The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life
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The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  614 ratings  ·  111 reviews
From the experts who created SparkPeople.com, America’s #1 diet and fitness site, comes The Spark. This groundbreaking book outlines the best of what has worked for millions of members who have lost weight, kept it off, and reached other goals. Driven by positive energy and proven results, The Spark outlines a breakthrough formula that combines nutrition, exercise, goal se...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Hay House (first published December 29th 2009)
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Tiffany
I'm a huge fan of sparkpeople.com. I love it. I think the concept and all the hard work that goes into it is wonderful. However, when it comes to the book Chris Downie is NOT a fascinating author. I had to force myself to read the first part. The second and third are OK, but my favorite had to be the appendix.

He's selling a product. He's good at what he does. His tips are general, if not found on the sparkpeople.com site already. You're paying a fortune to have him give you "The Secret: Dieting...more
John
True or false: People fail to lose weight and keep it off because they don't realize they need to eat healthy food and exercise.

We know that isn't true-- everyone knows about healthy food and exercise. But isn't that the message of most "diet" books? Once you find the right magic foods and the right magic exercise, once you have that secret knowledge not found in any other diet book, then YOU will lose that weight!

If we are willing to be honest, the real reason we are not losing weight is US--...more
Tanya
May 11, 2010 Tanya rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those looking to stop dieting and transform their lives
I've been a member of the sparkpeople.com community for almost two years, but I always found that too many opened windows occured as I navigated through from one tool to another to use the program. Therefore, I wasn't using the site as effectively as I could of and often felt overwhelmed by the amount of information that was there--until this book helped me focus a little more on what I want to get out of the site.

As a result of reading this book, rather than just using the website as a place f...more
Kristine
I'm a Spark member and the program works as long as you follow it. It's sensible; eat right and exercise. It's not really a diet so much as a lifestyle.

I bought the book because of all the bonuses I recieved from pre-ordering.

If you join the site all the tools you need are there. For free. It's not neccessary to have the book but I found it helped with motivation and maintenance.
Rose
Loved it am on the site lost 54 pounds to date.
Julie
I'm not completely finished with the 2nd half of this book, but since the 2nd half is designed more as a program of Action Steps, I'm going to check it off as Read. I picked up this book because it was written as a companion to the SparkPeople.com site I've been a member of for 7 months now. It's a social networking site designed to help people set and achieve goals, with a particular emphasis on fitness and healthy living. Since joining I've lost almost 50 lbs and have really experienced a grow...more
Angela
The Spark was written by past Proctor and Gamble executive Chris Downey. This book and the author is from my hometown. He started Spark People.com and wrote this book. He created the site to help people lose weight and change their lives. Not only lose weight but he developed a way to create goals and follow through. This book I read everyday believe it or not. It has helped me tremendiously.

I know I am raving about the book. The book takes you step by step to making the internal changes you nee...more
Judy
Quick read. It is not a diet book but a self help book about motivation and goal setting. What I learned from this book (most of which I already knew). 1. have short term, medium and long term goals, 2. set up rewards for yourself for motivation along the way. 3. start small with goals that you can easily accomplish and then build from there. 4. there is nothing that you cannot do if you start small and build.
Joy Weese Moll
What I liked best about The Spark was that it utilized “crisscrosses”—the observation that many of us have made that getting one thing “right” (eating or exercise or decluttering) often carries over to improvement in other areas. So, The Spark asks us to work on generating small successes in different areas and to set goals that help make these crisscrosses work for us by effecting all areas of our lives.
Jeff
Jul 24, 2011 Jeff marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book was on special. I seem to be waiting for a month with 28 days to start it, or winter. Whichever comes first I should think. Would the definition of irony be "waiting for the spark to start the Spark?". That sounds like a good book idea. Where are my flint and tinder?
Lindsey
Not too much in here that can't be learned from the web site, but it is much more pleasant to read out of a book than off of a computer screen. Plus, it's nice to have it all in one place.
Bobbie
28 day Breakthough plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit and Transforming Your Life
Leona Olson
Review: The Spark Review The Spark by Chris Downie This book focuses on becoming healthy and changing your life for the positive. There are 4 Cornerstones: Focus, Fitness, Fire and Positive Force. The book describes the Spark Diet and Lifestyle changes. A good book to read, not only to lose weight but to make a good change in your life. The author uses many people as a positive influence as well as his mother, wife, brother and especially his two young boys. It describes the SparkPeople web site...more
Caran-marie
I liked the basic ideas behind this book. It not just about losing weight, or getting fit, it's about the little steps you can take to change your future. We don't always think about changing our future- and if we do, it's in some huge and glorious way and with goal so strict and overwhelming that we are not surprised that we don't succeed. In fact, on some level, that proves we were not meant to.

But small steps. We can do this. One day- just drink 8 glasses of water for one day.Then for two. Th...more
Taryn Brittany
I recently signed up for SparkPeople.com as a way to keep myself accountable for eating right and exercising, and I discovered that there was a book written by the website’s creator, Chris Downie. This excellent resource details an effective approach to getting fit which includes goal-setting, nutrition, exercise, motivation, and community. It really emphasizes the lifestyle change that takes place when you truly commit to being healthy. I like that it encourages you to set small goals and build...more
Natlukens
I am giving this book 5 stars to boost it's average rating. I would really only give it 2.5 or 3 maybe. Just to me personally, it wasn't very interestingly written. I have used Sparkpeople.com on and off since 2007 and IT WORKS if you really do it right. This book is only really half weight loss tool, and is overall more of a motivational or inspirational thing meant to make you change your whole life. I highly recommend using sparkpeople to anyone I know who wants to lose weight the right way....more
Karina
So I never read "diet" books. Never. Ever. However, I am a fan of the Sparkpeople website and really wanted to hear what the CEO and President, Chris Downie, had to say. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Although there was some diet and exercise advice in the book, it's really only 20% of the book and only really comes up at the end. Instead, Downie focuses his efforts on how to stay motivated in your weight loss journey and how to funnel the self-confidence and motivation from that weight...more
Melinda
This is a good book with good advice. I had been a member on SparkPeople for several years before reading this book. This book is good because it condenses and lays out the system, but some of the tools and methods are harder to follow without the website. In particular, the keeping track of your food/activities and the exercise explanations.

