Weight control during the holidays: highly consistent self-monitoring as a potentially useful coping mechanism

Health Psychol. 1998 Jul;17(4):367-70. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.17.4.367.


The study examined the extent to which trait self-monitoring (the systematic observation and recording of target behaviors) was related to weight control during the high-risk holiday season. The participants (32 women, 6 men) averaged 223.1 lbs (101.41 kg), 57.2% overweight, 50.2 weeks of participation, and 21.3 lbs (9.68 kg) lost at the beginning of the study. Consistency of self-monitoring and weight changes were assessed for 3 holiday versus 7 nonholiday weeks. Analyses of variance (Consistency of Self-Monitoring Groups x Holiday/Nonholiday Weeks) revealed that participants gained 500% more weight per week during holiday compared with nonholiday weeks. Only participants in the most consistent self-monitoring quartile averaged any weight loss over the 10 weeks of the study and during the holiday weeks.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Body Weight*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diet Records
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Holidays*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Weight Loss