise Routines and Customized Meal Plans from SparkPeople
For a long time, those who needed personalized guidance to get fit but could not afford to pay for it were out of luck. Then along came SparkPeople.com. SparkPeople is a 100% free online program that offers features that rival those of expensive weight loss websites. Named the Best Health Website by Business Week in 2006, 2007 and 2008, SparkPeople is one of the most visited diet websites in the world.
SparkPeople.com began in 2001 as a goal setting website. But when the owners realized that the majority of members’ goals were related to nutrition and fitness, they switched the site’s focus. Premium tools were added, and SparkPeople became a subscription site. But in 2005, a decision was made to offer all of the tools and resources for free.
How SparkPeople Works
When a new user signs up, he is asked to declare his goals. His body mass index (BMI) is calculated, and assistance is provided in setting a safe and attainable goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain time frame. Next, the user sets his “Fast Break” goals, which consist of small changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
Users may create a personalized “SparkPage”and join “SparkTeams” geared toward different interests and goals. They have access to a message board where they can interact with other members and get support. And they gain access to a many tools that can help them lose weight.
- Nutrition Tracker – With this tool, members can plan their meals and check the calories and nutritional value of the foods they eat. They are alloted a certain number of calories, carbs, fat and protein each day, and as foods are added, their values are subtracted, showing how much more may be consumed.
- Fitness Tracker – This tool assists members in building a fitness plan. A plan is automatically generated according to each member’s needs, but it can be altered if desired.
- Weigh-In – This tool helps members keep track of progress by recording weight and measurements.
Blog and articles – SparkPeople features a motivational blog and thousands of articles about weight loss and fitness.
The SparkPeople website supports itself with an online fitness store. Items available include fitness equipment, DVDs and apparel. But unlike many programs, SparkPeople does not require members to purchase anything.
SparkPeople provides all of the tools one needs to lose weight and work toward a healthier lifestyle. Everything is available online, and you can’t beat the price. If you’re on a tight budget or just unwilling to pay for access to diet and fitness plans, there’s no risk in giving SparkPeople a try. Share with Friends Understanding the Exercise Routines and Customized Meal Plans from SparkPeople