Weight loss and technology have finally met up -- on your computer, iPad, and smartphone. I've been hearing all about these new weight loss apps and calorie tracking websites, so I decided to find out what others thought about online resources designed to help you lose weight. Are they better than traditional weight loss support groups?

Turns out most professionals agree that the best way to lose the weight is to use an online resource in addition to attending weight loss group sessions. "Computer-based interventions have a positive effect on short-term weight loss," Louise Falzon, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues wrote in a Cochrane Review. She added, however, that people typically lose more weight and maintain that weight loss with more traditional face-to-face options.

So what's the takeaway? Dr. Frank Sacks of Harvard School of Public Health emphasizes the combination of Internet support as well as weight loss classes. People using both methods are less likely to regain lost weight after two years; Sacks notes that this is "really unprecedented," and "it could be considered something of a breakthrough." Take this advice and double-dip on the support -- not the ice cream! Here are some resources you can combine if you're looking to lose that weight.

Websites & Mobile Apps

Who's not at a computer these days? Try out these sites to track your foods, keep your calories in check, and monitor your exercise all from your laptop or smartphone:

Support Groups and Classes

Docs agree that in-person classes and support groups are still the way to go. Check out these options offered at Chester County Hospital:

Weight Matters
Eight Mondays beginning September 24, 2012
Community Wellness Classroom (600 East Marshall Street, Suite 302, West Chester)
$100 fee; check with your insurance provider for possible reimbursement

For more information or to register, call 610-431-5461 or visit the link.

Weight Matters Maintenance
October 9: Importance of Sleep for Weight Loss
November 13: Exercise -- How Much is Enough?
December 11: Healthy Holiday Cooking & Baking

All classes are held from 6:30-7:30pm in the Community Wellness Classroom (600 East Marshall Street, Suite 302, West Chester); $5 per meeting.

For more information or to register, call 610-738-2300 or visit the link.

One-on-One Counseling

Available for those who like a more individualized approach. For more information, call 610-738-2835.

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