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9 Diet Lessons You Can Learn from Eating with Etiquette

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Apply Restaurant Rules at Home

Be Formal

Always prepare a nice table for dinner -- even if you're eating alone. "Make the effort to have nice place mats or a tablecloth. Add some flowers that will complement the color of the tablecloth. Add the glass for the wine, if any, and a glass for the water. Do not forget the napkin always placed at the left side of your dinner plate," says Michele Wilson, creator of the DVD Manners by Michele: Restaurant Etiquette and Wines Plus How to Set the Table. Play smooth music to add to the ambiance. This may seem over-the-top -- but it works. Maybe getting just a little more formal than eating out of the container while standing by the fridge would work, too.

You have the decor, now dress the part. Don't eat in sweat pants. Put on a nice outfit. You don't have to do this every night -- just most nights. Appreciating the food you eat means you eat consciously, and as a result eat healthier foods, and less food altogether.

Keep It Straight

"Pay attention to your posture and body language. During the meal, keep both feet flat on the floor or cross your feet at the ankles. Don't cross your legs at the knees, and don't prop your feet on chair rungs or table legs," says Fox. She also recommends that you sit up straight on the front three-quarters of your chair. "This way, you shouldn't have to bend over your food; you can simply bring your utensils to your mouth. Don't rush when you lift your food from the table to your mouth. Don't bend closely over your plate or try to meet your utensils halfway."

Stay Balanced

According to Fox, you should keep pace with others at the table; do not eat too slowly or too quickly. "Dining is about balance. Everyone should be doing the same thing about the same time. Watch and be aware of the other diners. You do not want to be sitting there with an empty plate when everyone else still has food left," says Fox. Not eating too quickly and being consciously aware of what you're eating also help to control consumption. Your stomach will catch up with your mind -- you'll realize how much you've eaten, and eat less.

"If everyone else wants dessert, order a cup of decaf or herbal tea so that they'll feel you're keeping them company. If you order only an appetizer or salad, make sure it's brought out with the dinner," says Abrahams.

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