Bikini shots help dieting

Dieters who keep a photo diary of how they look keeps them motivated
Dieters who keep a photo diary of how they look keeps them motivated

Dieters who take "bikini shots" of themselves are more likely to shed the pounds, a new study found.

Keeping a photo diary of how people look keeps them motivated as it provides visual confirmation that all their hard work is paying off.

And having full body snaps made them more likely to hit their target weight, particularly when they could see their waist.

Professor Mercedes Rizo Baeza at the University of Alicante said: "After all, it is very gratifying to literally see yourself get slimmer over time.

"What patients want is a photo, rather than cold numbers."

The study examined the motivation levels of 271 patients, 233 of which were women, on weight loss programmes at a nutrition clinic in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Different measurements were taken of the patients each week, including body mass index, weight-to-hip ratio, food and exercise diaries, to record their progress.

Full-body photographs were taken each week.

Over the course of the sixteen-week programme,90 per cent of the participants aged between 16 and 72, saw the treatment through to the end and 71.3 per cent successfully meeting their weight loss objectives.

It found waist circumference, one of the most visual elements, was particularly motivating.

This finding correlates with the fact that the majority of the patients who attended the clinic did so motivated by image, rather than any underlying condition such as high cholesterol or heart condition.

And patients did not necessarily need to attend the clinic in person for the programme to be effective.

Half sent their own full-body photographs to the researcher and there was no difference between the two groups with sticking with the programme and weight loss.