Hi and Welcome to Sparkpeople! You are very smart for choosing to do this for health. I BELIEVE in SP. I am 55 years old and have lost 63 pounds so far!!!
There are two keys to success: 1) tracking your food and staying in calorie range and 2) fitness minutes. The thing about fitness is you can start small with 5-10 minutes. It also helps to read blogs. You can start with one I wrote:
Congrats on taking the next step to reaching a healthier you by getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support. You're off to a great start already!
You can copy foods or meals from one day to another pretty easily - I don't think there is any way to make them 'permanent' on your tracker but between food groups and copying, it's pretty easy to enter foods you eat frequently.
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' there or at least others who have similar characteristics and circumstances. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways.
Some of the teams I like and think you might like include the Official 10-minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge, Starting Over Weekly Mini-Challenge Team, 10k Steps A Day and Motivation & Positive Attitude Plan - but there are so many to choose from, you can have a great time looking for the ones that seem to fit you best! In fact, I suggest joining more than one group, post your intro there and write blogs as often as you can - you will find tons of friends and support that way, I promise!!
In my experience, SparkPeople is like a in some ways - it's lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together. I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, maintain a previous loss, get healthier, improve fitness and many other goals including gaining weight or saving money - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place!
If you ever need any help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site.
Be sure to read and 'study' The Spark book because it outlines the overall program and is compatible with most types of eating plans. If you haven't already discovered the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check it out - the program is simple but extremely effective. There is a TON of information on this site - so much it might even seem overwhelming but fortunately we don't have to 'digest' everything at once! The FastBreak program is a good way to start.
Another nice thing about SparkPeople is that we have permission to be human - we don't have to change everything at once or be in a hurry to reach our goals. Take a few baby steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have completed a long journey - I hope you enjoy this community as much as I have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
Lynda in Orange County, So Calif
God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden
"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
Fitness Minutes: (54,521)
19,188 5/13/11 10:21 A
First your question - yes, you can. I click on the button to add a food not listed and put all the information in. Then make sure you click the box adding it to your favorites.
Welcome to Spark! I've been here since Nov. 9, 2009 and have really learned a lot about myself, food, and exercising. I truly feel joining Spark was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I've managed to lose over 100 pounds in that time. One of the best tools is the nutrition tracker. You will be shocked when you enter a typical day's food! Try to track everything you eat and stay within your limits. Donít panic if you slip - we all do! Just put it behind you, you canít change it, and move on. One of the main concepts at Spark is to take two steps forward for each step back! The fitness tracker is also a great tool. You can track your steps, mileage, cardio exercise, and strength exercises. It will tell you how many calories you have burned. Take time to make lots of Friends and tell them when you reach a goal or are having a hard time. They are here with praise and support all the time! Don't be afraid to ask any question, no matter how silly you think it is. Take time to explore Spark. Read and respond to message boards, blogs, and other members' pages. Join challenges on teams. The help, support, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and friendship you will receive is awesome! The site can be confusing at times but just keep looking around. There is really a lot of valuable information here! Feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way. Drop by my page to say hi. Stay focused, determined, and positive - you will be successful! Sheila
Sheila "Stay focused on your goals, determined to reach them, and positive that you will!" Aspire & Inspire Team ~ Co-leader A & I September BSG - Splendid Sparks
Fitness Minutes: (375)
5/13/11 10:16 A
If you eat a lot of the same foods and take a few supplements can you add them to stay on your nutrition tracker permanently?
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