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9 Diet Lessons You Can Learn from Eating with Etiquette

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Having good manners helps when you're trying to make a good impression, but did you know it can also help you lose weight? Here, a few ways table manners can help you eat healthier and weigh less.

Mind Your Manners

Manners can be helpful if you're trying to make a decent impression on a date, at a business meeting, or on any social occasion -- they might even help keep a marriage together. However, there is an even better reason to eat with etiquette: It can help you lose weight. Here are a few table manners that will help you look better in two ways -- your waistline and your eating style.

Don't Talk with Your Mouth Full

Take a peek around the next time you're at a restaurant -- most people have forgotten this classic rule. "No one likes to see a mouth stuffed full of food -- especially if the mouth is also attempting to talk. Do put down your fork or chopsticks occasionally and direct your attention to the conversation," says Robin Abrahams, The Boston Globe's manners expert.

"Not only will this remind your dining partners that the food is but an excuse for their company -- not the other way around -- but it will give your body a break in which it can tell you, 'We've had enough, thanks,'" says Abrahams. When you eat with your mouth closed you typically take smaller bites, so you probably will not eat as much. Also, research shows that chewing with your mouth open, swallowing air or a large quantity of food, and eating too fast are the main causes of indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn.

Smaller Is Better

According to Susan Fox, the founder of Etiquette Survival and author of Etiquette for Dummies (Wiley, 2007), the rule is to not take more on your plate than you can eat. Overeating is bad for your health, and it isn't polite to overload your plate. Keep portions small; you can always take more later, says Fox. We tend to clean our plates. So, by keeping portions small, and having to make a conscious decision to get more, you'll eat less.

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2/2/2012 02:36:09 AM Report Abuse

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