In 2012 I lost just over 20% of my bodyweight and I’m currently maintaining a 26% reduction from my highest non pregnant weight. (see http://happilyeverafter212.wordpress.com for more info on that.) I lost my weight mostly using the SparkPeople website, but when it comes to maintaining weight, SparkPeople actively discourages a couple of important things that are emphasized in the scientific literature. (Self monitoring and cognitive restraint). But it is the largest health and lifestyle support website in the world, so I continue to blog there and be involved with some of the teams. I do think support and attitude are critical components of weight management and I think SparkPeople does a pretty good job with dietary advice generally. I guess my single minded devotion to SparkPeople ended after I read the Spark Solution because it was pretty complicated. I have wanted to reread some of the mental makeover stuff.
Another thing SparkPeople won’t do is track sugar grams. You can opt to track nearly anything else that appears on a food label. I’ve tracked fiber, sodium, potassium and iron, but it won’t allow you to track sugar. So about a week ago I switched to LoseIt after asking a friend that I know tracks sugar. Most of my fitness is tracked on fitbit. A couple of months ago I decided my strength training is not a significant source of calorie burn (while I’m doing it) so I am just going with the calories my fitbit says I’m using. It’s possible they’re a tad low as I believe I have an above average muscle composition.
I also started posting on 3fatchicks, whose name makes me cringe, but they post your height, starting weight, current weight and goal weight if you provide them on each post which I find pretty useful. Something I always wonder on SparkPeople is how tall people are, how much weight they have lost. I mostly wonder if their weight seems really low to me. Are they just short or do they have an eating disorder? I don’t know if I really need to know people’s weight, but if I do, the other data is helpful. There’s still age. You get these twenty somethings who insist they are fine not exercising, and I realize “that’s right, when you’re 20 you aren’t worried about your lean mass.”
I guess when I worry I’m spreading myself too thin, it’s important to remember that my wider purpose is to help people who want to maintain their weight.