There’s a very good reason why your social media feeds are flooded with post-workout selfies and progress pics – they work.
New research has found that public declarations of your weight loss intentions will make you more likely to achieve them.
The study examined two communities of weight loss groups over a four-year period. Their findings indicated that participation in virtual support communities (VSC) is a key part of hitting health and fitness goals.
"In our investigation of VSCs, we find social identity motivates public commitment in support of goal attainment," the researchers write.
Co-author Dr. Sonya A. Grier says, "The sharing of intimate information and photos about weight loss goals in virtual space is a key factor in motivating behaviours that fulfil that new thinner identity and thus helps people reach their goals."
"Not everyone can get the support they need from the people they interact with in-person on a daily basis. It is helpful that technology can support community-building and goal-achievement in virtual spaces."
Other small studies have shared similar findings. A 2013 study published in Translational Behavioural Medicine, for example, found that participants who published their weight loss progress on Twitter lost more weight than those who kept it to themselves.
So take five seconds after your sweat sesh to post about your progress, or even just let your mates know, it could help you hit your health and fitness goals.