Updated: 04/18/2017 - Site operated by Leptigen

SparkPeople Review - Does This Weight-Loss Community Work?

  • 64 User Comments
  • Rating: 3.8. From 55 votes.
By Summer Banks Mar 16, 2017

A diet product’s worth depends on whether or not it actually helps you lose weight. Let’s see if SparkPeople is one of the good ones. We read through all the details, customer service and clinical research. Hundreds of experiences and comments were also taken to heart. Then, we summarized it all to give you the bottom line.

SparkPeople Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Leptigen.

What is SparkPeople?

First off, SparkPeople is a website that offers tools to help a dieter set and achieve goals. Some users talk about a paid membership, but we found no indication of that on the official website. We did check the terms and condition and there is mention of “for pay” items. You can register free and enter some personal information to find out your BMI. From there, you can find diet plans, exercise options and expert advice.

If there is a company other than SparkPeople behind the business, we found nothing. The official website was purchased in 1999 – that’s a long while. We like the free diet plans, community support and amazing forum communication, but read on…

Complicated Website – “Confused?”

The first thing we found repeated in one review after another was a complaint about being confused. “It looks like the SparkPeople website may be a little too complicated for some people,” said our Research Editor.

“I looked at SparkPeople a few years ago and found it too confusing,” offered one previous user.

Another visitor tried and found the same, “I too tried SparkPeople…I also found it so very confusing.”

Some appreciated all that SparkPeople offered – much of which is free.

“This is the best I’ve found better than all the fee paying diet classes & online classes,” one user shared.

Another claimed, “Spark people is nice because it encourages you with points and has great support.”

Time Consuming – “How Long?”

Though we only found it here and there, we also read that some people had issues with the time it takes to use SparkPeople. Believe it or not, this is common on websites that offer food tracking.

“I felt it was too time consuming,” one dieter said.

As another put it, “It has great resources but is a little time consuming to navigate.”

It’s with years of research under our belt that we’ve connected the small things, like a confusing interface, with a reduction in your chances of success. If SparkPeople is complicated or takes too long to use, the dieter may just switch it out for another website.

The Science – “Any Clinical Proof?”

We are happy to say there is clinical support for using a “buddy” system to lose weight. This doesn’t say SparkPeople is better suited than other programs, just that there is a strong, active community. However, we give the website credit for offering a proven means of motivating the dieter.

The Bottom Line – Does SparkPeople Work?

Are we signing up for a free membership? Well, we love that the SparkPeople community is active and supportive and the free tools can help the dieter set and reach goals, but we have a few reservations. The website may not be for everyone because there are reports of confusion. It may also be quite time consuming making it difficult for busy people.

If you’re at the point where you want to lose that weight once and for all, we suggest pairing your online diet support group with a clinically tested supplement that can naturally boost weight-loss.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. The label shows four ingredients with no fillers. All have been scientifically tested and shown to help spark metabolism. It’s also helpful that user reviews show people all over the web are seeing amazing results.

Plus, the company that makes Leptigen is confident enough in the formula to offer a Special Trial Offer – nice touch.

Previous SparkPeople Review (Updated July 19, 2013):

What You Should Know

SparkPeople.com is a free website that provides helpful tools to assist anyone in their weight loss journey. The SparkPeople.com site offers a variety of resource centers for just about anything from nutrition, to exercise, to motivational blogs and chat rooms. There is a network of personal trainers, medical experts and even nutritionists available at any time to help you through your journey.

Product Features

When using the SparkPeople.com website, you can log in daily to track your meals, and even log in your daily weight loss/gains. Registration to the site is absolutely free, and there are a variety of online tools available to everyone, even without registering. There are helpful member blogs and chat rooms so that you can interact with others going through similar weight loss journeys. The SparkPeople.com site also offers free recipes, free menus, and even articles on the latest weight loss products and nutritional items with product reviews from consumers as well.

SparkPeople.com is not based on any diet pill or nutritional supplement plan. The SparkPeople.com site, instead, provides calorie counters, recipes, and helpful advice from physicians and nutritionists, even specific food plans based on age and weight factors. There are no pre-packaged foods that need to be bought ahead of time. You can buy your own food and track your own progress without having to weigh in at any specific facility.


  • SparkPeople.com is a free site to anyone.
  • SparkPeople.com can be accessed 24 hrs a day.
  • SparkPeople.com does not require a membership to be accessed and even provides daily menus based on age and weight factors.


  • SparkPeople.com is geared more toward a low-carb high protein diet that some may not appreciate or be able to maintain.
  • SparkPeople.com puts emphasis on daily exercise but may not provide regimens for the severely obese.
  • SparkPeople.com may be a little user-unfriendly at times and difficult to find certain online tools. (See reader comments.)
  • Although physicians are available for answering questions, an answer may not be provided immediately.


SparkPeople.com is an excellent and powerful tool to be used throughout ones weight loss journey. New dieters can become overwhelmed with most diet centers in which they may have to weigh-in in front of other members, or have to pay high monthly fees in a tight economy, as well has having to leave the comfort of their homes and even having to find childcare in many instances to travel to a diet/weight loss center. SparkPeople.com provides all the tools necessary for weight loss such as calorie counters, nutrition counseling, and weight-trackers and food trackers, all from the comfort of your own home. Since SparkPeople.com also provides online blogging and chat rooms, many people will find it helpful that they are not struggling alone with their weight, and may have a better chance at maintaining their weight loss after partnering up with an online "buddy". Overall, SparkPeople.com is a good online tool and encourages a healthy weight loss regimen and healthy food plans, and that can be easily incorporated into other supplement and exercise program based regimens.

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Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, a content strategist at Leptigen, has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 3.8. From 55 votes.
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User Comments

64 Comments on "SparkPeople Review"


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Sparkpeople offers a fantastic app, the website, eh, I personally don’t think it’s that great. Everything I need is on the app. I’ve been using it for a little over a year & have lost 130 pounds without surgery.
The chat section can offer great support for members, however, members do give each other advice and hands down, some of the advice given is pure lunacy. A spin through the comments left by members will leave one with no doubt as to why we are fat and getting fatter.
Take ALL member advice and unfortunately, some of the ‘coach’ advice with a grain of salt.


I am a type 2 diabetic. It would be very helpful on the mobile app if you would show the carbs, protein, fat etc. for each meal as you do on your website.


I am new to sparkpeople and so far I quickly figured out I was eating healthy but too much. Too much sodium also. The chat rooms have made me face the mistakes I made in the past and what I can do now. No other program has done this

healthy diets plans

Today I begin Step 2 of the program. This is when you get to add 3 servings of carbohydrate to your daily diet until you reach your target weight.


Easy to use app, I rarely, less than 1x/mo use the full site. The advice offered in chat…don’t open your mouth, lest you confirm you’re an idiot…most of the member advice is pure BS.
But, having said that, you can’t cure stupid, let it be…well, stupid.
Most members, crazy health notions aside, are incredibly supportive of each other.


I too tried SparkPeople and still have my information to rejoin, I also found it so very confusing and in the fall of 2011 went to weight watchers lost 37 lbs only now to be very close to the weight when I started…I am a senior lady and very upset with myself the way I have let myself go. My doctor recommended SparkPeople so I am looking into rejoining, I just hope the site is more user friendly and easier for me to find my way. I live in Ontario, Canada and am in a great need of finding a support group to help me shed this excess baggage that is not good for my health or my well being.. Please reply to my email with any information you can give me. I eat very little meat as it gives me indigestion…have been diagnosed with Reflux so need to be careful…
Thank you.


Have you looked into TOPS? Take Off Pounds Sensibly. It’s a nonprofit weight loss support group, international, been around since 1948, and costs about $32 per year, and about $5 per month in chapter dues. Just a thought.


I have type-2 diabetes and they have a special program called Spark-D that gives you calculations for special meal plans, low-carb, etc. The food tracker is a little complicated, but nothing that can’t be managed, and once you get it down it’s pretty easy to work. My husband and I are both on SP – to date he’s lost 25 pounds and I’ve lost 27 pounds (2.5 months’ time). SP DOES work, but you need to follow the program pretty closely. There’s lots of emphasis on exercise and fitness, which we both like. I’d definitely recommend it.


Ihave your recipe for strawberry freezer jam-no pectin.Do I put the coldjam in cold jars? will they seal? help please. Thanks.


How can I register my husband on spark people if we have the same email?

Cat Mum

eekrraine Why aren’t you asking this question to the Spark people help line? I have found them very helpful. At least there you will get an informed answer.


Use different passwords, maybe? I don’t know whether that would work. I would probably just create a new email account for one of you to use for SP.


I find this a nice site, but the food tracker is slower than the seven day itch. It is nothing but frustration center to me. I won’t be using it any more because even though there are many foods available, the frustration of entering anything is beyond my patience. Part of the problem is the size of the fields. IMHO, the entire site needs to be redesigned so that it loads quickly, refreshes even quicker, and allows ease of data inputting–none of which it does in its’ present format.


Does anyone know HOW to contact spark people?They are impossible to contact unless I join and I did that once…by accident…and now can’t seem to GET RID OF THEM ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE. Even here I can click on every other site EXCEPT spark people! What is the deal????


that’s a facebook thing no need to contact them instead just stop following sparkspeople. Go on their page and unfollow

Kathy Soriano

Help! Can’t log in with username and password that used to work, can’t create new ones either, because there is no grapic to enter!


Great program never got all this information when I went to Weight Watchers and had to pay lets stop making excuses to lose weight once and for all.


I was just needing to know where to go to find reciepies and exercise ideas.

Tina Hann

I have sparkpeople recipes and other things coming to my email all the time and wish to stop it – How do I do it – there is nothing wrong with your emails its just that there are too many coming and I can’t keep up with it – I don’t just this accout all the time – could you please tell me what to do or can you stop them from coming to me – Spark People Recipes, The Best of Spark People, THe weekly Spark,ETC. Thankyou


I just started Spark People because I heard they had a good recipe calculator. Spark people seems to have a lot of good and useful information, but I think the website is a little user unfriendly. There is just too much going on to figure out exactly where you want to be going. I will continue with it because it takes up a lot of my time. It’s time I might have been eating!! Anyway, for those discouraged with Spark People, I would recommend FatSecret.com. It is a very easy website to use, but it does not have a recipe calculator. So I do all of the calculating (and everything else) at Spark People, but can use my calculations on Fat Secret. I think that since I am doing both, I should lose twice the weight!! Yes, I do live in the land of make believe.


Ithink everybody who is negative about Spark People are just using the same old excuse not to loose weight. It’s free plenty of food choices, information on other members how they all lost weight. I never got all this information when I joined weight watchers and had to pay. Get with the Program.


It’s a little disheartening to see this same, dismissive comment. Individuals who have a problem with the usability of the website have a legitimate concern and are in no way, as you suggest, giving up on their weight loss program. On the other hand, as Nancy has stated in her comment, many are simply seeking out other online options to better assist them in achieving their weight loss goals. Likewise, Nancy’s situation seems to be common, a factor which has the potential to cause SparkPeople to loose ad revenue from its subsequent loss in web traffic. Therefore, for the sake of the users and the company, their concerns need to be heard, instead of being dismissed as the churlish diatribes of people who need to “get with the program.”


No. The app is easy to use for anyone of normal intelligence and SOME motivation.


I love Sparkpeople. I have no idea why the review states “•SparkPeople.com is geared more toward a low-carb high protein diet that some may not appreciate or be able to maintain.
•SparkPeople.com puts emphasis on daily exercise but may not provide regimens for the severely obese.” Both are untrue. Spark encourages intake of good carbs. and encourages all their members to live a more active lifestlye. They have lots of tips on how to do this regardless of your size. I have lost 18 lbs in a month. I feel happier, healthier and more well-adjusted than I have in years. As far as tracking, you can add foods to your favorites, enter them manually or export from other members. It is not that difficult. Plus there are tons of other members willing to help with any questions. Join now, you will be happy you did!


I agree with Elise! I’ve been using Sparkpeople for over a year. The meals seem higher carb, not low-carb.
I’m not using the SP meal plans, but I appreciate the tools, forums, and teams while I follow a doctor prescribed plan.


SparkPeople is NOT a low-carb diet. I’ve been following it for 6 months and I’ve lost 42 pounds and counting; not bad for a sedentary 60something. But I would expect a low rating from a site that peddles waist trainers and Leptigen. The community at SP is tremendously supportive.


Still using the SP app, now 54 pounds down. SP seems to be trying to kiss up to low-carbers and calorie counters who are actually following the SP guidelines. But whatever. I can’t believe people find the app confusing; I assume they are referring to the website, which looks quite busy. The community is great. There is the odd crazy, but one expects that from the internet.


This comment is about the mobile app. Though the Spark guidelines have not changed regarding calories and macros, the chat is inexorably being taken over by low-carbers. So I am probably just going to use the tracker feature for the foreseeable future. But if you’re a low carb dieter, you will find a lot of friends there.

stacey wiley

i would like to know the best plan to go by if you are calorie counter


This is the best I’ve found better than all the fee paying diet classes & online classes. It is a lifestyle change encouraging journaling, exercise at a mild pace if you’ve had a sedentary life & are considered obese. It encourages goal setting & setting smaller goals to reach the main one. It also has a wealth of healthy eating recipes & if you want to meet people you can join any number of teams. In my opinion it is great & I encourage anyone out there to enrol & make the effort towards healthy living through Sparkpeople.


What nutrient database does sparkpeople use to calculate nutrition information for recipes (recipe calculator)???


A big part of the database seems to have been created by users who scanned the bar codes on bags or boxes of food.