Research: Self-monitoring and weight loss

Research wordResearch word

 Self-monitoring maybe key to successful weight loss!

Diet and Exercise Journal
Diet and Exercise Journal

Attempts at weight loss are one of the most unsuccessful resolutions that people make during their lives. Any research that might provide insight into keys to more successful attempts would be welcome to most dieters. Many research studies have looked into various methods of improvement in success. One such suggestion is self-monitoring.

One new research study from 2018 six looked into gaps in self-monitoring during weight loss during a study that included moderate to vigorous physical activity​[1]​. The study used data from a prior study called the Tracking Study. The researchers reviewed self-monitoring logs of 339 participants. They reviewed the logs for gap lengths of various duration. participants with gaps in self-monitoring as early as the second week of the intervention reported less exercise and weighed more it 24 months than the other groups than those with no gaps.

The bottom line: Dietary and exercise tracking or self-monioring is essential for successful weight loss. It is clear based upon the study that those faithfully track their diet and exercise are more successful at weight loss. This finding makes sense because disengagement in the diet and weight loss plan correlates with a lack of faithfully documenting. I would like to see further research that looks at longer periods and interventions to cause re-engagement.


  1. [1]
    K. L. Gavin, N. E. Sherwood, J. Wolfson, M. A. Pereira, and J. A. Linde, “Characterizing Self-Monitoring Behavior and Its Association With Physical Activity and Weight Loss Maintenance,” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, p. 155982761879055, Jul. 2018 [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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