(WETM) – The weather is finally warming up, which may give many of us the energy to finally start exercising and eating healthy again.

But, after months of hibernation, you may be wondering where to begin.

“Number one, make realistic goals that you can actually achieve,” advised Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, registered dietitian for Cleveland Clinic. “So that might mean instead of saying, ‘Oh I want to lose 30 pounds before summer,’ maybe make a goal to lose one pound in the next week. And then you keep adding to those goals.”

Kirkpatrick said it’s also important not to get too distracted by looking a certain way in a swimsuit, or getting caught up in the number on the scale. 

Instead, focus on improving your overall health and longevity.

When you make that a priority, she said it tends to become much easier to shed excess weight.

Some other tips include rethinking your comfort foods and switching to healthier options, as well as assessing your environment. She recommends getting rid of any temptations.

It’s also helpful to have supportive friends and family on your journey.

Finally, consider planning your new year’s resolution for 2024 now.

“If think today, ‘Okay, 2024 is going to be different’, and it’s really going to be different, that means starting right now. So even if your goals might be the summer, the goals might be I want to look great in the bathing suit, if you really start planning now for the goals ahead, it gives you so much more time to make them more realistic and more attainable,” she explained. 

Kirkpatrick said don’t be fooled by those fad diets that promise immediate results either, they’re often not sustainable. You may even wind up gaining more weight back in the long run.