One of the main reasons that people are more prone to becoming overweight and obese is because they are leading sedentary lifestyles. People just aren’t getting out of the house the way they used to, and they’re finding more and more excuses to sit down and do absolutely nothing. Surprisingly, a new study has revealed that sending out tweets can lead to healthy weight loss. Researchers have long known that stress reducing activities such as playing on Sun Bingo can lower bad cholesterol levels and promote better health, but this latest research raises new and startling revelations. If internet users are able to lose weight while largely staying sedentary, just how does social networking tie into things?
Tracking and Accountability
To be more clear about things, the act of tweeting alone isn’t going to help you lose any weight. Very few, if any, calories are lost by typing on a computer or handheld device, and spending hours reading your Twitter feed certainly isn’t going to help things. On the other hand, if you use Twitter in a way that holds you accountable for your weight loss goals, research shows that you’re more likely to follow through on your plans. Users are increasingly using Twitter to announce their weight loss plans, post progress pictures and even connect with weight loss buddies. When the whole world is watching what you are saying and doing, it’s a lot harder to cut and run when your diet doesn’t go as planned.
People not only need accountability to lose weight, they usually respond better when they receive positive reinforcement. A twitter user who shows noticeable weight loss and posts progress pictures is likely to receive kudos, even from strangers. Unfortunately, people aren’t likely to take notice of weight loss in real life unless it is pronounced, and their opinions are directly solicited. When someone attempting to lose weight gets positive reinforcement, he or she will be more proud of their accomplishments, and want to meet their goals. Twitter users were shown to be more efficient at doing just this by sharing their progress regularly on the platform.
Stroking the Ego
While positive reinforcement can certainly spur a person onward, the idea of sharing your results on twitter can actually be related to the ego as well. In some cases, a friendly cheer and words of encouragement are all that it takes to stroke your ego in ways that motivate you at your basest levels. In other words, using Twitter for weight loss tracking purposes can swell your head a bit. And according to researchers, this isn’t a bad thing for those who have tried and failed to lose weight in the past.
Some users have reported using Twitter solely to track weight loss gurus, share diet and exercise tips, and of course remain accountable for their weight loss efforts. Not all people on Twitter have been particularly vocal about their weight loss accomplishments, and many have chosen to make their Twitter pages private or hidden for fear of being judged, but whatever their reasons for turning to Twitter to lose weight, the effects have been positive and lasting.