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Are Tiny Tastes Sabotaging Your Efforts?

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Earlier this month the Things I don't tell the Nutrition Tracker about... thread caught my attention.

The fun listing of things not entered into a food tracker brought a chuckle on first reading.

  1. Licking/spooning up pan drippings when I have cooked something especially yummy.
  2. Bites I take off my kids' plates.
  3. The sample foods I eat at the grocery store.
  4. Just how much I heap each tablespoon of cheese ball.
  5. The fatty pieces of meat.
Another thread participant shared that she doesn't track cough drops even though 10 provides 150 calories. Another offered that they don't track condiments, sugar or butter. Do all these licks, tastes and bites matter?

This educational video from the UNL Extension in Lancaster County Nebraska takes this question a step further to help increase awareness that tiny tastes can total big calories over the winter holidays. Look at this cute three and a half minute video about the potential impact that tiny tastes throughout the day can have.

Could tiny tastes be sabotaging your weight loss efforts?

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I like to eat one or two of my husbands fries or a couple of potato chips but I do worry about those little tastes because it is hard to estimate calories for those! Report
When you are tempted at the store to sample the freebies, just think of how many people have sneezed nearby or how long the food may have been sitting out...that should make it a bit less appetizing... Report
I'm guilty of not always tracking everything (though I try) and sometimes fudging the numbers a little bit (which is why I need to use measuring cups). Also I know sometimes I probably totally forget something that I ate and didn't have time to track right away. That's why I try to stay toward the lower end of the calorie range so that it all evens out in the end. It's worked for me, at least. Report
This has a lot to do with my weight gain since Thanksgiving. Eating cookie dough before baking, then eating some after, making the meal and tasing everything before the party. Yep. Christmas get together is going to be much more moderate. :) Report
I'm guilty too. Sometimes I don't remember everything. Must be my age! Report
unless you're eating cough drops for candy, tracking them is OCD! Report
Thanks for this. I have been struggling with wanting tiny tastes these days and now I don't think that I want them so much any more! Report
Good reminder of how it all adds up. Luckily I don't have as many tastes as shown on this video. But I bet I could save another 300 calories on some days. That's a pound over 12 days. Food for thought. Report
Worthwhile to see something like this to raise awareness!Thanks. Report
Worthwhile to see something like this to raise awareness!Thanks. Report
I sure hope not !! I LOVE tasting the samples at Whole Foods !! I can't just walk by the cheddar and brie without a teeny tiny taste !!! Report
To those of you who don't think it makes a difference......good luck on losing your weight as quickly as you think you should be . Especially to those like myself who are a small person who has to keep to the lower amount of calories, tracking makes all the difference in the world !! Report
Guess I should add the teaspoon of sugar on my grapefruit! Report
Good to keep in mind during this season a tasty 'little' treats! Report
Why should tastes be so tasty? Why should sweets be so deliciously sweet? Why should we all have favorite dishes we cannot resist? Why should you love the feeling of a filled up stomach? Life is so unfair after all! Report
A great reminder to energize my commitment to tracking every bite. Thanks for the holiday wake-up call.
Excellent reminder - it ALL counts!!! Report
Another example of a picture being worth a 1000 words.
I estimate 100 calories for any of those store samples, and enter them in the tracker (or just say no).
The total in the video is surprisingly 2 meals worth! Interesting and helpful. Report
So true. I can really relate. Report
Really sad!
Unless you are counting so closely for reasons of particular health issues, this video is for crash dieting only.
Sensible people dieting purely for weight-loss will be on a slow-loss programme, if any formal programme at all. And occasional spoonfuls of this and that are really not going to send you off track.
And as for anyone taking all those different tasters in a single day - no. Anyone taking loads of tasters in a single day - time to cut down. But a very few different odds and ends....
Great reminder about how little things add up to big things -- just like how little baby steps forward can add up to reaching your goal :-) Report
Great video! Sometimes we just don't stop to think that the tasting counts. Thanks! Report
Oh yes, I am guilty! I know it all adds up, but seeing the actual numbers is a surprise! No more of that for me. Report
"Food for thought", indeed!
I never thought about how much I do this before, wow! No wonder I am not losing weight!
I do these tint bites all the time!
Thanks for the reality check!
