Why tracking your weight loss on social media (like Ciara) is actually really helpful

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Even two months after giving birth to baby number two, Ciaras body is still #goals. But according to an Instagram post the vocalist shared a couple of weeks ago, she put on more weight than she planned to while pregnant with her second child.

I told I wasnt going to gain 60 lbs Carrying Sienna, and I did precisely that !! Ciara captioned the photo of her feet standing on a scale that read 178.6 pounds. 4 weeks after her birth I lost 20 lbs. This Weeks Goal is 10 lbs. I was 183 yesterday.

Ciara has since shared two more scale updates: On June 13, she was down to 175.2. Then on June 20, the vocalist reported she had a no motion week”and was still hovering around 175 pounds: Started my stretch marking removal process this week, and the Doc told me I couldn’t work out…so I ate healthy& added a few[ cookies] in the mixture! But Ciara didn’t let the exercise rule squash her motive: This weeks aim 3lbs. #BounceBack

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While the notion of posting scale pics on Insta may seem daunting, Ciara is on to something. For research studies published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, researchers looked at people who belonged to an online weight loss community for six months. They found that those who regularly logged in, “friended” others, and shared the number on their scale shed more pounds 8.3% of their own bodies weight, on averagecompared to those who didn’t network on the website, and lost merely 4.1% of their own bodies weight.

Another study, published in 2014 in the Journal of the American Informatics Association, found that people who posted slim-down updates on Twitter reported receiving more support from their Twitter adherents than their real-life family members or friends. What’s more, greater assistance from social media pals was associated with greater weight loss success.

Meanwhile, research on weight-loss bloggers has found that the longer they preserve a blog, the more pounds they ditch. In a 2016 study, bloggers reported that sharing their progress online helped them stay focused on their goals, retained them accountable, and led to social support.

RELATED: 57 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT FOREVER, ACCORDING TO SCIENCE

Bounce Back. #LevelUp .

A post shared by Ciara (@ ciara) on

There’s no question that promoting words can go a long way when you’re trying to make a big change. And it might be easier to get that kind of support online: Posting about your weight loss journey on social media may feel less intimidating than talking about it IRL, points out Sherry Pagoto, PhD, co-founder of the UMass Center for Health and Social Media.

Some people say they like the anonymity[ online ], she explains. On Twitter, you can choose a handle and use an avatar on your profile, which induces some people feel like they can speak more freely and not be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their weight.

And it’s worth noting that you don’t need 16.7 million adherents like Ciara to leverage social media for your health. A small but mighty group of virtual advocates may be enough, tells Pagoto. It’s takes time to create an online community. But if you involve and stick with it, you can experience a lot of weight loss advantages. It just takes a little bit of work.

This article originally appeared on Health

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