At Valley Medical, we pride ourselves on being a major source of support during your weight loss journey. We’re not just here to provide you with the tools you need to succeed, we’re here to provide you with the emotional and personal support that is so important when losing weight. We know that we can’t be there for you at all hours of the day though – like at 9 PM when you’re really craving chocolate or a bag of potato chips – so we wanted to discuss some complementary options for getting the support you need to succeed.
In today’s day and age, you literally have the world at your fingertips. All it takes is a few keystrokes and you’re connected to the world – whether it’s through social media, an email to a friend, or an online forum. While this can have its drawbacks, we like to focus on the positive; and one of those positives is increased success in your weight loss goals. Yes, you read that right. Recent research has shown that online social support through social media may help you lose more weight.
The study focused on people who participated in a weight loss program for at least six months and who posted about their weight loss progress to an online social community at least twice during the study period. Researchers found that people who had no friends in the online social community experienced an average decrease of 4.1 percent of their body weight, while participants who were connected with two to nine friends in the online community saw an average decrease of 5.2 percent of their body weight. To up the ante, those with larger social connections – more than nine friends – lost an average of 6.8 percent to 8.3 percent of their body weight.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it’s already been shown that in-person support and intervention programs can help you lose weight – and that’s what we do here – but you may be able to maximize your results by getting your social networks involved.
On Facebook, you can create a private group and invite friends who are trying to lose weight and/or live a healthier lifestyle. Invite them to invite their friends so that the group can grow. Encourage people to share their healthy recipes and post about their success. Share words of encouragement and motivate each other.
On Instagram, you can post pictures of your meals and motivational/inspiring quotes. There is a LARGE community of health conscious people on Instagram who are always open and willing to give support. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your personal journey, use an alias. You can make a separate account and post only about your weight loss journey.
With the advent of social media, you are able to reach such a larger audience than you would have been able to before. Your family and friends may want to help, but it can be difficult for them (and for you) if you aren’t on the same journey or if you don’t share the same goals. If the people who are closest to you aren’t providing the support you need, there are SO many other people out there who have the same goals as you. You just have to find them – and connect with them!