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The Permanente Journal


Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate 1) if completed exercise amounts were associated with short- and long-term weight loss within a cognitive behavioral intervention and 2) if changes in theory-based psychosocial factors significantly explained weight change.

Methods: A total of 110 women with obesity participated in a yearlong treatment focused on self-regulation and were grouped based on their amount of completed exercise and assessed on changes in weight, self-regulation, and self-efficacy.

Results: There were significant overall improvements in all study measures from baseline–month 6 and baseline–month 12. Overall weight loss means (–5.8 and –5.3 kg, respectively) did not significantly differ across groups averaging the equivalent of < 2.5; 2.6–4.5; 4.6–7.0; and > 7.0 moderate-intensity exercise sessions per week. Similarly, psychosocial improvements did not significantly differ by exercise amount grouping. Increase in exercise self-regulation significantly predicted eating self-regulation gains over both 6 and 12 months. Over the same time periods, the significant prediction of weight loss by eating self-regulation increase was mediated by change in eating self-efficacy.

Conclusion: Results suggest attainment of government-recommended amounts of exercise are not associated with significantly greater weight loss than lower amounts of exercise within an intervention focused on self-regulation. Associations of exercise with psychosocial correlates of weight loss should be a treatment consideration.


Published in The Permanente Journal by The Permanente Federation LLC. Available via doi: 10.7812/TPP/23.043.

© 2023 The Authors. Published by The Permanente Federation LLC under the terms of the CC BY-NC- ND 4.0 license