Objective: Dietary self-monitoring is consistently related to both short- and long-term weight loss. The purpose of this study was to quantify the time spent and the daily frequency of self-monitoring necessary for weight-loss success.
Methods: Participants in a 24-week, online, behavioral weight-control intervention recorded daily dietary intake using a Web-based dietary analysis program. Time spent self-monitoring and frequency of dietary journal page access were captured. Weight loss (kilograms) and the proportion of participants losing ≥ 5% and ≥ 10% of baseline weight were assessed at 6 months.
Results: Participants (n = 142; BMI 35.8 kg/m2 ; 90.8% female; 23.2% African American) spent an average of 23.2 minutes per day self-monitoring in month 1 and 14.6 minutes in month 6. For those still recording any minutes self-monitoring by month 6 (65.5%), there were no significant differences in time spent based on weight loss; however, those losing either ≥ 5% or ≥ 10% logged in to the journal Web page significantly more times per day (1.6 vs. 2.4, P < 0.001 for < 5% vs. ≥ 5%; 1.7 vs. 2.7, P < 0.001 for < 10% vs. ≥ 10%).
Conclusions: The frequency of self-monitoring is significantly related to weight loss, with the time needed to be successful diminishing during the intervention.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01232699.
© 2019 The Obesity Society.