Self Magazine has a solution for you chronic dieters. All you have to do is sign up for their SMS plan, and they’ll send you tips and gentle encouragement 5 times a day to keep you fit. Great idea. Until it starts stressing you out.
The Self Diet Tapper system was developed by a group of dieticians and fitness experts as a way of keeping people motivated about staying in shape. At 9am it may text you to add some fruit to your diet. At noon, take a break and do some light cardio. At 7, load up on the proteins. So on and so forth. And reminders in this fashion are supposed to work. According to Mashable:
A study in the Archives of Dermatology showed that people who received a text message to wear sunscreen were 26% more likely to apply SPF. Another, published in British medical journal The Lancet, found that people who received motivational texts to help them quit smoking were twice as likely to have maintained that resolution six months later.
Now this either will work or it won’t. I remain skeptical. I only speak for myself, but, if it were me, I’d appreciate the texts for maybe the first day. And why not? It is a good idea. By the second day I’d be fighting the good fight, but come one what’s one burger? Meanwhile, the pseudo-friendly “Have you had a glass of water today?” messages would start to grate. By the third or fourth day I’d be stressed out. By the end of the week I’d have given up, shamed by technology and Condé Nast trying to keep my healthy.