You probably know you need to eat fewer calories to lose weight. But it can be hard to know how to make it happen every day. These tips will help you build a plan with the right mix of exercise and diet changes.

Choose low-cal recipes that are easy to prepare. Save time on hectic days and make as many of your meals in advance as you can.

Skipping your morning meal may seem like an easy way to cut calories from your day. But it could make you more likely to over eat unhealthy food later and gain weight over time. The type of breakfast you eat matters, though: Eggs are great because they are high in protein and satisfy hunger well. They also help you eat less throughout the day.

Drink water

Drink water in place of soda and juices which are loaded with calories and sugar. And diet soda isn’t much better. Some studies show you crave more sweets when you drink it, and you may gain more weight too.

Eat vegetables

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Veggies have fewer calories, but since they have lots of fiber and water, they can still fill you up. Loaded with lots of nutrients, they help you feel satisfied even though you are eating fewer calories.

Snack lighter

You will save calories and add fiber and protein if you scoop up healthy spreads like hummus with celery, carrots, or sliced peppers instead of crackers. Replace potato chips with a lighter choice like air-popped popcorn. Put one serving of your snack into a bowl or on a plate. It’s easy to lose track of how much you are munching when you eat directly out of the bag or box.

Eat slowly

You will feel fuller, and you might even eat fewer calories. Take small bites and chew well. Think about where the food comes from and what it took to make the meal. Ask yourself if you feel full yet.

Coffee and tea are great, low-cal drink choices on their own but add a bit of cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar and you are up to about 60 calories per cup. At 3 cups a day, that’s more than some kinds of soda.