5 Reasons Dining Alone Is Good for Your Health and Surprisingly, Your Social Life

5 Reasons Dining Alone Is Good for Your Health and Surprisingly, Your Social Life
Source: Unsplash
Source: Unsplash

Eating alone in a restaurant can be an intimidating prospect for many — but increasingly less so, according to data from the online reservation service OpenTable: Between 2013 and 2015, single reservations increased by 62%. 

Everyone has to eat and everyone is always with themselves, so ... choosing yourself as a dinner companion is the most efficient thing you could do. Aside from efficiency, however, there are a few more benefits to dining with yourself. In case you're not convinced of mealtime solitude, read on. 

Source: Giphy

1. You will eat at your own pace.

A 2012 study called Mimicry of Food Intake: The Dynamic Interplay Between Eating Companions revealed we synchronize our eating with the people we're around. 

"Numerous studies have shown that people adjust their intake directly to that of their eating companions; they eat more when others eat more," the study explained. 

Therefore, there is a chance you'll actually end up eating smaller portions when alone. You'll eat at the speed and the amount that feels right to you. 

Source: Giphy

2. You'll get some time to yourself.

Being alone is important. It's the only time we get to decompress and process our lives on our own terms. It can offer us a chance to sit back and reflect in a way that engaging with other people does not.

"Constantly being 'on' doesn't give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself," psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter wrote in Psychology Today. "Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus and think more clearly. It's an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time."

Eating alone provides just the right circumstance for this. 

Source: Unsplash

3. It'll be a heightened sensory experience. 

When you're with others, the biggest distraction is, well, the people you're with. But dining alone can provide a heightened sensory experience, allowing you to focus more keenly on your surroundings: the sounds, sights, smells and feeling of the environment. 

And engaging the senses really does matter: Pleasing them can actually improve the quality of an experience. Diageo discovered that optimizing the "multi-sensory environment" can increase how much people enjoy whisky by as much as 20%, the Guardian reports.  

Assuming you pick the right place with nice ambiance, being able to properly soak in every dimension of your surroundings could actually improve your overall dining experience. 

Source: Giphy

4. You might make new friends.

When you go out with old friends, you're often not on the lookout for new friends — you're meeting to catch up, bond and have some laughs. But you may surprise yourself when you're dining alone. There are no expectations when you're with yourself, no one to impress, no one to put on airs for and you may actually open yourself up to meeting and talking to new people. 

The worst that could happen if you choose to strike up conversation with a stranger couldn't possibly be that bad ... unless they're voting for the wrong another presidential candidate. 

Source: Giphy

5. The company's guaranteed to be great.

Duh. 

Source: Giphy

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

What is the Senate parliamentarian? Lately, she’s been Mitch McConnell’s nemesis.

And does the GOP have to follow her rulings?

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

Despite Trump, military leaders say there will be no changes to transgender policy for now

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect."

Trump will visit Long Island to discuss gang violence — but some fear he could make the issue worse

Trump has celebrated mass deportations as fighting gang violence — but are his words helping or hurting?

What is the Senate parliamentarian? Lately, she’s been Mitch McConnell’s nemesis.

And does the GOP have to follow her rulings?

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

Despite Trump, military leaders say there will be no changes to transgender policy for now

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect."

Trump will visit Long Island to discuss gang violence — but some fear he could make the issue worse

Trump has celebrated mass deportations as fighting gang violence — but are his words helping or hurting?