The SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/ The SparkPeople Blog is a blog brought to you by SparkPeople.com. Topics included in the blog include the latest news in nutrition, fitness, and health, food features, and more. DailySpark.com http://www.dailyspark.com/images/dsp_logo.jpg http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Why Friendly Competition Should Be Built Into Your Action Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=why_friendly_competition_should_be_built_into_your_goals In part two of Chris ''SparkGuy'' Downie's personal blog, he notes the importance of competition in self-improvement, citing one of history's more famous rivalries as an example. Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST 300 Pounds and Counting: Greg's Two-Year Transformation http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=300_pounds_and_counting_gpalmers_twoyear_transformation In just a little over two years, Greg has lost more than 300 pounds and gained a whole new outlook on life. How did he do it? It was simpler than he expected. Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST New Updates Bring Fun--and Magic--to SparkPeople Mobile http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=new_updates_bring_funand_magicto_sparkpeople_mobile Download newest update to SparkPeople Mobile and access new photo filters, stickers and magic! Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:00:00 EST 8 Low-Impact Barre Moves You Can Do Anywhere http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=8_lowimpact_barre_moves_you_can_do_anywhere Barre-based workouts are famous for their ability to make muscles quake with teeny, tiny isometric movements. See what they hype is all about with this workout from The Bar Method. Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST The Stock Photo Struggle: ''Why Don't SparkPeople's Images Look Like Me?'' http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=the_stock_photo_struggle_why_dont_sparkpeoples_images_look_like_me Perhaps you're wondering why we consistently feature average-sized or even thin models in our article and blog images. The answer might actually surprise you. Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST 36 Easy, Breezy No-Cook Summer Recipes http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=36_easy_breezy_nocook_summer_recipes Step away from the stove! You can throw together these healthy, hassle-free summer dishes in minutes -- no oven required. Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:00:00 EST Get Inspired & Get Your Steps With This 1-Mile Walk and Talk http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=get_inspired_get_your_steps_with_this_1mile_walk_and_talk Goals and gratitude go hand-in-hand, especially as you work toward weight loss and a happier, healthier you. Join Jessica Smith for a fun and inspirational one-mile walk and talk. Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST Score Big on Amazon Prime Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=score_big_on_amazon_prime_day Amazon is unloading deals every 5 minutes today for its Prime members--time to stock up! Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST Concert Pianist Gets the Spark She Needs to Play Carnegie Hall http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=concert_pianist_gets_the_spark_she_needs_to_play_carnegie_hall When Jeanne got the chance of a lifetime to perform at Carnegie Hall, she turned to SparkPeople for the support she needed to meet her goals and perform with confidence. Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST How a Plant-Based Diet Changed My Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=how_a_plant_based_diet_changed_my_life What you choose to eat and how you choose to live is a big part of what makes you, you. Learn how one member changed her diet to a plant-based one to live her healthiest life. Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST 21 Ways Alexa Can Help You Lead a Healthier Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=21_ways_alexa_can_help_you_lead_a_healthier_life Got Alexa? If not, it's time to tap into the power of smart fitness technology! Discover 21 high-tech skills that will help you recharge your goals. Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST A Rant Against Unrealistic Diet Expectations http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=a_rant_against_unrealistic_diet_expectations_a_rave_review_for_travelers From the wacky to the unhealthy, celebrity diets always seem to wiggle their way into the news. Read why our editor thinks they're problematic, plus discover a must-have product. Fri, 7 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST 25 Delicious Dishes to Make With Your Spiralizer http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=25_delicious_dishes_to_make_with_your_spiralizer Curious about all the spiralizer hoopla, but not sure how to get started? We've got more than two dozen ways to use this amazing and game-changing kitchen tool. Thu, 6 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EST What a Beach Boys vs. Beatles Rivalry Teaches Us About Competition http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_a_beach_boys_vs_beatles_rivalry_teaches_us_about_competition Does the idea of competition intimidate or inspire you? SparkGuy thinks competition pushes us to be great! Discover how a musical rivalry inspired his blog post this week. Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST The 35 Most Popular Products Members Are Buying Right Now http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=the_35_most_popular_products_members_are_buying_right_now You love gadgets, music, food, athletic wear and other healthy living products almost as much as we do. We dug deep to discover your 35 most popular products to date. Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST 10 Calorie Comparisons That May Surprise You http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=10_calorie_comparisons_that_may_surprise_you Even when you think you're making the right choices, hidden calories are lurking in some seemingly healthy foods. Check out these shocking comparisons! Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Really Work? http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=does_hypnosis_for_weight_loss_really_work Is it a shortcut to skinny... or just a lot of hype? Find out whether weight-loss hypnosis really works, and what to look for if you're considering giving it a try. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers: 16 Scrumptious Ideas http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_to_serve_with_stuffed_peppers_16_scrumptious_ideas Is your stuffed pepper meal rotation feeling a little... stale? Liven things up with these scrumptious side dish ideas! Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Changes are Coming to Some of Our Smaller Apps http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=changes_are_coming_to_some_of_our_smaller_apps Today, we'll be taking a few of our older, smaller apps out of the app stores so we can focus on improving the apps you love the most. Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:00:00 EST Find Your Financial Freedom with Michelle McKinnon http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=find_your_financial_freedom_with_michelle_mckinnon Senior wealth advisor and host of the ''$mart Women'' podcast Michelle McKinnon shares her top tips for finding financial freedom through planning, investing and budgeting. Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Gaga for Garbanzos: 20 Ways to Cook 1 Can of Chickpeas http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=gaga_for_garbanzos_20_ways_to_cook_1_can_of_chickpeas Looking for delicious ways to pack more protein into your diet? We've got 20, and they all have one thing in common: A single can of chickpeas. Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST SparkPeople Runner Shows Boston Who's Boss http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=boston_success_story When Kevin (MOBYCARP) joined SparkPeople in 2011, he never dreamed he'd run a marathon. Six years later, he's completed several, including TWO Boston Marathons. Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST 4 Hula Hoop Moves Your Inner Child Will Love http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=4_hula_hoop_moves_your_inner_child_will_love Kristin Benton discovered hula hooping while trying to lose weight after her first pregnancy. Now, the founder of FXP Fitness shares four of her favorite hula hoop fitness moves. Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST 50 Things to Consider Before Giving up on Your Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=50_things_to_consider_before_giving_up_on_your_goals On the days when everything is going wrong and you can't imagine ever achieving your goals, you'll be happy you bookmarked this motivational list. Never quit on yourself again. Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Why Weight Loss Is Not 80% Diet and 20% Fitness http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=why_weight_loss_is_not_80_diet_and_20_fitness Weight loss comes with a lot of blindly accepted truths, including that success is achieved through 80 percent diet and 20 percent fitness. SparkGuy doesn't exactly agree. Fri, 9 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST SparkFriends Forever: 6 Stories of Friendship and Support http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=sparkfriends_forever_6_stories_of_friendship_and_support Bonds forged through the SparkPeople community happen every day, and, for many, those supportive networks are the glue that holds their ultimate dreams together. Thu, 8 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Low- or No-Calorie Drinks That Won't Sabotage Your Summer Diet http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=Low_or_No_Calorie_Drinks_That_Wont_Sabotage_Your_Summer_Diet These refreshing drinks are safe for summer or any time you want a low- or no-calorie beverage but don't want to wreck your diet. Drink up! Wed, 7 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Relieve, Restore and Reset Your Back with These 10 Products http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=relieve_restore_and_reset_your_back_with_these_10_products Back aches and pains brought on by the rigors of everyday life can become a thing of the past with these 10 products that help you stretch, soothe and strengthen your sore back. Tue, 6 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST 4 Exercises to Strengthen Your Feet http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=4_exercises_to_strengthen_your_feet Feet are the foundation of your body. And with over 100 muscles in your feet and ankles, they can greatly benefit from daily strengthening exercises. Mon, 5 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Start Summer With Socks, Santa and Squats With Schnauzers http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=start_summer_with_socks_santa_and_squats_with_schnauzers Remember when you hated getting socks as a gift? Not anymore. Meet the sock that your sweaty feet will love, plus an inspiring quote and the greatest, cutest squat challenge ever! Fri, 2 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST Announcing: New User Tagging and Notification Features http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=announcing_new_user_tagging_and_notification_features Now you can be sure to never miss out on a conversation again. With the new user tagging features on our site, it's easy to stay in the loop! Thu, 1 Jun 2017 17:00:00 EST 5 Playground Exercises for Parents (and Kids at Heart) http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=7_fun_playground_exercises_to_better_fitness You do not have to belong to a gym, nor do you have to own any fancy workout equipment to get fit and healthy. In fact your local park may just hold the key to getting you fit. Thu, 1 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST 35 Girl Power Anthems to Energize Your Next Workout