Health News

Using social media to help shed pounds

Monday, February 18, 2013

There's nothing like a little support from your friends to help you reach your weight loss goal and Facebook friends count.

"It's amazing and it re-energizes me," said Christina McSwain.

Christina McSwain from Brooklyn lost 50 pounds and says social media definitely helped.

"Once people start to see a little bit of progress in your journey they kind of encourage you and root for you," she said.

Posting or tweeting details of your progress and announcing your goal can also hold you accountable.

"Once it's out there you can't take it back! And people are watching you," adds Christina.

Christina posts updates from her workouts, uses Instagram workout suggestions and sometimes she posts a picture of the meal she's about to eat.

"The more people that know what you're trying to do or what you're supposed to be doing the more you're going to stick to it because you have those people looking out for you, they're giving you encouragement, and they'll help remind you if you're tempted to miss a workout or have that extra snack," said Andrea Rumschlag, a dietician with Cleveland Clinic.

And for some reason people seem to post pictures of food. If you're trying to lose weight it can help, it's like a food journal to keep you accountable.

Your friends can celebrate your success or help you get back on the wagon and who knows, you may get some good recipe ideas in the process.

"You realize that you're not alone and there are so many people that are so willing to connect with you for a cause that's so great," adds Christina.

People also connect together and form Facebook weight loss groups and a recent study from the University of South Carolina looked at Twitter and weight loss. They followed almost 100 overweight men and women and found those who tweeteed updates on a regular basis, and got feedback from a weight loss counselor and other participants, lost more weight.

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