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How Social Networks and Apps Can Help Us Lose Weight and Stay Healthy

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We flip through the Facebook feed for dinner, view Instagram at bedtime and read Twitter on the way to work. Yes, we know perfectly well that it would be nice to spend a little less time on social networks, but work and personal life require being there almost 24/7 - and it’s hard to argue with that.

Is it possible to benefit from such active use of smartphones? It turns out, yes. New research has shown that the use of social networks and apps can help us get rid of extra pounds and keep the body’s health.

Social Networks and Weight Loss

"We noticed that those who are positive and behave appropriately on social networks are able to achieve their weight loss goals easier” - said Munmun De Choudhury, author of the study and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For this, scientists analyzed publicly available data from about 700 users who used the MyFitnessPal calorie counting application and linked it to their Twitter account.

The results showed that those who initially thought positively, they eventually came to success. Such users shared recipes of healthy dishes with subscribers, their own fitness lifehacks, posted motivating quotes and training videos. They often asked followers for advice. At the same time, the tweets of unsuccessful applicants for weight loss almost always had a negative tone and, as a rule, were more restless and frightening. We are talking about messages like: “I’m almost sure that I’ll lose my mind”, “ my whole body hurts incredibly after training” and so on and so forth.

In other words, if you want to lose weight, then social networks can become your faithful allies. But remember - no negative remarks.

How to Lose Weight Using Instagram

Despite the fact that psychologists are increasingly associating social media with unhealthy body perception, they can still be used to improve health outcomes. For example, experts say that even if our image in a social network is just an image, we tend to reach out to it, and, as a result, keep our body in good shape. We know at least three more functions of social networks that will benefit your diet.

1. Increase responsibility

Planning to go on a diet? Write about it in any of the social networks (better - in the one you use most often), and your chances will increase significantly. A study conducted at the Dominican University of California showed that people who share their dietary goals with friends reach them more likely than those who do not (70% vs. 30% of study participants).

2. Help track diet

Using special applications is a great way to monitor the quantity and quality of food consumed. Even if you can't give up cakes and chocolate in the first few weeks, you will most likely start to look at food in a different way (what nutritionists call "conscious food choices"). A study conducted by Health Research suggested that people who keep a food diary lose, on average, two times more pounds than those who do not take the diet so closely. And this, you see, is impressive.

3. Increase self-esteem

Selfies from the gym can significantly improve a person’s opinion about themselves - so now you have scientific backing for your actions if someone suddenly wants to stop you. An experiment by Cornell University showed that the positive feedback from friends published on the user’s page improves his/her self-esteem not only at this particular moment but also in the long term. Moreover, according to the research, it works better on Facebook rather than on Instagram. Worth trying!

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