Ever look at someone who's managed to slim down and wonder: What's his or her secret?
We tapped the experts at MyFitnessPal, an app that lets users track their weight, activity, eating habits, and more, and asked them to dive into the data from their more than 65 million users to find out what separates the people who manage to drop pounds from the rest. Adopt these habits to see your own weight-loss success.
1. They Seek Social Support
MyFitnessPal members with friends who also use the app drop twice as much weight, on average, as users who don't have a community on the app—and that number only goes up if you have more friends within the app: Users who have 10 or more friends lose, on average, four times as much weight as users who have none.
"It's generally shown that people who have community and support groups tend to do better," says Elle Penner, R.D. for MyFitnessPal and author of the healthy-lifestyle blog According to Elle.
Research published in the American Journal of Medicine confirms this: People in the study who joined a weight-loss intervention group lost a bigger percentage of their original body weight than those who tried to go it alone.
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2. They Track Their Food Consistently
And you don't even have to do it for very long to see results: According to MyFitnessPal data, 88 percent of users who log their meals for seven days lose weight.
"A lot of times we eat even without even realizing it," says Penner. "[Logging] just kind of brings attention to what we're putting in our body—and it also helps people understand the energy that some foods have."
Even if you don't have an app like MyFitnessPal, keeping a food journal can help you drop more pounds than you would otherwise.
3. They Hold Themselves Accountable
If you want to see the best results from of the two the tips above, combine them: MyFitnessPal users who share their food diaries with just one other user tend to drop two times the weight of users who don't open up about what they eat. Yes, it may feel a little weird to put your munching habits on display, but it's the best way to keep yourself honest, says Penner.
"Knowing someone is going to check on you or that they might look at your diary as a source of inspiration can help keep you on track."
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