It appears that a little “pat on the back,” positive reinforcement, or constructive criticism are all good things for weight loss. People who take part in online weight loss programs see better results when they receive feedback.
A study, which included 179 people who were taking part in Shape Up RI, an annual online 12-week community weight-loss competition in Rhode Island, found that people who had a computer-generated feedback component lost the most weight.
The study had three groups: one with just the standard Shape Up RI program, another with the standard program and additional video lessons, and those with both of these plus added feedback. The group that lost the most weight, 7.7 pounds on average, had all three components to their program.
“The addition of videos alone did lead to a small increase in weight loss, but the combination of the three strategies produced much better outcomes,” said lead author Rena Wing, of the department of psychiatry and human behavior at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
About 40 percent of the feedback group lost five percent or more of their body weight, while about 13 percent of the non-feedback group lost five percent or more.