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Monday, 6 June 2011

Motivation for weight loss

Indiana University researchers report that the confidence and motivation built in a virtual gym can continue on into normal, 'real' life.

This statement comes after participants in a 12-week weight loss programme - one real, and one online - lost similar amounts of weight. Both groups lost 10 pounds on average but when the groups were surveyed on whether their overall behaviour had changed, those using the virtual gym appeared to have made more changes towards healthy eating and physical activity, suggesting that they might fare better in the future, compared to the 'real' group.

Dr Johnson (one of the study researchers) said that "[the virtual gym] has the potential to reach people who normally wouldn't go to a gym or join a programme because of limitations, such as time or discomfort with a fitness centre environment"

This study is particularly interesting as it seems that the motivation and encouragment people received from the virtual group was as effective, if not more effictive, than those attending the real-life groups. The main point to draw from this study could be that there is strong evidence for a role in virtual support for weight loss that can be further researched and encouraged. Motivation, whether online or real life, seems to be successful at encouraging weight loss.

For information on SDS courses such as 'Motivational Interviewing' and 'Solution Focused Therapy' please visit our website:

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