Texting may help you lose weight

US - When it comes to losing weight, receiving motivational text messages could help tip the scale in your favour. While prior research has warned that spending too much time hovering over your mobile phone is bad for your fitness, a small new study suggests an upside to the trend.

Dieters in a Weight Watchers programme who opted to receive motivational and reminder text messages lost around 2kg more in a 12-week period than those who didn't receive texts, according to a new study.

US researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Centre in Richmond, Virginia, published their findings in the journal CIN. The study is the first to isolate the effect of text messages on weight loss, lead author Claudia Bouhaidar said.

Plus, nearly 80 per cent of the 28 participants said that text messages helped them adopt healthier habits, Mobihealthnews reports. Subjects received texts twice a week and they often involved an interactive component, such as responding "yes" or "no" to whether or not participants had tried a healthy snack tip.

At the start of the study, subjects responded about 66 per cent of the time, but that tapered off to 52 per cent by the end of the study, Mobihealthnews reports.

Prior research also supports incorporating smartphones into your weight-loss plan. Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Leeds in Britain created an app dubbed My Meal Mate to trial against a paper-based plan for tracking food intake and an online version. App users lost on average 4.6kg compared with 2.9kg for subjects who used a paper-based plan and 1.3kg for subjects who used an online diary.