http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=35_girl_power_anthems_to_energize_your_next_workout Girls just want to have fun--and get fit! Power up for your next workout with these sweat-inducing, heart-pumping feminist tracks. Thu, 1 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EST What a Mystery Illness Taught One Man About Weight-Loss Success http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_a_mystery_illness_taught_one_man_about_weightloss_success For more than 20 years, Jim Curtis has battled a mystery chronic illness. During his searching for answers, he learned some important life lessons about success and weight loss. Mon, 29 May 2017 00:00:00 EST Running Gear That’s a Waste of Money http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=running_gear_thats_a_waste_of_money Before you break the bank buying these so-called must-have running items, heed these tips from seasoned runners who wish they'd waited. Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 8 Ways to Add Some Flower Power to Your Next Workout http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=8_fresh_floral_prints_that_make_fitness_more_fun Don't just admire the wildflowers on your way to the gym--boldly wear them instead. From sunglasses to shoes, we have you covered with pretty floral workout attire you'll love. Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 20 Incredible Ways to Make Chicken in Your Instant Pot http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=20_charttopping_chicken_recipes_for_the_instant_pot Chicken is a healthy go-to ingredient, but the same old dishes can get boring. Mix it up with these 20 quick, easy and delicious Instant Pot recipes. Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 8 Ways to Make Scrambled Eggs Egg-citing http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=8_ways_to_make_scrambled_eggs_eggciting Stuck in a scrambled egg rut? Break out of it with these egg-citing recipe ideas! Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EST Hit Your Goals Out of the Park with Didi Wong http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=hit_your_goals_out_of_the_park_with_didi_wong Didi Wong, a master practitioner of integrative wellness, life coach and yogi, knows a thing or two about setting goals and going after them. Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EST Achieve a Better Back With 5 Spine-Strengthening Moves http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=6_ways_to_achieve_a_better_back Slumping, long hours standing and just generally being does a number on our spines as we age. Learn how to combat the effects with these six targeted moves. Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 EST Busting 4 Myths About Low- or No-Calorie Beverages http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=busting_4_myths_about_low_or_no_calorie_beverages With so much hype surrounding low- and no-calorie sweetened beverages, how do you know what to believe? We break it down for you--and dispel the myths! Thu, 18 May 2017 12:00:00 EST 10 Super Berry Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=10_super_berry_smoothie_recipes Fuel yourself with berries and other great smoothies by trying these SparkRecipes. Wed, 17 May 2017 18:00:00 EST 10 Ways to Stash Your Valuables While You Work Out http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=10_ways_to_stash_your_valuables_while_you_workout Wondering where you stick your stuff while you workout? We have you covered--from wristbands to belts and from water bottles to yoga mats, sweat while your valuables are secured. Wed, 17 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 5 Ways to 'Put an EB Egg on It' http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=5_ways_to_put_an_eb_egg_on_it Tired of the same old recipes? Add a fun, nutritious twist by putting an Eggland's Best egg on top! Start with these five, then experiment with your other favorites. Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 40 Amazingly Easy Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=40_amazingly_easy_recipes_with_5_ingredients_or_less Daunted by the mile-long lists of ingredients in most recipes? '86 the hassle and make dinner a breeze with these easy 5-ingredient dishes, desserts and drinks. Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 EST Are Compression Garments Worth the Squeeze on Your Wallet? http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=are_compression_garments_worth_the_squeeze_on_your_wallet Are compression socks truly helpful, or are they just a trendy fad? We look into who stands to benefit from a little leg squeezin'. Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 7 Fun Ways to Visually Track Weight Loss Progress http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=7_fun_ways_to_visually_track_weight_loss_progress Watch the weight melt away! Weight loss isn't easy, but it can become a little more fun with one (or more) of these visual methods for monitoring your progress. Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 10 of the Best and Worst Cereals http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=10_of_the_best_cereals_you_should_be_eating Learn how to ignore the catchy claims on the front of the cereal box and follow the "rule of five" to make your next bowl of cereal the healthiest one possible. Thu, 11 May 2017 10:00:00 EST 4 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Hydrated This Summer http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=4_ways_to_beat_the_heat_and_stay_hydrated_this_summer Stay cool and enjoy all of your favorite summer activities with these four hydration tips. Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 EST 10 Easy Side Dishes to Make That Chicken Dinner a Winner http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_to_serve_with_chicken_10_quick_easy_side_dishes Chicken is probably a regular part of your dinner rotation. So you'll need some great side dishes for chicken that add a little spark to the plate. Here are 10 to get you started. Tue, 9 May 2017 12:00:00 EST