Ha! Jeff's blog about "splits" reminded me of last summer, while I was in the US. Granted - this post has nothing to do with Spinning®...his title just caught my eye.
My daughter and I agreed to only order one meal between us if we went to a restaurant. Then if we were hungry after paying the bill, we would go home and eat oranges outside together.
Social eating - it's what we do. . . but there is no reason why it can't be a good choice, right? Emphasizing the social side, if you had a pal who you would want to see, say every other week for lunch, you could make a "standing date," and share a lunch: Literally. Let's face it, a salad at Red Robin is HUGE and, while I could certainly pack it in, there is no reason to do that, if you adopt the thought that "enough is enough."
You'll have to have some ground rules - like is one of you is a vegetarian, or one of you hates salad, but it is all do able given the right partnership. I usually just let my daughter pick, because I honestly hardly ever care what plate I order from any restaurant - save for the fact that I don't eat meat....but she's not all that into meat either, but if it is you and a friend, maybe one of you could pick one week and then switch the next time - or one picks the restaurant and the other picks the plate and you share the bill.
You can do this alone too. As soon as you place the order, request the "doggy bag" container and slide half of the contents out of sight as soon as it arrives. Picture your belly.... I mean your STOMACH, not your abdominal region. You know how some people say your heart is the size of your fist? Your stomach pouch might be two of those - It just happens to have the great ability to stretch and the more you put in, the more you stretch.
In "halfing" lunch together, you also only spend half your money on lunch. Who can argue with that?
The point is that sometimes we (and by we, I mean I) need a reminder that a meal isn't just about getting full...or filling up. It is a chance to catch up with a pal, come up for air and refuel for the rest of the day. You don't have to be full to get your money's worth - you just have to not be hungry when you're done.
Get back to the office and regret not having more? That's when you pull out your baggie of almonds and a couple of dried apricots that will get you through until dinner so you aren't ravenous at your next meal.
Depending on your time constraints, I offer this friendly suggestion as a summer time trial. This summer, plan to meet with some pals, one at a time, of course, who would support this notion of having a half a lunch when going out. You have to meet them twice to make it fair in choice, but each time you split the bill, so that keeps it from being a drag. Agree with your lunch partner that the actual content of the meal is not nearly as important as the time you're spending together, so if you have to suffer through his boiled cod one week, so be it...he'll have to suffer through your spinach quiche the next week. who cares...
keep it social.
keep it affordable
keep it reasonable portions
You could do the same with picnics if you don't want to go to restaurants!