Technical FAQ's Page


This page provides answers to common questions on using our site and system. Here are few quick things that will help with your experience on the site:
  1. If you use a popup blocker, make sure you enable popups from SparkPeople.com. This allows you to get greater functionality and use all of the tools the site has to offer (although we never sell popups ourselves.)
  2. If you are asked to login more than once during a session, we recommend you to enable cookies. Visit Google for tips on enabling cookies.
  3. Our site works best on Internet Explorer.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



FAQ ANSWERS


How do I change my email, username, password or message board profile?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com.
  2. Click the "Account/Email Preferences" link, located at the upper left of the MySpark page, under your username.
  3. Here you can change your profile, email setup, and more.
  4. Save your changes at the bottom of the screen by clicking the Save & Submit button once.
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My report graphs are not showing up; what can I do?

If you cannot see your reports, it is likely because you are behind an Internet firewall. If you are behind a firewall you can try to open up Port 2005. This should allow you to see your graphs. Unfortunately we cannot provide more details on how to open this Port, since there are thousands of firewalls on the market today.

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I want to totally re-start my program, how do I reset my goals?
  1. Log into www.sparkpeople.com and go to Account/Email Preferences (located on the top left of your MySpark page).
  2. Click the “Reset Goals” button.
  3. All goals and everything you have tracked will be removed if you reset your goals.
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I don’t know why I’m not getting SparkPoints for specific activities. What should I do?


Make sure to check past days to see if you have points, and click the "info" button next to each task to find out more. Unfortunately, we can't check into your SparkPoints for you.

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When doing tasks on the site I often notice the date is incorrect. Does SparkPeople adjust my program for my time zone?


Our site is always set on Eastern Time, where our servers are located. If you are on the West Coast of the United States and enter food at 10:00 PM local time, by default you'll be entering food for the next day. Simply use the date navigation at the top of the page to return to another date.

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Why isn't my Remember Me feature working?
    There are a few possibilities. A little troubleshooting to try:
  1. Make sure that Cookies are "enabled" so the program can remember your info. Go to this page to learn how to enable cookies for your browser: http://www.google.com/cookies.html.
  2. You may have too many Temporary Files stored in your browser. To clear out these temporary files (using Internet Explorer), find the Tools:Internet Options menu item. Under the General tab in the Temporary Internet Files box, you'll see a button to Delete Files. Click that. It'll likely take a few minutes for those files to delete.
  3. Make sure that you have the latest version of your browser.
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I’m not getting emails from SparkPeople. What can I do?


There are a few possibilities. Here are a few things to try:
  1. Check your e-mail’s spam filter or junk folder to make sure the messages are not getting caught there. To prevent this from happening, add mailer@sparkpeople.com to your address book.
  2. If that does not work, contact your Internet service provider to make sure they are not blocking the emails.
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How do I edit my calorie goal? (as well as carbs, fat, protein, etc.)
  1. Go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click on "Change diet goals" to the top right of your MySpark page.
  3. Click "continue" at the bottom of your program setup pages until you arrive on your nutrition program summary page, with all of your nutrition goals listed.
  4. Click edit next to your caloric goal.
  5. Replace our recommendations with your new goals and click "save" to the bottom right of the box.
  6. Click "continue" and "finish" at the bottom of each screen to save your changes and exit your program setup.
Note: The meal plans will adjust for your new caloric goal, still following American Heart Association guidelines. However, if you change other nutrition goals such as carbs or protein, your meal plans will not adjust for these changes, but will still follow AHA recommendations.

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How can I track other nutrients, like calcium, folic acid, Vitamin C, etc.?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click on Change Diet Goals.
  3. Click the "Continue" button until you reach the Your Nutrition Program page with a list of nutrients.
  4. Click "Add Another Nutrient" and select the nutrient you want to track from the drop-down list.
  5. Click "Save."
  6. Click "Continue" until you get back to your MySpark page.
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What if I don't want to follow the meal plans and want to track the food I decide to eat?

