The color of food plates has a direct impact on how much food you eat everyday. Find out if your dinnerware is helping you reach your desired weight loss goals — or obstructing them — from this list of diet-friendly food plate colors
BY NABANITA DUTT
Did you just eat a large lunch? Did you eat it off those bright red plates you love using for everyday meals? Did the small portion of food you served yourself look so yummy, that you had to have a second helping? OMG! You just failed your skinny-thinny diet resolution – and the culprit wasn’t even your lack of willpower!
It was those red plates. No, really, they could well be the reason why your compulsion to binge got the better of you. And you overate without even realizing it.
But the good news is this: once you know the secret of appetite-suppressing colors, you won’t be tempted in quite the same way again. You’ll keep the hunger-inducing red/green/turquoise plates and bowls for other occasions, and eat your daily meals off crockery that do not encourage a hearty appetite.
If you’re aware of color therapy, you know that colors have a strong, subconscious impact on our emotions and feelings. In the same way, colors can also tempt us or repel us from the idea of food. So, here’s a list of colors you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for everyday crockery. Maybe, you can even buy a single set of plates and bowls in any of these colors if you’re the only one dieting in the family.
LIST OF FOOD PLATE COLORS THAT WILL SUPPRESS YOUR APPETITE
>>> BLUE: IT IS COLD AND UNAPPETIZING
Blue has an overall calming effect on our moods, and by that same token, it `cools’ our reckless urge to overeat. In a study conducted with 3 sets of participants served their meals in blue, red and yellow rooms, the ones in the blue room consumed 33% less food than in the other two.
You may have noticed some stores carry refrigerators with blue lights inside to reduce the compulsion to snack. Color therapists often suggest painting a kitchen in blue if a family is dealing with weight issues. But a much easier way to involve this color with your food habits is by using blue food plates.
Aesthetically, blue looks gorgeous on dishes, platters and bowls, and its appetite-suppressing qualities can be your own little secret…
♦ SHOP THESE BLUE PLATES FROM DOMINO: (1) Kate Spade Charlotte Plate (2) Watercolor Ceramic Plate (3) Blue Ebru Marble Ceramic Plate (4) Rustic Vintage Ceramic Plate (5) Navy Vanderbilt Plate
>>> PURPLE: IT IS NOT A `FOODIE’ COLOR
Purple is a strong, spiritual color that feeds the imagination and provokes high thinking. But it rarely occurs in the physical plane or in natural foods. Besides eggplants, purple cabbage and some grapes, there aren’t many vegetables and fruits that are purple.
Therefore, purple is not a shade our subconscious generally associates with tastiness, and our response to food served on purple plates lack that extra eagerness to satisfy a physical desire such as overeating.
>>> GRAY: THE COLOR SUGGESTS OPPOSITE OF FRESHNESS
When was the last time you said: “I’m really craving something deliciously gray to eat”? Possibly, never. Our general perception is that foodstuff turn gray when they lose their freshness.
The color, though neutral in its psychological properties, has a dampening effect on all other colors around it.
With none of the juiciness of green or the brightness of red/orange, all gray does is kill appetite and take the vibes of excitement out of eating.
Which is great news for weight watchers!
♦ SHOP THESE GRAY PLATES: (1) Gray Marbled Ebru Ceramic Plate (2) Thomas Paul Maritime Gray Dinner Plate (3) Livingstone Gray Dinner Plate (4) Custom Gray Celtic Floral Dinner Plate (5) Mikasa Savona Gray Dinner Plate
>>> BLACK: THE COLOR ASSOCIATES WITH ROT AND DECAY
Black is a color we subliminally associate with rot. When foodstuff is not merely past its sell-by date (that would be gray) but when the actual process of decomposition has set in, we expect things in nature turn a morbid black.
Serving food on black plates is pleasing to the eye, and therefore it’s great for entertaining etc., but the color will not do much to encourage our appetite if used on plates we eat off everyday.
The heaviness of black will absorb all the energy coming towards you, and that includes sensations of tastefulness and corresponding hunger as well.
>>> BROWN: THE COLOR HAS A `BLUNTING’ EFFECT ON FOOD CRAVINGS
This is a surprising one because you’d expect brown – the color of fresh baked bread, steaks, chocolate etc. – to increase our desire to eat. But not so, say researchers, when the color is used as a backdrop for food to be served in.
The lack of energy in this dark, sluggish shade slows down the pace of eating, which gives the brain enough time to transmit sensations of fullness and therefore curb overeating.
LIST OF FOOD PLATE COLORS THAT INCREASE HUNGER AND GOOD APPETITE
♦ ♦ ♦ Red is one of the most emotionally intense colors. It stimulates physical excitement, quickens the pulse and promotes hunger. When food is served on red plates, the various psychological impacts of the color combine, and we unconsciously eat a lot more than we intended.
♦ ♦ ♦ Green is the predominant color of nature – the storehouse from where all our foodstuff originate. We’re wired to look upon green as a source of sustenance, freshness and abundance. When food is served on green plates, the color can make even the most ordinary dishes look appetizing.
♦ ♦ ♦ A close cousin of red, orange has an in-your-face sort of boldness about it that causes strong negative or positive reactions. In the food world, however, orange has a very large presence, and no matter how we regard orange as a color, it never fails to make food look more attractive.
♦ ♦ ♦ Yellow is essentially a non-emotional color that occurs profusely in natural foodstuff. It promotes a strong sense of physical well-being, robust health and cheerfulness. It also helps to increase metabolism, which is why the color is often associated with sensations of hunger.
♦ ♦ ♦ Chefs the world over choose boring, white plates over other colors for a good reason: it reflects all lights and enhance the natural colors of each ingredient on the plate to the fullest. White also has a psychological connection with sweetness – food seems sweeter when served on white.
♦ ♦ ♦ Inspite of being related to the appetite-suppressing blue, teal or turquoise colors transmit a completely different message to our brains when it comes to food. The colors have strong healing properties, and when in comes to bodily matters, food is the obvious agent that sustains and heals…
A low color contrast between plate and food increases the size of each helping. And vice versa…
While researching the impact of food plate colors on appetite, Dr. Koert van Ittersum and Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University conducted an experiment with people attending a college reunion in upstate New York.
There were 2 items on the menu: pasta with white Alfredo sauce and pasta with a red tomato sauce. The group was randomly handed plates in 2 similar colors: white and red. And the food they served themselves were measured on a hidden scale.
Turned out that people who had plates and pasta in the same color (i.e. white plates with Alfredo sauce and red plates with tomato sauce) ate 22% more food.
In other words, low-contrast between food and plate made them take larger helpings, while a high-contrast combination made them take less.