SparkPeople Using SparkPeople Secrets Learn some of the secrets of success for Using SparkPeople from SparkPeople members. SparkPeople Using SparkPeople Secrets Investigate all that is available on, the information is so helpful in reaching goals Take your time utilize all the information and help on I'm still learning new things every day and continue to re-read motivational and quotes to keep myself in the right frame of mind to be successful. I still struggle with eating certain meals, but I know in order to lose weight I need to plan ahead and make it a top priority. Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:21:00 EST SparkCoach: marshals the resources for me There is so much amazing, helpful information on SparkPeople that I could get sidetracked in reading instead of doing! Doing SparkCoach is teaching me a routine for "hitting all the marks" in using the SparkPeople resources and getting off the computer and back into life to put that learning to work... I am losing weight again. <em>304</em> <em>250</em> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:04:00 EST Food Prep makes losing weight easy... Preparing my meals ahead of time using Calorie tracker makes staying in my goals so much easier. Thu, 12 Feb 2015 12:00:00 EST Keep Passing the Torch! I've noticed that sharing the Sparkpeople link with others keeps me motivated as well. I want to be prepared when they ask me questions related to navigating the site. <em>189</em> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:44:00 EST Love Spark People I love spark people. Thank You Spark People. I log in every day and record my nutrition, and fitness every day. If I didn't have such a neat place to do it, I am not sure if i would get it done. They do so much of the head work so there is not a reason for me not to do it. I love my Spark Tracker as it keeps track of my steps and calories i burn. I also love the way Spark Coach teaches me so many things. Love it. Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:28:00 EST sparkpeople do it first thing ,motivates your <em>306</em> day Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:06:00 EST Daily food tracking and exercise at least 4 times a week for one hour each time. I use the free tools that are offered by SP, such as the Nutrition Tracker, Fitness Tracker and Community and SparkPage blogs and other aspects of the site . I also use the Diabetic App which helps me a lot with carb and sugar control, blood glucose numbers, medications,water, weight exercise, etc, very helpful to me! <em>521</em> <em>381</em> <em>252</em> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:33:00 EST READING SPARK BOOK <em>525</em> Tue, 5 Aug 2014 16:08:00 EST Setting the tone for the day Before I rejoined Sparkpeople, the first thing I would do when I woke up while drinking my coffee was to go on Facebook. Now I log onto Sparkpeople, set my goals, enter my food and exercise for the day. Then all I have to do is follow through and stay on track and I know exactly how I did in advance! Wed, 11 Jun 2014 05:16:00 EST Put the day's menu in SP in advance I stick to my diet much easier when I input the day's menu at the start of the day and then follow it. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:45:00 EST Friend Feed I follow my Spark Friends' Feed on my Smartphone. It is so much easier to see where I left off. Be sure to "like" their feed and leave encouraging comments. It's nice to know someone cares. Sun, 9 Mar 2014 13:07:00 EST Staying Focused The program keeps me in line, making me want to stay on track. <em>521</em> Mon, 3 Mar 2014 08:26:00 EST Not Anti Social Not wanting to seem anti social, just not sure about moving around on this sight. sometime I get overwhelmed. Will keep trying and maybe I will get it. Maybe I will make lots of new friends <em>521</em> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 09:44:00 EST This is great Helps me stay accountable. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 11:18:00 EST Staying On Target A secret for success in my life regarding health and fitness has been the use of SparkPeople as a way of connecting with others, throughout the world, who are in the same boat as I. This community of supportive believers in good health through diet and exercise has been for me a well-house of information, support and great conversation. I have been able to connect with people who have the same interests as I and who support me and encourage me in my diet and exercise goals. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 18:47:00 EST Do it your way If something is working for you, don't be swayed because you read a blog or story that another person did something differently. There are lots of routes to get to the same destination! Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:04:00 EST Your personal SparkSummary Calendar I use the SparkSummary Calendar found in My Trackers; Reports; Weights and Other Reports; My SparkSummary Calendar to notice trends in eating and exercise. If I don't lose as much as I think I should I look at my patterns to determine how I can adjust for even more success! <em>249</em> Wed, 1 Jan 2014 11:08:00 EST Step by step Use the site to learn more about a healthy lifestyle. Learn one thing at a time to keep from feeling overwhelmed. The beauty of SparkPeople is that you can move at your own pace! Sun, 24 Nov 2013 06:52:00 EST Use it! It's simple really - just - USE IT! You joined the site so take advantage of the information, teams, advice. Log in, read the blogs, interact with other members, make friends. Most of all, though, USE THE ADVICE! Don't just read it - or put your settings to 'no mail' - the more reminders you get to stay on track the more likely you are to do so.<br><br> <em>381</em> <em>252</em> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 03:52:00 EST Use everything! This can't be said enough: use EVERYTHING! <br>Track your nutrition, water, freggies and exercise. <br>Join the teams. JOIN THE BLC! Look at your spark summary calendar. Blog your good days and bad days so you can reach out for help OR help someone who is reaching out. Taking a multivitamin daily but you're getting forgetful? Use the planner to send you a reminder every morning. <br>Explore all the options. Use them to your advantage. It really works! Sat, 31 Aug 2013 00:09:00 EST KEEP IT SIMPLE Day 3 and I feel great. Every morning I can hardly wait to login and start my day feeding myself with the motivation I need to keep me focused. Concentrating on 3 Fast Breaks that will help me stop eating mindlessly at night, schedule a daily exercise time, and adopt a motivational action "5 min. pep talk" telling me I can do this. I can plan and track my food daily and I can log in how much exercise I have done even if I only walked 15-30 minutes that is an accomplishment. Thu, 29 Aug 2013 08:42:00 EST join teams Join teams and check in with the daily chat or watch the scroll to see blogs you might like to read. Of course, be inspired and inspire others. It teaches you more than any weight loss can!!! <em>244</em> <em>243</em> <em>306</em> <br>Give it a try!!! Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:55:00 EST Blogs and Vlogs! I love reading and watching other people's blogs/vlogs. I also love doing my own. I find it very motivating and freeing. Try it! Fri, 9 Aug 2013 01:00:00 EST plan your meals daily The last thing i do every night when I'm on Spark page is plan out my meal for the following day. I do so much better in following my diet that way and if possible i try to plan a couple days in advance to make sure that i have all the ingredients i need for cooking. Fri, 28 Jun 2013 22:27:00 EST Seeing the picture behind the page Often a Sparkmember will have a gorgeous picture as their page background but it will be hidden by the page itself, usually only showing the outer edges of the picture, no matter how far down you scroll.<br><br>To uncover the picture, right click and choose View Background Image - the whole picture will open in another tab and you'll be able to see the smiling face! Tue, 4 Jun 2013 09:38:00 EST Virtual Race Trophies - Be sure and get yours! Every week I sign up for the Spark Virtual Races and post my time... either walking or running. If you walk (or run) at least a mile once a week you are eligible to post your time and collect a trophy! If you aren't doing this already be sure and check it out.<br> <em>311</em> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 22:43:00 EST Prelogging my food tracker & menu planning Something I realized I needed to do in order to be successful was to prelog my food for the whole day, preferably at breakfast and sometimes in bed before I get up.<br><br>I pretty much eat the same breakfast M W F, a different breakfast Tu Th, another breakfast on the weekends. My lunches follow a similar pattern. This also helps me create a shopping list.<br><br>In my Favorites list on the Food Tracker, I created groupings for these different days and labeled them "Breakfast - MWF", "Lunc... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 22:47:00 EST Using the Nutrtion and Fitness Tracker I have used the Nutrition and Fitness tracker each day. When I was on my mini vacation. I was unable to use it. I had no access to a computer. I totally missed it. I felt very lost without it. When I logged on this morning. I felt like I came back to an old friend. Mon, 8 Apr 2013 23:36:00 EST Use it or don't lose it! Use your blog to motivate you to succeed. You don't have to bare your soul or anything - but if you want and need support - that is a great place to get it.<br><br>You choose how much information you share, but it is a good place to keep track of your goals and to plan your path. If you aren't using it and you aren't succeeding - give it a try! Sun, 7 Apr 2013 17:18:00 EST Bright and Early I get up at 4:30 a.m. for work. Before I even leave the bed I do a few little stretches to help my back trouble. Then I take my shower and then eat a small breakfast to get me going. Then I login to SparkPeople to do my daily spin and log in my breakfast. I go back to my bedroom and do a few jumping jacks and some knee lifts, leg lifts and side kicks to boost my morning energy. Wed, 3 Apr 2013 06:22:00 EST Healthy Life Style Using SparkPeople to live the best Healthy Life Style that I can. The site has so much to offer and help you in many ways. I love being able to Post with everyone and offer help when I can. God Blessings to Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. Sun, 31 Mar 2013 07:24:00 EST FAST BREAK GOAL TIPS! When I first signed up for sparkpeople, they ask you to set your fast break goals to get you started. I did this, but I have continued to track them through my journey. I find that I always want to be able to check off those little boxes saying that I am following my plan. Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:36:00 EST Tracking my Nutrition I fill in what I've eaten on my nutrition planner right after I eat lunch. I've found that this way, I can keep a close eye on the nutrition values and plan accordingly for my evening meal. <br>Whether I've eaten more than normal for breakfast and lunch, or not eaten enough, I can work my evening meal plan around all those values, and adjust up or down whether it's carbs, fat or protein. I make adjustments to keep me within my calorie range and keep me satisfied with the foods I've chosen. Sat, 9 Mar 2013 17:22:00 EST SparkCoach--my lifeline! I tried Spark People years ago, but found the site overwhelming. But now I have discovered SparkCoach, which keeps me motivated and really helps me experience all the cool things to help me live healthy. I strongly recommend trying the free 7 day trial to see what I mean. You'll be hooked, like I am! <em>381</em> Sun, 24 Feb 2013 21:23:00 EST Tracking my food choices is easier with SparkPeople I search out Spark Recipes for my menu to find recipes that will interest my family while providing me with the healthier food options but more motivating to me it speeds up my tracking time and let's me plan ahead how much I can eat during the day. Wed, 13 Feb 2013 21:19:00 EST Tracking is imperative! If you don't measure and don't track, you really have no idea whether or not you are following your program. So often people complain that 'they are doing everything right, but not losing' only to find that they don't measure OR track! Sun, 10 Feb 2013 22:50:00 EST SP diet and activity tracker The food tracker is my best friend. It helps to keep me accountable. You need to physically see how you are doing. Sun, 10 Feb 2013 09:21:00 EST Tracking is Key! So incredibly important! Mon, 4 Feb 2013 13:52:00 EST Staying Connected! Stay connected with people and friends (SparkFriends) and keep sharing nutrition and fitness success tips. It helps to stay on track and make better choices throughout the day. Sun, 3 Feb 2013 09:40:00 EST Go for the SparkPoints I love going through the list of possible SparkPoints and completing as many as possible. It motivates me and keeps me on track at the same time. I have fun earning points to send SparkGoodies to others and it reminds me to track my food, exercise, and to check out various aspects of the site. <em>252</em> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 23:34:00 EST Spark Radio I have also found listening to the Spark Radio (podcast) which I have download all available on my I pod (via I Tunes) in the morning in addition to logging onto the website is a great way for setting the tone of my day. Tue, 22 Jan 2013 11:48:00 EST Tools Using the tools that SP has to offer has made me KNOW I will succeed this time. I didn't realize how much I could actually eat when I pay attention to the nutrient labels and document my intake. I would litterly starve myself until I hit my goal. Then I would just go back to eating whatever and then wham, I was right back to where I started plus 10 lbs. I didn't change my lifestyle which would set me up for future failures. I'm eating better now, while loosing weight. USE THEM! <em>381</em> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 11:02:00 EST Tools Using the tools that SP has to offer has made me KNOW I will succeed this time. I didn't realize how much I could actually eat when I pay attention to the nutrient labels and document my intake. I would latterly starve myself until I hit my goal. Then I would just go back to eating whatever and then wham, I was right back to where I started plus 10 lbs. I didn't change my lifestyle which would set me up for future failures. I'm eating better now, while loosing weight. USE THEM! <em>381</em> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 11:02:00 EST Get Spark Friends Fast I have met so many new friends; they have helped me a lot to understand how to set up my spark page with pictures, use a ticker, and so many other things. I have learned some of the things they are interested in and share in that with them. I <em>104</em> Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:27:00 EST It works if you use it! I have paid for a weight loss site and this was so much better and more interactive. There is so much support from members. Don't just create a profile, interact! Join a sparkteam or challenge. Read message boards, and respond, track you food and if you need a little encouragement look at the motivational spark pages! Fri, 4 Jan 2013 15:18:00 EST Treat Spark People Like a Video Game::Gamer Girl Method I'm a big video game and table top gamer. To help keep me motivated I treat Spark People like a video game. Every calorie tracked, point wheel spun and exercise minute gained is leading me towards leveling up (by watching my waist go down).<br><br>This helps keep me positive and productive. We all need some good cardio to survive the zombie apocalypse Fri, 4 Jan 2013 15:08:00 EST Try to Get the Bonus Spin Part of exploring SP awards you points. From the time you first log in and spin the wheel, there are opportunities to get points. Logging your water, food, and fitness and reading the blogs help me meet my daily challenge to get the 25 points I need to spin the wheel again! Thu, 29 Nov 2012 10:03:00 EST No secret - really! 1) first - concentrate on logging nutritional intake until it is second nature. (Take the time whether in a marathon or over several days - no problem.) I usually log it several times a day so that I can adjust the later meals and snacks to balance the day as best practical.<br>2) second - learn the logging system for aerobic conditioning and/or strength training, etc. and keep it up each day. (Learn it and use it EVERY day!) <br>3) third - chasing SparkPoints leads one thru the site ver... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 08:59:00 EST iphone app I love the iphone app. I am able to update my points throughout the day and do spark coach when I get home at night or in the morning with my coffee. I have made it a habit and look forward to setting a goal each day and getting that minimum amount of points for me. Very easy goals, but it feels great when I accomplish it. Yea me. <em>347</em> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 19:31:00 EST Ask Questions When I was learning to use the site, I would get very frustrated. Then I discovered the site help button. I get a response in 10-30 MINUTES!! It's great! Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10:50:00 EST Help Food Tracker be more flexible & accurate Help Food Tracker be more flexible & accurate - enter new favorites in different size servings. For example, my almond milk nutritional info as 1 serving = 1 cup. But what if I like to pour a small splash into coffee? I re-entered (and saved) a new entry using "1 serv = 8 oz" since 1 cup equals 8 oz, right? Then I can guess my splash to be 1 oz or 1/4 oz (or I could resave info with however many Tablespoons per cup.). It would work with metric too.). Makes Life Easier! Sat, 3 Nov 2012 13:03:00 EST Tracking Food When tracking your foods, click on the box to save them as your favorites. Most people tend to eat the same foods they always do.. so there are days when you will be able to start typing in the food name, type in the amount and meal you want to add it to, and hit save. So much easier than searching through a list of the same food and the label information every single time to find the one that is accurate! Thu, 25 Oct 2012 09:14:00 EST Sparking in the morning I try to log into AP first thing in the morning, even if only to spin the wheel. Getting it in my head at the beginning of the day helps me to remember my goals all day long. I may not be 100% successful during the day, (who really is), but I find I am more mindful of my choices. Mon, 22 Oct 2012 08:14:00 EST Food Favorites Use the Food Tracker! And create your own Favorites List there. The more you use it, the easier and faster it is. Tue, 9 Oct 2012 09:36:00 EST Staying with it Plan long term goals , post them on your computer or some where else where you will see them and keep them in the back of your mind everyday- this will help keep you ON TRACK and prevent frustration and disappointment if and WHEN you have a slip. Mon, 8 Oct 2012 22:54:00 EST Track, track, track! Nothing keeps me honest like writing it down! It's a gentle tap on the shoulder when I'm tempted to cheat, it's a great encouragement when I've done well, it helps me plan my day more productively. Then I have a record of what has worked and what hasn't. Mon, 1 Oct 2012 12:00:00 EST SparkCoach Trial Ifyou are new to SP or need a little extra attention to get back on track, try the two-week free SparkCoach plan. It walks you through SP every day and there is a video on most days to help with different topics. It has helped me get my spark back. I did end up signing up for the very inexpensive three-month plan, but you don't have to.. Sat, 22 Sep 2012 06:03:00 EST Choose What Works I've learned that, while they're all great tools, only some of the features on SparkPeople are easy for me to use and fit into my daily routine. Find what works well for you and stick to those! Tue, 18 Sep 2012 18:41:00 EST Meal Planner I use the meal planner to develop weekly dinner meals, add them to the food tracker and then use the grocery list for shopping. Budget food and dollars. Sun, 16 Sep 2012 11:30:00 EST Exercise Videos I try to do one exercise video daily. This keeps me motivated. I have had a back fusion and knee surgery so I have limitations. On days that are difficult for me to be on my feet doing a workout I choose the seated cardio or cseated core videos. This works for me. Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:12:00 EST daily spark tracking the one thing that keeps me on track the most is logging onto sparkpeople and tracking my food and exercise. It is great and essential to staying on track Tue, 4 Sep 2012 17:29:00 EST Use SparkPoints as your daily check list! I've been using SparkPoints as my every day check list. It reminds me what to do daily, I educate myself in the process, and stay focused. As a team leader, it helps me in so many different ways and keeps me in touch with those I'm helping!<br> <em>224</em> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 08:44:00 EST 1) success secret I'm using Reminding myself to stay on track & track my progress, is really motivating Fri, 10 Aug 2012 14:26:00 EST Giving Myself SparkGoodies Looking @ my Spark Goodies, I realize that the large majority of them were given to me by ME. I use the small tokens as rewards much like I use reward charts in my classroom. I go through the prizes & find the one that speaks to me @ the time & relates to something else I have done in a healthy way for myself. For example, I gave myself fruit when I went to a farmer's market & sneakers when I bought real sneakers to use for walking & to make my feet & back feel good. <em>264</em> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 11:39:00 EST Why i am excited about SparkPeople Finding so many resources I can access from home; learning to set small achievable goals and measurable goals, support from great teams ; exercises that start you out as slowly as you need to start with super encouragement from the SP coaches; wonderful information and recipes for healthful food choices are only some of the most important benefits I have discovered. It is not a diet but a mind and life change that is doable and measurable. I know of nowhere else to gain this in one place. Fri, 27 Jul 2012 16:16:00 EST Spark Friends I get support from my Spark Friends, whether it's on what to eat or how to modify a workout. Spark Friends are a great support to have in our journey & I am glad to have them all.<br> <em>252</em> Fri, 27 Jul 2012 06:11:00 EST Review your SparkFavorites! Go back and comb through your SparkFavorites once in a while. You saved those articles, etc. for a reason - you never know what you may find that you forgot about that can help you right now! Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:20:00 EST Turn Your Meal Tracker Into a Meal Planner Instead of tracking the food I eat AFTER I eat it, I plan out my meals a week in advance. <br><br>I take an hour, take stock of what I have in my pantry, and search through SparkRecipes and other recipe sites that offer nutrition facts, finding recipes that look good.<br><br>Then, I plan out where those meals will fit into each day, arranging and rearranging until I get the right combo of nutrients for each day. <br><br>Finally, I shop based on a list, cook ahead of time, and look forward t... