Hive Health Media

Facebook Could Be the Reason Your Diet is Failing

As you’re busy adding more friends on your Facebook, you may be neglecting to realize the pounds that you’ve been adding on your gut.  A recent study conducted by two professors from Monash University and Swinburne Technical Institute in Australia has shown a correlation between use of social networking sites and increased levels of social anxiety.

As we all know, increased levels of stress and anxiety usually coincide with an increase in weight gain.  So with this in mind, it could very well be the case that Facebook use could actually be preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals.

The study itself involved around 50 patients (albeit ones already clinically diagnosed with social anxiety disorder), and monitored the prevalence of anxiety symptoms with increased use of social networking sites.  They found that people had less social anxiety in online social interactions with increased use, but increased anxiety with actual “face to face” situations.  To make things worse, their decreasing confidence about their ability to handle a real life social situation strengthened their existing maladaptive beliefs, causing them to become even more inclusive, relying on the internet as a social outlet.

However,even if you are one of the few and the proud with health insurance these days, anxiety medication can may not be the best idea since many of them can cause an increase in body fat percentage.  Instead, you should consider some alternative methods of anxiety reduction before you commit to going on a medication.

One such “alternative” method is autogenic training.  Although it deviates a bit from what most people would consider to be “normal science,” it gets real results nonetheless.  Autogenic training is based upon the notion that all symptoms are a physical manifestation of an inner psychological conflict.  Practitioners of AT believe that all cells in the body contain information, and when there is a dissonance between the information in your body and the information in your mind, ailments are the result.

To correct this imbalance, AT uses 6 standard exercises that allows one to simply condition the way their mind interprets information from the body, or their stress response.  The exercises vary slightly, but all share the common goal of convincing yourself that all the parts of your body are warm and heavy, signaling to your brain that it is in a state of relaxation.  By conditioning your stress response, you can not only mitigate any existing symptoms of an anxiety disorder that you may have, but train yourself to handle it better when it arises throughout the day.

Eric Hirota is a personal trainer at LAVA Sport & Fitness in San Diego, CA. Aside from nutrition and exercise, writing and web design are his main passions in life.


  1. Healing that Feeling

    May 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I love facebook and this article really shocked me. Although having read it made me realize that it makes sense. Now, I should try lessening my faceook hours. Wish me luck!

  2. Jenn Brigole

    May 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Interesting. It’s just amazing for me to read about stuff that simply prove that the mind really is very powerful. I recently read about “behavioral manipulation/change” or something to that effect, to help individuals manage their weight and deter from eating unhealthily through hypnosis.

  3. Project Swole

    May 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Or if you are an active web developer you can get caught up in developing websites and the next thing you know it’s like 11pm and you end up blowing off your workout. I know because it happens to me at least once a week.

    Also Eric, that is quite a domain you’ve got there. I’m assuming you don’t own it, but that you’re just writing for it and perhaps SEOing it? Or maybe you’re developing it for those doctors? Either way, that’s one hell of a domain name.

  4. Mike

    May 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    It is not just Facebook it is the whole social media phenomenon that can keep you busy for hours and hours.

  5. Health Blog

    May 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

    This is probably one of the disadvantages of living in the fast lane. Thanks I do not use Facebook much.

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