Author Chris Downie invented the Spark Diet as a way to share his own personal improvement program with others. Downie wrote "The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit and Transforming Your Life" to serve as an inspiration for those trying to improve their lifestyle and shed unwanted pounds.
The Spark Diet features four distinct stages: Fast Break, Healthy Diet Habits, Lifestyle Change and Spread the Spark. The Fast Break stage introduces users to the diet and asks them to focus on three specific goals, one each for nutrition, fitness and motivation. The Healthy Diet Habits stage helps users learn several keys to lasting success, including such techniques as portion control, drinking plenty of water and consistent exercise. Stage three, Lifestyle Change, teaches users how to stay motivated and bridges the gap between dieting and lifestyle. Spread the Spark pulls it all together, helping dieters reach their weight loss goals and instructing them on how to help others do the same.
The Spark Diet's meal plans average 1,500 calories, with dieters expected to eat three meals and two snacks each day. The diet's basic recommendations make it a moderate-fat, high-carb, low-protein diet right in line with the USDA's food pyramid. Users may select from "moderate" or "aggressive" calorie recommendations depending on their individual weight loss goals. The Spark Diet also emphasizes eating certain "super foods" with every meal to enhance nutrition, strengthen the immune system and boost the mind and body. These "super foods" include the likes of almonds, apples, blueberries, broccoli, garlic, onions, tuna, turkey and a wide range of similar items.
Unlike some fad diets, the Spark Diet stresses the importance of fitness. The diet asks users to visualize the body they want and work towards it with a variety of physical activities, from typical workouts involving crunches and weight training to sports like biking, tennis and swimming. Spark Diet comes complete with an array of 10-minute workouts so exercise can become part of everyone's lifestyle.
While affordable and flexible, the Spark Diet's greatest strength comes from its ability to inspire and motivate its users. The book includes numerous success stories and before-and-after pictures to keep dieters focused, and the program includes an online community to offer further support and guidance.
The Spark Diet may not provide the strict eating regimen and nutritional guidelines some dieters crave, relying instead on a greater amount of personal responsibility to succeed. Those individuals who prefer a more defined approach may not be able to achieve their desired weight loss as easily on the Spark Diet.