Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
10 Healthy Reasons to Start Squeezing Lemons
Healthy Recipes
The Protein Snack You Need After a Workout — Only 47 Calories
Beginner Fitness Tips
An 8-Week Plan to Make You a Runner

Healthy Eating Tip: Free Samples Aren't Free of Calories

Healthy Eating Tip: Free Samples Aren't Free of Calories

If you like to grocery shop on the weekends because of the free samples scattered throughout the store take heed from my experience yesterday.

The barista who cut up samples at my preferred coffee shop yesterday morning must have been feeling generous. A sample platter of baked goodies greeted me at the register, and the tray was a tempting arrangement of bigger than usual portions (about four bites each) of various treats. As I gave my order and paid for my coffee, it took this one thought for me to back away from the sample tray: Just because it doesn't cost anything, doesn't mean there aren't any calories.

I'd rather not waste calories on something forgettable, like the over-sized corner of a baked good that I have to pop in my mouth in a hurry. I prefer to hold out for the treats I truly enjoy, like dark chocolate, and give myself time to savor them.

Before reaching for something just because it's there, ask yourself if those calories would be better used elsewhere. As for the fruit samples at the farmers market — I always say yes!


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's funny that you mention this since one of my joking thoughts was that i'd go to Whole Foods or Costco on the weekends to eat since i'm so poor - but it was JUST a joke given that it's typically not healthy food that they are offering. :) i think that starbucks and places like that know that you won't buy the sweets normally - so this is the way that they can do it.
cutiekat88 cutiekat88 8 years
just because it free dosen't mean u have to eat it.
1apple 1apple 8 years
I love free samples! But I know they count as part of my daily intake, and that's fine with me.
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
Free samples of cake are dangerous, you think it's okay because it's a little simple of cake but it still is not good for you!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
I never try samples because I just don't care to plus it's probably likely to be something I don't like much so it's pointless to use up calorie intake on something like that...and not having samples wouldn't bring me anymore joy than having them would. It's just samples.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't do free samples, either. Mostly because if you stop to try stuff, the high-pressure sales people con you into buying stuff you don't really want. Or if you tell them "No, thanks", you end up feeling bad that you didn't buy some. My husband, however, is ALL ABOUT the freebies...the whole concept of "free food" just makes him go crazy and he eats a ton of it. Most of the time, it's food that people bring in to the office, but if there are samples at the grocery store, he'll eat them.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I pass on free samples, too. I don't have an appetite for them. I'm very picky about what I eat, and most of the time, the samples do not appeal to me.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
I was never into free samples. My local grocer hadn't done one in what seems like years and the closest Cosco is like 20 miles away. However, Panera Bread has those free day-old bread samples, but who eats those? By midday, there's probably every type of germ imbedded in those things!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I can't remember the last time I took a sample of food somewhere...
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I have to agree with Evie here. why don't ya? I mean, I'm not a huge baked goods fan, so I rarely accept the coffeeshop samples unless it's something I would already really want, but geez, a treat here or there won't kill you. I have actually purchased many of the samples I've tried at Trader Joe's, and very often it's healthy food. Certainly a lot better than never trying something new, or wasting your money on something you don't care for.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
"Remember, all it takes is 250-500 extra calories per week to gain one pound. " It takes 3,500 EXTRA calories to gain a pound, actually. everything in moderation - no need to obsess over a 4-bite treat on occasion.
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
I was very aware of this at Costco the other day when I saw samples for soup, and before I picked up one I saw the nutritional info on the can that was turned around (I think a lot of other people were curious too) and then I kept walking... but I finally got to try all the Fuze Slenderize drinks! :D
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Uggh, I cannot stand free samples of OPEN food products. Closed little individually labeled packaged samples are fine but those open food sample are so unhygienic. I don't care if the sample server has gloves on - I have stood and watched as a sample server rubbed her runny nose with her gloved hand then reached into a bowl of granola to place it in the individual cups - YUCK snotnola. Plus, I cannot stand the GRAZERS who block the store aisles while they stand their munching their free food and pretending like they are considering buying it when they really are wondering if the sample person will notice if their greed butts grab another free sample.
Maria-Belen Maria-Belen 8 years
Urgh, but i love free samples!
misskacie misskacie 8 years
My Mom was trying to lose weight. She was going to WW meetings, keeping track of meals and snacks and jogging 3 times a week. The scale was not going down. We had think session, and it turned out she was going to browse Costco on Saturday mornings and eating a couple samples! As soon as she stopped doing that, she finally started losing. Some things have a LOT of calories and/or fat in just a few bites. Remember, all it takes is 250-500 extra calories per week to gain one pound. I'd bet my life FitSugar's "four-bite-samples" had that much. It's not obsessive to be mindful of this, it's just good sense.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
If you eat it standing up, there are no calories :shrug:
evietoo evietoo 8 years
C'mon. This is a perfect example of over-the-top obsessiveness that makes staying on the healthy eating track difficult. A person shouldn't have to feel bad about taking a bite of a random sample. How often do any of us come across something we might want to actually try? If you do, no big deal -- even if you didn't take a solid 10 minutes to somehow "appropriately savor" it.
Things About Food Only Latinx Understand
Concha Products
Disneyland Deep-Fried Corn on the Cob
Food Truck Unicorn Quesadilla
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds