The Connection Between Texting and Weight Loss

Posted On Feb 27, 2014 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

how texting and weight loss are connected

What does sending texts on your phone have to do with weight loss? It's not because texting means you're sitting on your butt not getting exercise. Have you ever tried to text on a treadmill? It's not a good combo! Nor does texting help you by keeping your hands occupied with your phone rather than the chip bag.

So what do texting and weight loss have in common? It's all about the instant gratification our brain thrives on from getting a new text message, the same sort of short-lived, but instant pleasure we get from eating. People know they shouldn't text while driving, yet they continue to do so because the thrill of reading the latest text trumps staying focused on safe driving.

It's the same thing with hitting up fast food or allowing yourself a bowl of ice cream even though your long-term goal is to be fit and healthy. You know it's not good for you and it won't help you reach your goals, but the allure of warm salty french fries or a sweet frozen creamy treat is more powerful than the will to deny yourself that one time. The enjoyment we get from these indulgences is fleeting, usually only lasting a few minutes and often followed by regret.

How do you overcome your powerful subconscious and reform your habits – sometimes deeply embedded lifelong behaviors – to reach your health and fitness goals?

It's not easy, just like avoiding the temptation of looking at the phone while driving. But the more you practice the desired healthy behavior, the stronger your willpower will get and eventually you'll form new healthier habits. There's no set timeframe, even though it's believed that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. It may take longer. But just remember that every time you choose your health and long-term goals over a short-lived moment of pleasure from indulging, you're closer to achieving success. And it gets easier over time!

If you can deny yourself a day without texting or leave the phone in the trunk while you drive, weight loss success might follow!