Motivation and its relationship to adherence to self-monitoring and weight loss in a 16-week Internet behavioral weight loss intervention

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010 May-Jun;42(3):161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2009.03.001. Epub 2010 Feb 6.


Objective: To examine changes in motivation and the relationship of motivation to adherence to self-monitoring and weight loss in a 16-week Internet behavioral weight-loss intervention.

Design: Two-group randomized design.

Setting: This study was conducted over the Internet.

Participants: Sixty-six women, ages 22-65, with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 40, and with a home computer with Internet access, participated.

Intervention: These data are from an Internet behavioral weight-loss program in which all participants received a face-to-face initial session followed by the 16-week Internet program.

Main outcome measures: Adherence to self-monitoring and weight loss were the main outcome measures.

Analysis: Linear regression and mediation analysis using the Baron and Kenny method were conducted.

Results: Autonomous motivation increased initially and remained high for those who ultimately achieved a 5% weight loss, but declined over time for participants who did not achieve a 5% weight loss. Autonomous motivation at 4 weeks was a predictor of adherence to self-monitoring and 16-week weight loss. Adherence mediated the relationship between autonomous motivation and weight loss.

Conclusions and implications: These results suggest that autonomous motivation may be a promising intervention target for promoting program procedure adherence and weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult