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Spark People

Friday, April 20th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

Spark People

Welcome to a free Web site where you can get free diet plans, a calorie counter and recipes all at the same time! To use the site, you have to register, but don’t worry, it’s all free. Click the large “Join Now 100% Free!” button to get started. They need you to provide your e-mail address, a username, password, your country, zip code, date of birth and gender. Then you’ll need to answer a few questions and decide whether you want to opt into their newsletters or not. There are seven that you can sign up for. I chose the recipe of the day, because I am always looking for new food ideas.

Once you’ve submitted your form, you need to complete the setup process. This takes between five to 10 minutes and it allows you to fully customize your experience. You can skip this if you don’t intend to use the program to lose weight though.

If you choose not to complete the setup, I recommend going over to the Resources tab to start your journey. The Resources area is divided into sections. They are:

Nutrition Resources – I really adore this section. Not only does it offer you a serving size calculator, but you will also find great articles on eating out both in restaurants and at fast food joints. You can also find great information on nutrition in general, with the Nutrition Reference Guide and Calorie Calculation 101.

Fitness Resources – Here you can find information on exercising and how to make it fit into your lifestyle. Whether you walk, run or exercise in your living room, you’ll find something here for you. This section will teach you how to make a successful fitness plan, how to play your walking/running route and more. You can even watch streaming video filled with exercises you can do in your own living room!

Motivation Resources – Motivation can be a very tough thing to maintain, but this section shows you how to stay motivated as you work toward your goals. I highly recommend checking out the “7 Key Strategies.” I think you can really transfer them into any aspect of your life.

Health & Wellness Resources – Here you will learn not only about living a healthy lifestyle, but you will also learn about being emotionally healthy. I am very unkind to myself, so my goal for this year is to love myself more and to remember that I’m only human. I even found that this is a common problem by checking out this site. Now, I know that I need to not feed this cycle of negativity. So, at least I’m trying. You can also learn about emotional eating, depression and even how to sleep better!

Other Resources – Last, but not least, this section offers some great information. Here you will not only find a Recipe Library, but also Quizzes, Polls and Calculators. You can bet I spent a lot of time in this section!

On the right hand side of the page, you can find the Today section where there are little blurbs from each section of the site for the day. You’ll find the Recipe of the Day, the Exercise of the Day, Hot Topics in the forums and much more. Have fun!

~ Amanda

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