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Trying Spark Coach - Is It Worth The Price?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I lost 50 pounds last year and took a 1 yr maint break. As I said in an earlier blog, I did well at maintaining for most of the year... then got sloppy. I find that I tend to get lazy when I do not track, I eat *just* a little extra bit, and exercise *just* a little less. It adds up to more pounds ha ha. So, I came back to track about 3 weeks ago, and lost 2.5 kilos already. Not too shabby.

I got an offer for a 2 week free trial of the premium Spark account and figured I would give it a whirl. The 2 weeks just ended and I got billed for my first full month. It is only $4.99 a month. It is time to consider if I will keep renewing or go back to the free service...

Let's think about that. Once you learn about macros, tracking, portion sizes, and a basic exercise routine you already know everything you need to know to lose weight. Now knowing that, do we lose weight? Some do, some don't. The knowledge is not enough. You have to apply what you know, and change a lifetime of bad habits (in my case anyway). When I first started losing weight I was much more motivated. After I lost 50 pounds, my old clothes fit again, and my blood pressure dropped. That should have motivated me more, but instead I kind felt like it was good enough. Well, the fact that my wife complained about me losing her "Pooh Bear stomach" did not help either. Such is life.

We have to stay motivated and keep on keeping on. Does the premium service offer anything to help? Let's look at each service, and my initial thoughts on them (I have only used it 2 weeks)

What is offered in the premium service?
1. Spark Coach Access
2. Email a Coach
3. Premium Workouts
4, Advanced Reports
5. Export Food & Fitness Reports
6. Secrets of Success E-book
7. Ad-Free Experience.

I will look at them in reverse order, since the coaching is my most used part so far.

7 Ad-free. I have used adblockers since the 90s. I don't see ads on the net, and actually did not realize YouTube added ads until I heard people complain about them. Sorry Spark, I don't do ads, but I am willing to pay for a site if the service/info is good enough. Hostage ads are not my concern. Actually I have a monetized YT channel and still recommend adblockers. My communities online experience is more important than profit to me.

6 Secrets of success e-book. It was ok, but about like all the blogs I have already read here and on other sites. Good info, but nothing new. Not complaining, and it was about what I expected.

5&4 Export & Advanced reports. I love this. I am a numbers person. I play my macros and exercise as a game. You manipulate the numbers correctly and lose weight. I complained some before about the limited reports, and lack of export. Well... now I have it. Not really required, but I like it.

3 Premium workouts. I have glanced at this, but honestly have not looked into it much. I have a small home gym set up and need to get back into the daily habit. Until I do that, no real need for more. It does look like there are some good workouts in there, but honestly you can search YouTube for all the workouts you need. I will probably use this more later.

2 Email a coach. You can email coaches directly for more personalized service, and specific answers. It sounds like a very good service, but I have not had any need to avail the service yet. If I was plateaued it would be a good option, I think. This alone could easily be worth the $4.99 a month.

1 Spark Coach. Well, I have only used it for 2 weeks and so far the lessons are nice, but nothing new or earth shattering. If you do all 5 steps of the coaching page each day, it does keep you thinking about your progress, though. It does seem to help me stay motivated. Each day there is a visualization. You can record your feeling of your progress on the check-ins page. Then there is the actual lesson of the day. It is a video or a blog by one of the coaches. Again, good info, but nothing really new. (is there really much new to learn?). There is a page to get to your tracking, but aren't you already tracking? Then a community page, to encourage you to post. Today they recommended that I blog... so blame them for this ha ha.

As I look at this I see that overall the only thing I cannot get on the free level, or Google, is the email a coach, and exporting logs. As I said I am a numbers person so the export feature is wonderful. Not necessary, but I like it. The email a coach could easily be worth the $4.99 a month. Being able to get more personalized service is nice. The coaches do answer questions on the forums but in an email you can get more in depth and specific to your needs.

After thinking about I see that most of the premium services are not really needed - but nice to have. As I said once you learn the basics, weight loss is a simple process. Simple to know, not so simple to do. The daiy Coach page helps me stay focused. It is up to you decide if the free site keeps you focused. To me, if $5 a month helps keep me motivated and active in the community... that is worth it!

Honestly it is less than the cost of most lunches. How much is your health worth? Keep on keeping on! 😀🍹🇵🇭
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