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?
I agree, but I don't know why. Blue just looks unappetizing. The evolutionary theories about it are fascinating.
I am going to do this!
My entire kitchen color palate is blue and I had no idea….
wow! really interesting post…I wasnt aware of this. Its amazing to me how such subtle things can affect us so dramatically. I can buy into it for sure. Btw..Im sssooo happy you stopped by my blog cause Ive been reading through yours and its fabulous! Have a wonderful day!!
hehe…now I am going to get some blue plates as I have been gaining weight, esp. on my waist.
p.s Walleye is fresh water fish, known as the colored pike. We call them "Zander" here in Germany.
bahahahaha hence why I eat off blue plates! =) I try to photograph my meals on the white or green ones but I totally have been all blue since I learned this trick in … wait for it… wait for it…. ART SCHOOL! haha I even got my BS in Dietetics and we never learned the blue plate trick in nutrition class. Those teachers are mission out on a fun tip! =) lol
Jenn @ Peas & Crayons
I don't think I've ever eaten off a blue plate before?? My trick is to use small plates or bowls and to fill them up but not go for seconds. Mentally that totally satisfies me because I know that quantity has satisfied me before.
Very interesting, Lauren.
I actually have a beautiful set of blue plates, which my (skinny) daughter chooses when it’s her turn to set the table.
I assume the changes observed in consumption were rather small, but hey, every bit helps.
ha, it's funny because although I have white plates, my small plates are blue (I use them to keep portions in check). I learned about lighting in college (just like you I'm sure) but it's funny bc I never thought it made me eat more or less. I do notice when lights are dimmer I will eat more though!! Tricky tricky!
It really is interesting how different cues in the environment can influence what and how much we eat. I don't own any blue plates, but maybe I should buy some! I agree with the others that have commented that using smaller plates really works. We eat with our eyes and if the plate looks full we think we are getting a large portion. These little tricks can sound silly, but they really work.
Interesting post! I think color really can play a role in our overall intake. My old room was painted pink and I think it made me want to snack more!
wow what a fascination article love it and its got to be worth trying
that blue is a bit weird. I love my blue plates — i have light and dark blue, you can sneak a peak a the exact color on my blog — but I also really love green.
How interesting. By coincidence, when I eat rice (which is very very often) I eat it out of a deep, dark blue bowl – I liked it because I thought it was pretty – didn't know that it could help me lose a couple pounds!
Surprised how many of you have blue plates and bowls. I am not much of a blue person but also learned dark (black, dark grey) work well too.
Very interesting. I also remember hearing about them placing red and yellow foods on end caps at the grocery store to draw people in.
OK-So I have blue plates too! They are a deep colbalt blue from Pottery Barn that my husband and I got as wedding gifts. They are actually our (large) salad plates, but we use them for dinner most every night because our actual dinner plates are too big in my opinion. I had heard that red/orange paint in the dining room stimulates appetite, but never thought about the color of the plates before…Thanks!
this totally makes sense. we eat with our brains, not with our stomachs. that said, i don't like to overthink things either. i wouldn't worry so much about the color of my plate, however, i think it's good to use smaller ones. our portion size is generally measured by its relation to the plate's size (at least mine are.) great post!
Do they have cookie flavored blue plates?