How many times have you said, "If it’s free, it doesn’t have calories"? It’s a cute catchphrase. But unfortunately, with all of the different places pushing free samples, that can become a dangerous philosophy to follow – at least where your waistline is concerned.
The truth is that it’s a serious struggle to resist free food – even if you’re not hungry. And while it’s OK to indulge once in a while, doing so on a regular basis – as you walk past the Chinese restaurant in the mall food court, when you’re at a street fair with free kettlecorn, when you’re browsing the aisles at the grocery store – can add up to a lot of excess calories.
The trick? Knowing which free samples are OK to nosh on – and which you should hold off on unless you’re actually hungry. We tallied the calories in nine familiar samples. Here are the stats on cubes of cheddar, cocktail meatballs, mini smoothie cups, and more. Keep these numbers in mind the next time a tray of samples comes your way.