Let's be honest, losing weight isn't easy. Sure, some people may claim that the whole burn more calories than you consume theory makes weight loss a breeze, but if you've struggled with your weight at any point then you'll know that's simply not true.
If you're anything like me, then you've tried every diet plan out there, from Atkins to three shakes a day. But when it comes to losing weight, it's all down to bio-individuality and what works for one, doesn't work for another.
And modern life certainly doesn't make things easier. Convenience has replaced nutrition, fast food has replaced family meal times and advertisements are everywhere bombarding us with messages on what we should eat and how we should look. We really are a generation that's suffering from information overload. A quick google search on various weight loss methods will throw up hundreds, thousands, even millions of answers to our questions. But despite all the information available to us, it has left us more confused than ever.
But the internet does have an important part to play in helping us with our weight loss efforts. Here are 5 ways in which the internet can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Online Fitness Classes. Recently I've ditched the gym and started doing yoga classes online. All I needed was a decent internet connection, a yoga mat and a subscription to an online fitness website and I was away. I signed up for Yoogaia which offers a variety of classes online and in real-time with instructor support. It's cheaper than the gym and working out at home means have no excuse to skip class.
Instagram. When I first joined instagram I think it was with the firm intention of sharing pictures of my cat. But as time has moved on, I've found the app an invaluable tool for helping me stay motivated, find healthy recipe ideas and for keeping me up to date with what's happening in the world of health and wellness. Some of my favourite Health and Fitness instagrammers include @MadeleyChloe @_SarahWilson_ and @thebodycoach.
Blog. Blogs aren't just there for entertainment, they can also educate and inspire. So if you're looking for a great way to keep yourself accountable whilst on your weight loss journey, then setting up a blog is a great idea.
To get blogging you can either sign up for a free account (such as blogger or wordpress) or you can self host. If you're interested in the latter option all you need to do is simply buy yourself a domain name and some decent hosting (a word to the wise: be careful when choosing a host for your blog, especially if you're going to be uploading a lot of pictures, I use HostGator managed wordpress hosting as it has unlimited space so no danger of me running out of room when posting my recipe ideas but some hosts limit the amount of images you can upload) . Once you've done that you'll have your very own space to document your progress, build your own community and you'll be able to inspire others on their journey.
Pinterest. I have to admit, I'm obsessed with Pinterest. If I could find someone to pay me for sitting on Pinterest all day, then I'd take the job in a heartbeat. But Pinterest isn't just good for swooning over images of exotic Caribbean Islands, cute kittens and calorific cakes, it's also a good virtual pin board for everything health. From quick, healthy meals to workout tips, Pinterest can give you ideas that will help you pin your way thin.
To help you get started set up four boards that will be the inspiration for your life change: Healthy Eats, Healthy Treats, Workout Ideas and Inspiration and then spend 10 - 15 minutes everyday finding pins that will inspire you to reach your goals.
Keep track of your food and your movement. One of the most important diet tips is that you should keep a diary of your food. It's so easy to sneak in the odd sweet or bar of chocolate that usually gets forgotten about when you're wondering why you've not lost any weight this week. Keeping track of what you've eaten helps you make better choices, I use MyFitnessPal, it's free and it works on my phone and tablet so no excuse not to keep an accurate food log when I'm on the move.
Activity trackers are also a good idea, they often don't just calculate your movement but also your sleep patterns - and as we know, getting enough sleep is an essential part of weight loss success. Seeing what activity you're doing, should motivate you to up your game.
So whilst the internet won't do all the hard work for you, using some of the tools above should help you keep that motivation alive and reach your goals in no time.
Follow Rachael Phillips on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rachaelphillips