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Health Coaching, Weight Loss and Obesity, The Evidence from Studies

Updated: May 3

health coaching weight loss obesity

With increasing global levels of obesity, weight loss is a key area where health coaching can be effective. The studies below will be of interest and value to those working in health coaching and lifestyle medicine.

As ever, please talk to your doctor or medical practitioner most familiar with your medical history before implementing any changes in diet, exercise or lifestyle, especially if you are under treatment.

Stay Healthy,


Alastair Hunt NBC-HWC, is the founder of The Whole Health Practice Pte Ltd. a leading lifestyle and whole person health practice, based in Singapore and working with clients globally.



Liu K, Choi TST, Zhao L, Teong XT, Hutchison AT, Heilbronn LK. A qualitative exploration of behaviour change and maintenance experience in people with overweight or obesity in a dietary intervention. Nutr Diet. 2023 Dec 6. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12855. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38057992.


Chew HSJ, Rajasegaran NN, Chin YH, Chew WSN, Kim KM. Effectiveness of Combined Health Coaching and Self-Monitoring Apps on Weight-Related Outcomes in People With Overweight and Obesity: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2023 Apr 18;25:e42432. doi: 10.2196/42432. PMID: 37071452; PMCID: PMC10155083.


Michalopoulou M, Ferrey AE, Harmer G, Goddard L, Kebbe M, Theodoulou A, Jebb SA, Aveyard P. Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in Managing Overweight and Obesity : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2022 Jun;175(6):838-850. doi: 10.7326/M21-3128. Epub 2022 Mar 29. PMID: 35344379.


Rosas LG, Lv N, Xiao L, Venditti EM, Lewis MA, Azar KMJ, Hooker SP, Zavella P, Ma J. HOMBRE: A Trial Comparing 2 Weight Loss Approaches for Latino Men. Am J Prev Med. 2022 Sep;63(3):341-353. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2022.03.032. Epub 2022 May 30. PMID: 35654660.


Hesseldal L, Christensen JR, Olesen TB, Olsen MH, Jakobsen PR, Laursen DH, Lauridsen JT, Nielsen JB, Søndergaard J, Brandt CJ. Long-term Weight Loss in a Primary Care-Anchored eHealth Lifestyle Coaching Program: Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2022 Sep 23;24(9):e39741. doi: 10.2196/39741. PMID: 36149735; PMCID: PMC9547330.


Christensen JR, Hesseldal L, Olesen TB, Olsen MH, Jakobsen PR, Laursen DH, Lauridsen JT, Nielsen JB, Søndergaard J, Brandt CJ. Long-term weight loss in a 24-month primary care-anchored telehealth lifestyle coaching program: Randomized controlled trial. J Telemed Telecare. 2022 Dec;28(10):764-770. doi: 10.1177/1357633X221123411. PMID: 36346936.


Katula JA, Dressler EV, Kittel CA, Harvin LN, Almeida FA, Wilson KE, Michaud TL, Porter GC, Brito FA, Goessl CL, Jasik CB, Sweet CMC, Schwab R, Estabrooks PA. Effects of a Digital Diabetes Prevention Program: An RCT. Am J Prev Med. 2022 Apr;62(4):567-577. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.10.023. Epub 2022 Feb 10. PMID: 35151522.


Köse S, Yıldız S. Motivational support programme to enhance health and well-being and promote weight loss in overweight and obese adolescents: A randomized controlled trial in Turkey. Int J Nurs Pract. 2021 Feb;27(1):e12878. doi: 10.1111/ijn.12878. Epub 2020 Aug 17. PMID: 32808423.

Spreckley M, Seidell J, Halberstadt J. Perspectives into the experience of successful, substantial long-term weight-loss maintenance: a systematic review. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2021 Dec;16(1):1862481. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2020.1862481. PMID: 33455563; PMCID: PMC7833027.


Nakata Y, Sasai H, Tsujimoto T, Hashimoto K, Kobayashi H. A Single Motivational Lecture Can Promote Modest Weight Loss: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obes Facts. 2020;13(2):267-278. doi: 10.1159/000506813. Epub 2020 Apr 14. PMID: 32289804; PMCID: PMC7250339.


Beleigoli A, Andrade AQ, Diniz MF, Ribeiro AL. Personalized Web-Based Weight Loss Behavior Change Program With and Without Dietitian Online Coaching for Adults With Overweight and Obesity: Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Nov 5;22(11):e17494. doi: 10.2196/17494. PMID: 33151151; PMCID: PMC7677024.


Unick JL, Pellegrini CA, Dunsiger SI, Demos KE, Thomas JG, Bond DS, Webster J, Wing RR. DIAL now protocol: A randomized trial examining the provision of phone coaching to those with sub-optimal early weight loss during an Internet weight management program. Contemp Clin Trials. 2020 Mar;90:105953. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2020.105953. Epub 2020 Feb 1. PMID: 32017994; PMCID: PMC7071958.

Alencar MK, Johnson K, Mullur R, Gray V, Gutierrez E, Korosteleva O. The efficacy of a telemedicine-based weight loss program with video conference health coaching support. J Telemed Telecare. 2019 Apr;25(3):151-157. doi: 10.1177/1357633X17745471. Epub 2017 Dec 3. PMID: 29199544.


