One new study says that what you share on social media could make or break your weight-loss efforts.

By By Renee Cherry

Tweet happy thoughts: People who expressed positive sentiments on Twitter were more likely to reach their diet goals, according to a Georgia Institute of Technology study.

Researchers analyzed about 700 people who used MyFitnessPal (an app that allows you to track your diet and exercise, and connects to your social media accounts so you can seamlessly share your progress with friends). The goal was to look at the relationship between people's tweets and whether or not they were reaching the calorie goals they set on the app. And as it turns out, positive tweets were linked with diet success.

Not all the tweets analyzed in the study had to do with fitness and dieting, necessarily. Some tweets showed a generally positive outlook on life with hashtags like #blessed and #enjoythemoment. People who tweeted about their fitness accomplishments also had an edge over those who didn't. And, no, these people weren't just crushing personal records in the gym and losing a ton of weight and bragging about it online. These kinds of tweets cited in the study didn't have a gloating tone, but instead, one that exuded motivation. For example, one tweet read, "I will stick to my fitness plan. It will be difficult. It will take time. It is going to require sacrifice. But it will be worth it."

The study serves as an example of how social media can be used to reach any health, fitness, or weight-loss goal. While it's true that social media has been linked to depression and anxiety and can lead to an unhealthy body image it also brings people together and provides a support system. (Just look at our Goal Crushers Facebook page, a community of members with health, diet, and wellness goals who lift each other up during struggles and celebrate each others' achievements.) And posting images or status updates on social media can also serve as an easy way to hold yourself accountable for your actions-in this case, living up to the healthy eating or exercise expectations you set for yourself.

Social media can certainly be used as a tool for weight loss (when used the right way), so if you're struggling to reach your New Year's goal or simply stick to it at all, consider posting about your journey on social media-every positive tweet counts.

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