Eating Habits That Are A Huge Turn-Off

There are some eating habits that are a huge turn-off. After all, eating a delicious meal is something that just about everyone can agree is enjoyable — whether you're eating at a fancy restaurant on a hot date or just indulging in take-out on the couch, eating is universal. So, when someone does something to distract from that, it can be seriously unattractive for a potential partner or even just someone you're trying to impress.

In fact, specialists agree that eating habits can actually be deal-breakers when it comes to relationships, though it might not seem like it at the start. "When we start dating someone new, we generally aren't concerned about what their food preferences are," registered dietician Alissa Rumsey told Brides. "But as time goes on, what seemed like not a big deal at first can morph into a real issue." So, which eating habits are the ones to kick to the curb if you want to turn someone on, rather than off? Well, turns out there are quite a few.

Being a picky eater is super annoying and a huge turn-off

One of many eating habits that are huge turn-offs is picky eating. While it might not sound like a big deal, if someone is an extremely picky eater to the point where it affects all of their meals and daily life, it's not exactly attractive. Additionally, according to The New York Times, many adults who are picky eaters are too ashamed to even admit the fact because they're embarrassed. Being a picky eater might not be a big deal to everyone, but, as one woman told Cosmopolitan, it was kind of a breaking point in her relationship.

"He had never tried seafood but assumed he didn't like it because his mom didn't," the woman explained to the publication. "I tried to deal with it and wouldn't eat seafood, but we would fight if I did because I couldn't deal with how ridiculous he was. I can't believe I put up with that for a year!" Being a picky eater can definitely be a turn-off, especially if you're so picky that it impacts your partner and the relationship.

One eating habit that's a huge turn-off is not eating vegetables

Just like being a picky eater is a huge turn-off, so is someone who won't eat vegetables. No matter how old you are, if you're an adult who refuses to eat vegetables, it's seriously unattractive. Maybe it's because not eating vegetables seems kind of childish, or because it's unhealthy. Whatever the reason, not eating vegetables probably won't score you many points when out on a date. In fact, one woman even explained to Cosmopolitan that she had dated someone who hated vegetables, and it was a huge turn-off.

"This man was 22 years old and drank a V8 every day to 'get his vegetables,'" she explained. "After that night, if I made vegetables, he would have to like, talk himself into trying it and it was a big deal." Um, eating veggies shouldn't really be a big deal, especially for a full-grown adult. Really, just eat your broccoli, and you can avoid turning someone off because you hate anything green. And if you really hate the taste of vegetables, at least consider ways of sneaking veggies into your meals.

If you engage in PDA with your mouth full, it's a huge turn-off

For the most part, kissing is totally hot, and the act is usually classified as quite the turn on. However, there is one way in which you should never engage in PDA unless you want to turn your partner off, and that's kissing with your mouth full. This eating habit might sound odd, but people actually do it sometimes. And it's pretty gross.

To be fair, kissing is actually pretty gross on its own if you really think about it. According to Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing, kissing for just ten seconds can transmit 80 million bacteria, as she told Bustle. That's disturbing, so, when you also factor in a mouthful of chewed-up, soggy, half-eaten food, it becomes nearly unbearable. This is one eating habit that just needs to go away — the only exception being if a toddler is kissing their parents with their mouth full, in which case, it's kind of adorable. But for grown-ups: stop. Seriously, in order to avoid being a huge turn-off, don't kiss with your mouth full. Swallow your food — it's really not that hard.

Chewing with your mouth open is a huge turn-off that's easy to avoid

Though most people are taught not to chew with their mouth open at a young age, it doesn't always translate into adulthood. As HuffPost reported, open-mouth chewing is still a prevalent issue in adults today, and it's seriously unattractive and annoying. "We are relatively certain that we're not alone in saying that sitting across from someone who habitually chews with their mouth open can totally ruin a meal for us," the publication reported.

Additionally, if you're chewing with your mouth open, there's usually a sound involved, which can be even more irksome. "For people with a condition that some scientists call misophonia, mealtime can be torture," The New York Times reported. "The sounds of other people eating — chewing, chomping, slurping, gurgling — can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling rage." So, if you want to avoid this huge turn-off at the dinner table, then go ahead and close your mouth, just like your mom taught you.

