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9 Diet Lessons You Can Learn from Eating with Etiquette

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Little Tricks, Big Results

Stick to Your Own Plate

Not only is it bad manners to reach across the table and pick a morsel off your dining companion's plate, but those little "tastes" can add up to a lot of extra calories.

Leave It Alone

Leave your plate where it is when you finish the meal. Seeing the remains (even if it is just sauce) keeps you aware of what you just consumed. The server will know to remove it if you have placed your utensils across the plate in the rest position.

Don't Dip

Fox advises against dipping, dunking, or wiping sauces with your bread. The only time dipping is acceptable is if there's a small dish of olive oil on the table or if you're eating fondue. Those gravies, sauces, and the bread can also add up to lots of extra calories, says Fox.

American Way

If you want to use the "American way" of eating, you will cut a small piece of food, put your knife on the corner of your plate, put the fork, until now in your left hand, into your right hand, and eat. You do not cut the whole portion of food at one time (as your mother did when you were a child). It's always ONE piece at the time, says Wilson. Eating this way slows you down and allows your stomach a chance to "feel" the food.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network, and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, September 2008.



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