I am not a fan of how Chris Downie decided to layout the book. I felt like he needed to integrate the Cornerstones with the actual 28 day plan. This is not...more
Heather
Not my favorite. I love sparkpeople.com, but mostly for the communities and tracking abilities. It's a great website, and I was excited to read this book by it's founder, but really the man should stick to business and leave writing for others. There were some motivational moments and some good content, and I love that it's focused on life changes instead of stupid eat-nothing-but-oranges-and-ketchup-for-three-weeks-and-then-stand-on-your-head-while-patting-your-tummy nonsense that most of the f...more
Alyssa
As a member of sparkteens and then sparkpeople, a lot of the information I had already seen before. It is great and if I'd only actually follow it with some real effort I know I'd get somewhere (haha). I loved the success stories sections in the book and all of the quotes from actual members made it feel that much more relatable and doable. The real gem of the book, for me, was that grey section in the back called the "strong start guide". It made everything really click for me and boosted my mo...more
Alison Eber
As diet/fitness books go, this one is quite good. It offers a balancing mix of inspiration and realistic strategies that can be incorporated into a longterm, healthy lifestyle change. There are times when the book feels like a pitch for the SparkPeople.com website, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are lots of great resources available on the site to reinforce the information in the book. In fact, I don't think there's any new information in the book that couldn't be found on the web...more
Andrea
I joined Spark People in August off this year. A lot of people I know use it and seemed to like it. It is like a free version of the Weight Watchers online tools. I use it mostly to log my food and exercise. I love the wealth of information and experts they have on board. I a trying to use some of the social parts of the site but time is an issue for me. As far as Spark People the site goes it is a very supportive place that will motivate you to get healthy. Unfortunately, the book fell a little...more
Megan
Hmm, how to rate/review this. I liked it a lot for bringing together all of the SparkPeople principles in one place, and it is the first "diet" book to read more like a healthy lifestyle book (with the possible exception of You: On A Diet). There's a lot of great stuff in there about motivating yourself to change, making meaningful changes, and changing more than just your physical appearance. However, I feel that squishing all of these changes into 28 days is unrealistic - which goes against AL...more
Kirsten
Definitely a 5 star book. I have utilized the SparkPeople website for several years, but am really just getting back into it full force. Down 4 pounds already by tracking my food and just feeling mentally better about myself. Chris Downie talks to you like he is your friend ... his book is actually enjoyable to read with no, "You have to do this now, then this, then this in order for this 'diet'" to work.

SparkPeople isn't a diet ... it's a change in your lifestyle and in the process, you learn t...more
Ann
I'm biased, because I love the website, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book was written. It gives a basic overview of how to make a healthy lifestyle change by taking small steps to improve your diet and fitness and then building on gradually from there.

Chris Downie's story is amazing....he earned a large amount of money from selling his start-up online auction site to Ebay, and he decided to start a FREE weight loss/exercise site that has helped thousands. He is down-to-earth a...more
Tamara Evans
I've been a member of Sparkpeople since August 2006 and was excited when I heard that the CEO of Sparkpeople was writing a book to spread the word about the sparkpeople website.This book is a great way to introduce the Sparkpeople diet to those who haven't heard of it before. Sparkpeople is so much more than a diet website, when you join Sparkpeople.com, you become part of a community full of people like who are all striving to getting healthier and best of all, everything on the website is free...more
Nikki
This is a quick read, and it's very motivational. It's primarily a blue print to help people lose weight and stay healthy, which I totally agree with, as I'm a BIG fan of the SparkPeople web site.

However, this book is also inspiring on other levels. In many ways, it's a blue print for anyone to follow who wants to achieve a major goal and needs help organizing a way to do it. I found it to be extremely motivational considering how I read it at the beginning of the New Year with multiple new goa...more
Raina
Truth be told, this book wasn't very interestingly written, however, it was quite enlightening! Sparkpeople.com WORKS! If you want to loose weight and really do it right this is the way to go. This book is a motivational and inspirational tool to help you change your life.


This book and the website sparkpeople.com are really wonderful! It is a complete package...health, fitness, motivation, nutrition, and community. The book is a quick summary of all the information on the web and helps you to u...more
~*Ro*~
I realize that I gave this book 3 stars, I do need to explain a bit as to the reason why. I have been a member of sparkpeople.com since April of 2006, the program works IF it is followed 100%. The book is the website without the community, it is not poorly written (even though there are some mistakes in it), it is also not a jump up and down for joy, oh my goodness you must read this kind of book (which is why I owned it for over a year and had it on my currently reading since June), if you want...more
Robb
Even though I finished this book, what I learned through it is currently helping to change my life. I have come to believe that fitness and nutrition is a huge springboard to accomplishing goals in life - and lack of fitness and nutrition a huge hindrance. Some of the things in the book I already knew, but never read all of it in one unified place before. Dozens of helpful thoughts on ways of eating and exercising, and accomplishing goals. By eating better and exercising more I have lost weight...more
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