When it comes to losing weight, the journey can be difficult. Studies have shown that individuals fare better when surrounded by a group of people who are all working towards the same goal, which is the reason many participate in group fitness classes or hire a personal trainer to take their workouts to the next level. There is something comforting and motivating about working towards a goal with the help of others. But what can a person do who doesn’t have that support system, who is unable to find a workout buddy to help them successfully shed the pounds?
The 21st century has provided individuals with another support system – a virtual one. Social media sites have empowered people in a whole new way. Facebook, Twitter, Fitocracy and countless other sites have allowed individuals to let other people in on their weight loss journey. It is now possible to lose weight with a friend who lives on the other side of the country. It is now possible to document each day’s workout and food consumption on the internet and have friends and families give words of encouragement.
Studies show that individuals feel more compelled to stick to diets and exercise routines when they know they are being watched. If no one knows about a diet, then no one knows when it has failed. By tapping into the Internet and sharing experiences through social media sites, individuals feel compelled to follow through.
Social media sites, such as Fitocracy.com, are also equipped with special features to make the weight loss journey even easier. While Facebook and Twitter enable users to upload pictures and create posts detailing their progress, Fitocracy allows users to track workouts and earn points for the activities they do. The more points a user earns, the more achievements they receive and the higher they are placed on the Fitocracy leader boards. This type of motivation is crucial because it gives dieters something to strive for other than seeing the numbers drop on the scale.
According to recent studies, 20% of the population use electronic devices to track workers and of that 20%, 70% say that it has made a difference in their weight loss endeavors. Many state that it is empowering to hear positive feedback from friends, family, and even complete strangers. Social media sites offer a way to share stories, ideas, and encourage one another to keep going. Uploading pictures and receiving comments can help individuals see what is difficult for them to see in the mirror – that they are making progress and they look great. The key to success when it comes to weight loss is positivity. The second a person begins to feel unattractive or feel as if they aren’t losing enough fast enough, the entire thing could unravel. Dieters should use social media in much the same way they would a workout buddy, for encouragement, ideas, and as a way to hold them accountable to their diet and exercise regime.