Want to lose weight? There's no longer any need to head to your local weight-loss support group. Just go online. The rise of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter means you can go to cyberspace for diet and fitness support. We spend about 3.6 hours online every day, messaging, updating and tweeting. There are 50 million messages tweeted every day. Twitter, an instant message-style website that allows you to notify your "followers" of every thought or action in 25 words or less, can help you use your network to support your weight loss.
Researchers at Brown University in the US found dieters who received weekly advice from therapists online lost three times as much weight in six months as those who didn't receive advice. And a report in the Journal Of The American Medical Association on the largest weight-loss maintenance study to date found a combination of personal contact and web-based support is crucial for long-term weight management.
"Twitter succeeds as a weight-loss tool because it's personal and accessible," personal trainer Amelia Burton says. She trains her clients via Twitter and motivates hundreds with her advice.