Virtual weight loss is a type of motivational tool used to support a person’s weight loss plan. It accomplishes this by providing a visual representation of the dieter’s current weight, as well as a simulation of how he or she will look once reaching the goal weight. Through the use of a virtual model, dieters can create an accurate, three-dimensional representation of their body shape and size. This, in turn, allows dieters to document their weight loss more effectively, and clearly visualize the changes in their body as their diet progresses.
After entering his or her weight and height information, virtual weight loss programs use standard body mass index (BMI) calculations to create a virtual model of the user’s body. On many sites, users can even select hair color and style, as well as eye color, skin tone, and other customizable characteristics. Some sites also allow users to choose clothing. After creating a model, users can then easily adjust it’s weight to determine how he or she would look after losing or gaining a specified amount of weight. This three-dimensional simulation not only prepares the actual person for weight loss, but also serves as a motivation tool to help users stick to a diet plan.
Some of the more advanced virtual weight loss tools allow users to upload photographs of themselves to a website. After the user specifies the amount of weight he or she wants to lose, the photograph is then digitally altered to those specifications. A true-to-life portrait of his or her outcome, after weight loss, can then be viewed.
In addition to providing visual motivation to its users, virtual weight loss tools typically also provide valuable information to users, such as nutritional facts, diet tips, and suggested exercise plans. Allowing users to judge their weight loss before it occurs, the tools are not only convenient for dieters who prefer to lose weight from home, but also provide online support for individuals who do not have time to attend regular, in-person meetings.
Virtual weight loss tools are usually found on websites that promote healthy living, such as diet forums, medical sites, and online fitness or education publications. Companies specializing in diet plans or specialized meals often advertise their products with these types of virtual weight loss sites. Although most online sources offer free access to their virtual weight loss tools, users may be charged a small fee for access to additional features.