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ETHELMERZ SparkPoints: (200,901)
Fitness Minutes: (180,530)
Posts: 14,351
5/12/14 3:56 P

Depends upon which year you are asking about, Richard Simmon's "Deal A Meal" worked well for over a year, back in 1989. Weight Watchers worked well in 1968, 1972, 1982, and 1995, Low Carb worked well in 2004, and Diabetic Plan worked well in 2007. After that, just eating less of any thing, really, helps, but there will never be a "cure", only now and then control.

MTN_KITTEN SparkPoints: (112,776)
Fitness Minutes: (38,705)
Posts: 4,382
5/12/14 3:52 P

I use SparkPeople for my motivation and support.

I follow a modified Weight Watcher food exchange (not counting points!!!!). I am milk intolerant and reduce the carbs ... limited bread, pasta, rice, things that are white.

I walk five days a week and have slowly increased my time to 45 minutes. I will start interval walking soon.

We all can lose weight doing anything that is out there ... but I want to change behaviors that will get me to healthy.

5/12/14 3:21 P

Exercise program has to have variety or else I burn out. There was an article in Spark about 'having an affair' at the gym- it was about cheating on your usual routine and trying those machines you always pass. It was helpful.

When I'm tired of the classes at the gym, I can run during lunch at work. When I'm tired of that, I can hike or work out at home.

DEANSDAD Posts: 71
5/12/14 1:46 P

The "best" diet is the one that works for you. A "no brainer" comment, but a truism none the less.

For me, there is no, single, one "best", "diet", "plan", "program" (or whatever one wants to call it) - there are parts of some that are good, parts of others that are too. It's also not just about "diet" or weight loss (again, for "me") - but rather about long term health and wellness.

For many (most?), the single most effective action they can take to radically improve their long term wellness prospects is weight loss (especially abdominal fat loss) - but, obviously, for someone who has already accomplished that (by meeting a goal that puts them in the generally accepted "healthy" range for their particular circumstances), their focus should be on "maintenance" - not further weight reduction.

A "healthy" diet, to a very large degree, is defined by what one "believes" to be healthy. I'm pretty sure that if you put 5 "thinking" (not "sheeple") people in a room, you will never get 2 to agree 100% on what a "healthy" diet is. One will believe meat, eggs, butter, bread, carbs, whatever, will kill you. Another will have a different set of items but an equally strong belief that they will "never" pass their lips. That's not likely to change any time soon, and from my perspective, isn't something worth wasting time attempting to "convert" those who "believe" differently than I.

I do; however, think that offering and sharing actual "facts" (based on legitimate research studies with documented conclusions) - not to "convert", but rather to "inform", IS worth spending time doing. To a lesser degree, anecdotal ("this worked/did not work - for me") CAN be valuable input, IF offered with enough detail to be considered relevant. The plethora of "no", "yes", "SP", "I will never..." - sparkie points posts (which SP expressly prohibits according to the TOS, but fails to enforce), are worse than just time and bandwidth wasters - they unfortunately tend to influence those too lazy to think for themselves.

Of the 10 posts in your thread (so far, and 9 not 10 - not counting your original question):
1 is likely a "sparkie point" post,
3 suggest an "other" (or of their own making) - "plan",
3 specifically mention the Spark plan (with varying degrees of success),
2 favor "combo" type plans. (3, if you include my "vote")

I, like many (most?) others here have tried (and usually, ultimately, failed long term) many different approaches over the years. All of those approaches were based on the traditional "diet and exercise are all you need" - "conventional wisdom" suggestions and recommendations which have prevailed for so long. I'm proud to say that "none" of them involved "fad" or "magic bullet" scams like those promoted by the shamdoc wizard and his infomercial in disguise, dog and pony show .

For the most part, each worked - short term. Lost the weight, met the goal, and (like probably the vast majority of others here) eventually gained it back.

When I finally accepted the fact that, for whatever reason, I just don't have the "willpower" strong enough to overcome my (Italian?) genetic(?), predisposition to enjoy every last morsel of REALLY good food - and that no ONE plan was going to change that, I came to the same conclusion that (I think), you have - "I may need something else, also"

Perhaps we arrived at similar conclusions for different reasons, but for me, at least, and based on my results to date, I firmly believe it's the "right" one for me and may well work for others as well.

Long way around to get to the point of replying to your question, but (finally) we're there (well, "close" at least). What works for me is a "combo" program, picking and choosing from the various "parts" of different approaches.

