Social media has woven its way through every aspect of our lives, it seems — and the weight loss market is no exception. From companies looking to harness the platform to attract new customers, to consumers looking for the safest plans and best deals, everyone has hopped on the social networking bandwagon.
If you’re looking to drop a little holiday weight — or have some more serious, long-term weight loss goals — here are a few ways social media can help:
The Importance of Support
First, it’s important to understand that the support you receive from friends and family plays a major role in your weight loss success. Numerous studies and experts have backed up this fact:
- In an article published by the American Psychological Association, the group stated that social support provides significant help to those trying to lose weight and can be more effective than trying to lose weight alone. The article quoted a study showing that those who participated in group weight loss programs lost an average of 11% of their weight, compared to 9% lost by those going it alone.
- In a 2010 study of an online weight loss community conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, internet weight loss forums were found to help participants lose weight — and keep it off. Researchers noted that many people trying to lose weight don’t have a local support system, making the internet support even more crucial to their success.
- A study conducted by the National Weight Control Registry and quoted by the University of Chicago – Medicine showed that people who lost weight and attended bi-monthly support meetings for a year managed to keep all of their weight off. Those who didn’t attend the meetings gained back almost half of what they’d lost.
Weight Loss Brands
Weight Watchers has perhaps the biggest social media strategy among weight loss companies. The brand has embraced the medium in a big way, delivering health tips and weight loss expertise to their community.
The brand also encourages members to connect via the company’s Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as its YouTube channel. Customers can also find promotional offers on the Weight Watchers Facebook and Twitter pages.
Jenny Craig also has a strong social media presence. The company posts health and diet tips, inspirational quotes, and member success stories.
Dieting with Twitter
Twitter’s hashtags provide a great way to search for weight loss topics and experts. They can also help you stay on track as you start your weight loss journey.
By following weight loss experts, you can find articles and tips to help you drop the pounds. And by posting about your workouts and eating plan, you can get your followers to help keep you accountable.
Weight Loss with Facebook
Facebook is another great source for finding weight loss experts and brands. Following their pages will give you access to articles they share, along with tips, inspiration, and conversation with others trying to lose weight.
You can also create your own Facebook community to chart your progress and get encouragement from friends and followers. Posting recipes, articles, helpful websites, and videos can help create a fun, engaging atmosphere that will help keep everyone motivated.
Tracking Progress with Instagram and Pinterest
Want to create a more visual record of your weight loss efforts? Instagram and Pinterest have got you covered.
From photos of your body as you lose the pounds, to pictures of clothes you’d like to fit into, to tasty and healthy dishes you’ve prepared, these social photo sites can help you chart your goals.
Finding the Best Products
Social media can also help you find products and services, and get reviews. You can research the safety and effectiveness of various weight loss supplements, or check out what others are saying about Weight Watchers and other companies.
Social media is also a great place to ask for and find reviews of fitness equipment and other tools to help you get in shape. Here, too, use hashtags and platform-specific search tools to help you find the most relevant information.
Weight loss strategies that include a support system are far more effective than going it alone. By harnessing your social networks, you can get the support you need, along with tips and tricks to keep you on track.