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The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life Paperback – January 25, 2011
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Title: The Spark( The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight Getting Fit and Transforming Your Life) <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: ChrisDownie <>Publisher: HayHouse
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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--- we end up choosing to eat that dessert, to sleep in instead of pounding the pavement, to say to ourselves "this is never going to work."
And that's where The Spark starts: with how we view and live our life and how we can make sustainable positive change. In fact, it doesn't even start talking about what foods to eat until page 84.
Where it starts is with four "cornerstones" of positive living: focus, fitness, fire, and positive force. The author takes a chapter on each of these concepts and lays out how they apply to life in general and a life shift like weight loss in particular.
So, does this work? Does the effort to really understand the principles of positive change make a difference? Well, this book is really just the distillation of a website & online community, [...], which has helped tens of thousands of people make meaningful change. In fact, the center of the book contains short bios and color photos of seventeen people, real people, real people who you can actually contact through the sparkpeople online community, who have used the principles to lose big weight (most of them 100+ pounds) and keep it off and really change their lives.
Yes, the healthy diet and exercise tips are in there, just like in every diet book. But what makes this book different, and special, is that the focus isn't the food, but you: a practical plan to change your outlook and jump-start your motivation so that you can practice a healthy lifestyle and change your life. A very good way to start out the new year, or any time you decide to change for the better.
The Spark diet is a 4-stage process, which Downie bills as a way of life rather than a diet. However, it really is a low-fat, moderate calorie diet, and it draws heavily on the USDA food program guidelines. There are 4 stages, and each stage has several sub-steps. All these activities make the diet complicated to understand and implement. As for exercise, Downie advocates 10-minute "streaks" of continuous, positive activity every day.
The Spark has a lot of goodness going for it, and Downie's positive, contagious energy is hands down the best feature of the book and his website ambiance. The program clearly works for a lot of people, and Downie has a legion of raving fans. That said, like many weight loss and fitness books, The Spark suffers from predictable, re-hashed information and consequently did not hold my attention.
Also, Downie's organization of material creates confusion rather than clarity. A few times I had to read a whole page or more before I could figure out what the chapter was going to be about. In general, I had a hard time following his lead.
This book is recommended for people who are drawn to online interactions and who like a lot of support. It's not recommended for the computer illiterate.
Not a breakthrough. The book needs less on minds and more on meals.