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 22:06:00 EST Getting to know the program means SUCCESS After registering with SparkPeople, go to each heading My Trackers,Healthy Lifestyle, etc. and see what is there. I did not and later discovered things that would have helped if I had known about them. So make full use of SparkPeople and you'll get better results. <em>252</em> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 19:48:00 EST Nutrition Tracking I have to stress how much the nutrition tracker has helped me. Not only day-to-day calories but also when I want to splurge, I can see just how many calories are really in some of my favorite foods or beverages. There are coffee drinks and appetizers that I had no idea had between 1/3 and 1/2 of a daily calorie total! It was really eye opening and after adjusting other meals to be able to still take part in my favorites made a huge difference. Sun, 3 Jun 2012 00:23:00 EST Let Spark People do the math! Take the time to look at the foods you eat and figure out the serving size. When you can break a serving size down to 2 tbsp or 60 m&ms, you can enter that number in Spark People. Instead of entering "1" for the serving size, enter the actual number of product that makes up a serving. You can then enter a partial serving and let spark people calculate it for you! Thu, 31 May 2012 12:34:00 EST Be Involved Losing weight and changing your life isn't an easy thing to do. Join a Spark Team and make Spark Friends that motivate and encourage you. I've learned to be more active with this and it helps me out more than anything else I am doing. Mon, 7 May 2012 23:37:00 EST LOG IN The best way to use SparkPeople is to make sure you log in every day. Even if you never get past the Start Page some days, you've still accessed great information and it reminds you to eat well and exercise. Mon, 7 May 2012 18:51:00 EST Feeling Overwhelmed Yes, that is how I felt when I first started Spark and I'm sure others would agree. My advice is to break it up into smaller chunks and ask lots of questions. Join a team and get to know the members. They will be happy to help and in turn, you can help the next newbie. Like anything, it gets easier in time. Just remember it is worth it and YOU matter. Sat, 5 May 2012 17:12:00 EST Join A Team! I tried going it alone on SparkPeople for awhile and found that being part of a team not only helps keep me motivated, but it helps me feel like I'm less alone in this journey. Choose wisely..........and choose groups that seem the most active and that will fill your own personal needs. I belong to a "challenge" team...........just what I need to keep on track!! YOU CAN DO THIS!! <em>9</em> Fri, 4 May 2012 09:07:00 EST Don't be afraid If you want to share a secret of success, but you're afraid that it's already been mentioned - don't be! Post it anyway! Good advice can't be shared too many times. <em>334</em> <br><br>((This goes for messageboards, recipes, and everywhere else, too. <em>211</em> )) Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:33:00 EST Keep on reading and watching those videos When I started sparking, I got most of my points by doing this.It's true that you don't get fitter by sitting around reading. But after getting 25 points a day doing this day after day, guess what? I branched out and started logging my exercise. Now I get my points mostly from tracking my exercise and water. I started because I was ready to, and now that's how I want to get my points. Sun, 15 Apr 2012 15:16:00 EST reading the book reading the book definitely helped ease me in to the vast array of information on this site. I came across the book at my library by accident. The one time where an accident ended up being a great thing Sat, 14 Apr 2012 09:55:00 EST Tracking I love using the tracking systems on I did this on Nutrisystems, but it's nice to do it for free now. Monitoring how many calories and your food choices, weight and exercise really helps. Try it! Mon, 19 Mar 2012 09:34:00 EST Exercise videos I watched the videos and learned to use the exercise ball and and weights (ok, I only got 2 pounds but now I now I learned so much.<br><br> Sun, 11 Mar 2012 01:06:00 EST Spark e-mail organization I love getting Sparkpeople e-mails and updates. But, sometimes my non-spark stuff would get lost in the shuffle. I created an e-mail account, using my spark ID, for all spark updates and e-mails. Gmail and yahoo, and plenty other sites, offer free e-mail. This way I have one convenient spot to check for spark stuff without having to sort through any other mail. Sat, 10 Mar 2012 10:01:00 EST Home Pg I just started...ok restarted...& this time, I made my home page! So, every time I log on I am able to remember & track! It is actually really helping me to stay well as a weight lifting class I started 2 mo., I need to start tracking my food & had NO IDEA what I have been doing to my body daily, by way of calories...It has definitely opened my eyes! Thanks Sparkpeople for these great tools! Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:01:00 EST Accountability I like logging my food and exercise. I also like checking out the charts that mark my progress. I enjoy this because I have positive progress to look at. So cool. In order to enjoy the charts I have to eat right/healthy and exercise. I have only been at this for a week and have lost weight already, 4.1 pounds, which is motivating in itself. Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:15:00 EST Watch the instructional videos! When I first got started, I thought I could figure things out pretty easily. HaHa on me. I got stuck on things like entering my food on the tracker chart. I finally gave in and watched the instructional video and was surprised to find how easy it was after I knew how! I've always said to my husband, "Read the instructions!" I should listen to my own advise! <em>246</em> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 20:05:00 EST Aim for 100 SparkPoints or more! To get the most out of Sparkpeople every day and make it a game and a competition with yourself, try to get at least 100 sparkpoints a day. This usually means doing all or almost all of the things needed to get SparkPoints and will have you interacting in every part of the site. It will also give you quick links to all the areas of the site! This works for me! Sat, 11 Feb 2012 20:20:00 EST Spark Points If you find it hard to get your 15 points for posting on sparkpeople, check out the Woo hoo forum. Posting congradulations on people's success will not only support them, but encourage you to keep going so you can start your own woo hoo thread. <br>(Similarly, check out the panic button forum, to support people who are having a bit of a moment.) Thu, 19 Jan 2012 03:04:00 EST Loving the iPhone app! I just got a smartphone and the first app I downloaded was SparkPeople. Now I can track my food intake wherever I am, and I never "forgot" to log something. Love it! Mon, 16 Jan 2012 12:10:00 EST Make It Happen It's funny....this category has the least posts yet it the one that can offer the most. Take advantage of ALL areas of SparkPeople.....there's so much to learn and so many tools for your to utilize. If you use this site like it was can't help but succeed. ENJOY!! Fri, 6 Jan 2012 22:03:00 EST Give all of your self to the program I struggled the first time I joined Spark. I didn't participate so I gave up quick. <em>39</em> <br> The second time I opened up my profile page to the public. I joined some Spark teams. Got some <em>223</em> <br>I also made my Nutrition and Fitness Trackers public. WHY? To keep me accountable. Give in completely. Don't join half way. Come join us all the way. <em>334</em> <em>334</em> <em>9</em> <em>334</em> <em>9</em> Wed, 4 Jan 2012 18:40:00 EST Road Trip Success 2 weeks on the road during 2011 Christmas, and I never missed tracking my nutrition and doing my SparkPoints daily! Wed, 4 Jan 2012 08:17:00 EST Track Use the myNutrition portion of SparkPeople religiously. By inputting what I will eat that day, I stay on track more and only eat the fruits veggies and chicken/fish/potatoe I made. I don't even visit the vending machine anymore and have been able to drink 8-10 glasses of water everyday. By seeing it, it's easier to achieve it. Wed, 4 Jan 2012 01:33:00 EST Motivation It's so easy to stay motivated if you just click your way around There are so many tools and so much information you can't help but get excited. Wed, 4 Jan 2012 00:28:00 EST home page Making it your home page!!<br>It's the first thing I see everytime I log on:) Fri, 30 Dec 2011 21:09:00 EST Streaks are good motivation Keeping track of the stark streaks is a good idea. After you get a streak of a week or more, you don't want to start all over so you keep making the goal.<br>After a streak for 2 months change the goal. It now has become part of you, it is so easy to do. If bad habit returns put it back in your goals. Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:11:00 EST start your day right a morning glance over sparkspeople keeps me motivated for the day Tue, 22 Nov 2011 09:40:00 EST tracking calories in the evenings i go online and do the tracker. i then calculate my evening snack based on whats left. instead of obsessing about food and wanting to eat i am reading motivational stories and blogs which inspire and motivate me to succeed Fri, 11 Nov 2011 17:46:00 EST Fitness Map After being on SP more than I year, I just now discovered the Fitness Map. I love it! Instead of preplanning a route with my car's odometer, I can track how many miles I walk by using this feature. I encourage everyone to try it, especially for C25K or 5K Your Way. Very easy! Go to Fitness and click on "Map Your Route". This will even give you calories burned and your speed. Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:29:00 EST Getting your Second Wheel Spin in ~~ FASTER! I like the "NEW" feature [at least it is new to us "old-timers"~ SParkers who have been on at least a year] of getting to spin the wheel twice. I noticed that if I want to spin quickly, I can tap my point total DIRECTLY instead of going all the way down the list to "another spin" and it will allow me to take my second spin right then. May not be much of a secret, but saving every minute on SP so I can do something else like chatting with my friends about the latest Cricut -licious swap... Tue, 25 Oct 2011 05:53:00 EST daily dogged persistence with appropriate food and exercise Help from friends family and internet, being determined. Sat, 15 Oct 2011 04:31:00 EST Easy calorie tracking using a 100 calorie *FAVORITE* favorite. My *FAVORITE* favorite is named simply "100." Its a 100 calorie favorite I use when tracking food gets too complex or I don't have the time. For example, tonight we had spaghetti. I seriously don't have the time to track 1/4 cup fresh tomatos, 1/4 cup fresh onion, 1tbsp get the idea. So I kept a fairly close running calorie total using the serving sizes on the packages. After cooking, eating and cleaning all I have to do is put in 6.5 servings of "100" to track the 650 calories. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 20:56:00 EST SP Live! meetings - Online support & motivation SparkPeople now offers online meetings, with live real-time leaders supporting and motivating, as well as educating our members. You can join by webcam, microphone, or text chat -- however you are comfortable in participating. <br><br>To join in, type the following into your web browser:<br><br><BR>eople-live-support-orientation.aspx<br<BR>><br>Hope to see you there! Fri, 7 Oct 2011 12:56:00 EST sending messages and goodies to sparkfriends This is a question more than a secret. Can someone tell me how to send a message to all of my sparkfriends at one time, or how to send goodies to more than one person at a time??? Wed, 21 Sep 2011 12:51:00 EST Fitness Tracker - Mileage Tracker Just in the last couple of weeks, I realized what a great feature the mileage tracker on the fitness page is. I have had it turned off, but with the 5k training program, turned it on. Before, I would calculate my miles per hour when logging my walking and such. The mileage tracker does it automatically for you. So much faster and easier!!! I LOVE it!!! It also accumulates your mileage for you so you can see what you have actually done besides the calories burned. Sun, 18 Sep 2011 19:13:00 EST planning a meal with the food tracker when i group my food together i write down how many calories are in the grouping, to make it easier to plan my food allowance for the day, for example i might write: eggs and toast 356, or spaghetti and meatballs 700, or chicken dinner 500. Sun, 18 Sep 2011 14:25:00 EST Blog Titles When writing a blog, I wait to title it until after it is written. That allows me to make sure my title summarizes the blog appropriately. This way while writing the blog I can be more open rather than just writing about the topic I started with. Mon, 12 Sep 2011 22:29:00 EST cutting what i eat i just join the spark people one month ago i started by eating more vegetable and less carbohydrate and i have lost 2 kilogram already. thanks to spark people. i hope to reach my goal. Tue, 6 Sep 2011 15:33:00 EST Emotional Eating Help If you are an emotional eater stop before you hit the kitchen. Go sign on to SparkPeople instead. Read Motivator of the Day, Blog the emotional trigger or distract yourself with an article. This works! Replace that immediate impulse to put something in your mouth with getting on SparkPeople. <br> <em>17</em> <em>224</em> <em>17</em> Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:14:00 EST Thank you Sparkpeople! I have been on Sparkpeople since 2008 and I rarely miss a day coming on here and getting mysparkpoints and looking around. I will lose a little than gain it back, but if I didnt have them in my life I know I would be so much bigger than I am now. Maybe to some of you this isnt a success but it is to me. I never quit trying and this is because of Sparkpeople! Fri, 26 Aug 2011 06:45:00 EST Join an eMeeting<BR>ngs-and-group-support.aspx?rc=spark817<BR><br><br>This weeks meeting is on Dealing With Stress. <br><br>Now who couldn't use a little support in this area of their life. Sign up for one of these SparkPeople classes today, using the web address above. Sat, 20 Aug 2011 20:31:00 EST Keep the Spark People Page open! I keep the Spark People page open on my computer all day long - it makes it convenient to track the foods as I need them - it also makes it a very VISIBLE reminder of what I am doing and WHY I am doing it. When I feel a craving or something come on, I can grab a quick glance at my goals and remind myself that it just ISN'T WORTH IT. Thu, 18 Aug 2011 08:50:00 EST Sharing I'm a very independent person and hate "depending" on others, but sometimes it really does help. Reading the success stories, checking in with your groups, or even having a buddy during a challenge. Socialization is important and as much as I hate to say it, it's often essential in losing weight, that positive affirmation we get from knowing that other people know often leads us to exercise more or do an extra 5 minutes or push ourselves harder on the next workout. Tue, 16 Aug 2011 23:48:00 EST Don't be afraid to ask No matter what, don't be afraid to ask a question. I've been struggling and every question, no matter the importance or subject, has been answered respectfully and honestly. No one has said "that's silly" even if it was. It's nice to know that you can get help like that.