What is the best way to stay fit and track what you eat? Take a photo of it. Posting your meals and the exercises you do on Instagram may help you lose weight, according to a new study from the University of Washington.
After interviewing 16 women who consistently used Instagram to document and share what they eat in a day using #fooddiary or #foodjournal, researchers found that receiving support from other Instagram users helped them make better food choices to meet their weight loss goals.
Taking and sharing photos with other people is simply more fun than writing everything out in a diary or app, said lead author Christina Chung in a press release.
Some people also reported that Instagram held them more accountable than using an app like MyFitnessPal: “With Instagram, it helped me because I was taking a picture of it—it’s real and it does exist and it does count towards what I was eating. And then putting up a visual image of it really helped me stay honest,” one study participant testified. (Just keep in mind that only posting rainbow bagels and cheesy, gooey pizza may have the opposite effect.)
What’s more, even after people met their weight loss and fitness goals, maintaining their Instagram accounts and encouraging others along the way made it easier for them to keep up with their healthy eating and exercise lifestyle that they created for themselves, the study found.
“Being healthy all the time becomes really boring for a lot of people because once you hit that goal or Plato the motivation has worn off,” study author Sean Munson, Ph.D., explains. “This made things more interesting and meaningful for people because after they got to their goal, they turned to think about how they could help others and stay accountable to people who were relying on them for support.”
What does Instagram offer people who want to be healthy?
If you are looking to Instagram as a source for information in terms of your health then there is plenty for you to explore. Healthy living, exercise, and food are some of the most widespread areas on the social network and if you look in the right places, you will be surprised by the sheer amount of information available. To search for this information, you can use a hashtag to narrow down the results and get to the most relevant posts.
No matter how specific you think your interest is, put it into a hashtag and you will almost certainly find a post using it or something similar. For example, using the #healthyliving hashtag leads to more than twenty million results, while there are more than one hundred and thirty million posts that use #healthy as a hashtag.
While these posts can give you an idea about health to some extent, some of them may only be using the hashtag for one post in particular. Alternatively, you can also use Instagram to find accounts which are entirely dedicated to healthy living concepts. There are numerous Instagram users out there who are sharing their ideas with the whole world and they are quite easy to find.
The beauty of Instagram is that there are so many people using the social network and, therefore, you have an almost never-ending source of information with so many different viewpoints to take in. Additionally, as Instagram focuses on pictures as a means for users to explain their messages, you can get a visual idea of how these people’s ideas about healthy living are having a visible impact on their lives.
How can I contribute by using Instagram?
If you are thinking of taking to Instagram and creating an account of your own to make an impression on the world of alternative medicine then you need to know how to guarantee that your account will make a big impact. Being a success on Instagram requires a lot of interaction with other Instagram users.
This is done through views of your content and your profile likes for your posts as well as comments underneath them and getting people to follow you and receive regular updates from your account. This combination of activity means that your profile will become more popular and, once this happens, you will inevitably attract more interaction.
However, getting the ball rolling can be the hard part. To get you started, there are numerous websites that can help you get the Instagram interaction required to take your profile to the next level. These websites offer Instagram users important features, such as likes, comments, and followers, that help increase engagement and, in turn, give your account a more prominent position among search results and a higher degree of visibility among other Instagram users.
Healthy living is within your grasp but the key to achieving it and sustaining it is having the right information to help you and your situation. With Instagram, there is plenty of information waiting for you to discover it and all in one place. It is now up to you to track it down.
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