It’s said that we eat with our eyes, first — so it makes sense that visual cues impact our eating habits. And research confirms that color is one of the biggest cues — in fact, a simple color change can completely change the way we eat. Certain hues, for example, can send you off on a Girl Scout Cookie binge, while others naturally make you put the box down and walk away. Read on to find out how kitchen paint colors might be triggering food impulses you may (or may not) want.
Red: The Appetite Stimulator
Red is a powerfully intense color that not only raises blood pressure (and desire and aggression) it also kicks your appetite into high gear. Our most popular restaurants put red front and center in their logos, especially the fast-food chains, if you think about it. KFC, McDonald’s (that red fry box … yum), Burger King, Sonic, Wendy’s, Arby’s Dairy Queen…
… but wait, wasn’t this a post about healthy eating? No matter how yummy those French fries are, they’re not going to lower your cholesterol.
But that doesn’t mean you should turn away from a red kitchen. This convivial color creates a warm, cozy environment for eating, welcoming family and friends to the table. Because red stimulates your appetite, it can be a great color for kitchens with picky eaters, like kids or folks who need to gain weight or have trouble eating due to illness. And the whole kitchen doesn’t have to be red — just a little bit of this strong color is enough of a mental cue to get your appetite pumping.
Green: A Healthy Appetite
Green, on the other hand, calms the system — and the appetite, too. Its tranquil nature promotes healthy eating because we associate it with nature — think the lush green of leaves, grass, and forests. This soothing effect helps us eat slower and more mindfully. It’s hard to imagine gobbling down a meal in a kitchen painted this beautiful, deep green.
Promote mindful eating by painting your kitchen the color of leafy veggies. You’ll relax and, in doing so, stabilize emotions and balance the appetite.
Blue: The Appetite Suppressant
Calming blue benefits both mind and body, including our appetite. When we see this color, our brains release chemicals that soothe our systems, slowing down our metabolism. And it’s rarely found in nature (as opposed to, say, green or red), so researchers postulate that it naturally curbs the appetite. That’s because our bodies don’t have an automatic “I’m hungry” response when we see it.
Some weight-loss experts even recommend using blue plates, alongside smaller utensils, to naturally help yourself eat less. If you want to lose weight, try painting your eating space with a calming shade of blue.
Your kitchen and dining room color plays a big role in whether you want to stimulate, soothe, or slow your appetite. Help yourself eat healthier by picking the right hue for you.