I don't use the meal plans either. But occasionally I switch on that feature just to see what it says, and I get some ideas for foods to put together that I wouldn't have thought of.
I joined Weight Watchers a long time ago and it was impossible for me to follow, for the very reasons you describe. Back then it would call for half a grapefruit one day.... then not again for two weeks. Or it would say 1/4 cup of red kidney beans. Then no kidney beans for a few weeks. What am I supposed to do with the rest of the can? I'm sure WW has changed since then, but a lot of diet "plans" have this shortcoming. Not practical for real life.
Plus, there's nothing like someone telling me to eat X that makes me want to eat Y instead..
I am sure the Spark diet works for some people. You have figured out what works for you, and should do that. The meal plans on here are a guide for the nutritionally clueless who have no plan, and it gives them structure, and a plan to follow.
If you had no plan, then the Spark diet would look pretty good. I personally choose low carb, and see great results, but if I didn't have a plan, or was still eating Pepsi, tacos, and Ho-Ho's, I would see great results by sticking to the Spark plan.
I think a majority of people follow their own plan, or have a variation of the Spark diet, without following the meal plans, but that doesn't mean that the diet doesn't work,
For me, the food on the Spark Diet causes me to binge, so I can't follow it, but if I could, maybe I would have lost the same amount of weight that I have on low carb. The Spark Diet is just one method of losing weight, and while any plan works for some, none work for all, so if you find something that works for you, and is easy to stick to.. do that..
I do my own food, and just track. For me it taught me about food. Why I choose this, why I choose that. It taught me to read food labels, it taught me to hunt for alternatives to high calorie, high fat foods,...because those are the skills I need to keep the weight off for the rest of my life.
Some people look to get ideas from the meal plans, or to look for things that they hadn't thought of.
In the end, it's what works for you. Just like how some people here do low carb, it's what works for them. There is no right or wrong, its what works for the individual ;)
I have never used the meal plans. I prefer to eat what I like and what is in season and/or on sale.
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5 4/17/14 9:03 A
I agree.....and next week, I will sample the meals I didn't eat this week. There are some things I don't mind eating everyday. Like oatmeal, or my Quest protein bars as one of my snacks. I just needed help in the dinner and lunch department. Again, cooking for 1 is kind of a chore...so, this really helped.
It sounds like you've hit on a good plan! I think a lot of times with "meal plans", they do a different thing every day so you can see the maximum amount of variety you could *possibly* put together. I don't think all that many people actually eat that way, though.
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5 4/17/14 8:30 A
Well, on my own I was having a hard time coming with up with new ideas to keep me from being bored....I decided to see what Spark had to offer. When I looked at a week's worth of food, almost NONE of the meals repeated....then when I saw the grocery list I almost had a stroke! I decided to play around a little....starting on Sunday, I made all of next week's breakfasts the same, and both of my snacks for each day the same (2 different snacks per day, but the same two snacks all week) and I decided to give myself two choices for lunch, 3 choices for dinner and within each meal subbed out whatever I don't like (tangerine for grapes, etc...) So instead of having 30 different meals for the week, I have 8 meals for the week. The grocery list is much easier to look at, the meal planning will be easier. It's just 1 adult eating this way in my house (husband is out on a boat, daughter is 9 months) so before I played around with the menus for each day, the grocery list was just too complicated for 1 person and way too expensive. Now it looks more realistic. I don't know ANYONE who has 27-30 different meals a week!! Sometimes, you have leftovers or you repeat meals. Right now, my breakfast is the same everyday and my snacks are always the same, but switch them up each week. My issue really was with finding inventive things to do for lunch and dinner for 1 person. So this Saturday I will print out my grocery list for next week and go shopping based on how I switched things up. So basically I am using it as a "go by" as well. I love how everything is completely customizable though, if you like the basic premises of a meal, but want to sub out or two things...you can, or you can change the meal completely all together. It's awesome! =) Thanks for your response.
I've never used the Spark diet for anything more than a "go by"-- an example of how to put together a day's worth of food, meeting my ranges for carbs/fat/protein etc while staying within my calorie range. For example... it might say fish (I don't like fish) and brown rice and asparagus (not overly fond of asparagus). So I'd plan to broil some chicken, have the brown rice, and exchange broccoli for the asparagus.
In order to meet our budget and not drive myself crazy, working every day and having to cook a "fresh" meal every night, I often cook in large batches and we eat leftovers a lot. So the meal plan doesn't exactly work for that, either.
I just used it as a way to learn about nutrition and healthy choices.
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5 4/17/14 7:52 A
Has anyone followed the given sparkdiet and lost weight? Or does most everyone just use the food tracker to track their own food? I am trying to decide if I'd like to follow the diet they are giving me or not. Please advise, thanks!
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