We realize not everyone wants to follow a meal plan, so we allow you to find and track nutrition information from our 10,000+ item food database.
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Click the "Add A Food" button.
  3. Type the food you want to look for in the box that says “search for foods by name” and click Search.
  4. Select the food that you had, or is closest to what you had.
  5. Type in your serving size. Note: The down arrow usually has other serving size choices. You can also type in decimals for your serving size. For example, .25, 1.5, etc.
  6. Select the meal you would like to add this to. Select the checkbox to add this food to your Favorites list if you would like to access it quickly in the future.
  7. Click "Add Food" at the bottom to add this to your nutrition tracker for that day.
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I eat the same breakfast every day; how can I group foods together to easily add them each day?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Click the "Add A Food" button.
  3. Click on the Food Groupings tab.
  4. Click "Create New Food Grouping."
  5. Click "Add Food" to choose your 1st item in the food grouping.
  6. Search for the food you want and choose the closest match, along with serving size.
  7. Click "Add Food" to add it to your new grouping.
  8. Do this for every food in your grouping.
  9. When your Food Grouping is complete, click "Finished," then click "Next."
  10. Name your Food Grouping and click "Save Food Grouping."
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How can I edit items in my Favorites list?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Click the "Add A Food" button.
  3. Click on the Favorites tab.
  4. Click "Edit."
  5. Click "Remove" next to the item(s) you'd like to remove.
  6. Unfortunately, you cannot change information for items in your Favorites list.
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I can’t find a food I ate in your database, but I have the nutrition information from the label. How can I enter this?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Click the "Add A Food" button.
  3. In the Food Search tab, click "Enter Food Not Listed."
  4. Name your food.
  5. Select the serving size and the measurement by clicking on the down arrow next to the numeric serving sizes. (Note: you can type decimals for the serving size, such as .5, 1.25, etc.)
  6. Type in any information you would like to track from the nutrition label.
  7. When done, click "Save Food." It will appear in the search box.
  8. Enter how much you ate and select which meal you'd like to add it to.
  9. If you want to add it to your Favorites list, click the checkbox.
  10. Click "Add Food" to add it to the day's tracking.
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How can I enter food from a previous day?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Near the top of the page, you'll see "Food For" and today's date.
  3. Click on arrows to the left or right of this date to scroll forward and backward in time.
  4. OR Click on the calendar icon to see a calendar pop up and click on the day you'd like to track.
  5. Track your food as you normally would.
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How do I add my own recipes to the Nutrition Tracker?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page.
  2. Click the “Add a Food” button.
  3. Click on the Food Groupings tab.
  4. Click “Create a New Food Grouping.”
  5. Click “Add a Food” to chose your first ingredient in the recipe.
  6. Search for the ingredient you want and choose the closest match, along with the serving size.
  7. Click “Add a Food” to add it to your new food grouping.
  8. Do this for every ingredient in your recipe.
  9. When your food grouping is complete, click “Finished,” then click “Next.”
  10. Name your recipe and click “Save Food Grouping.”
You can add each ingredient as it appears in the recipe, or divide each by the number of servings. For example, if the recipe serves 4, you can divide each ingredient by 4. Then each time you add this food to your tracker, you would put in “1” as the serving size. If you add the entire recipe as it is (and you eat 1 serving), you’ll have to enter .25 (1/4) as the serving size.

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I don't like the meal plan I've been given, or some of the foods in it. How can I change or substitute it?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Nutrition page
  2. To change a specific food in the Meal Plan, simply click the food. You'll see a list of options with similar nutritional values. Choose the option you want by clicking the Choose button and it will automatically be substituted into your Meal Plan.
  3. To change an entire meal, click on the "Substitute" button to the right of that meal. At this point, you can substitute individual items still (with the Substitute button), or choose another meal from the list (with the Choose This Meal button). When you choose a meal, it will automatically be substituted into your Meal Plan.
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How do I change my diet stage?
  1. Go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click on "switch diet stage" to the top right of your MySpark page.
  3. Click on "move to this diet stage" at the bottom of the diet stage that you desire.
  4. Select the green arrow to the right of this diet stage to agree to the change.
  5. Click the green arrow on your diet stage summary.
  6. Arrive on your MySpark page and get started in your new diet stage.
You can switch stages whenever you are ready. Some people like to take a little more time in a particular stage, and that’s okay.

