Eating Alone vs Eating with Others

Eating alone makes me eat approximately 9 times faster and twice as much.  A regular 25 minute meal becomes 3 minutes and the portions double.  That’s a lot going on in a short 3 minutes.  How did my dinner become a race?  A race against the clock.  It’s like I’m playing the game of ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’ (childhood favorite game) except the 3 other hippos don’t exist.

And not only is my dinner lonely and void of conversation, I actually enjoy my food less.

Tonight, as I ate dinner alone, I was already maneuvering more food onto my spoon before I had even finished chewing what was in my mouth.  Yes, I was hungry.  But the food wasn’t going anywhere.  (Especially with no one around)  Did I actually taste my food?  Why do I do this?

Here’s a good comparison of Eating Alone vs. Eating with Others:

Situation 1:  In a movie theatre, sharing popcorn.  I know I’d slowly reach towards the bucket and gently pick up 1-2 pieces using 2 or 3 fingers.  Then I’d wait and maybe 3 minutes later, I’d do the same.  Daintily and little by little I’d enjoy my movie treat.  

Situation 2:  Home alone on a Friday night, 2 movies rented, 1 Orville Reddenbachers in the microwave.  I dump the popcorn bag into a giant bowl, plop on my bed with bowl in lap.  Right claw reaches in, grabbing as much as it can hold, and then brings it to my face.  And with my mouth open wide I slam the contents of my right claw into it, trying to get as much as will fill.  Of course some pieces will fall to the side, but I’ve still got myself  a full mouthful.  This would continue until my bowl is empty and most likely the beginning credits have just ended.

Eating with others is always better.  (Well there are a few exceptions….)  But in general I want to always eat with people when I can.  I can take the moments to not only eat my food but to taste it.  I can have great company and conversation which is almost always more important than the food itself.  And you won’t eat like a crazed maniac, if not for anything but to avoid looking like this:  (click the picture for the full gif effect)

I remember reading Kessler’s Food Rehab and he wrote a section on how eating alone strongly influences what you eat and how much you eat.  And I couldn’t have agreed with him more.  As a part of his Food Rehab, you should recognize this in your life and then start changing meal situations that you can.

Am I alone in this?  Anyone else feel this same way about eating alone?

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2 comments on “Eating Alone vs Eating with Others

  1. Steven Webb
    April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Haha! I always eat in a few minutes when I eat alone too! LOL! I cook something up and consume it within just a few minutes! I do the same with the popcorn too! It’s like you just want to get the whole eating thing over with. I think you end up eating more this way because your stomach hasn’t yet realized it has plenty of food to take care of, and it doesn’t tell the rest of your body that you have eaten enough! Eating with people is definitely the way to go!

    • makings of a better life
      April 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Isn’t it kinda hilarious how when we’re alone we all eat popcorn with handfuls to the face, but if we’re with other people-you would never dare do that?!

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