Why You Should Order More Than 'Just A Salad' On The First Date

Love, Self

Women eat less in the company of men, survey shows. Eat, women, eat!

As a way to pay for my books in college, and by that I mean pay for my bar covers, I worked as a waitress at a local Red Robin. I know, I know: "Red Robin... yummm!" It can be a difficult job to ease into, but you learn so much about people. For example, guests love it when you refill their drinks without them asking, and everyone loves stealing purple pens, so if you use those to have people sign their bill, bring extras. Also, if you're waiting on a guy and a girl and the girl eats very little, it's a date. And unless they're well into their twenties, you're not going to get a good tip, but I digress. 

It's because of all my restaurant experience that the results of a new study don't surprise me: Women eat less in the company of men. After analyzing "the eating habits of 127 college students and whether the students sat alone or with company," researchers found women who ate with other women ordered an average of 833 calories per meal, but when they ate with men, they ordered an average of 721 calories. Surprisingly, men also ate less in the company of other men — 952 calories — compared with an average of 1162 calories when dining with lady friends. Manorexia?! Home-Schooled? Run Marathons? Sorry, You're Undateable

The outcome of this study, whether you're a server or not, isn't much of a shock, especially since differences in eating habits between the genders have long been a scientific topic of interest.

For example, in 2008, Science Daily reported that men are significantly more likely to eat meat and poultry products, especially duck, veal and ham, and women are more likely to eat vegetables, especially carrots and tomatoes. Meat, according to The Daily Mail, "has been closely associated with power and privilege," and women consider carnivorous men "real men." Men who don't eat meat are considered wimps and less macho, even according to vegetarian women.

Women with picky eating habits are also not highly favored. According to Marie Claire, "Dining out, like sex, should be a sensual, indulgent experience. Get too fussy at the table (dressing on the side) and they think you're high-maintenance in the bedroom." Hmm...we're not sure "dressing on the side" qualifies as fussy. Now if you were to replace every single ingredient with something else, a la Sally in When Harry Met Sally, well then you're in overly anal territory. 

Ladies, we may think we're playing it safe by ordering something light and easy to eat, but just as we want our man to go with the flow when it comes to cuisine, they like it when we're flexible. Plus, if a salad is your way at masking your real eating habits, think again. JDate expert Brad Berkowitz says, "a guy would sooner question a woman's eating habits if she only eats a salad before he would question her diet when she eats a normal meal."

If that's not enough to convince you, let's take a lesson from Broadway and Glee star Lea Michele:

"I'm a girl who eats … I'll have a big Italian dinner, and I don't give a crap because it makes me happy."

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Do you eat less in front of men or when you're out on a date?