The levels are based on how many sparkpoints you have. Theoretically you could log a ton of points, never lose a pound, and still get to each next level and get a shiny new trophy. Currently I'm level 11 - I was also level 11 when I was 5 pounds heavier and I also decided "this is too hard!" and I didn't come on here for like 4 months.
Spark Stages focused more on where you were mentally in the process of weight loss, and you advanced after you kept a certain habit for a certain amount of time, or when you mastered a stage. Stages were great, and I'm certain they eliminated them RIGHT before I was about to advance to stage 3, so I was really disappointed. Stage 1 was something like "create positive habits" - drinking lots of water, planning healthy snack, walking 10 minutes a day, things like that. Each stage added more good habits.
Fitness Minutes: (5,334)
6/7/13 2:33 P
I'm going to hit stage 6 today, and I"ve lost the same five pounds over and over and am at my beginning weight.
But I keep logging what I eat, no matter how much, and reading emails and articles and interacting on message boards and drinking the water so I rack up Spark Points.
That does sound more like a snack. Remember the menu is a guideline, you don't have to follow it. I don't follow the SP menu because I find it significantly lacking in protein. Most days the menu only has me eating meat once and it's a tiny portion. If I ate the SP menu my blood sugars would be out of control. Way to much starchy grain for me. I eat vegetables instead of grains, which are so much healthier for you.
Spark stages still exist? I thought that was eliminated a year ago! If you dig you can still find the descriptions but I didn't know you could still be "in" a stage...
That was your dinner rec? That sounds like a snack! How much over did it go? That doesn't sound like it could have been more than 300 or so calories...
Fitness Minutes: (45,927)
905 6/7/13 10:22 A
What really helps me stay on track for calories is to pre-log everything for the day. This requires knowing what you're going to eat for each meal beforehand, but if you are following Spark's meal plan then that shouldn't be an issue.
ONE - how do you see what stage you are in? I haven't found that yet....
Fitness Minutes: (1,855)
6/7/13 9:45 A
Honestly, it's hard for me to do the meal plans because I live in podunk and have to grocery shop every two weeks. I plan my own food. I cook. I eat a lot of fruit. Apples and pears are both pretty easy. I use some of the spark recipes, but regular recipes are ok too if you make them fit in with your allotted calories. It takes the guesswork out.
Fitness Minutes: (18,019)
421 6/7/13 4:46 A
The meal was 1 English Muffin, 3 Tb Cream Cheese, 4 Tb Hummus, 10 medium baby carrots. I trusted the site to give me the right directions; I should have opted to not have everything on the list. Do you have any other suggestions?
Fitness Minutes: (19,498)
6/7/13 2:32 A
It's hard to say about the meal going over without seeing it....
Fitness Minutes: (18,019)
421 6/6/13 11:07 P
Apparently today SP moved me to Stage 4. I don't understand. I have only lost 6 lbs. in the 2 months on SP, how did they move me to a new stage?
Also, today I followed the dinner menu from my tracker perfectly, and the meal went over the maximum allowed calories. SP posted it for me to eat. I ate it. And it was too many calories; how does that happen?