<br> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 11:44:00 EST Trick for Treats Every time I am motivated to lose weight there are times when I still want a treat! If I tell myself "you can't have that" then it becomes all I want. So go ahead and enter a serving of your favorite treat by using the "Add a Food" feature to the right of where you enter your food eaten for the day. When you decide you must have the treat, you can easily count it for the day and not feel guilty about it! Mon, 8 Aug 2011 14:37:00 EST Goals I was surprised when I looked at my goal page. In a short time I had forgotten all about it and the goals I had set. This time I printed it out so I would know what I had chosen to do for myself and have it constantly accessible Fri, 5 Aug 2011 09:19:00 EST sorry sorry Tue, 2 Aug 2011 13:31:00 EST My Secret - Praying for Motivation I pray to keep motivated and keep eating healthy everyday. I need to stay on track and become a healthier person and to loose the unwanted weight I have gained over the years. First thru childbirth, later divorce and gaining weight by emotional upsets or boredom. Tue, 2 Aug 2011 09:18:00 EST Eat That Birthday Cake! < oh my > Last Fri we had a family bday celebration. Typically, if "dieting" I'd pass the cake up & feel sorry for myself while everyone else eats it. And then, for the next several days, I'd eat all kinds of OTHER junk, likely because I really wanted the cake. This time, with my new SP lifestyle (not a diet), I researched the cake online to replicate the same type that I planned to have, added it to my tracker under dinner, 1st thing in the a.m. & spent the day tracking w/ that in mind. It worked!!! <... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 17:54:00 EST A Quick Way to Change FOODS When I Preplan The Same Daily Snack! Using my Nutrition Tracker daily when I was losing the wt, is what HELPED ME THE MOST!!! Now, during Maintenance,I try to use it daily ,but can't always get to the computer! So, I usually will try to plan ahead what will be eaten during the week that is the SAME~for example~ SNACK~ Choc. Cheerios & 1/2 Fat Free Milk is my daily snack that helps my Folate intake. But if I run OUT of Cheerios during the week, I'll substitute Honey Bunches of Oats w/Almond cereal [1 cup] w/same amt of milk. Sun, 31 Jul 2011 02:53:00 EST Map Your Route! If you walk or run around your neighborhood for exercise, make sure to use the "Map Your Route" feature on the fitness tracking page to get the most accurate numbers for your log. Furthermore, click on the satellite view once in a while. I was surprised to find I was "jipping" myself about .2 mile on every walk because the route I was tracking on the map view wasn't quite right! Sun, 24 Jul 2011 19:58:00 EST Water on the Brain When I first started using Spark, I had a difficult time remembering exactly how much water I had consumed. To help me with this, I started leaving empty water bottles by the sink so I could count them.<br>BUT, my DW thought they made her kitchen look messy (when Mama's angry, someone ain't getting treated as lovingly as they would like).<br><br>To keep peace in the kitchen, I added water to my favorites (in two cup increments as I usually finish a two cup water bottle). Now, with my meals I ... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:55:00 EST Points vs Minutes It might be more fun to gain Sparkpoints, however I have decided that for me it is more important to gain Fitness Minutes. My new goal is to have more Fitness Minutes at the end of each month than I have Sparkpoints. Mon, 18 Jul 2011 16:58:00 EST A man who hath friends must shew himself friendly Want to make connections at SP? Don't wait for them to come to you. Go to your "my SparkPoints" page and follow the link to comment on other people's blogs. Encourage others to hang in there and find out quickly how much strength it gives YOU to hang in there! Mon, 18 Jul 2011 11:38:00 EST GET ON HERE EVERY MORNING CHECK IN HERE WHEN I GET UP IN THE MORN Sun, 17 Jul 2011 10:11:00 EST Using SparkPoints to Navigate Site Overwhelmed by all this site has to offer? I surely was! My SparkPoints page offers a unique way to learn about the site, build new habits and earn a bonus spin each day. The red links at the right of each item take you to that particular section of the site so you can complete the task and earn the SparkPoints. Select View SparkPoints to get back to the list. You'll soon become addicted to earning as many SparkPoints as possible, while learning new habits to aid your weight loss efforts... Sat, 16 Jul 2011 19:47:00 EST Recording Insulin With Meals I wanted to have one place where I could go to see pre and post blood sugar readings and also to be able to track my Insulin usage for that day. I created four new "meals", naming them Breakfast Insulin, Lunch Insulin, Dinner Insulin and Lantus.<br>Having the Insulin tracking on my meals also gives me an idea of what foods cause problems for me.<br>I learned that cheese significantly slowed the digestion of carbs, so now I take half of my computed Insulin just after a meal & the rest 2 hours ... Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:23:00 EST Comment on those blogs! Make it a point to visit other people's pages and leave them notes of encouragement. Personally, I find it so uplifting to see that someone took a moment to drop by my page and give me some kind words - it goes a long way toward keeping me motivated! Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:55:00 EST I start to to watch my portion on each meal and drink more water When I signed up for SP I liked the information I read and the group I joined ,the welcome and the advice from everyone respond to my introduction. I love so much the support that gave the motivation to start to log in more often looking for more contact .SP helped me to watch what I am eating and my portion ,I am drinking more water than before .Could you keep a secret I am going to exercise today for the first time after I joined SP .Thank you all<br> <em>252</em> <em>334</em> Sat, 9 Jul 2011 11:23:00 EST Sparkpoint Junkie If you are a SparkPoint Junkie like me, be sure to earn at least 25 points each day so you qualify for the EXTRA spin for EXTRA points. <em>252</em> Sat, 9 Jul 2011 06:20:00 EST How to find SparkFriends who you forgot to add when they added you as a friend Did you know that SP keeps a list of people who have added you as a SparkFriend, but whom you have not added? I discovered this after being on the site for a year, and found a few people for whom I had missed notification emails that they had added me, so I was able to add them now. Yay for new friends!<br><br> Thu, 7 Jul 2011 20:24:00 EST Breakfast meds entered into a Grouping At breakfast I take my multiple vitamin, fish oil capsule, vitamin E and calcium pill. This was time consuming clicking each one on my nutrition tracker every day, so I made a "grouping" with all these and named it " Breakfast meds". Now with one click in my groupings all my breakfast meds are added to my breakfast at one time. Thu, 7 Jul 2011 08:49:00 EST Motivation I read all of the SparkPeople emails including all sub blogs, etc. Read all that you can from this sight and stay motivated! Tue, 5 Jul 2011 09:49:00 EST Tracking Tracking daily helps you remain accountable for your actions throughout the day. You know exactly what you have done and what your good at and what you need improvement in. Sat, 2 Jul 2011 18:15:00 EST Support to and from Sparkers I love SparkPeople because so many people are consistently supportive...its great to support others as well...SP gives me motivation to continue on! Sat, 2 Jul 2011 16:11:00 EST I like SparksPeople I can't wait till i log on and get started. There is so much to do on SparksPeople. Thank you for getting me started. <em>41</em> Fri, 1 Jul 2011 21:42:00 EST Get to know the right mouse button. By clicking links (mostly anything underlined) with the mouse button on the right and choose "open link in new tab" allows you to stay where you are and go to the link too. The new link will be open in another tab and you can click between tabs. (tabs are at top of your browser)<br><br>I like to right click on stuff (ie. blogs I want to comment on) and go back after I'm finished earning points. You can have many tabs open at once. Fri, 1 Jul 2011 21:10:00 EST Don't go to bed without sparking at least once during the day ! Even on the long days when I leave the house before 7am and don't get home till after 10pm, I log on to Sparkpeople and make sure to at least record my food intake and activities. This keeps me honest and on track ! Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:02:00 EST Make time to Spark it up Spark it up first thing in the morning. Making a habit of this will help you stay conscious of your decisions for the rest of the day. Thu, 30 Jun 2011 12:11:00 EST Sparkpoints It's not a matter of going through the website to collect Sparkpoints. You actually have to implement what you learn in order to make a lifestyle change! Wed, 29 Jun 2011 11:25:00 EST Join A Challenge Team - 8 Great Weeks These are active teams, very supportive and lots of fun. You record your exercise minutes and earn air miles to get you and your team to exciting places! It`s great to lose 5% of your weight in 8 weeks.<br><br><BR>yspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=50696<BR><br> Mon, 27 Jun 2011 12:19:00 EST Support your Team by Welcoming New Members Visit new team members pages and leave a comment welcoming them to the team or give them a welcoming goodies. I like to give a pedometer or fruit salad and then wish them a healthy start to their journey. <em>252</em> <em>199</em> Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:13:00 EST Buy a digital scale to help you with food tracking! I used to hate tracking, I thought tracking the food I eat makes me obsessed with food and makes me end up eating more, but buying a digital scale helped me A LOT. Now I am obsessed to track everything I eat. <br>I discovered 1200 calories a day is a lot if you eat healthy, I find myself in the evening thinking what more should I eat to reach the minimum of 1200 cal/day... so buy a scale, search the food or look on the labels to see the calories and enjoy! Sat, 25 Jun 2011 05:44:00 EST Be Open & Honest Be open and honest with your spark friends. Listen to their encouragement and take it to heart! We are here for each other and unless we reach out and support each other, we won't change or grow. Be a friend to have a friend! Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:56:00 EST Support your Spark Team Help your SparkTeam stay active by huddling, posting on team threads, responding to members blogs and welcoming new members to the team on they SparkPages. <em>252</em> <em>220</em> <em>223</em> Fri, 24 Jun 2011 09:51:00 EST Be Honest! You only hurt your self by cheating, just like momma said! This site only encourages you to be your best, non-judgement is the best part of this family unlike some related by blood. I have come so far in such a short period of time, I am proud of me! Like so many others who use this site, the daily encouragement is awesome! Spark is definately the right word <em>30</em> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 09:38:00 EST Earn Points! I find that setting a goal of earning 50 sparkpoints per day keeps me tracking and using the site. It's now not only a food log, but a social network and a wealth of information that I've gathered! Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:31:00 EST All Bites Count I have been counting all my calories for several months. At first, it was a little time consuming but I put all my favorites in and it only takes me a few minutes a day now. I know it has helped because I've lost 12 lbs! It has helped made me more cognizant of what I'm eating and the nutritional values of the foods. It has helped keep me in check because I didn't want to write the candy bar I had so I just didn't eat it. Mon, 20 Jun 2011 09:55:00 EST Get the App! Best thing I ever did was download the Diet & Food Tracker and the SparkRecipes. I run around a lot and it helps that I can track what I do on the run. Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:24:00 EST My Journey I am so happy to have found It has helped keep on truck in all areas:- diet, exercise, and living life one day at a time<br>I am not making head ways right now but I am hanging in there and not giving up hope. One area I see changes is my blood sugar levels are really starting to stabalize and I am sure my doctor will be happy when I see him in 5 days.I have been in a plateau with my weight for so many months but with SparkPeople regiment, I seem to be making head ways in sma... Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:18:00 EST Teenagers, Show Me,Don't Tell Me My daughter who is 18 is probably in the obese category. I have asked her directly to take a look at SparkTeen but she refuses. What I realized is that the indirect approach seems to have more effect. I make sure to track when she is in the room. I measure my food and she notices because we are often in the kitchen together. Slowly I hope to show good habits, be available for questions and stoke that slow burning fire so that when she is ready she will have the tools and information availab... Fri, 17 Jun 2011 09:48:00 EST keep sparking no matter what ! Keep logging on to Sparkpeople no matter what ...whether you have lost or grained weight, started or blown your exercise plan, when you are ecstatic or down in the dumps...just stick with it! There is a positive benefit to the consistency of the works on so many different levels ! Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:01:00 EST About Face At first I thought the Spark Points were stupid!! Now I see how helpful they really are. I have to do an about face!! Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:11:00 EST Connecting with Others... For me, finding others that have circumstances that are similar to mine is fun! This way I enjoy comparing notes and checking in not only on my own successes but theirs too helps me to stay motivated. Knowing we are all in this together and supporting one another helps me to want to keep going! <em>9</em> Sat, 11 Jun 2011 09:20:00 EST Take Advantage The point system is set up to keep you motivated, connect with others, and feel good about yourself. Take advantage of all of the features the site has to offer. Try to get at least 1 point in all point categories each day. Results will follow! Fri, 10 Jun 2011 14:05:00 EST Spark Daily! Use SparkPeople daily... especially the nutrition tracker. It is very important to success! Thu, 9 Jun 2011 23:59:00 EST Best ahd Most Complete Free Program on the Web I love all the many features on this site; from totalling my points to recipe calculators. All Free!!! Woohoo!<br> <em>252</em> Wed, 8 Jun 2011 15:28:00 EST Zoom Level on Computer When going to different pages within Sparkpeople, I adjust the zoom level on my computer for that page. It eliminates some scrolling. For example, on the sparkteams page, I reduce my zoom and that way I can jump back and forth between my teams and huddle without have to scroll down to reach the huddle button. It can save a lot of clicks!!!! Sat, 4 Jun 2011 08:49:00 EST spark e-mails to earn points A Time Saver Fri, 3 Jun 2011 19:23:00 EST Sparkteams I have learned that joining a team for each obstacle that I face with healthy eating helps. When I am struggling with a particular obstacle I visit that sparkteams message boards until I begin to battle the next obstacle. Fri, 3 Jun 2011 07:53:00 EST Please don't tell anyone... This website rules! Thu, 2 Jun 2011 20:14:00 EST Message boards Using the message boards is a good way to meet new friends & get ideas which i can use Wed, 1 Jun 2011 15:35:00 EST Use the Spark People Trackers! Use the Spark People Trackers: Weight, Exercise, and Nutrition! You'll be surprised at how much you exercise and maybe even how much you're eating!<br>You will learn self-control quickly with these trackers. Let them guide you through the SP program! Mon, 30 May 2011 12:17:00 EST Tracking makes all the difference I track what I eat before I eat it. I track my exercise after I do it. It keeps me honest. Sun, 29 May 2011 09:45:00 EST Try Spelling Variations Before Adding Foods Before you spend time adding a food that you are tracking, try a couple different variations on the spelling. I wanted to enter McDonald's Oatmeal this morning and there were 52 entries! <em>56</em> Sat, 28 May 2011 14:23:00 EST Having Sparking Problems When I am having trouble sparking, I first write my blog in my Word program and then transfer them over. Now I don't lose anything when sparks freezes up on me or they are doing maintenance. Works every time and I am a sparkaholic. Fri, 27 May 2011 13:56:00 EST Racking Up Spark Points Each day go down the list and do as many activities to earn Sparkpoints as you can. Getting them is a reward in itself but the tips you'll pick up along the way are even more valuable! Thu, 26 May 2011 11:55:00 EST Just Do It!!! Many Say " I never Win" But Take the time to enter the Weekly Blog offers, IF it is something you want.... <br><br>I received something i wanted last week... No notice til it showed up in my (Snail) mail box... but worth the 3 min it took to enter! Thu, 26 May 2011 04:18:00 EST Best Kept SPARKPEOPLE Secret - Dining out guide A HUGE THANK YOU to Spark Insider for sharing the dining out guide. <br><br>You can check out the "healthy" finds before going out to eat. Now if there was a way to pull the nutritional information directly from the restaurant into the nutritional tracker. <br><br><BR>e/sparkdining.asp<br><br> <em>283</em> Wed, 25 May 2011 09:05:00 EST "MAPPING OUT" MY DAY I have come to find that if I make out my meal plans and schedule my exercise for the evening while I'm still at work, I feel MUST follow thru .. and I meet my goals. Pretty cool Tue, 24 May 2011 14:56:00 EST Spark points I got this idea from one of my teams. I give myself a penny for every spark point I earn. So if I earn 55 spark points for today I will put 55 cents in my saving jar. I use this money to buy something special for me as a reward for my hard work. You will be surprised how fast it adds up! Tue, 24 May 2011 02:46:00 EST Truth If I am honest to myself and to my SP community, the reasons why I have not succeeded are within my abilities to change: exercise more, eat in balance and stay in touch with the goals and the footpath of steps I need to take to get there. Mon, 23 May 2011 21:33:00 EST Encouragement Join at least one Spark Team. Choose the one or more that you think could help you. You will get lots of encouragement from your team(s). Right now I'm concentrating on one team because of time. I love my team mates and pray for them every day. Mon, 23 May 2011 09:11:00 EST Staying Accountable OK! I've bragged on this website and recommended it to other people. I have even found some people that started on sparkpeople and quit. Now I've got people watching me and I can't let them down. They're watching me to see if I lose weight or stay on plan keeps me accountable for using the meal plan and exercising. javascript:void(0); Sun, 22 May 2011 09:43:00 EST I'm Back and I've Missed Sparking! No time to Spark seems to have resulted in not making time for my fitness routine. I'm coming up to what could be the busiest time of my life and I'm going to keep Sparking my way through it! :-D My success seems to encourage others, so LET THE SPARKING BEGIN! (again!) ;-D<br> <em>185</em> Sat, 21 May 2011 07:41:00 EST Got Teams? Sparkers may be wondering how one can manage many Teams and still feel personally connected. My solution is organize and prioritize. <br><br>One way to do this is ...<br><br>Huddle with a different 5 every day of the week. While huddling, comment on one of the blogs that scroll along the side. Usually you'll find it's the same bloggers over and over. If you don't want to comment on their blog, post a comment to their page instead. Let them know you were there. Simple. Wed, 18 May 2011 03:57:00 EST For me, fewer is better... When I joined SP in January 2011, I set all kinds of goals for myself, joined many different teams and subscribed to lots of blogs. I realized recently that I wasn't even trying to meet many of the goals, or joining any of the team challenges, so today I spent a couple of hours re-evaluating my use SP commitment. As a result, I reduced my teams to 5, which I will huddle with daily. I made realistic goals, which I will strive to meet daily/weekly. I un-subscribed from some blogs.<br><br> ... Mon, 16 May 2011 10:39:00 EST getting goodies in hard Times I use my spark points to give gifts that I couldn't afford in reality. I also give myself presents for doing a good job, I try to make sure it is something I really want, so every day there it is reminding me to save up for it. This is having your cake and eating it to. Sun, 15 May 2011 22:24:00 EST Read Spark page profiles Whenever you receive a reply about your blog, status, or a comment you posted on a community blog take the time to go to the person's Spark page and read their profile/story. Sun, 15 May 2011 19:25:00 EST Adding a food on SP Hey if you are pretty sure you added a food previously and can't find it in your favorites.<br>Go back as if you were adding it again and take note of how it was written. Then you can go back and search for it more accurately in your favorites.<br>Sometimes people list things by brandname others by food then brand name. Sat, 14 May 2011 14:46:00 EST Spark Points Spark Points I earn each day is a pleasant challenge that is top priority on my everyday list. The Spark Points I earn each day motivates me to continue to do the best I can in my weight lose goal. As I earn Spark Points I receive extrinsic rewards from Spark People,this allows me intrinsic rewards for my self and I can continue to earn points without failure.Sometimes it takes a while to earn points, just like loosing weight .The Points help me personally to stay on track, I love the concep... Fri, 13 May 2011 12:44:00 EST Go immediately to Sparkpoints Log in to SP every day and go immediately to Sparkpoints to spin the wheel, then enter your food, exercise and other goals for the day. Then read encouraging blogs from others and you've started the day right. Thu, 12 May 2011 15:06:00 EST Posting post as often as possible. Never know what you will learn or help somebody. Thu, 12 May 2011 09:57:00 EST Read Spark People Insider tip every day I read it everyday and most things I know about, but a lot of times I find a feature/tool that I didn't know existed. Today I checked out the MySpark Summary under the reports tab. What a great tool to keep you on track! <em>252</em> Thu, 12 May 2011 09:40:00 EST Delete posting mistakes from your SparkPeople feed If you re-type your status due to a typo, or re-post your blog, go into your own Feed on your Spark Page and delete the extra post or blog. That way, when your friends see your activity in their Friend Feed, they won't be confused by the extra postings, or accidentally receive an "error" message when trying to read multiple versions of the same blog. Wed, 11 May 2011 10:29:00 EST Use it to the fullest! I have never felt more in control of my "weight loss management" until I found all of you on Even when I'm having a bad day or week, knowing that there are people out there going through the same things keeps me from giving up! Tue, 10 May 2011 22:14:00 EST No Longer Friends? You know how you feel when you meet someone new; everything's great, bright and exciting. They seem to think like you and you can see this person being a Best Friend.<br>But time goes on. You are at a level in the Spark program and your friend isn't. Maybe jealousy raises its ugly head and your friendship withers and then is gone.