Text messaging is a wonderful innovation. I can get in touch with a friend or acquaintance quickly and easily. I don’t have to pick up the phone and call when I really can’t be bothered chatting. It really does save me some time and effort. Some would say that text has changed their life…
But can text messaging actually change your life, by helping you to reduce stomach fat and extra fat from your hips or thigh region? Sounds too good to be true.
OK, its not quite as simple as just picking up the mobile phone, snapping out those 160 characters and watching the excess weight drop off! So what exactly am I talking about here. Let me divulge.
A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research looked at the effectiveness of tracking your nutrition and exercise program through the use of text messaging. The findings? Participants using text message monitoring lost more weight than those opting for traditional methods of recording activity – such as scrambling around looking for pen and paper. Does that make more sense?
Yes, seems like an odd thing to be spending your time researching but please bare with us!
The study included 26 obese women. Every morning they got a text from an automated system chasing up on yesterdays activity and eating habits. Depending on what they texted back there would be a personalized follow up message with further tips.
The group that got the text messages lost nearly 1.3kg. Ok, that sounds reasonably good. What about those who didn’t. Well surprisingly the group that followed traditional methods and did not receive any tips or motivation via text actually gained 1.1kg during the same period. Interesting.
So what was the rationale behind the increased weight loss? What was out about text messaging that the researchers claimed was so effective?
Well the conclusions were that tracking your training info by text could save time and increase adherence to healthy eating and exercise routines? OK, fair enough, its easier than hunting down your training diary I suppose, and also provides a bit of a daily prompt to keep track of what you are up to.
Previous research has supported this theory in that people who track their nutrition and exercise are much more likely to reduce stomach fat. And it seems that it is important to ensure your method for tracking your efforts is clearly visible throughout the day to prompt you to stick to your plan.