The role of self-monitoring in the maintenance of weight loss success

Eat Behav. 2016 Apr:21:193-7. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.03.005. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


Introduction: Self-monitoring has been shown to be a crucial part of initial weight loss success in behavioral interventions. However, little is known about the impact of self-monitoring during the period following initial treatment.

Methods: The current study examined the role of self-monitoring on weight loss during an initial 6-month intervention period (Phase 1) and a 12-month extended care period (Phase 2) in a group of 167 obese women (M±SD: BMI=37.0±5.1kg/m(2), age=59.9±6.2years) enrolled in a behavioral weight loss program.

Results: Cluster analysis identified three groups of participants with low, moderate, and high rates of weight loss success during Phase 1 and Phase 2. A one-way ANOVA revealed no significant differences in self-monitoring frequency between groups during Phase 1 (p=.645), but significant differences between all three groups during Phase 2 (p=.001). High success participants completed the most self-monitoring records, followed by the moderate group. The low success group completed the least number of records. Furthermore, self-monitoring during Phase 2 significantly mediated the relationship between extended-care session attendance and percent weight change during that time (95% CI [-.004, -.001], p<.001).

Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of continuing self-monitoring after the initial phase of treatment to maintain lost weight.

Keywords: Behavioral treatment; Lifestyle intervention; Obesity; Randomized controlled trial; Self-monitoring; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Weight Maintenance*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Records
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*