Muralidharan S, Ranjani H, Mohan Anjana R, Jena S, Tandon N, Gupta Y, Ambekar S, Koppikar V, Jagannathan N, Allender S, Mohan V. Engagement and Weight Loss: Results from the Mobile Health and Diabetes Trial. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019 Sep;21(9):507-513. doi: 10.1089/dia.2019.0134. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PMID: 31184922.


Heredia NI, Lee M, Hwang KO, Reininger BM, Fernandez ME, McNeill LH. Health coaching to encourage obese adults to enroll in commercially-available weight management programs: The path to health study. Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Aug;83:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2019.06.006. Epub 2019 Jun 21. PMID: 31229621; PMCID: PMC6642849.


Kempf K, Röhling M, Martin S, Schneider M. Telemedical coaching for weight loss in overweight employees: a three-armed randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2019 Apr 11;9(4):e022242. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022242. Erratum in: BMJ Open. 2019 May 29;9(5):e022242corr1. PMID: 30975666; PMCID: PMC6500103.


Schnepper R, Richard A, Wilhelm FH, Blechert J. A combined mindfulness-prolonged chewing intervention reduces body weight, food craving, and emotional eating. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2019 Jan;87(1):106-111. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000361. PMID: 30570305.


Patel ML, Wakayama LN, Bass MB, Breland JY. Motivational interviewing in eHealth and telehealth interventions for weight loss: A systematic review. Prev Med. 2019 Sep;126:105738. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.05.026. Epub 2019 May 30. PMID: 31153917.


Bollyky JB, Bravata D, Yang J, Williamson M, Schneider J. Remote Lifestyle Coaching Plus a Connected Glucose Meter with Certified Diabetes Educator Support Improves Glucose and Weight Loss for People with Type 2 Diabetes. J Diabetes Res. 2018 May 16;2018:3961730. doi: 10.1155/2018/3961730. PMID: 29888288; PMCID: PMC5977036.


Solbrig L, Whalley B, Kavanagh DJ, May J, Parkin T, Jones R, Andrade J. Functional imagery training versus motivational interviewing for weight loss: a randomised controlled trial of brief individual interventions for overweight and obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2019 Apr;43(4):883-894. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0122-1. Epub 2018 Sep 5. PMID: 30185920.

Hartmann-Boyce J, Nourse R, Boylan AM, Jebb SA, Aveyard P. Experiences of Reframing during Self-Directed Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance: Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies. Appl Psychol Health Well Being. 2018 Jul;10(2):309-329. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12132. Epub 2018 Jun 1. PMID: 29856139; PMCID: PMC6055795.

Greaves C, Poltawski L, Garside R, Briscoe S. Understanding the challenge of weight loss maintenance: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research on weight loss maintenance. Health Psychol Rev. 2017 Jun;11(2):145-163. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2017.1299583. Epub 2017 Apr 7. PMID: 28281891.



Moss EL, Tobin LN, Campbell TS, von Ranson KM. Behavioral weight-loss treatment plus motivational interviewing versus attention control: lessons learned from a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2017 Jul 25;18(1):351. doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-2094-1. PMID: 28743313; PMCID: PMC5526285.

Cleo G, Isenring E, Thomas R, Glasziou P. Could habits hold the key to weight loss maintenance? A narrative review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Oct;30(5):655-664. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12456. Epub 2017 Feb 2. PMID: 28150402.


Muñoz Obino KF, Aguiar Pereira C, Caron-Lienert RS. Coaching and barriers to weight loss: an integrative review. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2016 Dec 23;10:1-11. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S113874. PMID: 28096687; PMCID: PMC5207339.


Boff RM, Liboni RPA, Batista IPA, de Souza LH, Oliveira MDS. Weight loss interventions for overweight and obese adolescents: a systematic review. Eat Weight Disord. 2017 Jun;22(2):211-229. doi: 10.1007/s40519-016-0309-1. Epub 2016 Aug 19. PMID: 27542161.


Hardcastle SJ, Taylor AH, Bailey MP, Harley RA, Hagger MS. Effectiveness of a motivational interviewing intervention on weight loss, physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors: a randomised controlled trial with a 12-month post-intervention follow-up. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 Mar 28;10:40. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-40. PMID: 23537492; PMCID: PMC3639183.


Armstrong MJ, Mottershead TA, Ronksley PE, Sigal RJ, Campbell TS, Hemmelgarn BR. Motivational interviewing to improve weight loss in overweight and/or obese patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2011 Sep;12(9):709-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00892.x. Epub 2011 Jun 21. PMID: 21692966.


Poobalan AS, Aucott LS, Precious E, Crombie IK, Smith WC. Weight loss interventions in young people (18 to 25 year olds): a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2010 Aug;11(8):580-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00673.x. Epub 2009 Oct 28. PMID: 19874531.


West DS, DiLillo V, Bursac Z, Gore SA, Greene PG. Motivational interviewing improves weight loss in women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2007 May;30(5):1081-7. doi: 10.2337/dc06-1966. Epub 2007 Mar 2. PMID: 17337504.


weight loss health coaching Singapore

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