<br>You really don't want them on your Friends" listing, but how do you "un-friend" them.<br>Go to your Spark page and click on "Edit My Sparkpage".<br>You will see,... Sun, 8 May 2011 23:42:00 EST Keep logging in EVERY DAY I try to log on to Sparkpeople every matter how hectic my day has been, as long as I have Internet access I will track my food and exercise. This keeps me accountable I never feel like i am on this journey by myself ! <em>252</em> Sun, 8 May 2011 19:43:00 EST Weight Tracker In the weight tracker chart, click on the dot to display that entry's weight and the date. Sun, 8 May 2011 08:13:00 EST Meet New Friends On Spark People Pick one blog per team to respond to every day. Make sure you pick different people each time. This helps you to make new friends as well as encouraging others and yourself! Fri, 6 May 2011 06:50:00 EST Using message boards You can mention anything on a spark msesage board & get good advice thanks to all my spark friends Fri, 6 May 2011 06:04:00 EST Track food ahead of time? Since I pack a lunch most days, right after breakfast I enter both meals. This helps me think in terms of what I have left for the rest of my. I guess overall it increases my awareness :-) Sun, 1 May 2011 11:27:00 EST Finding Team Members Active on Sparks When you are on your team page, just look to the right and under Team Stats click on "See Team Leaders". I was surprised to see how many members have been active on Sparks this month, but not active on the team. Then I posted on their pages. Sat, 30 Apr 2011 19:35:00 EST Use Other Goals to remind yourself I have added some goals to track every day using the "track other goals" link off of the Spark Points page. This helps remind me to do these things every day, and it makes me feel disappointed in myself and resolving to do better the next day if I don't complete all of these goals on every day that it is reasonable to complete them. On the days I do complete all my goals, it really makes me feel good to see those points adding up. Thu, 28 Apr 2011 00:58:00 EST How to plan a meal to fit your nutrition ranges...? I use the Nutrition Tracker to help me plan my meals. Sometimes I'm not sure what to eat for dinner to get the right mix of nutrients to hit my ranges. What I do is start entering different meal options. If something puts me over my range I simply remove it and try something else until I find just the right meal to fit into my remaining calories, fat, carbs and protein ranges for the day. <em>190</em> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 20:07:00 EST is still a secret to lots of people! What I heard most from doctors about the best way to lose weight was to eat a 1200 calorie diet. I struggled with this. I tried to learn to read food labels and buy better things, but nothing hit home for me on how to accomplish this until I found! I couldn't believe all these tools had been free and available to me! I want to spread the spark to all my friends! Having all these tools at my fingertips has made my success in losing 8 lbs already in only 2 weeks possible! Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:36:00 EST Recipe calculator When trying to calculate nutrition info for a recipe of my own, I had previously totaled each ingredients nutritional info (on paper) and then divided it by the number of servings and then entered it into a food grouping under spark people's add a food button. I just learned that I can go to the "recipe calculator", insert each ingredient in its entirety, put in the amount of servings the recipe makes, and it will automatically calculate the nutrition facts per serving. what a time saver! Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:40:00 EST ASK, ASK, ASK!!!! ASK FOR HELP. Whereever you can find to post a cry for help do it! Not only will you get such a great variety of answers, but its a great way to make friends too! <em>252</em> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 14:01:00 EST Heaven Sent Tools SInce joining SPARK PEOPLE I have learn so many new and informative things to help me with this journey of a healthier me. The Nutrition Tracker is my favorite. It takes all the headache and pain out of calorie counting. It does the work for you. You type in almost anything and get the nutritional value and calories. This was an amazing idea to create a site to help a multitude of people and the best part it is "FREE". I thank the Lord for SPARK PEOPLE. <br> <em>345</em> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:45:00 EST Using spark page I always sign in first thing in morning, lunch time and after dinner, this site will keep you on track of your goals and dreams. Hold yourself accountable with this helpful tracking tool. Mon, 25 Apr 2011 21:53:00 EST Add foods to favorite when you use the nutrition tracker When you use the ADD FOOD feature of the Nutrition tracker, be sure to check the box that says add to favorites. You will quickly make up a list of foods you commonly eat and you will save time not having to search for them time and time again! Sun, 24 Apr 2011 17:34:00 EST Get the free tracking APP for ipod, ipad, iphone Portable way to log your nutrition, water and fitness. Gives you progress reports on some things too. If you are like me and can't remember what you had for breakfast or how long you walked at lunch time...this is a handy dandy little tool to make life much simpler. Love it. Thu, 21 Apr 2011 21:56:00 EST Feeling Discouraged - Spark to the Rescue!! I find that if I get busy for a few days and miss my SparkTime I begin to feel discouraged. It would be so easy to just forget about it and fall back into my old habits. But then I login to Spark, read afew success stories, catch up on my friends, and before you know it I am ready to dig in and get moving again. So if you are feeling discouraged, just login and Spark will come to the rescue!!!<br><br> <em>252</em> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 12:22:00 EST One minute of inspiration One of my favorite Spark communications is the daily Healthy Reflections. In a few short paragraphs of inspiration and reflection on living life, I can always find some way to relate it to my own life or to someone I know. I often find myself forwarding these messages because they are so relevant. Tue, 19 Apr 2011 23:00:00 EST Post blogs with interesting titles if you want feedback I sometimes come across members who are writing blogs and want feedback but dismayed when no one comments or cheers. I know that feeling. Alone! Well you are not alone. Just use a title that has a question in it or ASK for what you want like advice, or a woo hoo! Tue, 19 Apr 2011 20:34:00 EST Think ahead! When I know we will be going to a restaurant for dinner, I will pull the menu from the internet and make my choices in the morning. I'll enter them in my nutrition tracker right away and make the rest of the day's choices based on what I plan to eat. Makes ordering food so easy and carefree!! Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:17:00 EST using food trackers When using the food tracker and inputting restaurant food use just the restaurant name Mcdonald's or Dominos and most of the menu will pop up, then use the items that pop up. Sun, 17 Apr 2011 20:07:00 EST Find teams and contribute lots! Share your up & down moments. Share your up & down moments. Don't be afraid to connect with the SP community Sun, 17 Apr 2011 00:43:00 EST never give up No matter how often I mess up, I refuse to give up! <em>104</em> Sat, 16 Apr 2011 22:52:00 EST My Husband Does Not Know My husband has been complaining for years about my weight. He does not know I joined Sparkpeople and I am not going to tell him. I will wait and see if he sees the positive changes in me as I shed the pounds. I love secrets especially good ones. Ssh Sat, 16 Apr 2011 15:28:00 EST Have you hit a plateau? If so, take a look at your fitness settings and determine if you need to change things up! I tweaked my fitness information to show that I consistently burn 2200 calories each week - my nutrition guidelines changed and I received more calories, carbs, fat and protein each day .... Well, I LOST 2.5 LBS THIS WEEK!!!<br><br>Evaluate, review and change your fitness settings every few months to reflect where you're at with your workouts! Break through these plateaus! Sat, 16 Apr 2011 07:54:00 EST Ask for help! When you need help or advice, post a blog or SparkMail your SparkFriends and ask for help. You will be overwhelmed with the support, information, advice, input, and help you will get from them! <em>252</em> Sun, 10 Apr 2011 14:00:00 EST Food journaling made easy Setting up shop with the food journal takes time, but once you've made lists of "favorites" and "food groupings", it can usually be done in less than 10 minutes a day. Once selected, the groupings can easily altered by adding or subtracting a food to that particular meal. Sun, 10 Apr 2011 00:11:00 EST Earn at Least 100 Spark Points Every Day! Every day I try to get at least 100 Spark Points. Cardio 2 hours and strength training will add up to 34 points and you are a third of the way there. The rest are earned by reading articles, huddling with your teams and commenting on message board and blogs! You can do it! Fri, 8 Apr 2011 13:48:00 EST Easy Way to Explore SparkPeople Resources Sign up for Email. Of course, each email addresses the topic you selected. However, the email also contains links to other SP tools - articles, blogs, recipes, polls, etc. Bonus; you not only earn points for reading the email, but the links as well. Thu, 7 Apr 2011 16:21:00 EST Finding a community.. I didn't think I could ever find the motivation to truly change my lifestyle. Joining SparkPeople has not only gotten me excited about getting healthy, it's also gotten me to get excited about becoming more active within the communities! Thu, 7 Apr 2011 11:19:00 EST Favorites Sometimes I just don't have time to read an article and have often found it time consuming and nearly impossible to find again. I started using the link on the article page to save as a favorite. Later, when I have time, I go back and can read it. <em>203</em> Wed, 6 Apr 2011 21:05:00 EST spark points i am addicted to getting as many spark points i can every day. Tue, 5 Apr 2011 19:17:00 EST Meal Plans Are Flexible! I recently turned the SP meal plans back on. They're a great guide, even if you don't plan to eat everything suggested, you can use the plan to guide your calories and swap the suggested foods with something similar.<br> Mon, 4 Apr 2011 12:32:00 EST Give Cheers to Sparkers on Sundays Give cheers to Sparkers on Sundays. Try to do this daily, but if you forget or don't have time, focus on it on Sundays. Take time to mark your motivators on their Spark Page. Remember to click on "I like this" as you read blogs you like. Tell someone they are your Spark hero with a goodie or comment on their Spark page. <em>244</em> Sun, 3 Apr 2011 08:19:00 EST Food Tracking Changes I discovered something I didn't know we can do (though maybe other members know this?): If you add a food like 1 cookie and later eat a second cookie, instead of deleting the first one and re-adding it to list it as two cookies, you can click on the item on the Food Tracker, then when the new dialogue window opens, change the number in the servings field to 2, then click on "Save Changes" and the adjustment will be made. This is much easier! Sat, 2 Apr 2011 00:51:00 EST MONTHLY SPARK CALENDAR To save paper, I save the Spark Monthly Calendar on my computer as an icon and refer to it daily. Save a tree today!<br> <em>434</em> <em>436</em> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:50:00 EST Using the A to Z Health Topic Feature I visit the A to Z health topic site on SparkPeople almost everyday. You can earn 3 sparkpoints for reading through one of the articles. I have decided that this is a very easy way to get those extra 3 points so I have started with the "A" group and plan to just work my way through the alphabet one letter at a time!!<br><br> <em>17</em> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:24:00 EST Explore Sparks! It is amazing the motivation you can find just by poking around and learning something new! <em>252</em> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 20:51:00 EST Become Obsessed with Earning Points For some reason, I have some obsession with winning. I used to be addicted to Yahoo!Answers, and I was obsessed with getting points and graduating to a higher level. Well my work has blocked y/a!, so now I've become obsessed with spark points. I go through the spark points page, and do everything I can to get as many points as possible on any given day. And i refuse to cheat. Tue, 29 Mar 2011 15:00:00 EST Food Tracking Rarely Eaten Foods I have manually entered a food called X which I have ascribed 1 calorie per gram and that way if I know I have eaten 200 calories of a food that I don't plan to eat again or often, I can enter 200 grams of X and it will add 200 calories to my nutrition tracker. Doesn't track the other nutrients of course but right now calories are my main consideration. