Now in Paperback: 'The Spark,' with Secrets to a Strong Start

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We have some great news! The paperback edition of Chris "SparkGuy" Downie's New York Times best-selling book, The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life is now available. (Can I get a WooHoo!?)

We're really excited to share this new and updated version of the book with you--at a new low price (under $11 at some retailers!). In addition to all of the great features found in the original, the paperback contains our Strong Start Guide, written by SparkGuy and Coach Nicole, which shares the proven strategies to lose twice the weight in two weeks--and keep it off! What you do in the first two weeks can make or break your weight-loss program, and we found out what works. (The paperback version is updated and is the only place you'll find the all-new Strong Start Guide!)

Previous SparkPeople research that found that 50 percent of people report losing their momentum within two weeks of starting a diet, and 18 percent within three days. And once the momentum is gone, the diet usually fizzles. To discover the secrets of a strong start that builds momentum, SparkPeople did a new in-depth survey of over 2,000 of its members and found that ‘strong starters’ lost twice as much weight in the first two weeks and were five times more likely to reach their ultimate goal than 'false starters' because they took certain actions and avoided others in the first two weeks of a weight loss plan.

The survey's most counterintuitive conclusions: focus less on weight loss and you'll lose more of it, and shorter workouts lead to greater weight loss than longer ones. You'll have to buy the book to read the entire Strong Start Guide, but you'll find the key findings below--along with details on free deals and other cool extras (like a free bonus “SparkPeople Issue” of All You magazine with 100 pages of additional healthy living tips, advice & success stories!!) you'll get when you buy the book!

Key Findings of the "Strong Start" Survey

The Most Noteworthy Conclusion: Focus less on your weight – and you'll lose more of it!

About the survey
Having quantified in a previous poll the crucial nature of maintaining momentum in the first two weeks of a weight-loss program, SparkPeople conducted a 45-question survey of more than 2,000 active members to compare the strategies and techniques that members did and did not employ to get off to a "strong start" or a "false start."

"Strong starters” were survey respondents who felt they had a good start, reported meeting their initial expectations, and consistently lost weight for at least eight consecutive weeks. “False starters,” in contrast, did not feel good about the start of their programs and failed to meet their expectations for their first two weeks.

Weight Loss Results
  • Almost half of strong starters lost five or more pounds in the first two weeks; the remainder dropped 2-4 pounds.

  • 60 percent of false starters lost one pound or less during their first two weeks and fewer pounds over time than strong starters, as the momentum of a strong start proved critical to longer-term success.

  • Overall, strong starters lost twice as much weight in the first two weeks and were five times more likely to reach their goal by the end of the survey period.

Secrets to a Strong Start
  1. Track Food and Calories: Both strong and false starters ranked "food tracking" as the one action that made the biggest difference in their programs. 82% of strong starters tracked food every day vs. 65% of false starters, and strong starters were twice as likely to track their calories.

  2. Don't put certain foods off limits: Strong starters were less likely to label foods "good" or "bad" and forsake certain foods, and were three times more likely to use portion control techniques that supported consumption of unhealthier foods in moderation.
  3. Spend LESS time exercising: On average, strong starters exercised for 30 minutes during the first two weeks; false starters for 60 minutes, suggesting that false starters burned themselves out.

  4. Focus on both diet and exercise: 74 percent of strong starters made both fitness and dietary changes from the outset, compared to 50 percent of false starters.

    Want to know the rest of the secrets? Buy the book today!

When you buy "The Spark" paperback, you'll also get these extras:

FREE GIFTS For a limited time only, get a free bonus “SparkPeople Issue” of All You magazine with 100 pages of additional healthy living tips, advice & success stories from SparkPeople's members and experts! FREE with purchase.

FREE ONLINE MEMBERSHIP TO BOOK BONUS PROGRAM You’ll receive free access to EXCLUSIVE Online Bonus Book Program that includes new content, recipes, workouts and downloadable tools from The Spark.

EARN 500 SPARKPOINTS If you buy now, you’ll receive 500 SparkPoints when you get your book and login to the FREE Bonus Book site. Go to page 223 of The Spark to get further details.

