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MISSRUTH Posts: 4,075
2/25/14 6:47 A

I've never used the Spark meal plans.... I'm sort of picky plus the meal plans came up with some rather odd stuff-- I'm not vegetarian and didn't check "vegetarian" for the plan, but it gave me a week of vegetarian meals. The meal plans are interesting, in that it will show you that meals need to include lean protein, carbs, healthy fats. But I'd rather choose my own foods.

There is a wealth of information here on Spark, on making healthy choices. So really, you don't have to use the meal plans if you don't want to. I like to preplan my day, so I can play around with my choices and balance things out. I don't want to end up with it being 8 p.m. and I realize I'm way low on the protein for the day.

Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh
WATCHFORBEARSOK SparkPoints: (7,867)
Fitness Minutes: (562)
Posts: 41
2/24/14 10:00 P

Being picky and a pescatarian I've found it easier not to use the preplanned meals.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
2/24/14 9:41 A

That's so great!!!!

For me in the beginning I was pretty lost!! Then I started to use the tracker religiously, and that helped so much. The portions I was used to eating were mammoth - and I really had no idea of the calorie amounts, carbs and fats I was consuming.

I do a form of low carb - I base my choices on the GI index - the lower the better. This gives me a wider food choice range than, say Atkins or South Beach (nothing wrong with those programs), here is an example of the things I researched: .

The Diet/Nutrition thread always have great topics about foods, calories, carbs, fiber, etc. - and you can meet a lot of great people there, too :)

The best thing you can do for yourself is to track, read labels (or google), or just in general learn about nutrition. Knowledge is power!!!!

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
CONCETTA62 SparkPoints: (158)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 5
2/24/14 8:27 A

Thank You EELPIE ! I also need that freedom to choose what I want because I NEED to learn how to eat what I want the right way . I have also started to do a lot of homework on the things I eat and am trying to mostly get a grip on my carb intake , so hard but I'm trying !!

I REALLY do appreciate the support , you guys rock !! emoticon

CONCETTA62 SparkPoints: (158)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 5
2/24/14 8:23 A


Good Morning and thank you so very much for you input, just what I needed to embark in this journey !!

Congrats on your FANTASTIC weight loss , hope I can follow in your footsteps !!

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
2/24/14 7:57 A

Some people need the structure of a "plan or "pre-prepared" recipes, some do it themselves, neither way is right, it's what works best for the person.

I choose my own foods, it just fits me better to have that freedom. The most important thing to do if choosing your own foods is to read labels of foods, or google the foods (calories wonder bread, calories avocado, calories cherries) - then enter it into your tracker.

Some people pre-track for the day (enter everything in they plan on eating for the day, and not deviating) and some do like I do - track as you go, making your next meal choice based on how many calories, carbs, etc., are left in the day.

Good luck!!

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
FIT4MEIN2013 SparkPoints: (134,510)
Fitness Minutes: (102,935)
Posts: 4,972
2/23/14 10:13 P

Or, don't use the meal plans at all! (I have never used them). I am a picky eater and won't eat many of the foods listed. You need to make your weightloss plan YOUR plan, otherwise you will never stick with it. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Jaynee-Pacific Time Goal reached with 130# loss, 138# total loss

Exercise, eat, track, repeat!!

CONCETTA62 SparkPoints: (158)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 5
2/21/14 8:22 A

Oh Thank You so very much !!! I was a little panicked there for a sec............ I like the fact that meals are sort of planned for you but needed to incorporate my own preferences and could not figure it out emoticon

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,105)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,734
2/21/14 8:15 A

Next to each meal is a box that says "Change." Click on that and see if what you want is in the substitutes list.


Even with the meal plans turned on, the items are only tracked if you check the box next to them. Use the add button to add what you want and just don't check the boxes of the things you didn't eat.

CONCETTA62 SparkPoints: (158)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 5
2/21/14 8:07 A

I'm new to sparkpeople and am a little confused!! I see that meal plans are planned to make it easier but I would like to know how (as weight watchers does) to substitute items on the meal plans for something that I like that is not in the substitution list. For example I do not eat Yoplait yogurt but I like Kefir yogurt and I don't know how to eliminate the yoplait to incorporate my choice , please help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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