Contrasting Personal Characteristics and Psychosocial Correlates of Exercise and Eating Behavior Changes in Women Successful vs. Unsuccessful with Weight Loss and Maintenance

Academic Article


  • Background: There is great variability in individuals' responses to behavioral weight-loss treatments. Beyond attaining meaningful weight loss in the initial several weeks, little is known of the characteristics of participants successful vs. unsuccessful with short- and long-term weight loss. Methods: Separate samples of women with obesity enrolled in cognitive-behavioral weight-loss treatments were assessed over 6 months (Study 1: successful weight-loss group, n = 83; unsuccessful group, n = 158), and over 24 months (Study 2: sustained initially lost weight, n = 25; regained weight, n = 19), on personal characteristics and theory-driven psychosocial variables. Results: In Study 1, significantly older age and greater eating self-regulation at baseline were found in the successful group. Significantly greater improvements in exercise- and eating-related self-regulation, mood, exercise- and eating-related self-efficacy, physical self-concept, and body satisfaction were found in the successful group. In Study 2, the sustainer group had significantly more favorable changes over 2 years in exercise- and eating-related self-regulation, and mood. During Months 6–24, the psychosocial correlates of both exercise and eating behaviors regressed, with more pronounced reversions in the regainer group. Conclusion: Increasing the magnitude of treatment-associated improvement in each of the tested theory-based psychosocial factors is warranted to increase probabilities for success with attaining and maintaining meaningful weight loss.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Annesi JJ
  • Start Page

  • 703
  • End Page

  • 723
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 3