September 10, 2009 | Diane Johnson | Leave a comment Most ladies really enjoy having a night out with their girlfriends, particularly when they plan on going out to eat. The reason for this is that, when women are together, they feel that they can eat whatever and however much they want, removing the judgment they typically feel with male companions. In essence, they give one another permission to eat less healthy foods that are higher in calories. Women on average eat at least one hundred more calories and consume over 800 calories at a ladies night out. When women eat out with men, however, they typically consume fewer calories. The more men are present at the table, the more skimping goes on. They eat less and generally eat healthier. So whom you eat with really does have an impact on what and how much you eat. This study began with researchers studying groups of students dining in large cafeterias at several universities. While this study focused on younger women, the results held true for older women as well. Women of all ages tended to restrict calories when with men apparently because they wanted to make a good impression on their male dining companions or from sheer self-consciousness. Eating fewer calories, subjects said, made them feel more feminine in the company of men. It all goes back to the stigma that women should be small and dainty because that's what men think is attractive. So many women don't feel right about eating large quantities of fatty foods in front of men. Men, on the other hand, didn't alter their food choices based on the gender of the group they were eating with. So if women are on a diet or trying to watch their weight, eating out with girlfriends is not a good idea. While some women may not have a date every night, they can still go out and enjoy themselves. Women can go out with guy friends or go out to lunch with coworkers. Most likely there will be guys at work, so women can still eat out but eat more moderately. The girls won't pig out like they would with their girlfriends, and you can skimp on your meal, which will keep you trim, and, if you so desire, you can take the leftovers home. On the other hand, though, there are some tips for when you do go out with the girls that will help you watch your calories. First, of all stay away from the bread basket and only order the appetizer or dessert. This will cut down on a ton of calories. Also watch how much liquor or soft drinks you are consuming because this can really rack up the calories quickly and they could be better used somewhere else. Another tip: if you want to order something healthy, be the first one to order and then you are setting the precedent and possibly influencing what the rest of the table orders. Even though you're eating out with girlfriends, it is possible to still count your calories. Even though dieting is difficult it is still possible to watch what you eat and go out with the girls. It's much better than the alternative of cutting the girl's night out, really out, or eating with guys all the time. Boring!