Regularly eating junk food is one eating habit that's a huge turn-off

While everyone definitely indulges in a treat every now and then — and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that — there's a difference between eating junk food sometimes and eating it all the time. In fact, if you are constantly eating a ton of junk food like pizza and chocolate, it can actually be an eating habit that's a huge turn-off.

According to Brides, it can even be a relationship non-starter if one person has healthier eating habits than the other. "If one person is focused on their health and nutrition and the other eats a lot of unhealthy items, they might be angry at their SO for bringing temptation into the home and also for not taking care of themselves," relationship expert Jane Greer, Ph.D., told the publication. While that doesn't mean you and your partner or whoever you're out on a date with have to eat the same thing all the time, it's definitely unattractive if that's all you're eating. Plus, there's a lot you don't know about your favorite junk foods and only eating fast food can really do some not-so-nice things to your body.

How you hold your utensils can be a huge turn-off for some people

Just like most people are taught not to chew with their mouth open when they're kids, most people are also taught how to properly hold their forks, knives, and spoons while eating a meal. However, not everyone retains that knowledge into adulthood, and it can be pretty unappealing. Believe it or not, but the way that you hold your utensils while eating can actually be a huge turn-off as an eating habit.

As one woman explained to Food & Wine, when someone doesn't properly hold their utensils during a meal, it can look immature and unattractive. "People who hold their utensils in their fists are cavemen," she said. "It's only men who do it, and it's so off-putting. My brother-in-law does it, and I just spend family dinners looking at him in disgust." It's really not that hard to properly hold forks, knives, and spoons — and not doing so can make you look pretty bad.

Not having any table manners is seriously unappealing and a huge turn-off

Now, most people are aware of what basic table manners are. You shouldn't chew with your mouth open or talk while you're chewing food. You shouldn't put your elbows on the table or be on your phone too much while at dinner. However, there are still a lot of people out there who don't follow these basic table manners, and it's kind of a huge turn-off when they don't know how to be polite while eating.

While old-fashioned table etiquette might not always be expected of someone, table manners are seriously important overall. The New York Times even posed the question of whether or not manners were important, and the answer seems obvious. Having manners isn't that hard, and eating dinner with someone who is sloppy, loud, and impolite can be quite the turn-off. And, well, it probably won't inspire a lot of action away from the dinner table. So, if you want to keep your partner or date turned on throughout dinner, try to have some manners.

Stealing food off of someone's plate can be a huge turn-off if you're not close

Avid fans of the hit sitcom Friends will likely remember the iconic episode when Joey goes out on a date with a woman, but something goes awry. When Joey explains why he doesn't want to go out with the woman again, he emphatically explains that "Joey doesn't share food," after revealing that she took a French fry off his plate. Obviously, it doesn't seem like sneaking a fry off of someone's plate is that big of a deal, but this little eating habit can actually be a huge turn-off.

However, food-sharing is complicated. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences actually found that sharing food was a bonding experience. "Long-lasting cooperative relationships have also been referred to as strong social bonds, which are characterized by high rates of cooperative behaviors, such as grooming and food sharing," the study noted. So, while food-sharing might be intimate, it isn't a good idea to do it on a first date.

Binge eating is unhealthy, and it's a huge turn-off, too

There are plenty of eating habits that are unhealthy. However, one of the more unhealthy eating habits is actually a disorder: binge eating. According to WebMD, "Binge eating disorder is compulsive overeating. People who binge use food as a way to cope with unwanted emotions or stress." Clearly, this can be unhealthy and binge-eating can really mess up your body. But it may surprise some to learn that it can also be unattractive and a huge turn-off.

Even if someone doesn't have a binge eating disorder and just binges on food once, eating a lot of food quickly can be a kind of a huge turn-off for many (via Glamour). Not only is it unhealthy and potentially dangerous, but no one wants to watch someone they might like shove a ton of food in their face all at once. That isn't to say that a person can't or shouldn't indulge in sweets or eat large meals, but doing so constantly likely won't be very attractive to potential dating partners.

