Eating at restaurants alone? No biggie. When you’re having a solo dinner by yourself, here’s how to make the best of your meal experience.
I’ve had several clients get embarrassed when they tell me they often eating at restaurants alone.
But I have good news for you! Not only is eating solo super common, you can easily make the experience healthy and enjoyable.
And I have to say, as much as I love the company of others I also love a nice, quiet meal by myself. I’ve taken myself out for many solo meals––probably hundreds over the years.
Sometimes I bring a book or people watch, and other times I simply enjoy the peace and quiet, as well as the delicious food and good tunes.
Not all solo meals are filled with calm, though, and that’s why I’m encouraging you to keep things fresh and mindful.
Read on to learn how to become a confident and successful at eating at restaurants alone!
Tips for solo dining
When you’re eating at restaurants alone, it helps to have tips to make the experience more enjoyable––and healthy.
Eat fruits and veggies
As with any eating scenario, dining alone can be healthy—or not. Japanese researchers investigated this in a study of adults 65-plus, published in the journal Appetite.
The findings? Solo eaters might be less likely to eat fruits and vegetables. And men who live alone and eat alone are more likely to be obese—and to skip meals.
Women are more likely to be obese and skip meals when they eat alone yet live with others.
Now, this isn’t the horrible news it sounds like. It helps to have review restaurant menus and nutrition information ahead of time so that you can choose healthier options.
This will help your experience eating at restaurants alone be a healthier one.
When it comes to eating at restaurants alone, you have a big benefit: You can take all the time in the world to choose your order.
So think about what fruit or vegetable are you going to include. How about the protein? This can be fish, eggs, etc. And what about the healthy grain, such as brown rice or oatmeal?
If you’d like to add a fat to your solo dinner, think about healthy ways to do so. Choose an oil-based salad dressing, add a sprinkling of nuts to a stir-fry or a slice of avocado to a taco.
Research shows that multi-tasking while you eat—such as watching TV—can cause you to eat faster and enjoy your food less, possibly leading to overeating later.
If you’re at a restaurant and decide to sit at the bar, embrace the experience. Don’t feel weird in your seat at the bar or let your blood pressure rise. Bring a book, if you’d like, to keep you company.
I promise, no one is paying attention to the single person eating alone! Solo travelers and single diners are common, whether at a casual restaurant or a fine-dining one.
When it comes to eating at restaurants alone, it helps to plan ahead so you can order a healthy meal. It also helps to live in the moment and to enjoy the solitude of eating alone.
- Combined Effects of Eating Alone and Living Alone on Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors, Obesity and Underweight in Older Japanese Adults: Results of the JAGES, Appetite
- Distracted eating may add to weight gain, Harvard Health Publishing
I’d love to hear from you! What are favorite tips for eating at restaurants alone?
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