SparkPeople is a website based diet program that provides dieters with a broad range of helpful tools and resources that allow them to be able to create their own weight loss program and monitor their progress throughout the time that they are dieting. The use of the extensive website is completely free, as is the associated mobile app that is available for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
The website provides a free membership for its users, through which they can track all of the foods that they consume, their daily nutrition levels, their daily fitness levels, and their weight. The website provides dozens upon dozens of informational articles as well as exercise videos and meal plans, at no cost.
The design of the website encourages users to return on a regular basis, rewarding activities with points. Points can be accumulated through the tracking of foods and fitness activities, by reading articles, by sharing in their forum, and through a number of other related activities. Signing in on a daily basis will also help to build points. At various points levels, dieters are rewarded with various badges that they can collect to help to show their accomplishment. The design is a cross between goal setting and a video game.
While all of the features are available for free, and the diet can be followed without ever purchasing any of the program’s products, it does also sell additional optional tools to help a dieter to make the right choices and to track his or her progress with greater ease. While there are a number of types of fitness gear – from shirts to water bottles – the diet also has a printed book, as well as a pedometer that syncs to a computer to automatically track the number of steps taken and the nature of the steps (walking or running, for example) as well as the number of calories that were burned.
Aside from factors that directly influence weight loss, the SparkPeople diet also helps people to track other issues that affect their overall health and that can have an indirect impact on their ability to lose weight. These include the number of glasses of water a person consumes in a day, his or her mood, and the number of hours of sleep that are achieved every night. Points are awarded for each of these additional “goals” that are tracked every day.
Overall, this diet helps to improve a dieter’s awareness of his or her habits and encourages better choices through a more informed understanding of where he or she stands on any given day with regards to a range of different health factors.