Click here to learn more about the book, the bonuses--and where you can buy it (on-sale dates vary by retailer)!

Which of the secrets to a strong start most appeals to you?

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Would it be better to buy "The Spark" paperback? Or, should I buy the newer book "The Spark Solution"? What is the difference? Are the free perks advertised for "The Spark" still available? I would like to see that All You SparkPeople edition. Report
Saving this to favorites Report
I must be an exception. The first three weeks of my diet and exercise program I didn't lose any weight at all. But -- I'd made a 3 month commitment, and I stuck it out. After 3 months, sure enough, I'd lost enough weight and learned that I could eat right and not deprive myself to want to keep going. And I did. It took me 8 months to lose about 30 pounds, but I've kept it off for nearly 6 years. Healthy habits pay off! Just believe that it will work, and keep on keeping on! Report
Oh Joy, another book to add to our collection of "diet books", along with all the fitness magazines, etc. yelling and telling us "eat less, move more". I'll pass, thanks anyway. Been losing and maintaining without the books. Report
WOOHOO! Report
WOOHOO. this will better for carrying in my bag. Report
For those of us who bought the Hardcover book when it came out, where do we find the strong start guide? Report
I am tempted to buy this book, but wonder if it would really help anymore this website already does? There is so much useful info on Spark already! Report
i already have the book - bought it last year and i love it . . . however, time and circumstances (excuses, excuses) have set me back and i'm beginning to read my hardcover copy again . . . the only thing is: i would really like to know what's in that "strong start" section . . . will we, who have already purchased the book, be able to read this section online somewhere? i'm gonna go check the bonus book thingy now . . . Report
I have the paperback there going to be an e book version? Report
I just ordered The Spark today! Didnt pay attention to if it was hardbook or paperback, but it was only $10 so I am thinking paperback :o) Report
I have bought the hard cover. First, I got it from the library and read it. I enjoyed it so much and wanted my own copy so I purchased one online from Walmart for 14.50 and no shipping, I had to pick it up at the store. It is a great book with lots of inspiring stuff Report
is it different from the other book ? or is it the same only in smaller version . Report
I already have The Spark in Hardcover and Audio, cant afford to get anymore Report
I just downloaded this book from Amazon's Kindle for MAC! How cool is that! Report
This is interesting to me. It makes sense why my attempts at weight loss have failed in the past. Taking on too much at once and then wondering why I can't stay with it for more than a week or two. This time I am starting with 10-15 minute routines during my lunch break at work. Report
I still track food. Report
it sounds like a good book to read i would love to get it I am having financial problems right now Report
I already have the hardback, how can I get the strong start guide??? I need help as I have read the book twice and still have not been able to get it. Report
What appeals to me? Knowing that strong starters didn't change everything at once. I'm adding things a bit at a time as I learn new things and enjoying it. Report
How exciting!! I love the Spark! Report
Should be getting it today. Pre-ordered from at the beginning of November. How exciting!! Report
Most excellent Report
Great reading, I will be buying some of these for gifts at Christmas, for those wanting to have a healthier lifestyle! Affordable too! Report
Makes a great christmas gift for those family members and friends that want to become healthier! Report
Spend less time exercising. Time and again I have sabatoged myself by thinking I can race off to a Biggest Loser level of exercise commitment and then throw in the towel because I can't measure up to my success yardstick. The original Spark book was very clear about the benefit of committing to a 10-minute/day exercise routine, and I am glad to see that will continue to be emphasied. I'm just wrapping my head (and feet) around that one now, and I know it will be key to my long-term success. Report
I'm curious about the "exercise less." I have a daily walking habit of 40 minutes in the morning, and 40 minutes in the evening, and then usually a hike or bike ride on the weekends. Should I cut this way back during the first 2 weeks? What should I do with my time? Sit on the couch and watch TV? Report
I think not exercising too much too soon is spot on. Report
Got mine in the post this week. Finished Chapter 1 and on Chapter 2....
Loving it so far!! Report