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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

Can Social Media Boost Weight Loss Success?

When it comes to weight loss, we tend to attribute its success to a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management. But there might be another resource the U.S. population already frequently uses and may not realize its connection to weight loss.

Can Social Media Boost Weight Loss Success?

Can Social Media Boost Weight Loss Success?

New evidence published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing suggests social media may boost weight loss success. Over a four-year timespan, researchers followed 33 people in two weight-loss groups, surgical or nonsurgical. Each participant regularly blogged or posted online regarding their weight loss experiences, documenting successes and setbacks on virtual community support groups such as and, all while reaching and achieving their personal goals. Positive findings and outcomes related to public commitment, as researchers found higher compliance to weight loss goals when users shared their action plans and exchanged and offered encouragement to others. And with technology essentially available at the tips of our fingers, this gives people the opportunity to plug into the support they need that they might not get on a regular basis.

Additional research has also shown a positive influence of social media on weight loss. Titled "Social embeddedness in an online weight management programme is linked to greater weight loss," researchers patterned people in online weight-loss communities. Those who actively actively engaged with their social network dropped 8.3 percent of their body weight, compared to a 4.1 percent loss amongst non-networked workers.

How to Boost Weight Loss with Social Media

Link the social world and weight loss goals by...

...participating in weight loss groups.
The research above is nonetheless supportive of connecting to weight loss groups online. Interacting with thousands of others with like minds and goals builds a sense of community support and can reinforce your motivation, accountability, and progress.

..."checking in."
Whether it is at the gym or during a run on a fitness app, a simple check-in can increase accountability and motivation from others.

...exploring new recipes or workout ideas.
Tired of your chicken and broccoli at lunch or standard exercise regimen? Explore and find new inspirations on social media accounts and share what your ideas with others.

...tracking progress.
From simple tweets to before and after pictures, share and track your progress. Doing so can not only enhance your drive, but even offer inspiration to other social media members. Also be sure to celebrate all victories, including personal triumphs and achievements of others.

Ultimately, social media should supplement weight loss goals and stay cautious of the ramifications of too much media exposure. In fact, ongoing research suggests Facebook may be making us sick, detailing active use has lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. While you can look towards others as role models and inspirations, Individuals are also encouraged to not compare themselves to others do not get so caught up in their reality. Comparing yourself to others can produce low self-esteem, a negative mood, and potentially disordered eating patterns. Additionally, spending too much time on social media may overshadow time that could be spent meal prepping, working out, sleeping, and simply just real life. Ultimately, while connecting into a virtual world has its advantages, do not let it replace actual experiences, connections, and relationships in real time and life.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 17, 2018. Updated on June 17, 2019.


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