By Shani Petroff
A bite of birthday cake, a Hershey’s Kiss, a little olive oil, a food sample at the grocery store, a sip of my friend’s drink, the tiny taste while baking—they don’t seem like much, but they can add up to a lot of SmartPoints® values!
Sometimes I’ll have weeks where I don’t understand how the scale didn’t budge. Sometimes, it’s just one of those weeks, where I did everything right and my body is just holding on to the weight, but other times it’s because I forgot about all those little things I nibbled on. I didn’t track them—and didn’t realize that they were putting me over my SmartPoints Budget. So, now I’m paying major attention to those sips, bites, and tastes. If it goes in my mouth, it gets tracked, but before that even happens, I have to decide: Is it worth it?
Samples: Walking down the aisles of the grocery store or a Costco, I often encounter food samples. It’s easy to take one, pop it in my mouth, and go on with my day. But it’s also easy to rack up a lot of SmartPoints that way. Some days there are more than a half-dozen samples—some of them chocolate truffles or a little cup of a high SmartPoints value microwavable meal. Those little tastes can turn into a good chunk of my SmartPoints Budget for the day. Now the question becomes—do I really want it? Is it a food that I’ve wanted to try? Is it something worth using up a SmartPoints value on? If the answer is yes, then I take it—but I also immediately add it to my tracker. (If I wait, I can forget about it.) If the answer is no, I keep walking.
A little dip: Many restaurant servers put bread out before the meal. If I decide to have a piece, I always track it; however, the oil, butter, dip, etc. that they serve it with sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Even if I count it, I don’t always think about just how much I use. Bread is absorbent, and often picks up more than I think it did. For me, I usually like the bread just as much without any extras, so as a way to save my SmartPoints, I’ve been trying to do without it. However, on those occasions I decide I want some, I’m making it a point to be realistic about how much I use—and even erring on the side of caution. Lying about it doesn’t do me any good, and it doesn’t help me stick to the program. The same goes for when I have veggies and reach for the dip.
Just a bite: My friend had a yummy-looking dessert, my boyfriend got a drink I had never tried, someone gave out Hershey’s Kisses at work, and I had a bite, took a sip, and just had one. It’s so easy to do, and yet, they all start to add up. I’m not saying I’m not going to do it again. I’m not trying to deprive myself, that’s not what this program is about, but I also know I need to be accountable. If I take those bites and nibbles, I need to count them. I need to think before I just eat. That single bite of dessert can be more than 2 SmartPoints value, so I can’t mindlessly eat. If it’s something I really want, I should go for it (and count it, of course), but if I’m trying it just because it’s there, I need to say no. I only have a certain amount of SmartPoints for the week, and I want to make sure they go toward things I really want.
Taste tests: I was making frosting for a cake. As I went along I tried it to make sure it tasted right. However, when I think back on it, I had A LOT of icing. It wasn’t intentional; sometimes I didn’t even think about it, like when I was done and licked the spoon before tossing it in the sink to be washed. It’s hard for me not to do a taste check when I’m making something. However, I don’t have to do three taste checks. One would have been plenty. I don’t want to waste all of my SmartPoints while I’m prepping a meal, snack, or dessert, because if I do, I won’t have enough left over to enjoy the final product. Now I’m trying to be a lot more mindful when I cook or bake and am careful not to go overboard in my taste testing.
I also realize that when I’m at a restaurant and have something like salmon, just because salmon itself is a zero Points® food, that doesn’t mean it can’t rack up a lot of SmartPoints values. Some places prepare it in ways that turn it into a high double-digits SmartPoints value meal. That’s now something I check before just chowing down.
What about you? Are you good about tracking your tastes, nibbles, and extra SmartPoints values? You can find me on Connect @shani!
Read more Shani Weighs In.