Behavioural and Motivational Factors Associated with Weight Loss and Maintenance in a Commercial Weight Management Programme

James Stubbs1, *, David Brogelli1, Carolyn Pallister1, Amanda Avery1, Aine McConnon2, Jacquie Lavin1
1 Nutrition Department, Slimming World, Clover Nook Road, Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4RF
2 Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK

© 2012 Stubbs et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Nutrition Department, Slimming World, Clover Nook Road, Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4RF; Tel: 00441773 546103; Fax: 00448448920401; E-mail:


This survey examined self-reported behaviour changes associated with weight loss and maintenance in a group of 292 members of a commercial weight management organisation (CWMO). Mean (SD) joining weight was 89.0 (20.0) kg, duration of membership was 29.1 (16.2) months and time taken to reach their current weight was 16.3 (13.5) months. Mean (SD) weight change was -15.6 (11.4) kg and BMI change was -5.7 (4.0) kg/m², (both p<0.001), which had been maintained for 11.7 (12.8) months.

Primary factors reported by participants as important in achieving their weight loss included not going hungry by satisfying appetite with low energy density food eaten , following a flexible diet, peer-group support and tools to cope with small lapses.

Several reported eating/activity behaviours significantly correlated with weight loss maintenance (WLM). However in regression analysis, while most individual changes in eating behaviour and activity behaviour were significant predictors of weight change in this group, no variables explained more than a few percent of the variance, after adjusting for age, gender, height and starting weight.

A range of eating and activity behaviours was associated with weight loss maintenance. It is important to offer consumers flexible solutions they can adapt to their individual lifestyle needs.

Keywords: Behaviour, diet, exercise, relapse-prevention, weight maintenance.