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Social Media as Personal Trainer

Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.

Of all of the wonderful things that have come from the World Wide Web, one of my personal favorites is social networking sites. These online darlings make it possible for us to connect with friends and family, as well as catching up with those from our past. An added bonus is the ability to connect with sites that guide, motivate and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Because you are reading this on Diets in Review, you already understand the importance of having trusted resources to help you stay on track while keeping you current in the world of health and fitness.
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The Twitter Diet–Public Support or Humiliation?

Twitter DietWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: social support is key to a successful diet. But can social media fill this need? For New York Times writer Brian Stelter, it has. “I thought it would make me more accountable, because I could record everything I ate instantly,” he writes. He began his Twitter diet at over 270 pounds, and now weighs less than 200. Stelter tweeted about what he ate, his calorie count, and how much he exercised. “By Sept. 3 I’ll have lost 75 pounds. I’m already thinking ahead to the fall, when I’ll have to learn how to maintain my new size.”

But like any weight loss endeavor, the journey has not been easy. At first, Stelter thought that he would encounter criticism for the seemingly self-absorbed approach to wight loss. Instead, he found that being honest about his eating habits was even harder. Heavy drinking and late-night fast food didn’t get tweeted. “Within days, I stopped posting the daily log of bites and sips. I disappeared from the account for almost a week at a time.”
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Last month I completed a gluten-free series covering a variety of products and resources for those who suffer from Celiac disease or are looking for more information on the topic. A new resource recently launched called Gling, a social website for members to share in all things gluten-free and we wanted to take a closer look.

Gling originally launched providing information on food, recipes and a directory of gluten-free shops and restaurants by location. Additionally, there was an article section which includes original content from Gling writers as well as from popular gluten-free bloggers.

More recently, Gling announced a partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, which is the largest Celiac research center in the world. The research from this center has helped in making progress to diagnose, treat and improve the lives of people with Celiac, and should be a great resource for the Gling community.

I loved the concept of the site, so I signed myself up for a free membership and started checking out all the site had to offer. The main sections are recipes, food and locations. I review each below.

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Achieve Healthy Goals with Social Networking

Guest blogger Carrie Labowitz is a business professional/blogger that uses her network of followers to stay on track and reach her goals.  Follow her on her blog, Fit to Fat and Back.

Last year a friend introduced me to social networking and I found myself spending hours searching for friends and family. I noticed how everyone was updating their status to reflect plans for the day or goals, what I really found interesting was the support they received from their friends. 

It was then that I started to wonder if I could find a group online to support me in my weight loss and wellness goals.

I found site after site specifically set up to provide me with the tools I needed to achieve my goals. Frankly, I joined too many sites, but eventually narrowed it down to sites I found most helpful. A year later I have lost 40 pounds and have started running. 

I accomplished these things with the support of my family and friends, but largely due to the support of the online community I connected with as a result of social networking

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