When we think about factors that affect our appetite, stress, sleep and exercise may come to mind. Each of these can influence hunger but so can something else you may not think as much about. Our eating is impacted by our eating environment and particularly sensitive to color. The color of your dinner plates, dining room or kitchen influences eating behavior. There’s one color that really shows promise as an appetite suppressant. That blue plate in the photo above? It just may help the scale budge.
There’s research behind color and appetite. In one study participants were placed in different colored rooms to eat. In the blue-colored room they ate over 30 percent fewer calories. In another study blue food coloring was added to food and resulted in fewer calories consumed (though food coloring isn’t suggested).One theory explains this based on the dearth of blue foods in nature. Other than blueberries, blue foods are scarce and as we evolved we used visual cues to determine if a food was edible. Blue was viewed as a non-food color possibly even poisonous. Blue is also a calming color and helps us feel more relaxed.
If you want to know what colors rev up your appetite, look no further than the golden arches. It is no accident that red and yellow are appetite stimulants. Steer clear of those colors if you’re trying to lose weight. On the other hand, blue plates, blue placemats, or even a blue light in your refrigerator may be useful weight loss tools. I have to admit that when I first heard about blue plates, I asked myself “who uses blue plates anyway?” Then I remembered my mother in law does. She’s Swedish and her house is filled with blue. And you know what? She’s pretty darn skinny.
Have you ever noticed color affecting your eating? Do you buy into the psychology of color? Anyone contemplating a renovation or a new blue kitchen? What’s your favorite color?