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Tiny Tastes = BIG Calories

By Ashley Carpenter, RD


Do you REALLY know how much you eat?  We make more than 200 food-related decisions daily, and aren’t aware of 90 percent of them.  Perhaps you think you just make three food decisions daily: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Well, think again. 


You may plan well and choose wisely for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but what about that bite of donut at the office, the few “tasting” bites you take while making dinner, or the tablespoon of ice cream you steal from your husband’s dessert?  Let’s look at how those “tiny tastes” can really add up.


Taste 1:  The kids didn’t finish their French toast sticks at breakfast, so you eat that last one left on the plate.  Approximate calories:  95 calories


Taste 2:  Someone brought candy to work today!  You know you shouldn’t eat it, so you choose instead to have 2 small pieces of sugar-free peanut butter cup miniatures from your desk drawer.  Approximate calories:  70 calories


Taste 3:  It’s mid-afternoon and you still haven’t eaten lunch.  You eat a couple packaged cheese crackers with peanut butter spread to tide you over.  Approximate calories:  70 calories


Taste 4:  You go out to lunch with coworkers to a fast food restaurant.  You order smart, but “taste” 5 french fries off someone else’s plate.  Approximate calories:  50 calories


Taste 5:  There are still a couple hours to go at work and you are feeling sluggish.  You grab a small 4 oz cup of coffee from the break room.  They have artificial sweetener, but only regular creamer.  One tablespoon of creamer can’t hurt, right?  Approximate calories:  50 calories


Taste 6:  You stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things.  The grocery store is offering food samples – You eat just one meatball.  Approximate calories:  100 calories


Taste 7:  While making dinner you eat 3 chips with dip.  You’re tired, stressed out, and can’t wait for dinner!  Approximate calories:  75 calories


Taste 8:  There are just a couple of tablespoons of mashed potatoes left.  Someone should enjoy them – it might as well be you!  Approximate calories:  20 calories


Taste 9:  You just can’t possibly resist a tablespoon of your husband’s ice cream.  It’s only ONE tablespoon, right?  Approximate calories: 70 calories




On average, an additional 3,500 calories above your body’s needs can lead to a weight gain of one pound.  That means that approximately 500 extra calories per day can lead to a one-pound weight gain each week.  So you see, those tiny tastes aren’t so tiny after all!


Think about your day and the areas that may include tiny tastes.  Being aware will keep you on your journey to long term weight loss success.