Weight loss is mostly a case of eating the right foods and taking moderate exercise.
But there are other diet tricks slimmers can try which could increase the chances of weight loss success.
Research has found what dieters are eating and the exercise they are doing is not the be all and end all.
In fact, modern technology may be the answer to losing weight.
A study from the University of California found sharing the ups and downs of a weight loss journey helped with losing weight.
The study titled ‘Weight Loss Through Virtual Support Communities: A Role for Identity-based Motivation in Public Commitment’, examined the role of virtual communities and public commitment to setting and reaching weight loss goals.
Tonya Williams Bradford, study co-author, wrote: “Our research finds that individuals are more likely to realise success with personal goals when they make a public commitment to attaining them.
“By sharing success and setbacks in virtual support communities on social media, we found people are achieving better results. This works especially well with goals like weight loss, where before and after images can be shared online with other community members.”
Researchers followed two groups of people on weight loss journeys – those who had undergone surgery to lose weight and those who had not.
As part of their programmes, members of both weight loss groups used virtual support communities such as ObesityHelp.com and WeightWatchers.com.
Bradford explained: “Through our research, we found public commitment, which is a declaration of a position, increases the likelihood of compliance to a course of action and is a key part of a successful weight loss plan.”
The research also discovered virtual support communities offer a unique angle as they allow members anonymity, accessibility, availability and crucially, flexibility in how they represent their progress.
Bradford explained it is the process of building a community, and the reaching similar goals that helps keep participants motivated and accountable.
Sharing images and stories online does not have to be done through a website set up specifically for the purpose, with many people turning to social media sites such as Imgur to update their progress.
One man revealed online how he lost belly fat and got incredible abs.
The man revealed he was 5’8” and had weighed 14 stone six pounds before he started. But 11 months on, he was down to 13 stone and two pounds, as well as sporting an impressive set of abs.