N-of-1 Study of Weight Loss Maintenance in People who Lost Over 5% of Body Weight.
D. Kwasnicka1,2, S.U. Dombrowski3, M. White1,2, F. F. Sniehotta1,2
1Newcastle University, Institute of Health and Society, UK
2Fuse, UKCRC Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, UK
3University of Stirling, UK
Background: This study aimed to advance understanding of explanatory variables associated with weight loss maintenance (WLM). Methods: We used a series of n-of-1 studies and McKnight bootstrapping approach to explore WLM in 12 people who in the previous year lost over 5% of their body weight. For two months we used ecologic momentary assessment to gather daily data on motivation, self-regulation, resources, habits and environmental and social influences (predictive variables) and weight, physical activity and ability to follow a WLM plan (outcome variables). Results: For all 12 participants, daily fluctuations of each of the 3 outcomes were significantly predicted by explanatory variables. Patterns of variables contributing to the prediction, amount of variability accounted for and autoregression differed between participants. Discussion: Divergent maintenance-related variables showed differential impact on ability to maintain weight, engage in physical activity and to follow a WLM plan for different individuals. The n-of-1 design offers useful tool for developing and testing theory of behaviour change maintenance.