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How Internet can help you lose weight

Internet can help you lose weight. There’s no doubt about it. The key is to use the disruptive medium to your advantage.  Internet offers the ability to connect to almost anyone which is its biggest strength. But how does it help with weight loss?

While we’re in the process of shedding those extra kilos, we need reinforcements or feedback. One that that will help you stay motivated.

And, remember. You’re NOT alone in this.

There are millions who need such motivation. Here’s where Internet comes to your rescue. It can help you connect with such people. You transact, exchange our progress and keep ourselves motivated.  That’s the basic idea.

To make your job easier, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can use the internet to lose weight.

Blogging and weight loss

Blog. Yes,  blogging serves two purposes. One —  it helps you to stay focused on your regime. Two —  it helps others and creates a community of like minded people.

Also, when we write we stumble upon areas in ourselves that we barely know. It gives us an opportunity to look at ourselves from a distance,  gives a new perspective of ourselves. 

The benefits of blogging does’t end there. It also gives others a chance to comment on your journey. Constructive criticism is always good and can sometimes help you align with your goals better. It helps

you draw or establish a road map. And,  did I say blogging is a great stress-buster?

Instagram for shedding kilograms

A photo posted by BodyBoard (@body.board) on


Instagram is more than cat and celebrity photos. It can be a serious motivation tool. How? Carefully captured photos that reveal improvement can be great positive reinforcements. And,  when  you share your  story,  it has a multiplier effect.  You feel good and in the process, it serves as a motivation for many.

Instagram is a platform designed for that. Pictures carry a lot of information so their ability to motivate is high.  Now,  couple that with the ability to share.  There are plenty of ways to take advantage of the medium if you’re looking for motivation to stay fit.  Follow people who routinely do it and you become like them. This post is a great starting point. It lists out some of the prominent and inspiring Instagram accounts.

Good old Google

Information is power. Internet is a treasure trove of information.  The best part is it’s free too. But before taking the Google plunge, it is important to understand what you’re looking for and what you really want. Understanding your consumption and the minor details can help a lot.

For example, being informed about the nutrient value of our foods or reading user reviews can make a a lot of difference. They can help us make informed choices and save a lot of money and anxiety.

Having said that,  it’s also important to understand that most of the information floating on the Internet is bogus. Be sure to get information from credible websites.

Easy access to information can also lead to another phenomenon — an anxiety that makes us come back for more information. For some, it might even lead to obsessive health-related online searching. Researchers call it cyberchondria.

The wealth of information on the Internet may also fuel cyberchondria. The need to get a perfect answer keeps driving us to do repeated online searches. Here’s a detailed look at cyberchondria.

Fitness apps

Fitness
Photo: Learn English at DCU/Flickr

I’m a great fan of this method. There are plenty of fitness apps that help you document your food intake and fitness routines. The best part of these apps is that most of them are free.

All you need to do is sign up and you’re good to go. And, some of them also social media integration. That allows you to share your progress and keep your motivation levels always up.

You can take this one step further by equipping yourself with fitness trackers. This article has compiled a list of 39 fitness and health apps. Some of them are free while others quote a price for additional features. 

Online counseling

Counseling
Photo: PROU.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Results of online counseling are person-specific. But it does have its share of advantages over traditional counseling methods. The cost is less and the medium allows people open up about their problems better. Also, it allows you to be  flexible on timings and appointments.

The anonymity that Internet provides is one of the main reasons for people opting this method. We feel comfortable sharing personal and sensitive information if we feel our identity is not compromised.

It also provides easy access to those who can’t afford it otherwise.

However, as this study points out, we can’t too sure if the counselor possesses the skill set or ability to be and feel real in a virtual environment.

The next one comes in from one of our readers. And, it is probably one of the more easier ways to lose weight and doesn’t come under the domain of the Internet. But can be included under ’emerging technologies’.

Lose weight playing playing

Gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii includes exercise activities and games, including yoga, balance and strength training exercises, and aerobic activities. All these are made easier, thanks to the games. This study notes that “the system has been used by physiotherapists to encourage at-home exercise among patients.”

There’s scientific evidence to suggest that playing games can boost one’s morale as well. Therefore, it is likely that users will stick to the exercise routine for a long time. Another study — which saw people playing Wii for 35 minutes — said the feedback revealed some participants, by the end of the study,  reported that learning and playing the videogames was satisfying and enjoyable.

“The participants thought the exergames were fun, they felt challenged to do better and saw progress in their game play,” author Jeste said. “Having a high level of enjoyment and satisfaction, and a choice among activities, exergames may lead to sustained exercise in older adults.” He cautioned, however, that the findings were based on a small study, and needed to be replicated in larger samples using control groups. He also stressed that exergames carry potential risks of injury, and should be practiced with appropriate care.

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