Sparkpeople vs. MyFitnessPal: One is silver and the other gold
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I credit SparkPeople for helping me lose a herculean 15 pounds in a first-time effort. Since then I've moved on to MyFitnessPal for its mobile app and because my real-life friends are using it. But I've never closed my SP account, despite the temptation to do so. Here's why:
1. Adjustable reports. I started tracking my weight online in 2008 on SparkPeople, but MFP only lets me see one year's worth of weight-loss data. I fell away from SparkPeople for interim periods but the time I invested in inputting data is still there. It feels good to see a multi-year chart tracking my losses and gains.
2. Anonymity. Blogging about weight-loss and being unemployed can be hard to do with a name and face. SparkPeople lets me get comfortable with these stigma-filled experiences in a public space. Before SparkPeople I would never have told real-life friends my weight. This changed as I started revealing personal details to complete strangers into a server and system run by corporations that made money from having me do so. It brought me to stronger relationships and a better sense of self.
3. Shinier, happier, more productive nutrition reports. When I used SP to count calories, I had a much better sense of how well I was eating. Since I'm not going to input my food into two systems, it would be nice if I could easily download and import my food and weight info from one to another.
I'm going to stick with MFP since the app is free and helps me keep in touch with people I know in the non-Cylon world. It's also a light and simple website. But as long as SP is around for free, I'll let them reel me in from time to time.