Long-term Weight Maintenance after Successful Weight Loss: Motivational Factors, Support, Difficulties, and Success Factors

Am J Health Behav. 2018 Jan 1;42(1):77-84. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.42.1.8.


Objectives: The main aims of this study were to assess motivational factors for weight loss, and support and difficulties during the weight loss and weight maintenance phase.

Methods: This study was based upon findings from the Finnish Weight Control Registry (FWCR), including 158 formerly obese persons, who lost at least 10% of their initial weight and maintained it for at least 2 years. Data have been collected through electronic forms.

Results: The 2 most commonly reported motivational factors for weight loss were health- and appearance-related factors. Women reported dissatisfaction with their body more commonly than men (p = .023), whereas men reported health-related reasons (p = .008) more often. The majority (58%) reported losing weight alone, without any outside support, men more commonly than women (p = .006). Persons reported fewer difficulties during the maintenance than during the weight loss phase.

Conclusions: Various motivational factors for losing weight may lead to successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. Marked sex differences were reported in relation to difficul- ties and need for support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight Maintenance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Registries
  • Social Support*
  • Weight Loss*