Online activities and your weight
Maybe you post photos of your dog on Instagram or ask for suggestions on Facebook about what to watch on Netflix. There are lots of ways to use social media sites—including help with weight control. If you want an assist with maintaining your weight or even shedding a few kilos, here’s what you can do online.
Unfollow indulgent food
Scrolling through drool-worthy photos of #foodporn on Instagram may seem harmless, but it encourages you to indulge more. A review of studies published in the journal Brain and Cognition found that regular exposure to virtual food may exacerbate physical hunger. Even worse: Seeing photos associated with a particular taste may decrease your enjoyment when you actually experience that taste.
“Unfollow accounts that set you up to overindulge or consider looking at them only at certain times such as early in the day after a meal when your cravings and appetite aren’t triggered,” suggests DJ Blatner, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Chicago and the author of The Superfood Swap. Instead, she says, “think of your Instagram feed as a ‘vision board.’ What you see regularly creates more of that in your life. If you see pictures of people being active, enjoying superfoods, participating in non-food joy, it will inspire you consciously and unconsciously to create the same in your life.”
Pin healthy inspiration
Once you’ve unfollowed social media accounts that make you crave unhealthy food, focus on the ones that inspire you. “Create Pinterest vision boards for each lifestyle area: fitness routines, fitness outfits, quick recipes, party recipes, non-food hobbies, drinks/hydration, stress, sleep, and don’t forget to make at least one with motivational quotes and mantras,” suggests Blatner. Add to them regularly, and explore them whenever you need motivation. “Creating digital vision boards is a powerful tool,” she says. “Seeing inspiring pictures of what you want in your life will encourage you to start creating that and take inspired action. Over time, you become what you surround yourself with.”