The key to successful weight loss is support—including your social media network, according to research out of the University of South Carolina that found Twitter can improve your odds of shedding pounds.
All participants in the study received nutrition, exercise, and goal-setting advice via podcasts, but half of them also used Twitter as a weight-loss aid. They received daily tweets from a weight counselor and followed other study participants in an effort to provide a broad range of social support.
Both groups lost weight during the six-month study, with the active tweeters dropping the most pounds—every 10 posts to Twitter correlated with a 0.5 percent weight loss.
I’m not surprised, as research has proven time and again that the more social support you get, the more successful you will be in losing weight. I urge clients to seek out support, whether that’s through social media or in person. Here are my tips for tweeting, pinning, and posting the pounds away!
First find some educational tweeters on weight loss such as @Shape_Magazine  to follow. Then use nearbytweets.com  to find others in your area who are trying to lose weight, and start following them to create your own support group that can also meet in person. For inspiration, follow people who’ve successfully lost and kept if off. But you can’t just follow others, of course: Tweet everything from what you ate for breakfast to your workouts—anything that will help you to stay on track—and don’t forget photos.
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In addition to finding tons of healthy recipes and re-pinning them to your own boards, you can also post photos of yourself every week to show how your body is changing—or a weekly photo of the number on the scale if you’re more camera shy.
Share your weight-loss successes and failures with all of your friends, and you will find that it will help boost your success. For even more inspiration, you can also try WeightView , a Facebook app that allows you to transform a picture of yourself now into what you would look like up to 50 pounds thinner.
Nationally recognized nutrition, health, and fitness expert and published author Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., is the director of nutrition for Fitness Together, the world’s largest organization of personal trainers. Brill specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention and weight management and has authored three books on the topic of heart health; her most recent is Blood Pressure Down  (Three Rivers Press, 2013). For more information on Brill or her books, please visit www.DrJanet.com .