The Spark Solution Diet was developed by SparkPeople, a company striving to help people cultivate and maintain healthy lifestyles. Their website, SparkPeople.com, is a platform through which they build community amongst health-conscious individuals and offer diet and exercise related support–including information about the Spark Solution Diet, a downloadable calorie counter, fitness programs, and access to an online community forum.
The Spark Solution Diet is based on the idea that it takes about 2 weeks to develop a new healthy habit. The Spark Solution Diet book provides a detailed 2-week, reduced-calorie (1,500 calorie) meal plan and a metabolism-boosting exercise routine to kick-start your weight loss journey. During the third week, dieters are supposed to stick with recipes from The Spark Solution book, but the daily menu is no longer pre-determined. After that, dieters can “spark it up” by choosing recipes that are not in the book–as long as they stick to the Spark Solution guidelines for calories, protein, fats, and carbs (1,500 calories, 45-65% carbohydrates, 20-35% fats, and 16-35% protein). Starting on the fourth week, dieters are also allowed to occasionally eat out as long as they keep their health goals in mind and track their food.
Signing up for membership online and purchasing the SparkPeople app is free; but, in order to get access to the detailed 2-week diet plan, you’ll have to purchase the book. The app includes a nutrition and calorie database, a food intake tracker, a healthy meal planner, a fitness tracker, exercise demos, articles from dietitians and lifestyle coaches, and a community feed to help you stay motivated. If you pay for the premium app ($4.99 a month or a one-time payment of $39.99 for lifetime access) you will also receive advanced calorie charts and the ability to live chat with SparkPeople health and fitness coaches.
The Spark Solution Diet book focuses on three main components: the metabolic makeover, the mind-set makeover, and the motivation and momentum makeover. The metabolic makeover involves consuming healthy foods regularly throughout the day in order to support a speedy metabolism and control hunger. During the mind-set makeover, you establish the mind-set that healthy eating and exercise are necessary in order to live a full, active life. And during the motivation makeover, you use your own momentum to stay motivated. The better you feel, the more you will be motivated to continue your new healthy habits.
There is no Spark Solution Diet review in research literature, but studies have demonstrated that a reduced calorie diet in combination with exercise is likely to lead to weight loss. For example, Obesity Reviews published a study in 2009 that compared the weight loss results of people who dieted and exercised with those who simply dieted. This study found that those who incorporated regular exercise into their life experienced greater weight loss. Research has also indicated that restricting calories to about 1,500 calories is generally successful for weight loss, regardless of the specific details of the diet. Since the Spark Solution 2-week meal plan contains 1,500 calories it will likely lead to results.
If you function well with structure, the highly regimented first two weeks will be the perfect way to kick start your weight loss journey. After the first two weeks. the strong community (consisting of 15 million members) can provide valuable support and inspiration. Through SparkPeople’s online resources, dieters have access to new recipes, success stories, and tips for overcoming roadblocks.
If you’re not a planner, this diet might not be for you: the first 14 days are very specific and require advance planning and patience. If you review the Spark Solution Diet menu plan, you’ll notice that this diet also requires that you do a lot of home cooking. If you don’t love to cook or don’t have the time, this diet plan may be a bit challenging to follow. Lastly, it may also not be sustainable in the long term, as its success depends on sticking to the prescribed calorie counts and exercise.
The Spark Solution Diet is an affordable option that provides excellent support for its members–especially if you pay the premium cost for the app. Additionally, combining calorie restriction with exercise is a proven way of achieving results, so you can be confident that following their protocol will likely lead to improvements in your health.
Numbers are important on this diet. The Spark Solution plan provides guidelines for the number of total calories, carbs, proteins, and fats that you’ll be consuming each day. This means that you may not be able to have your normal afternoon pick-me-up, or dessert after dinner. If you find yourself craving something sweet or a salty snack, but have already reached (or are approaching) your limit on calories, fat or carbs, you can overcome cravings by having a 15-calorie MealEnder instead.