Essentially it goes like this:
1. Intermittent Fasting (IF) - similar to the 5:2 or 16:8 plans - both for initial weight reduction and for the (proven and documented) long term benefits of fasting in general;
2. Use of a rigid, daily, "tracking" program, both to document results (weight, waist circumference, etc.) and variables (like caloric intake), and to provide on-going motivation and focus. I actually use two separate aps, (LoseIT and a spreadsheet of my own design) in order to incorporate the various items that are important to me,
3. Spark Recipes (which I believe to be among, if not "the" best, online) when planning a "healthy" diet that meets the daily calorie limits generated by LoseIT for either weight loss or (hopefully soon), maintenance, and, Spark Forums which CAN be an effective "support" mechanism when they are not drowned out by the "I'll get a sparkie point by posting dribble" - foolishness.
4. Belviq, a newly discovered (and FDA tested and approved), appetite suppression medication that not only enhances my "willpower challenged" ability to resist the "I'm hungries", but has also demonstrated a number of potential benefits (and without the "stimulant" effects of previous meds). In my particular case, I firmly believe that this component of the program is essential and responsible for my current state of mind being able to say, "Yes, I CAN do this, long term". For others, who have demonstrated to themselves that they can "do it" (long term), it wouldn't be necessary. (And, as of this date, it is only available in the US and there is no other "or equal" alternative I can recommend.)

I'm more than willing to provide any detail on any of the components that you (or others) may be interested in, and in the interest of "full disclosure", I have absolutely no "vested interest" in any of the components, no "referral links", and, don't specifically endorse any of the "retail - for sale" items on any of the sites (including Spark), that I offer links to.

I have, however, started a website (very much in its infancy and very much a "work in progress") to which I can refer people rather than repeating the same details over and over again in response to questions folks have. Quite honestly, it just became overwhelming and too time consuming to do so properly on the various forums and I was missing (and therefor, failing to respond to), too many posts that were "bumped" down in the Que.

Thanks for listening and here's the link:

I apologize in advance for the "clouds" interference (I'll get that corrected - eventually), and suggest you start with the "About Us" page - a recent addition I forgot to update on the "start" page.

Edited by: DEANSDAD at: 5/12/2014 (13:59)
5/12/14 1:21 P

2,053 Calories/Day
Carbs - 257g
Protein - 154g
Fat - 46g

This is my baseline macro nutrient intake

My exercise program is Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 program

SUZKEE SparkPoints: (132,474)
Fitness Minutes: (65,019)
Posts: 257
5/12/14 12:57 P

I am doing the Insulin Resistance Diet and it is the only one that seems to be working for me long run! I still track every bite on spark nutrition tracker and keep track of my fitness too! emoticon

MJEFFERSON23 SparkPoints: (32,691)
Fitness Minutes: (16,395)
Posts: 1,280
5/12/14 9:14 A

I'm pretty exclusive to SP too, but I think I may need something else, also.

5/12/14 8:15 A

Eating real food. Lots of fresh veggies and some fruit. Low sugar, low bread.

LIFENPROGRESS SparkPoints: (113,903)
Fitness Minutes: (17,838)
Posts: 4,275
5/12/14 1:00 A

I lost 66 pounds with SP in 2009 and then thought I could go on without it. I "went on" to gain it ALL back.

Now I'm back with the Spark People program and losing weight again.

It's Spark People for me! emoticon

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 22,042
5/11/14 11:10 P

"Does anyone do anything other than Spark People?"

No need to! Everything I could want is right here.

SANDICANE Posts: 3,395
5/11/14 11:02 P

watching calories and lower carbs

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (478,234)
Fitness Minutes: (206,984)
Posts: 24,843
5/11/14 10:24 P

Limiting carbs and working out a few days a week really make a difference to me

5/11/14 9:22 P

I'm doing spark and Zumba and walking.

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
5/11/14 5:32 P


LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
5/11/14 4:56 P

I tried My Fitness Pal and didn't like it as much as Spark.

I just started using a FitBit and while I'm finding the information interesting I don't think it is the end all and be all of diet aids.

I think a combination of tools that give you information that you can use to assess your diet and activity are good, whatever they are.

Same thing with exercise. I have a rower, a Nordic Ski Machine and an elliptical. I vary my routine with those and a couple of aerobic videos and a mini trampoline and free weights.

MJEFFERSON23 SparkPoints: (32,691)
Fitness Minutes: (16,395)
Posts: 1,280
5/10/14 9:54 A

Does anyone do anything other than Spark People? What do you do? How is it working for you?

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