Paul has been passionate about preparing, cooking, and eating healthy food for over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.
While I love family meals at home, romantic dinners at restaurants, or dinner parties with friends, I also enjoy the experience of solo dining. Eating alone gives me options that I don't have with others. I have absolute freedom to choose where to go, what to eat, and have some time to myself without any interruption or distraction from others. This article lists the top 10 positives of solo dining and then explains each benefit in more detail.
10 Benefits of Eating Alone
Here are the main benefits.
- Take Your Pick
- Take Your Time
- Try Something New
- Quality Me Time
- Well Earned Reward
- Combine Work and Food
- Read or Surf
- Eat Healthy
- Easier to Get a Seat
- Enjoy Your Home
I explain each of the advantages in more detail below.
1. Take Your Pick
Eating solo means that you get to choose where and what you eat. When you dine with others, there is usually some sort of compromise that has to be made: where you go, what style of food is eaten, or the price range of the restaurant. There may be dietary restrictions to take into account, such as allergies, or vegetarianism, or simply just different tastes. Dining solo means complete freedom, the decisions are yours alone.
2. Take Your Time
By yourself, you can take as little, or as much time as you want to consume your meal. There is no pressure to eat at the same pace as others. Frustrations are avoided because you are not either waiting on someone or feeling rushed.
3. Try Something New
If you love your food, then trying out something can be enjoyable. This might take the form of a new restaurant, an unfamiliar style of cuisine, or just a food that you've never tried. Other people may not share your sense of adventure and reject eating opportunities that are outside their normal expectations. Breaking out of a rut and experimenting can be fun, but others can hold you back.
4. Quality Me Time
Dining solo enables you to have some quality time to yourself. This might mean a peaceful early breakfast to organize your thoughts, lunch alone to escape the pressures of work, or a relaxing dinner to collect your thoughts after a busy day. Enjoying a plate of good food and your own company can be both enjoyable and beneficial.
5. Well-Earned Reward
While there are some dangers in reward eating if one gets too lax about health and nutrition concerns, a tasty meal can also be a great way to give yourself a treat after a productive day, or to mark an achievement. While some might see it as selfish to celebrate alone, it could also be argued that a personal meal in this context can be good for your self-esteem and overall wellbeing.
6. Combine Work and Food
Eating alone can often give you the excuse you need to eat some excellent food and complete a piece of work without any distractions. Reading through a report, thinking through a new approach to an old challenge, or planning a weekly diary can all be more enjoyable, as well as more productive when accompanied by a meal alone.
7. Read or Surf
One of my favorite things to do is go to a restaurant with a good book. While I wait for my food to arrive, I can read. Then I continue to read and eat at a leisurely rate. It combines two things I really enjoy. If not reading, it's fun to play around on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop without anybody there to tell you that you're being antisocial.
8. Eat Healthy
While there are plenty of warnings about how people can fall into bad habits of eating unhealthy food when eating alone, I've found that it's possible for the opposite to be true. Sometimes you can be pushed by others into eating at places that offer food that is less healthy than you would choose, or when cooking you have to provide food for people with tastes that are less healthy than your own.
9. Easier to Get a Seat
When reserving a seat in a restaurant, it is often easier to get seating for one person, rather than for a group. If there isn't a table, you can almost always get a seat at the bar.
10. Enjoy Your Home
If you live alone, then it can be very enjoyable just to stay in and enjoy a home-cooked meal or a takeaway on your own. You can choose what food you eat, set the mood of your own environment with music, or watch a movie. Sometimes it's just less trouble and more relaxing to eat on your own in your own space.
© 2020 Paul Goodman