Use technology to stay on track

A new study in the “Journal of Medical Internet Research” shows that people in a weight-loss program who made greater use of a website to record progress and receive motivation were more successful at maintaining their weight loss.

Participants were encouraged to log in at least weekly and enter a current weight for the 30-month study period.

The website contained features that encouraged setting short-term goals, creating action plans, and reinforcing self-management habits.

The website also included motivational modules, daily tips, and tailored messages.

Conclusion: Participants defined as consistent website users of an interactive behavioral website designed to promote maintenance of weight loss were more successful at maintaining long-term weight loss.

It’s always hard to know what’s chicken vs. egg (association vs. causation)… Maybe those who logged on more often were more motivated, and would have been more successful with or without a web-based program.

I still record my workouts and daily weights in my online Google calendar.  I no longer keep food logs, though I did for the first 6 months, until my grocery shopping and eating became “automatic.”  We need all the help we can get to “stay on track.”

Click for one dietician’s recommendations for online resources for weight loss.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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