You probably don't even realize it, but one of your greatest tools to battle those pesky pounds is right in your hand. Using social media to help you on your weight loss journey can be incredibly effective. We're not just talking about gym selfies - we're looking at you, Debra from high school. You can incorporate social media into your weight-loss plan to get guidance from people who have successfully lost weight and keep you motivated. In fact, a study  published on Health Affairs found that people from the U.S., Europe, East Asia and Australia who used social networking sites to track their weight-loss progress lost significant weight compared to those who didn't.

Use your own social media sites
If you already write in a blog, consider recording your weight-loss journey. Not only can you get advice and encouragement from people who read your blog, but your posts may also help motivate other people who want to lose weight. Writing your feelings out may help you understand why you're struggling, and also help you realize how far you've come. Not to mention, once you let the masses know that you're on a weight-loss journey, it'll be tougher for you to quit. After all, you want to show everyone that you can succeed!

"If people know you're on a weight-loss journey, it'll be tougher to quit."

There are plenty of forums, like Weight Loss Wars and Fat Secret, and Facebook groups dedicated to weight-loss help and advice. Join one of these groups and talk about your experience with other people who are working on making the same healthy changes in their lives. Talk about methods that work for you and ask what works for them. Having support - even if it's from people you don't actually know - can make all the difference when it comes to finding motivation.

If you don't have a Pinterest account yet, you should. A quick search in Pinterest can lead you to a dizzying array of fitness routines that target your problem areas, unique ideas to fit in exercise, and healthy meals to make for dinner tonight.  Even if you don't pin ideas yourself, you'll have plenty of material to read. Just beware of falling into a Pinterest hole, because there is so much information available!

Use an app
Your phone is in your hand the majority of the time anyway, so why not use it to your advantage? There are plenty of apps, like My Fitness Pal or Spark People that allow you to log your meals, calculate calories burned from your workout and share your progress with other users. If you're using Food Lovers, the service has an app available so you don't even need to be on the computer to access the Food Lovers community or track your meals.

While you can connect these apps to your Facebook or Twitter account and tell all of your friends about the progress you've made, these apps also give you the option to connect with the "community." These are people who have similar goals and are on the app to offer and receive encouragement, just like you.

What not to do
Different weight-loss plans work differently for everyone. If a method worked for someone on your newsfeed, but not for you, don't fret. Don't compare yourself to other people, and don't feel discouraged when someone else is seeing results that you aren't. Congratulate that person and find a plan that works best for you.

Learn more about how to lose weight in a healthy way with the Food Lovers Fat Loss System. This program will help you ramp up your weight-loss efforts and see results.

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