Can taking selfies help people lose weight?
Studies have showed that documenting weight-loss journeys using photos can help people overcome what is often said to be the hardest part of dieting – remaining motivated.
Recent research by the University of Alicante has suggested that documenting progress by keeping a photo diary presents dieters with a greater chance of realising their objectives.
“After all, it is very gratifying to literally see yourself get slimmer over time,” Mercedes Rizo Baeza of the varsity said. The method of posting before-and-after photos has become a trend on social media. And it seems to be working. Justine McCabe – famed for losing 124 pounds – is one of the people who employed the technique to lose weight.
Unflattered by how she looked at 22.4 stone, McCabe wanted to see a different self when she looked in the mirror. “I wanted to see myself change, see if my expression would change,” she explained to Today.
McCabe turned to food for comfort following the deaths of her mother and husband. The 31-year-old ignored concerns of family and a friend for her rapidly increasing weight until she went for grief counseling. “I did it out of spite. I wanted [my friend and family] to just shut up,” she said.
A grilling hour in the gym helped McCabe process everything that had happened. Later, as proof of her at the gym, she took a selfie and sent it to her friend.
She did the same next day and continued. Ate healthy, worked out more and manged to lose 5.3 stone in five months. In autumn 2015, she hired a personal trainer who helped her gain muscle and shed another 49 pounds by July, 2016. The Californian regularly updates her Instagram account to keep her 94,700 followers posted.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle also helped her fight depression. “I have the power to control my life,” she said. “I truly have healed my self-esteem, my self-love. I finally learned how to create happiness within myself first and not be seeking that in an outside source,” McCabe said.
This article originally appeared in The Independent.