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Study Shows That Online Weight Management Sites Help Users Lose Weight

Why Going Online Helps With Weight Loss

It used to be that we didn't talk about our weight. But that was before the Internet. Now everyone knows our business! Facebook, the Twitter Humiliation Diet, Fitbit, and online weight tracking sites allow users to put their weight struggles under a very public eye. The good news is that it's working. A new study — the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial suggests that weight loss is easier for people using online weight management websites.

To be included in the study as a whole, participants had to be considered overweight or obese, and had to have lost at least nine pounds within the first six months of the trial. Of this group, 348 individuals were randomly assigned to join an online weight maintenance program. The site tracked the user's weight, diet, and exercise habits — it also included a community forum. Compared to other participants, those who used the site at least once a month maintained the greatest amount of weight loss, and managed to maintain an average 44 percent of their initial weight loss.

My guess is that the accountability and online support group that the website provided was key in helping participants maintain their weight loss. Something about seeing our progress and tracking our food and exercise habits makes it hard to ignore the task at hand. Have any of you had success with online weight tracking websites? If yes, which ones?

Join The Conversation
secretagentspy secretagentspy 6 years
I'm constantly on dailymile.com and addicted. Everyone is so encouraging and I even met up with someone I met there yesterday at a run.
amber512 amber512 7 years
Online support really helps. I lost over 90 pounds using the tools on SparkPeople.com. I am definitely a different person now than I was before and I'm glad that I had the encouragement and support from my friends online.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't use it so much anymore, but when I was actively losing weight, I liked fitday.com a lot. It had a lot of foods on there that I ate regularly, so I always knew how many calories I was eating vs. burning.
rinerlt rinerlt 7 years
so true. my friends and i use myfitnesspal.com as an online food/exercise diary. it is a great way to manage my calories, both what i get and what i use. i have lost 12 lbs since signing up...one person i know has lost 45 lbs in 6 months of usage!
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