Everyone knows that the most basic way to lose weight is to slash your calorie intake. Most health researchers agree that trimming about 500 calories from your daily diet is the magic number need to drop a pound in a week a healthy and reasonable amount. But just how do you trim those calories without feeling deprived? Here are some easy suggestions:

1. Trim your liquid calories. Many popular coffee drinks contain as much as several hundred calories, depending on the size you order. And a 12-oz. can of soda sneaks in up to 180 calories. Yikes!

2. Be vigilant about serving sizes. That bag of chips you snagged at the grocery checkout stand might have as many as four servings inside! Anytime you eat a packaged snack like chips or crackers, portion out a serving and put away the rest, since it’s easy to munch your way through multiple servings without realizing it.

3. Beware unhealthy add-ons. Tea is calorie-free, but fruit flavorings and sweeteners can make it as calorie-laden as soda. And a healthy salad can go downhill fast if you load it with bacon, cheese, nuts, and thick dressings.

4. Switch to a smaller plate. Research shows that we tend to fill our plates, whether we’re very hungry or not. So swap your dinner plate for a salad plate and you could eat up to 25% less without realizing it.

5. Don’t eat while distracted. Multitasking by munching while watching TV, driving, or completing some other task sounds like a great idea. But when you’re not aware of what you’re putting in your mouth, you tend to unconsciously consume extra calories because you don’t realize you’re full.

Employing one or more of these easy tricks can help you lose those extra calories without a thought!