Your Weight Loss Goals

Returning to Your Weight Loss Goals: Essential Steps to Overcome Weight Regain

June 3, 2024

The first step in returning to your weight loss goals, as simple as it sounds, is to realize when you have strayed from your weight loss goals. Knowing when your weight loss has slowed, stopped, or even reversed is essential to realigning your lifestyle with your goals. Many people who have lost weight and kept it off  report weighing themselves daily. If you find the scale triggering, there are new numberless scale options that find your daily weight range and let you know if you are in that range, below that range, or above that range (without the use of numbers). If you still find that to be triggering, noticing how your clothes are fitting is another way to recognize what is happening with your weight.

Step Back And Try To Find Out Why

Once you have recognized that you may be straying from your previously set goal, take a step back and try to find out why. Have you had a major life change or event-lost or gotten a job, moved, gotten married or divorced, had a baby, lost a loved one? If you have had a major change in your life, you may need to reassess your lifestyle and reevaluate your weight loss goals and how to align your lifestyle with your goals.

Maybe your previously set weight loss goal was too aggressive and you’ve become disillusioned. Rather than focusing on a number, assess your current health status. Has your weight loss caused positive health changes in your life? Perhaps you aren’t taking some of your medications anymore, or you don’t get as out of breath when you walk. Celebrate your non-weight loss victories and use that to help motivate your healthy lifestyle.

You may also be suffering from diet fatigue (you are just tired of trying to lose weight and tired of thinking or worrying about food all the time). Again, use this as an opportunity to take a step back and reassess your goals and your why.

Whatever the reason for your weight loss plateau, recognizing it is half the battle! Now it is time to seek support. You don’t have to do this alone. Make an appointment with your doctor. Find a Registered Dietitian that specializes in weight loss. Join a weight loss group or program. Hire a certified personal trainer that specializes in weight loss. These options may be pricey, but the support will be invaluable. If money is tight, look for an in-person or even a virtual weight loss support group and start there. Reassess your goal and make sure it is realistic. Give yourself a timeline. Some people find it helpful to focus on losing weight for a specific time period, say 8 weeks, then taking a 2-week break where your goal is to maintain your current body weight plus or minus 2%, then jump into another 8 weeks of losing weight, followed by another 2 weeks of maintenance. Rinse and repeat until you have reached your weight loss goal!

What And When You Are Eating

Now bring your awareness to what you are eating and when you are eating. Some people find food journaling helpful. Your food journal can be as simple as a small notebook or notepad that you keep with you. Write down what you eat when you eat it (don’t try to remember everything you have eaten at the end of the day). Recording what you eat at the time that you eat it will not only give you an idea of how much you are eating in a day, but will bring greater awareness to what and when you are eating. You may be eating too little during the day, only to overeat at night. Or maybe you are not getting enough protein at your meals, leaving you feeling hungry soon after you eat.

Identify the foods in your diet that are high in fiber. High-fiber foods can help you feel full longer and aid in proper digestion. Numerous apps exist to make food journaling even easier! MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, Rise Up + Recover, and Ate are just a few well-known food journaling apps. Or start with a website like for tips and a free app to help you with your goals.

If food journaling is not for you (or even if it is), start to practice mindful eating. Pay attention to your hunger and satiety cues and honor them. It is ok to be hungry, and it is ok to eat when you are hungry. Create a calm environment in which to eat. Practice gratitude for your food and for your hunger; it is what keeps you alive. Engage all your senses when you eat. Take small bites, chew carefully, and eat slowly. Most importantly, savor and enjoy your food.

Assess Your Physical Activity Level

Finally, assess your physical activity level. The best exercise is the one that you will stick with and do consistently. Join a gym (and go!), hire a personal trainer, or even enlist a friend to walk with you daily. Take a new fitness class with your friend rather than going out for coffee or lunch. Take your dog on a hike. Some physical activity every day is better than too much one day and nothing for days after that.

Find time in your day to increase your non-exercise physical activity-take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, and take short walks after each meal. Take a few minutes every hour to stand up from your desk and walk a lap around your building. If you walked for 5 minutes every hour that you are at work (a typical 8-hour day), you would have walked 40 minutes during your work day! Just remember, non-exercise physical activity is a complement to daily exercise, not a replacement.

Returning to Your Weight Loss Goals

Have an honest discussion with yourself, enlist help, and get started today! You can do it!

Nikhilesh Sekhar MD, FACS, FASMBS currently practices at New York Bariatric Group.

Returning to Your Weight Loss Goals


Nikhilesh Sekhar MD, FACS, FASMBS currently practices at New York Bariatric Group and has performed thousands of WLS procedures including Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. He also has background performing laparoscopic Nissen, laparoscopic inguinal and ventral hernia repair, laparoscopic colectomy and laparoscopic lymphadenectomy. Read more articles from Dr. Sekhar