Friend Yourself Thin

Study shows online dieters who engage with other members lose 1/3 more weight

Sharing your weight loss journey in an online community, along with logging in regularly to record your weight could boost your weight loss by over 37%.

A study carried out by Northwestern University has found that online weight loss programme members who engaged regularly and friended other members benefited from increased motivation and better chances of success.

Bonnie Spring, one of the authors of the study and a professor in preventative medicine, says:

Our findings suggest that people can do very well at losing weight with minimal professional help when they become centrally connected to others on the same weight loss journey.

The study, published 28th January 2015, used data from a site similar to WLR but operating in the US. Members pay a subscription for access to a weight management programme and its member community.

(You can access WLRs programme, free for a limited time, here)

Spring said that those who regularly tracked their progress lose more weight in clinical studies. But, the clinics don’t have the ability to connect people with such a large network of others on the same journey. She went on to say,

I was very surprised by how lawfully each step-up in social connectedness translated onto greater weight loss. We could clearly see the benefit of the online social network for weight loss motivation and success.

Online Weight Loss Support Group Advantage

It’s not really surprising that support from online friends in the same boat as you helps to keep the motivation going.

Over 30,000 people a week attend a slimming club in some shape or form in the UK. But not everyone has the time to attend a meeting at a certain time in a certain place.

The study's senior author Luís A. Nunes Amaral says,

 Modern life is so complex and stressful, to go somewhere for a meeting is often not practical. It is hopeful that this alternative approach, of going online for support, could work.

We do know, however, that anyone trying to lose weight and get healthy needs support and online options can be more convenient. They can be as, if not more, effective, according to the scientists.

Weighing In

Although not a new notion, those who recorded their weight more frequently have more positive outcomes. In the study, Amaral said,

“We found the frequency with which you report your weight is a good indicator of positive outcomes”

He went on to say,

If you monitor your weight, you are engaged, if you communicate online with other people you are even more engaged, and when you need support you might be able to get it.

WLR has a number of weigh in groups, some based on days of the week, others based on common goals, you can explore them by taking a free trial.

You’ll be able to view and post* messages and access the easy to use buddy system.

Take Our FREE Trial

*Triallers’ messages will be screened by the WLR Helpteam prior to publication. This will normally be within an hour during Helpteam hours and the next day for messages posted later in the evening.

Additional Resources

Read about this study on Northwestern University’s Website: Friending Yourself Thin

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