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Review: The Spark Solution Diet


By Katie Lewin

This brightly named diet comes with its own cheering squad. Those who have benefited from the eating plan, which focuses on calorie reduction through healthy homemade meals called “smart swaps,” refer to themselves as “Spark People,” and provide encouragement and advice to new adherents. Additional emphasis is placed on daily exercise and the mental aspects of dieting — a full forty pages of the official Spark Solution Diet book is devoted to fitness and “mindset makeovers.”

The Theory: The program’s head dietitian Becky Hand claims that the Spark Solution is a sustainable alternative to yo-yo dieting. According to the diet’s official website, it “aims to remove the road blocks associated with weight loss, including mental road blocks, laying the pavement for long-term weight loss success” with its two-week jump start timeline that encourages self discipline. 

Pros: The holistic approach might appeal to those who think dieting is more than counting calories. The swaps are a sensible balance of carbohydrates (57% of calories), fats (18% of calories) and proteins (28% of calories), designed to keep dieters full and satisfied. The plan’s especially structured first few weeks are designed for sustainability and to discourage half-hearted attempts.

Cons: The precise swaps might strike those who resent detailed guidelines and rigorous rules as needlessly fussy. The incorporation of mental health wellness and community-based support, might be well intentioned, but isn’t for everyone. And if you’re not in a position to exercise daily, this diet probably isn’t for you. 

Bottom Line: A modified menu is just the tip of this diet’s iceberg. Its inclusion of fitness, attitude and the “Spark People” online community, while potentially positive, can be a lot to juggle at once. However, if you’re looking for a healthy, optimistic lifestyle change, this method might just have a certain, well, spark. 


Published January 5, 2015. 

Katie Lewin is a Bay Area-based health and lifestyle writer.  

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