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I sent a photo from my camera phone to your Food Pics feature and the picture is not on my account? What can I do?


Since there are hundreds of camera phones and wireless providers on the market, we cannot guarantee our Food Pics feature will work with your phone. If you picture does not appear on your Nutrition page within 10 minutes of sending to us, it’s likely there is a problem between your phone and our system. Unfortunately we cannot check into your particular problem.

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How do I post to the message boards?
  1. Go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click on your Community tab to the top right of the page.
  3. Click "Go" on the message board box to the top left of your Community page.
  4. Select a forum you would like to join by clicking on it. (You could click on the "introduce yourself" board to get started.)
  5. Select a topic by clicking on it.
  6. Click "reply" to the left of a post that you would like to respond to. Once you have completed your message, click post message. Note*** You can subscribe to a discussion by selecting "subscribe to this discussion" to the top right of the topic page. If you choose this option, you will receive an email when someone has a new reply to this discussion. If you do not reply to this email, you will be unsubscribed to that discussion thread.
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How do I edit a message board post?
  1. Go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click on your Community tab to the top right of your page.
  3. Click "Go" on the message board box to the top left of your Community Page.
  4. Click "Search the message boards" to the top right of the All Forums Page.
  5. Click on "See my recent posts"
  6. Select your recent post topic you would like to edit by clicking on the topic name.
  7. Click edit to the bottom left of your post.
  8. Make any changes you would like within your message and click "post message" to the bottom right of the box.
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How do I add the weight loss ticker to my Message Board posts?
  1. Go to your MySpark page.
  2. Click the "Account/Email Preferences" link, located at the upper left of the page.
  3. Click "Add/Edit Message Board Profile".
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the weight loss ticker.
  5. Check the box that says "Yes, show my weight loss ticker."
  6. Put in your starting weight and goal weight (current weight will be updated automatically.)
  7. Select your ticker icon.
  8. Select your ticker background.
  9. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.
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How do I track my calories burned?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Fitness page
  2. In the Cardio Exercise box, click on the "Add Cardio" button.
  3. You can Search or Browse to find your exercise, or choose from your list of Favorites.
  4. To Search, type in the exercise, click Search and choose the closest match. Then enter the # of minutes and which day you'd like to add it to, and click the "Add Exercise" button. To have easy access to this exercise later, add this exercise to your Favorites list by clicking the checkbox.
  5. To Browse, click on the Browse tab, choose a category from the drop-down list and then click the "Browse" button. Choose the closest match, and enter the # of minutes and the day you'd like to add it to. Click the checkbox if you want to add it to your Favorites list, then click the "Add Exercise" button.
  6. To choose a Favorite, click on the Favorites tab and choose an exercise from the drop-down list. Then simply enter the # of minutes and the day you'd like to add it to, and click the "Add Exercise" button.
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How do I add my own strength training exercises to the Exercise Tracker?
  1. Login to www.sparkpeople.com and go to your Exercise page.
  2. Click the “Add Strength Exercises” button.
  3. Click on the User Entered tab.
  4. Click the “Add a new user entered exercise.”
  5. Name your exercise, select the body part (from the dropdown menu), enter the number of sets and the number of reps. Click “submit” and close the window.
  6. Click on the name of the exercise you just entered to add it to your plan.
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Why won’t the fitness plans allow me to strength train on consecutive days?


The fitness plans currently provide total body workouts. We recommend at least one day of rest in between exercises for the same muscle groups. This allows the muscles time for rest and repair.

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Still didn't find an answer? E-mail us at support@sparkpeople.com.