Characterizing Self-Monitoring Behavior and Its Association With Physical Activity and Weight Loss Maintenance

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3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Reviewing gaps in self-monitoring during weight loss interventions may help identify individuals demonstrating signs of disengagement in behaviors, including moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), associated with weight loss maintenance. This study examined the associations of different aspects of self-monitoring during a weight loss intervention with 24-month MVPA and weight. Methods: Secondary data analysis from the Tracking Study, a trial comparing weight-tracking frequency during a lifestyle weight loss program, was conducted. Self-monitoring logs from n =339 participants were used to define 4 characteristics and 4 specific gap lengths: short (1-4 weeks), medium (5-8 weeks), long (9-12 weeks), and extra long (>12 weeks). Self-reported MVPA and staff-measured weight were measured at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Generalized estimating equation modeling examined the association between self-monitoring characteristics and reported MVPA and weight. Results: Participants with gaps in self-monitoring as early as the second week of the intervention reported less MVPA and weighed more at 24 months. Furthermore, consistent tracking of MVPA was associated with higher reported MVPA and lower weight. Conclusions: Behavior tracking provides important information about behavioral disengagement early in the intervention process. Future work should test intervention augmentations to improve behavior change when disengagement is detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding for the Tracking Study was provided by NIH Grant R01DK093586-05 (Jennifer A. Linde, PI). Dr. Gavin is additionally supported by NCI training grant [T32 CA139139, PIs: Penedo and Spring].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • behavior maintenance
  • physical activity
  • self-monitoring
  • weight loss

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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