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Spark Your New Year

I have been using a Web site called Spark People off and on for the last year and thought I would share my experience with you. Part of my new year’s resolutions last year (and this year) was to eat healthier and to loose some of my post pregnancy weight. I got online and found SparkPeople.com. I was hooked from the get-go.

Spark People is a FREE weight loss and nutrition site. It is very similar to e-Diets.com (from what I could tell from my five-second e-Diet membership), but it is free. There are a lot of great features of the program. Particularly I like that they give me a daily calorie, carbohydrate, fat, and protein range to aim for and allow me to log what I eat. The logging of what I eat has really helped me to put a face on what a proper portion should look like. The database of food includes drinks and just about any thing you could think of including food from McDonalds, Subway, Lean Cuisines, Carnation Creamer, etc. Another plus, for those of you that enjoy cooking at home, is that you can enter in numbers for fat, calories etc. for foods or by estimated portion size and save them.

Another thing I need to take advantage of it that it also has a section that helps you sets up a fitness program. It even goes so far as to have you enter in the type of exercises you are doing – walking dog, playing with kids, weights, running, etc., and then provides you with the estimated number of calories burned for that activity.

If you need suggestions for healthy meals, the site also has a really nice healthy recipe database to browse (you can also enter your own recipes) In true form the site (of course) includes all of the nutritional information for each recipe, whether it’s from the database or one of yours.

Another nice thing about the site is that there is plenty of emotional support available. They have a huge online community (I am a Community Team Leader!!) – groups for every category you can think of – Working Moms, Under 30, etc. Additionally they have an endless supply of articles about staying healthy and getting fit.

Last year, when I was fully in to the site, I lost 20 pounds. I am back on (as of today) so we will see how it goes.

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