Social media for weight loss? Tweeting the pounds away!
Social media for weight loss – It’s something of a given that a good support system is essential when you are going through weight-loss surgery but we’re often actually limited with face to face meetings of people who are going through the same.
Social media might well bridge that gap and prove incredibly positive and helpful.
New research, from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, has examined the use of Twitter as part of a behavioural weight loss intervention and their results are very encouraging. Over a six month period they followed 96 overweight and obese men and women, all of whom owned either a smartphone or a mobile device (like a tablet) with Internet access.
Participants were divided into 2 groups: one received bi-weekly health podcasts; whilst the other received podcasts and was expected to read and post daily Twitter updates on their weight loss efforts.
Overall, individuals using Twitter lost more weight than their peers. Every 10 tweets corresponded to a 0.5 pound (¼kg) loss. The ongoing engagement inherent in Twitter was deemed to receive much of the credit for this success.
So looking to Tweet your way to becoming thinner? Here are some ideas:
* Create a virtual support group Why not search for weight loss blogs or blogs to see if the author is on Twitter. Find people who are in the same situation as yourself and who can relate to your challenges and respond. Such people will chivvy you along when down and congratulate you in your successes.
* Tweet to keep yourself motivated Twitter is such a quick responsive platform that you’ll get an immediate response in many cases. This can prove invaluable if you’re dithering over something … having a biscuit to feel better (they might talk you out of it), or thinking of ditching the gym session today (your Twitter friends will energise you to get out of the door!).
* Stay active both on and off Twitter If you want your followers to keep you going then they want something back so post and respond during the day so that you can strike up a meaningful relationship with your online community. Don’t let it become a chore or take up too much time but post motivational and supportive messages, offer compliments, empathy and encouragement. Spreading the word can be a good thing if you’re passing on tips.
* Start by tweeting @PHWeightSurgery Phoenix Health’s Twitter name or myself @carolbowenball for wls related tips, advice and updates for Phoenix Health blogs