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Table 1 Types of motivation along the Self-determination Theory continuum and diet/physical activity examples

From: “I’ve made this my lifestyle now”: a prospective qualitative study of motivation for lifestyle change among people with newly diagnosed type two diabetes mellitus

  Amotivation Extrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation
   Controlled regulations Autonomous regulation
  Non-regulation External Regulation Introjected Regulation Identified Regulation Integrated Regulation Intrinsic Regulation
Motivation type description Lack of motivation or intention to act Lifestyle behaviour change is to avoid punishment or gain a reward Lifestyle change aims at avoiding guilt or enhancing self-worth Lifestyle changes are personally important or valued Lifestyle behaviours are in harmony with other personal values and goals Lifestyle behaviours are enjoyable or inherently satisfying to do
Diet / physical activity example Not changing one’s lifestyle behaviours or passively going through the motions Eating less confectionary to avoid being told off by a dietician Exercising because one feels they should, and will feel guilty if one doesn’t Maintaining one’s physical fitness is a personally important goal Eating a healthily is consistent with one’s goals to be physically active Trying out new healthy recipes is satisfying and fun