No, I’m not talking bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches—although love that kind of BLT (as a treat of course!). BLTs are nutrition speak for bites, licks and tastes. Have you ever considered calories consumed throughout the day that aren’t a part of meals you’re consuming? A little here, a little there – it can add up making it challenging to meet weight management goals.
Years ago I had a client who could not figure out why she wasn’t losing weight. It was during the holidays and a challenging time anyway but we were able to pinpoint where some mindless eating was sneaking in:
- Stopping to get her usual coffee on her way to work, the coffee shop had samples of a specialty drink—with a pump of syrup and shot of whipped cream.
- Vendor gifts were always at work and unfortunately they never were fruit baskets. It was hard to resist on a day-to-day basis.
- If it wasn’t an office holiday party there was always someone’s birthday to be celebrated. Standing a bit too close to the chip and dip table, she occasionally overindulged. (Party tip: Stand as far away from the food table as possible. Focus on good friends, co-workers, etc and good conversation.)
- Thinking nuts a better option she ate more than a small handful. They are definitely healthier than some alternatives but they’re primarily a source of fat. A good fat, yes but fat nonetheless and it’s often easy to overdo. One small handful is fine, but best to limit to that.
- On the way home from work she needed to pick up a few things at the grocery store*. With samples available every time she turned a corner combined with being a wee bit hungry, temptation got the best of her.
- Finally home, her daughter promptly presented the goody bag from her school party. One cookie was too hard to resist.
- Dinner over, there were just a few bites left of the prepared chicken dish. Not wanting to go to waste, she ate them.
Sound familiar? How much did those bites, licks, and tastes add up to? In my client’s case it was over 600 calories—more calories than a Big Mac.
Nothing wrong with an indulgence or two—after all it is the holidays but remember to eat what you love. All else is a waste and perhaps on your waist!
Choose wisely and be mindful. A suggestion is to keep track of everything you consume over the course of the day. There are some great apps to help, but you don’t necessarily need any fancy technology. A pen and paper will do. Make a note and jot down the BLTs—as they occur—to better get a feel for any mindless eating.
Have BLTs kept you from your weight loss goals?
*Why is milk always in the far back of a grocery store? It’s strategic marketing that’s why. Supermarket management know people will rarely leave with just the one intended purchase.
Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Dallas Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach