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You eat too fast! ... No, you eat too slow!

What do you do when your dining companion eats at a different pace from you?

If you're eating with someone who is a fast eater, do you find yourself eating quicker to keep pace so that there isn't that awkward moment when you're still chomping away on your sandwich and your companion is sitting there counting the ratio of Splenda packets to regular sugar packets?

What about when someone eats slower than you? Do you chew extra long and take slow long sips of water to pace yourself?

How do you cope?

(Not trying to make judgments about whether eating slow or fast is better or more healthy -- just trying to figure out if there are coping mechanisms to synchornize eating speeds.)

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  1. I'm by nature a slow eater. I like to say that i take the time to enjoy and savor my food, and indeed that is what I'm doing. I frequently find myself dining with friends that wolf down their food. If i'm not as comfortable with them, then i might up the pace a little at the end, or just not finish my meal. But if i know you, and you scarf it down? Damn straight i'm gonna take my time and enjoy my food, and you can just order another beer

    1. If this is what you're worried about you're A) Not eating food that is delicious enough B) Dining with someone that isn't interesting enough.

      2 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        Eh, it happens. School and work related functions come to mind. Unfortunately not all meals are grand and not all company is stellar.

        But to the OP, I'm a relatively quick eater, so I usually try to pace myself when I'm out with people that I don't know well or that I know are slow eaters. I usually try take a longer time between bites, drink more water, and try to keep approximately the same amount of food on my plate as others. Admittedly, this backfired on me once when my dining companion ate about half of her meal and then said she was done--so clearly my plan isn't fool proof.

      2. I tend to fall in the middle. Fast than my BF (he eats slower than in 95 yr grandmother), but slower than most others. I don't mind waiting for my BF to finish since I do most of the talking and I like the additional time to digest before dessert. When eating with those who eat faster I try to sneak a bite off their plate as soon as I can before it's gone.

        1. I just finish after they do. Why would someone worry about synchronizing eating speed? I've never had awkward moments such as you describe. Then again, my companion usually has a drink of some kind to keep them busy...maybe that would help?

          1. My husband could compete with the worlds best Japanese Speed Eaters (he blames boarding school LOL). I have never seen anyone eat so fast (including my labradors and not to mention I'm a nurse and we are notorious for bolting our food) and I just find it oddly fascinating. It doesn't really bother either of us, he will sit with me while I finish and I make the odd joke about his food inhalation technique.