Yikes! I'm guilty of not logging my tiny tastes into the food tracker. It's just a pain to log every single item, especially if its not something standard & easy to find on the list. And during the holidays, there are so many yummy things to taste! I do try to be mindful of how many tastes I've had, especially if I know it's something with a lot of calories or sugar. Report
EXCELLENT!!! A picture is worth a thousand words and that is now playing in my head! One thing that helps me in these situations...I host several events here at work through out the year. It is SO tempting to snitch a bite here and there. It finally came to me to count the up the calories (or points) that I was able to resist during the day. It helped me feel better about what I accomplished rather than beat myself up when I failed. Report
Maybe this is my problem. And, I don't add tastes to my tracker, usually, because I forget about them! I am going to try just writing it down the moment I do it, then add to my tracker later...maybe that will help me! Report
well done little 'video' .. its amazing how quickly it can all add up!! the video is at thanks for sharing! Report
Yes, if it was ONLY 'one' tiny little taste per day, there would be no problem.... BUT many of us, especially during holiday times of the year, do much more than that-- but are often *surprised* when the scale tells us this little truth! VERY good reminder to keep *mindful* about all of our eating-- even when the Sam's Club free snack is just what we'd love (even if we're not actually *hungry*, and just finished a very nice lunch!!). THANKS for posting this! Report
I'll try it and see. Report
Oh my, thinking of when we shop at Sams Club while they are giving out samples all over the store. I wonder how many calories that equals. Report
when i'm making anything with a sauce - that's my downfall and i never realized how those tiny tastes could sabotage or derail my efforts - let alone the extra calories. what a wake up call for me. thanks! Report
What a great video. It totally called me on some things. Although I don't take small bites to that extent, I don't count sugar or milk in my coffee.... and I just made cookies and sampled one to make sure they were ok. Oh my. The holidays are going to be rough. lol. Report
Oh my! Loved the video.
You can totally have a full lunch on all the "tiny tastes" they give you at Costco. Report
WOW did this at dinner last night nibbled on the cheese ... will be more careful after watching this video. Hidden calories we just don't think about and we do this without thinking Report
It's not the tastes when cooking that get me in trouble. It's all the tasting of foods that I do as part of my job (food industry) that'll get me into trouble. A nibble of ice cream here, some cereal there... it definitely adds up and I have to track it. Report
I sure needed this wake-up call. Tastes and licks kind of keep me away from full scale snacking when I am without the calories to allow for more snacks - but I have been aware for some time that I need to 'stop it or track it.' Thanks for the reminder. Report
it certainly adds up. Report
Thanks for sharing! It's always good to get little reminders from time to time... This was one of them. Report
This video is a little bit ridiculous from my perspective. Those aren't small bites, that's full on constant snacking! Sure, I don't tell my nutrition tracker about certain things like flavoured water (~5 kcal per serving, which I hear is 0 kcal to US nutritional labelling system, bizarre!) or herbs and spices or if I sometimes (certainly not every day and not even every week!!) steal a chip from my boyfriend's plate, but if I ate a small bite of something every half hour I don't think I'd want my lunch or dinner. Report
If I'm not willing to put it in my tracker, I don't put it in my mouth.
I even add my sugar free gum to my tracker, I chew at least 50 calories worth most day's.. Report
I read to wear a surgical mask while cooking if u r the type who keeps tasting as u cook the meal. Those "tastes" can add up to a meal by the time u get it done. Report
I don't do it all the time, so I think it can stall my efforts a little but not entirely sabotage them. Report
Why when I click on the "Get you Spark Points" it does not go anywhere? It does not work. Report
Not for me, I do my best to track everything. Report
I remember this lesson from my WW classes. TLB - it's very true. Report
Yes, they can and they do! :( Report
It's funny, I used to do this but found that you are not really lying to a tracker (your family member, coworker, or friend), you're lying to yourself. I told myself I deserve better - the truth. One who practices this deception is also feeling shame that they could be failing. Accept the failures because no one is perfect & move on. I still struggle with some shame so I don't share my tracker. Report
THIS is why I find the food tracker and food diaries such a big pain in the a**. How the hell do you calculate this? Do I bring measuring cups in my handbag? It's the weighing and measuring EVERYTHING that ends up being the most frustrating part. Report
Loved the video and I too take those tiny tastes but I am aware of it. I keep my total tracked calorie intake between 1000-1200 leaving me 300 calories for those tiny tastes that never get counted. Report
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