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How to make the phone your friend

Struggling to shed those extra kilos? Your phone can help you achieve your weight-loss goals.

When losing weight, mobile phones can be both, a handy tool as well as a deterrent. News viewing, typing and swiping can become addictive and, before we know it, hours of inactivity have flown by.

Social media can also be a minefield, forcing us to compare, especially when we're not happy with our weight. But, when consumed healthily, social media can have a positive impact. It's about choosing where we spend our time online.

Just like eating healthy helps you find the healthy balance, your relationship with your phone also need not to be an all or nothing equation. Here are some tips to turn your phone into a weight-loss ally:

Safeguard your self-esteem

Being connected to the whole world can be wonderful. Behind a screen, though, many seem quicker to judge, which can be particularly hard to take when our self-esteem is struggling. Enjoying the online world often means finding the right community, be it a group for daily motivation, exercise tips or even meal preparations.

"The key is to engage with people who support you," says psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos.

Manage your screen time

Too much time spent reading worrying news stories can send anxiety levels soaring. Set some ground rules, so you're not constantly overwhelmed with information. Assign specific times to go online, then put your phone away.

Mealtimes are best left phone-free, to allow yourself to really focus on the taste and texture of your food. Turning off notification can help.

Let your phone sleep alone

According to a Deloitte survey, 81 per cent of people check their phones in the hour before bedtime. The 'blue light' these devices emit, however, makes it difficult to fall asleep.

Over time, not getting enough sleep can slow down your weight loss - when we're tired we may feel less inclined to be active and start to rely on sugary and fatty foods for an energy boost. Turn off phones and tablets an hour before bedtime or leave them in another room.

Take pictures

Regular, full-length mirror selfies are actually a great way to chart your progress. And while you may not love taking the photos to begin with, once you see how far you've come, they'll be worth their weight in gold.

Get active

Sitting too much can be a health risk, but you can recruit your phone to boost activity levels. Link step-counting devices to your phone to calculate how active you are each day or download an exercise or running app to naturally boost activity.

If you need some extra motivation, you can also buddy up with a friend and check in with each other - whether that's attending a Zumba class or going for a walk in your neighbourhood.

If consumed healthily, your relationship with your phone needn't be an all or nothing equation.


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