Technology has made life simpler for not just a handful of people but everyone. With a click of a mouse you can do innumerable things. There is inexhaustible information made available to people on the internet. Apart from being a revolution in technology, computers have been able to revolutionise the health of people too.
Praneta, a school student who has just hit her teens says, “I’m glued to the internet to find out how much calories or proteins or carbohydrates ration is good for my age. I lost 2 kgs in a month by restricting myself to a diet which was prescribed for people with my body weight and height on a health portal. It was great because I could also calculate the amount of calories I was consuming every day.”
On raising doubts about the authenticity and credibility about such portals, Praneta quickly adds, “These forums are usually interactive and various dieticians and nutritionists come forth and advice many who are a part of the forum. This automatically eliminates any fear of believing someone unknown located in some other part of the world.”
Like Praneta, there are plenty of people who invest faith in weight management websites. But is it safe to do so? Let’s find out –
There is no second guess to affirm the fact that weight loss programs do reveal many secrets and tips and techniques through which people can lose weight. But as far as the safety, reliability, scientific information and effectiveness of the same is concerned, beliefs and results are bound to vary from person to person.
According to a research study, the internet is fast becoming a place where people spend hours all together to keep weight off them.
The study was done on 1,600 obese participants. 350 out of the total number lost an average 8 kgs during initial six months they surfed a weight management website. In fact, those who logged in at the website – once a month for a period of two-and-a half-year – more frequently than others kept off most weight. The participants actively used the interactive website tool to get feedbacks from dieticians and nutritionists, joined online chatrooms, submitted food diaries and tracked their progress.
Quite interestingly, the nomenclature of the weight management websites is such that it virtually becomes a platform for personal counselling and group meetings.
Kabir, a graphic designer working in an MNC, who lost 10 kgs by keeping a track on his food habits and exercise regime with the help of health centred portals, says “Such weight management websites are a great forum because one can speak the heart out. No one bothers how fat or skinny you are. I started feeling better about myself. It was like a psychological boost.”
Clinical Psychologist at VIMHANS, Dr Pulkit Sharma adds, “Surfing the web to lose weight has two sides to it. On a positive side it gives a platform to people where they can share experiences and stories and find social support. Interaction, guidance and motivation help them to come to terms with their individuality and gives them a sense of being. On the flip side they might feel distressed because they would be aiming to reach a certain and ideal body type. So, this creates a paradoxical situation.”
So, if you’re looking for a website which can help you keep a track of your weight; make sure you keep the following in mind –
- Avoid programs that promise unrealistic weight loss
- Research in advance, if you’re paying to become a part of a program.
- Make sure you're rigorously following the diet and exercise regimen.