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 13:13:00 EST Food tracker To make tracking my food a bit easier, when I first log in to SP I add all the food I plan on eating that day this way I have an idea ahead of time of what my calories will be and if there is something I don't eat it is easy to just delete the item at the end of the day. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 07:18:00 EST The Woo Hoo Button I love the woo hoo button on the message board page. It's there so you can toot your own horn! Plus it's always a great motivator to see other peoples success! Mon, 28 Mar 2011 01:37:00 EST Reach out! Reach out to others when feeling down! Use your Blog feature and you'll find so many others who will get back to you and lift you up when you most need it! You're never alone! <em>220</em> Sun, 27 Mar 2011 13:47:00 EST Message Board Hot Topics I read the Message Board Hot Topics everyday. I have found answers to questions I had plus some that I hadn't thought of yet. Plus I've met some very interesting people on the Topics. Sun, 27 Mar 2011 10:15:00 EST Huddles & Blogs Whenever you huddle with your team(s), choose one blog to read and comment on. You will meet so many wonderful new people this way...and spread your own enthusiasm to so many others! Sat, 26 Mar 2011 08:02:00 EST is full of great recipes. You can read comments from other members who have tried them. You can also submit your own recipes to share or keep private for just you. The great thing is that, provided you enter ingrediant amounts and serving sizes accurately, Sparkrecipes will calculate the nutrition for you. You can create cookbooks to store your favorite recipes and You can quickly add a recipe to your nutrition tracker for quick food logging! Thu, 24 Mar 2011 21:41:00 EST Food Groupings I tend to eat the same foods often and have found that the food groupings option in the nutrition tracker saves me time. Rather than searching for individual items I simply find the group and click once. Thu, 24 Mar 2011 21:38:00 EST Medical Dramas Terminology Help Use Spark’s Health A-Z section to better understand your favorite medical dramas. You can earn points, become well-informed, and it allows you to multi-task (if you can’t seem to sit through a whole show without some kind of activity). I like to look up the terminology used frequently on House, such as: Tachycardia, Amyloidosis, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Sarcoidosis, etc. Wed, 23 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST Yikes, people...don't believe every Secret of Success you read. You know how Spark gives you that fine-print warning that "Secrets of Success are submitted by readers and are NOT scanned or edited for accuracy and truth; please do not use them as a substitute for a physician's advice"? Please, take that to heart. I have read some DOOZY hints on here that just blow my mind. Remember: someone typing it onto Spark People DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE, HEALTHY OR HELPFUL. Trust a doctor/professional or a medical website for more factual facts. Wed, 23 Mar 2011 00:34:00 EST Copying a meal to another day If you tend to have the same types of items at a certain meal of the day (for me its usually 2 or 3 of the same choices for breakfast) I just move the date of the tracker to a past day where I knew I ate the same items and use the option to "copy this to another date" and it makes my tracking quick and easy! Also the favorites list is really handy. Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:24:00 EST Get Involved! When you encourage others, you'll find that it encourages YOU! Get involved in the SP Community -- read others' SparkPages, Blogs and Messages, and post your replies to encourage them (and, as a bonus, earn more SparkPoints!). Mon, 21 Mar 2011 12:35:00 EST Huddling Helps Me Keep up with teams and the topics earn me more pts! I like to huddle with my Sparkteams! Each day when I get on SP,after logging in,I go right to the teams and after huddling with one team,I will go to the topics presented for that team as I get to chat w/other team members,but also EARN PTS as I am doing it! The FIFTEEN POINTS given for messages ADD UP rather quickly [each day] and EVERY TIME you chat about a topic on your team,it ADDS to your OVERALL POSTS [in which you get TWENTY -FIVE PTS EVERY TIME you reach 100 message board posts]! Sun, 20 Mar 2011 11:48:00 EST Making more use of the nutrition tracker In addition to logging food in my food tracker.. I have added the suggestion that MIMAWELIZABETH made about adding notes to the favorites. I have made a food option for the hours of the day. starting with a.m. or p.m. so they stay together in my favorites. i.e., (a.m. 8:00) I am going to begin to log the time I eat my meals so I can determine if there are any patterns. Sun, 20 Mar 2011 00:40:00 EST Use all of the SPARK sites ... or at least as many of them that can benefit you. I started using Spark People several years ago, plus the Daily Spark when it came into being. I used BabyFit when I was pregnant, and now that I'm looking at some job uncertainty, I'm checking out Spark Savings - Spark People is way more than physical healthy living! Sat, 19 Mar 2011 23:14:00 EST Track More Nutrients On the nutrition tracking page click "Change Nutrition Goals" It's just above the cups of water measure. Then click "Add another nutrient to track" I selected just about all the vitamins and essential minerals. I have found that I don't need to take as many supplements as I used to take. It saves money and I am more healthy. Thu, 17 Mar 2011 09:14:00 EST Track before you eat When I'm thinking about what to prepare for dinner, I make sure that my nutrition tracker is up to date for my earlier meals, and then review the nutrition information before I decide. That way I ensure that I'm staying within my goal range for the day. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 19:37:00 EST Turbo guide to using When you first become a Sparkie the site can be overwhelming, and you can miss out on great features. The best way to maximize the resources and get a full "tour" is to go to Sparkpoints in My Trackers. If you check out the different ways to earn points, you'll quickly be introduced to all major site features. Sun, 13 Mar 2011 10:31:00 EST Utilizing Spark People teams One of my favorite ways to meet new SparkFriends is to visit a new blog every day from my SparkTeam page. I love to make encouraging comments and send surprise SparkGoodies to these potential new SparkFriends. Sun, 13 Mar 2011 08:27:00 EST Compare but don't compete It's fun and motivating to compare your goals, fitness, and nutrition plans to other Sparkies and Spark Friends. But don't toss your program out the window for the sake of switching up to "compete" with someone else. Instead evaluate whether you're getting the most out of your own program, and realize that you might be "apples versus oranges" if you try to fit into someone else's shoes. Appreciate your own efforts too while applauding the efforts of others! Do what's right for you. Sat, 12 Mar 2011 09:06:00 EST Too Much Time I struggle between spending too much time on SP, but when I do spend a great deal of time I tend to stay on track much better. <em>56</em> Sat, 12 Mar 2011 07:14:00 EST Losing Weight Ive Got And Excercise goal&My Secret Is Im Going To Surprize Everyone By Getting Done To My Weight Goal By Febuary Of 2012 Wed, 9 Mar 2011 20:28:00 EST Take Notes Any time the idea of trying to itemize and research my food is overwhelming, I use the Notes field in the nutrition tracker to type a few notes on what I ate (with as much detail as I feel up to including). I might not know the exact calories and nutrition breakdown, but at least the food is on the record. It helps me close the book on that meal or that day and stop obsessing. At a later time when I'm feeling more up to it, I can always go back and try to enter the items "officially." Wed, 9 Mar 2011 13:27:00 EST Tomorrow is a new day! I record every thing that I eat or drink even when I over eat. <em>224</em> It keeps me going on the right track even when I stumble. Wed, 9 Mar 2011 12:38:00 EST 50pts! Do the new quizzes and earn 50 fifty points! <em>250</em> Tue, 8 Mar 2011 19:24:00 EST Plan Your Meals Ahead with SparkPeople Being the beginning of the day I plan out that days meals ahead of time on my Nutrition tracker. It helps me to stay in my ranges and not to go over board. Mon, 7 Mar 2011 10:17:00 EST SparkPeople App If you have a smartphone DEFINITELY download the SparkPeople app!! Since I've started using it my food logging has been so much more accurate and I am finally starting to see the scale move! Mon, 7 Mar 2011 09:25:00 EST Give a Goodie Immediately Give a goodie out right away when the occasion arises. If you wait you might forget or have a hard time finding the person's Spark Page. A good time is to go to the blogs for your team; put into a tab; read and reward with a goodie. as you wish. Sun, 6 Mar 2011 17:59:00 EST No Zeros I like to go to my sparkpoints page and make sure I have No Zeros. It helps keep me active on the site, and on track. Sat, 5 Mar 2011 11:18:00 EST GO TO SPARKS FOR SUCCESS! 1. Log in first thing each day. <em>17</em> <br>2. Utilize all the various "sites" within the program. Be sure to go to the "site" that can tell you what your BMI, BMR, and total daily calorie needs actually are. <em>292</em> <br>3. YOU DO HAVE THE WILL POWER TO STICK TO THOSE DAILY NEEDS! <em>306</em> <br>4. Dieting without exercise is fruitless so let your feet hit the floor running--YOU WILL SUCCEED! <em>105</em> <br>5. By the way, I've lost 40 pounds since11/17/2010 by follow... Wed, 2 Mar 2011 23:41:00 EST Food Groupings and SparkPoints Just so ya know, when you use a Food Grouping to enter data in your Tracker, it only counts as one SparkPoint, no matter how many foods are in the grouping. Tue, 1 Mar 2011 12:19:00 EST Getting started I'm just getting started with SparkPeople and my get-fit journey. It's easy to get intimidated or discouraged if you don't get results right away. But I've enjoyed reading the Success Stories and learning about others' journeys. Mon, 28 Feb 2011 11:10:00 EST No more lost Blogs or comments. I am not very good with computers. I often struggle to write Blogs or comments only to find I have hit a wrong key and I lost my blog. Nothing worked for me to get it back. To avoid that,<br>I start my blog. I minimize it and open Word,. <br>I write and edit entire blog in Word. If adding pictures I make spaces where I want to put the pictures. I put the pictures on my desktop. Sun, 27 Feb 2011 07:33:00 EST Learn Something New Everyday With Sparkpeople If you subscribe to the sparkpeople emails and get the tips. You would be shocked at what you learn and when you are out and about the choices you make while out to dinner will be wiser. Not to mention you will cook much healthier. Sat, 26 Feb 2011 16:24:00 EST Proportion It's important to me to look at the report at the end of the day and make sure I'm eating the right proportion of carbs/fat/protein. I also monitor my salt intake. When I stay within the ranges suggested and burn the right amount of calories, I lose weight and I feel good, not starved. Sat, 26 Feb 2011 07:07:00 EST Eating Hi Guys,<br><br>I cheated 2 times this week and still lost weight. Why? Because I continue to exercise no matter what. My husband and I workout 5 days a week and have lost a total of 20 pounds together in a month. I cheated by eating a Krispy Creme Donut filled with vanilla custard. It was good, but not to healthy. <em>334</em> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:01:00 EST Thinking Change I've just started using the Nutrition Tracker on SparkPeople and caught myself thinking of my daily ranges for calories, carbs, fat and protein as "limits". That's so negative. Now I consciously think of those numbers as "ranges" - something to strive for. That's so much more positive, kind of like a goal. Fri, 25 Feb 2011 12:25:00 EST Persistence pays off! For me SP is a challenge to get used to using. By being persistent about logging in several times a day and tracking tracking tracking it is helping me get used to using the website to my advantage. Thu, 24 Feb 2011 10:24:00 EST Use the Food Group feature! Since I often eat the same combinations of food, take advantage of the food group feature. Include all incredients that I might use, then delete the ones I didn't use. Wed, 23 Feb 2011 19:28:00 EST Teamwork I find that my boyfriend and I doing SparkPeople together has been incredibly helpful. He's very keen on cooking so when he makes a great healthy recipe he inputs it with all the ingredients and works out the serving/portion amounts, and then uses the SHARE feature with SparkMail to send it to me, then all I have to do is add to to my tracker! I do the same thing with things that I cook. Also we put motivational comments and goodies on eachother's Sparkpages, it's so nice to see that! Wed, 23 Feb 2011 10:33:00 EST Tracking what I eat Tracking what I eat is really critical to my weight loss success. I track my meals regularly on SP. Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:44:00 EST Track, Track and Track! I have found that tracking everything I do and eat keeps me in line with my goals. I find it easy to stay on track when I know exactly what I am eating and when I am exercising. Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:22:00 EST Using The Tools~Copy Custom Foods! I eat the same breakfast every day to lower my cholestrol---oatmeal with usually some fruit. I used to put it in the Nutrition tracker every day til I realized I could SAVE SOME TIME & ENERGY by copying it a week ahead on the COPY CUSTOM FOODS above the meal listed [on the Nutrition Tracker] . That little amt. of time INVESTED has SAVED ME TIME and TIME AGAIN [pun intended!]. If I am making a big batch of food,say a SP recipe for chili, I can copy THAT CUSTOM FOOD for Dinner a week ahead ..... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 04:30:00 EST Set your home page Set your home page to and that way every time you log on to the computer-it's right there in your face!! Sun, 20 Feb 2011 19:04:00 EST Take time every day for Spark I log into Spark in the morning and spend only a few minutes on it (about 10) putting in my breakfast and lunch. When I come home from work is when I enter the balance of food info and then earn my spark points. This is when I get my motivation and help to motivate other people. I take the time, then, to reflect on how I'm feeling, how I did today, etc. I'm so worth it. Sun, 20 Feb 2011 15:31:00 EST keep my hands busy I used to find that I ate mindlessly whilst watching the TV. Now I log on to the computer and browse the web as well as logging on to spark people - I find that my hands are busy and my mind is occupied, which means I don't find myself eating so much!! Sun, 20 Feb 2011 08:55:00 EST Trivia Questions Using my Sparkpoints page to collect points is very helpful. When it comes to answering the trivia questions, it can get discouraging to get so many wrong because some questions I feel are trick questions. If you come across a question you don't want to answer just refresh your page and you'll get a new question. <em>100</em> Sat, 19 Feb 2011 16:25:00 EST Use the apps! I downloaded the Blackberry Sparkpeople app and it helps me a TON, whether I'm on the stationary bike or in a restaurant looking up calories. I can't say enough just how much the phone app helps me! <em>250</em> Thu, 17 Feb 2011 12:47:00 EST Work the SPARK!! Get some friends on your wavelength. You don't have to dominate every message board or small group. Find good support and be good support, there are wonderful people out there!!! Thu, 17 Feb 2011 02:26:00 EST Posting sparkpoints Sometimes it's hard to post five times on the teams, you just don't have anything to say. So, check out the games forums on the message board-you can add your own ideas and gain those 15 points. Wed, 16 Feb 2011 09:22:00 EST Put Serving Size in Title of foods you enter yourself I always enter the serving size in the title when I enter a food myself. This means that if I don't eat the food for a while I don't have the try to remember how big a serving is. <em>334</em> <br><br>For example: Organic Sesame Corncakes - 2 per serve Mon, 14 Feb 2011 16:46:00 EST 'trial run' a meal into food tracker For dinner tonight, I'm low on available calories, etc left in order to stay on track for today. So, I just entered a meal I thought of to check it, to ensure I could eat it and still be on track. If it had not worked out, I could easily have replaced it with other choices. Mon, 14 Feb 2011 16:26:00 EST Spark Points Best way that I have learned my way around this site is through the Spark Points... I have read more motivational articles and healthy tips and pointers than I could have ever found on my own! I love giving my spark points to my spark friends as 'goodies'... I love this site!!!<br> <em>334</em> Sun, 13 Feb 2011 22:10:00 EST Pause When trouble comes-I pause-maybe an article/blog/Sparkpage/tool-something is available <em>334</em> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:12:00 EST logging on As I make my coffee in the morning, I logg on to Spark people. It helps me make my plan of attck for the day! Fri, 11 Feb 2011 06:28:00 EST Track "Everything" in One Sitting I too felt that SP was very time consuming so what I've learned to do is... do all of my tracking for the entire day in one sitting. Yep, everything - exercise, all meals, water, fruits/veges... everything. I even spend a little time reading an article, etc to build up a few more points. I do all of my daily tracking each morning. After entering my meals, I print out my "food report" and keep it with me all day. At the end of the day, I login again and make adjustments accordingly. Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:28:00 EST Login to SparkPeople After having a couple of days of not logging in, I realized that rather than looking at logging in SP as a big task or something that requires a lot of time/effort just treat it like maybe your Facebook or email. When you check your emails, do a quick login to SP, blog/post/browse/read as per your convenience and whenever possible multiple times a day. When it seems like a small casual task you wont dread doing it.<br><br>And we all know how much being regular on SP helps! Wed, 9 Feb 2011 23:54:00 EST Avoiding Sparking in the evening helps me to avoid boredom eating, and snacking after dinner. Wed, 9 Feb 2011 23:53:00 EST Easier Than I Thought At first this seemed to be a very labor intensive site, but over the past 3 and a half weeks it is becoming easier and takes less time. The app on my Droid helps a lot. Wed, 9 Feb 2011 21:38:00 EST The secret to getting all the points Be consistant and don't skip adding your exercise points... they really add up. Also add to the list of favorite foods by entering item you eat that aren't on the regular list. You'll only have to take the time once. Tue, 8 Feb 2011 15:03:00 EST serving size I've found that checking serving size is so important when reading labels and using the food tracker. I've had problems getting some of my recipes in the right serving size for the food tracker. Any body got any insight on using sparkpeople and figuring out serving size? Thanks Tue, 8 Feb 2011 13:33:00 EST My kids think I am crazy When I make a new food, and want to track the cal. fat. and such. I take everything I used into the bedroom (where the computer is) and then put in each item one by one...I walked out of the room the other day and my middle son looked at me like I was crazy! Mon, 7 Feb 2011 13:21:00 EST Join a Spark Team Keeping up with my Spark Teams and the individual challenges helps me stay motivated. It's a great way to find others with similar goals. On days when I just don't feel like exercising, I can check in with my teams and find motivation to keep moving! Sat, 5 Feb 2011 20:40:00 EST Create more Food Groupings It's so easy to use the food tracker when you group foods. I have all my favorite meals and snacks already listed, so with just a few clicks, most of my food choices for the day are already tracked. Fri, 4 Feb 2011 17:30:00 EST Reach Out & Touch Someone Similar Reach out & Touch Someone on their blog or Spark page. Find someone who is similar to you. As you give positive nutrition, fitness and life style comments to them; those thoughts will come back to you in good self advice. Fri, 4 Feb 2011 08:31:00 EST Accurate Food Tracking - Trace Minerals & Vitamins Before starting to track items like zinc Vit B6 & B12 etc use to use and or enter info off of food labels which do not necessarily list them. Now use Sparks generic list when possible which usually has full stat listings. Numbers always being approximates anyways - have a better picture of daily stats Fri, 4 Feb 2011 07:41:00 EST Silly little SparkPoints I'm really not Point-happy, but something about a comment on my Feb. 1st blog prompted me to reply with thanks on the writer's latest blog instead of leaving a comment on the open section of her page. One point, ka-ching! Why not do that on a regular basis? Someday my mountain of points may get me on the subway. Yeah, sure, like when tokens are brought back.<br> <em>347</em> <em>189</em> Thu, 3 Feb 2011 19:47:00 EST Warning Sparkpeople is addicting!!! First thing I do in the mornings is exercise. Then get on Sparkpeople, then eat breakfast. Then I'm on Sparkpeople when I get home from work, and then before bed. On weekends it's worse!!! But I totally love Sparkpeople. They have kept me so motiviated!!! Wed, 2 Feb 2011 10:30:00 EST Use the Nutrition Tracker Use it! That's why it's there! It's the foundation to making healthy changes that will last a lifetime. LEARN from it - what you eat, how much, when, why - the tracker can point these things out. It can also help you save money. Play a game to see how low you can get your grocery bill and still be eating for optimal health. JUST USE IT! Wed, 2 Feb 2011 10:28:00 EST Secrets of Success Post your secret of success for YOU. It's great to share your secret but it's even better to remember what works best for YOU. As you go through and figure things out for yourself, you might have a tendency to forget certain things (I do). By posting them here, you can go back and look at your postings to remind yourself of what works for you. I'm posting this for myself for that very reason. <em>211</em> Wed, 2 Feb 2011 09:33:00 EST Exercise while you log. While I'm logging my points or food, I do strength exercises.It challenges me to do different routines everytime and I don't get bored. <em>252</em> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 21:49:00 EST Take a photo of the treadmill Take a quick photo of the treadmill, elliptical or other machine, so you can easily refer to it later for info to plug into your tracker or on your team message boards or challenges (calories burned, distance, average speed, time, resistance/incline, steps per minute, etc.) Mon, 31 Jan 2011 11:42:00 EST My secret My secret is this is the best plan I have ever found. We should not keep it a secret and tell everyone about sparkpeople. I told my Diabetes counsler about it and she is going to put flyers in her office. Sun, 30 Jan 2011 11:45:00 EST Use for financial motivation to lose weight! Yep - SP has a money management website as well! I use it to curb my spending and calculate how my healthy habits are affecting my bottom line (pun intended). It also helps me cut down on financial stressors and save for a "big reward". Sun, 30 Jan 2011 11:08:00 EST Easy to read nutrition list I have just changed all the foods that I have added to the nutritional list to make it easier to read. What I did was categorize everything, eg yogurts, cheese, meats, breakfast, etc. It is now less time consuming when I check through my favourites and it makes me more inclined to track everything I eat which in turn will help me with my weight loss!!! Sun, 30 Jan 2011 10:33:00 EST Be Healthy Strong for Old Age Spark Search and find resources to help make you strong before and for your old age and to help you elderly loved ones. Yogi Bear says "only you can prevent forest fires" Sat, 29 Jan 2011 11:11:00 EST Discovered the group option right on the tracker itself I was putting in my breakfast, my very frequent breakfast and right above is the" make a group feature". Clicked on it and made a group of what was there then clicked copy to another day. copied to tomorrow, If I use a different milk I can change it in a flash. No need to go to anywhere else it is right there. Saves time too. Sat, 29 Jan 2011 10:57:00 EST