We tend to use Instagram for a lot of different reasons. We Instagram our food, our kids, our health and so much more. A new study conducted by Northwestern University claims that taking part in an online community helps us lose weight. This may seem bombastic, even crazy, but the study asserts that being online and engaging has become a crucial part of weight loss for many people. According to the study’s senior author, Luis A. Nunes Amaral, “we found that the frequency with which you report your weight is a good indicator of positive outcomes. 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.”
We all need a little support to get us through those long days of diet and seemingly endless cardio. Sometimes binging Netflix isn’t enough to get us through an hour on the treadmill. Instagram (amongst other online resources) seemingly might be a good place to find that support according to Northwestern’s study. Swiping through a thread of fellow people succeeding and struggling on Instagram may well be what we need to motivate us and keep us positive about our own image and fitness. Conversely, interacting with others online with a little anonymity seems to be a big part of what keeps us coming back and free of shame.
The study is called ‘Friending’ Your Way Thin and it may be a way forward for some people struggling with weight loss. At the very least, it’s an outlet to find motivation and a community. So let’s try, shall we?