We all know that people who keep a record of their diet and training habits are more successful at dropping pounds, but, unfortunately, all of that documentation can become tiresome. What else could you do to support your exercise efforts?
A recent study carried out at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, suggests that tracking the information by using text messaging could save time and increase the chance of people sticking with their get-healthy habits.
The researchers discovered that, after six months, 26 overweight women who used daily texting as part of a weight-loss program lost almost 3 pounds, while other 24 women who used classic methods gained 2.5 pounds. The subjects received automated texts every day asking them for the number of steps they had done, the number of sugary drinks they had consumed, and whether they had eaten fast food the day before. On the basis of the responses, the automated system replied with a text offering personalized feedback and a tip.
Text messaging has a few advantages over other self-monitoring methods. The messages are short – limited to less than 20 words – can be quickly entered on most mobile phone platforms, and provide real-time tracking, greater portability, and better access to feedback.
The majority of participants reported that texting was easy, and helped them achieve their goals.