How Should I Track Free Samples at the Grocery Store?

Whenever I visit my favorite grocery store, H.E.B. (if you live in the Houston area you know what I’m talking about) I always seek out the free samples.

On one particular visit, it was pork belly in some delicious glaze, a side salad with Hatch green chile dressing, and beef fajitas (the guy served me a piece that was 3-4 bites instead of the standard single bite).

It’s not uncommon for me to get a nice sampling of a delicious main dish, a piece of sushi, a bite of tamale, maybe a dessert bite, and a couple of samplings of wine or beer all in a single visit. It’s like a bit of a mini-meal.

It got me thinking of visits years back.

The first time I encountered this particular store was in 2014-ish when our place was literally 100 yards from one. I would often walk over there on a Friday and Saturday even if I didn’t need anything, just for the samples (those are the best days when they have the most variety).

At that time, I was also an avid calorie/macro counter.

This was at a time when I tracked everything and stuck to a strict calorie target. BTW, if you’re new to my content, this is the exact opposite of Intuitive Eating and where I am today.

I remember thinking through the ingredients in the food or looking at the nutrition label on the package of the food I was sampling so I could calculate (as best as possible) the calorie and macro content.

I hope you can’t relate, but I have a strong suspicion that unless you’ve never dieted, you probably can.

It may not have been calories for you but what about points or syns? What about clean eating, paleo, Whole30, keto, etc.?

If you find yourself avoiding free samples at the grocery store because you can’t accurately estimate the calories, macros, points, or syns, it may be time to move away from tracking.

If you’ve been thinking of getting away from calorie counting but are not where to start, check out episode 17 of the Men’s Intuition podcast where I share some practical ways to gradually move away from this practice.

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