Food envy

Eating out should be a purely enjoyable experience - until you notice how much better your partner's food looks, says Lily.

Dinner table

If you're unlucky enough to suffer from food envy, you will know just how crippling the condition can be. Nothing kills the atmosphere of an enjoyable evening like being out-ordered by a friend or partner - particularly if you're with someone who can't help but be a little smug at their own superior ordering skills.

Duck saladThe worst offenders have been known to narrate the various merits of their meal, whilst letting out a long 'Mmmm' between mouthfuls. There is little you can do but try to stop your fork from visibly shaking.

It's for this reason that reading the menu in a restaurant is not something I take lightly - in fact I approach it with more concentration than a multiple choice exam. When I have narrowed it down to two or three options, I need to know what my partner is ordering, what they think I should order and after ignoring their advice I require multiple reassurance that I've made the right decision.

But all this careful planning can easily be ruined by my dinner partner committing the ultimate restaurant sin - changing their order at the last minute with no prior warning. This is particularly painful if you've been tricked into a healthier choice than you'd ideally like by your friend claiming to want the 'superfood salad'.

Pork bellyOn the odd occasion I have managed to convince myself into the healthiest option with no outside interference the punishment has been harsh. Watching my boyfriend tuck into tender glazed pork belly, sizzling steaks and fat yellow chips, and that's without mentioning his pudding.

However, there is a way to cure food envy and this is where food sharing comes in. After all everyone knows that food from other people's plates is calorie-free and tastes twice as good - and if it means you can all try as much food as possible, how can it not be a good idea?

Do you or a friend suffer from food envy? Or do you have any tips for combating it?