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DCWILLIAMS831 Posts: 928
6/15/14 9:08 P

Don't be disappointed or discouraged. Be encouraged and determined to make changes. Even when you fall off the horse - get back in the saddle.

ANDILH Posts: 1,495
6/15/14 9:07 P

I don't track food on here. I like many of the other features here, but many of the physical activity videos aren't helpful for me because of my disabilities so it's easy to believe that features of the nutrition tracker wouldn't be helpful to others. I'm sure that many people have at least one or two features on here that they either don't like or just don't use.
Just track what you eat, and follow the recommendations of your dietician. Sometimes just seeing it in writing is enough to be helpful for some people.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
6/15/14 7:12 P

You have to do what is best for you. I am hypoglycemic and I can't eat all the starches they tell me to either. They also don't tell me to eat enough protein as I am a weight lifter. Use the site and eat what is best for you....that's what I do.

CSROBERTSON621 SparkPoints: (125,078)
Fitness Minutes: (63,025)
Posts: 1,426
6/15/14 6:26 P

Like others have said, you can definitely do your own thing here. I joined Spark at the very end of my weight loss phase (only about 10 more pounds to go to goal), and I never followed its guidelines -- I just kept doing what was working for me. .

I'm not diabetic, but I still find that too many carbs makes me hungry. I generally avoid bread, pasta and other wheat-based products, not because I have issues with gluten, but because I find it's easier for me to stay on track that way, and because pasta and bread (and pizza!) were the biggest sources of unnecessary calories in my old diet. (My husband does have issues with gluten, so at least meals at home are generally gluten-free anyway.) Also, I'd gain weight if I ate as many calories as Spark recommends -- I wish that weren't true, but trial and error has shown that it is.

I'd search through the message boards for groups that fit your diet/lifestyle issues, and go from there. I'm sure there are many others here who have similar issues, and can help you get going.

Although I don't follow Spark's specific plan (and I'm not knocking it -- it seems to work for plenty of people!) I have found it to still be a great tool for motivation, tracking, and general mindfulness -- I found it during a difficult time in my life personally, and it helped me weather the storm and get to goal despite the outside challenges. It has also helped me stay on track since 2011 - so I'm definitely glad I found it!

GEVANS7 SparkPoints: (153,371)
Fitness Minutes: (120,308)
Posts: 2,092
6/15/14 6:19 P

Stick with the website. Watch the video under the articles and videos about how to use the nutrition tracker. I go down the suggested meal plans each morning and check off the foods I know I will be eating, and then add my own in the "what did you eat" block. It has been invaluable for tracking calories. I make sure I add EVERY thing I eat, right down to the butter pat I scramble my eggs in.

I'm a low carber (pre-diabetic). I also thought my calorie intake was too high, so you can make adjustments to what works for you. Nothing is set in stone. Don't forget the cardio - essential for burning the calories. In the end it all comes down to calories in, calories out and eliminate junk calories.

Stick with Spark People. It works.

6/15/14 3:30 P

I agree with EelPie and AzulViolet - if you know the macronutrient ranges that work for you, set up custom nutrition goals and plug them in there. If you don't know those macro #s, an RD would be able to help. Spark is a great tool but it can definitely get better with a touch of customization!

Good luck to you on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey!

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
6/15/14 2:54 P

Use SparkD, turn off the meal plans, set your own goals.

Tracking is a really valuable tool--just set things up so that you can do it your own way.

ETHELMERZ SparkPoints: (151,140)
Fitness Minutes: (134,060)
Posts: 10,154
6/15/14 2:18 P

You can still come here for support, even though your don't track every little thing, you can do that in a notebook. I don't track food on here, but my dietitian gave me some tracking forms to use that work well. Ask your dietitian for some tracking forms, so you can see them right away, and keep them with you, if need be.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
6/15/14 10:26 A

There are lots of low-carbers here! never fear. Just set your own values in the Nutrition Tracker. Yes, you'll see the SP pie chart at the end of it... but you can ignore that. I do! other than as amusement, that is.

There are lots of LC forums here too. We're tolerated thinly on the open forums, but the LC forums are very open and informative. There are several people who have done wonderful things with their health, switching to a LC lifestyle. Please check us out!

We're a friendly bunch, and love new folks. You'll get all the support you could hope for here!

Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
6/15/14 9:50 A

Thank you everyone. I will explore more on how to use this web site because I SO NEED the support of people that understand what I am going through when I struggle. emoticon

Edited by: WANTSTORIDEWINI at: 6/15/2014 (09:56)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
6/15/14 8:06 A

The goals on your tracker can be changed. On your tracker, click "edit nutrition goals" under "tools and settings" at the bottom of your tracker.

TLEA53 Posts: 4,034
6/15/14 7:12 A

When I first joined SP they set my calorie intake way too high. I knew what I needed to eat to lose and did that.

Tracking the food is the major thing so you see what you're eating and learn to manage it.

Hang in there! You'll find this site can really help you lose.

TRYINGTOLOSE64 Posts: 77,184
6/15/14 6:55 A

Where on SP does it say that you HAVE to eat exactly what they say to eat!?! You can still use the nutrition tracker...just track what you ate!! I'm one of those type people that can NOT be told what to eat and what not to eat because as soon as someone tries to tell me not to eat this or that I'll run out and eat exactly what they told me NOT to eat.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (183,199)
Fitness Minutes: (37,802)
Posts: 23,411
6/15/14 5:59 A

There are lots of people who do low carbs for various reasons.

I don't understand about the amount of carbs that SP has suggested for you. I suspect that you are just using the normal Nutrition Tracker without the lower carbs having been modified. I don't know but I THINK that the Diabetes one the carbs would be a lot lower, and of course, you can go lower still by tweaking what you eat.

Have you been referred to a Registered Dietitian? If not I suggest that you ask for one. You may find that you will get loads of very good, qualified help based on YOUR individual needs. He/she will be able to help you with your menu planning.

Below is a link to the "Living with Diabetes" section of SparkPeople. There's a heap of things, including recipes, that will be useful to you.


MARKATSPARK Posts: 5,413
6/15/14 5:56 A


ANARIE Posts: 12,914
6/14/14 11:33 P

If you switch to the regular SparkPeople program instead of the "SparkD" diabetes one, you can set whatever nutritional goals you want. You won't get meal plans to match, but you can track your own meals to make sure they meet the guidelines you and your doctor have established.

Here's a link to a page that will help you get out of the SparkD if you're in it, and also set up the tracker with the targets you want:

Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
6/14/14 10:55 P

I just joined SparkPeople tonight and went to do my nutrition tracker and found I cannot use this site because of all the carbs and starches they want you to eat each day. My blood sugar would sky rocket with all that starch. I even indicated that I am a type 2 diabetic. I am sure that they probably use the American Diabetic nutrition guide which my doctor had me use in the beginning until my blood sugar stayed so high that my doctor was about to put me on insulin. I told him no, that was sure there was a dietary way to control them. That was when I went gluten free and really cut back on other starches. My blood sugar within days was going low to the point where I had to call my doctor and he took me off the one diabetic med I was on. I would like to lose 170 more pounds, and I LOVE the concept of SparkPeople but just cannot do all these carbs. Is there anyone else that is in the same delima I am in but would love the support of SparkPeople? emoticon

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