Being controlling about food isn't just a huge turn-off... it's a warning sign

There are definitely a lot of physical eating habits that are unattractive, but there are also other habits surrounding food that can be huge turn-offs. One eating habit that you might not think about as being unattractive is when someone is controlling about food. This doesn't mean someone who is picky about what they eat, but that they quite literally like to control what other people eat — specifically, their partners or dates. Think about it: if you're out on a date with someone and they order for you and don't give you a choice in the matter, that's not exactly appealing, is it?

And, well, it's also kind of abusive. In an episode of the Savage Lovecast, sex advice expert Dan Savage gave words of wisdom to a reader who explained that her boyfriend monitors what she eats and even takes food away from her. According to Savage, this is just the first sign of abuse. "This is not the end of the ways he is going to control, undermine, and gaslight you," Savage said, as reported by Refinery29. "This is the first front in his long war against your agency." 

Not washing your hands before you eat is dangerous, gross, and a huge turn-off

It's no secret that washing your hands before you eat is kind of a no-brainer. It's what parents teach their kids, so even toddlers know to wash up before having dinner. However, for some reason, many adults choose not to wash their hands before a meal, and it's kind of gross. After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control, "keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others." The CDC notes, "Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water."

Not washing your hands is also, of course, super unappealing. If you don't wash your hands before you eat, do you ever wash your hands? Where else have your hands been? It's kind of a disgusting thought, so it's no wonder that not washing your hands is a huge turn-off. Additionally, it's kind of irresponsible. Per the CDC, "handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections." So really, just scrub your hands with soap and warm water — there's no good reason not to.

Chewing loudly is a huge turn-off that's super aggravating

Chewing with your mouth open is definitely a turn-off, but there's another eating habit that you might want to keep in mind when it comes to how you chew. Again, while many people might consider this common sense, a lot of people still chew loudly, and it's pretty frustrating. Of course, there are some foods that people just can't be help avoid chewing loudly — like popcorn and candy. But there are still many times when chewing loudly can be avoided, and should be avoided. As annoying as it is, according to The Washington Post, it's actually a condition to be frustrated by it.

"For people who suffer, it's as though the brain misinterprets the auditory stimuli and experiences it as harmful or toxic or dangerous,"Jennifer Brout, a psychologist who works with kids who have misophonia (a disorder in which loud, chewing sounds almost become unbearable), told The Washington Post. Not only is chewing loudly annoying, it can literally cause people to go into fight or flight mode. Let's just try to avoid this huge turn-off, okay?

Slurping your soup is very off-putting and a huge turn-off for many

One of the most well-known table etiquette faux pas is to slurp your soup, or anything really, at the table. Not only does slurping have the potential to cause someone with misophonia to freak out, but it's really just not polite or attractive at all. According to, there is a proper way to eat soup, and it doesn't involve slurping of any kind. "Dip the spoon sideways into the soup at the near edge of the bowl, then skim from the front of the bowl to the back," the site advises. "Sip from the side of the spoon, avoid improper table manners and do not ... slurp."

Really, sipping your soup in such a loud and messy manner certainly seems pretty childish, and, obviously, it's kind of gross. So, if you want to avoid being a huge turn-off at the dinner table, then just don't slurp. While there are a ton of eating habits that are unattractive that might be difficult to manage, this is definitely one of the easiest to avoid.

Being on your phone while eating is a huge turn-off that's best avoided

While it's no secret that being on your phone all the time isn't exactly good for you, it's actually a habit that can also be a huge turn-off when you're out to eat. If someone is constantly on their phone while at meals, it's hard to actually talk and enjoy time together. Clearly, that's not going to be a turn-on for anyone.

"You see people in restaurants all the time who are sitting across the table from each other, and instead of staring at each other, they're staring at their phones," researcher Ryan Dwyer from the University of British Columbia in Canada told Time. "We were really curious: Is it having an impact on people's social interactions, how much they're enjoying the time they're spending with other people?" The short answer was that it did have an impact, according to Dwyer's study with fellow researcher Elizabeth Dunn, and not in a good way. 

Not paying attention to the people you're with is pretty rude, and it also isn't going to do you any favors when it comes to attracting someone. Plus, there are a number of ways your cell phone is bad for your health.