Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why You Shouldn't Paint Your Kitchen Yellow and Other Color Psychology Tricks for Dieters

Think twice before you paint your kitchen walls sunshine yellow. Not only could yellow walls spark more family quarrels, they could also cause you to eat more and gain weight. That's because psychologically and physiologically, yellow is a stimulating color, causing tempers -- and appetites -- to flare.
This kitchen could make you hungry and angry

Restaurants have long been savvy about using color to increase profits. You may have noticed most fast food restaurants are decorated in appetite stimulating yellow (think McDonald's golden arches and Subway's bright yellow benches). The same stimulating quality of yellow that revs up the appetite also causes diners to feel rushed, ensuring tables are turned faster to make room for more hungry customers.

These red and yellow
fast food logos
are not a random coincidence
In addition to the strategic use of color in d├ęcor and signage, most fast food restaurants garb their employees in yellow, red or orange uniforms because appetite stimulating colors subliminally influence customers to buy more food. When a misguided fast food fashionista changed Burger King employees' uniforms to blue and green -- colors that suppress the appetite -- the burger giant experienced a predictable downturn in sales. Not only is green an appetite suppressant, it is also subconsciously linked to mold and spoiled food.

Food just looks less appetizing on a blue plate
The same appetite suppressing qualities of green and blue that make them poor color choices for fast food restaurants make them ideal colors for your kitchen and dining room walls, as well as your dinner plates. The color of trees and grass in nature, green is a very relaxing color. That's why television talk shows house their guests in green rooms before they come out on stage. Soothing blue, the color of the sky and ocean, also calms down the appetite.

When I practiced hypnotherapy, I used to encourage my clients to be more consciously aware of their environment when they ate to avoid wolfing down their food. They found that surrounding themselves with soothing colors like blue and green suppressed their appetite so they could eat less food and still feel satisfied. These cool, calming colors also made my clients feel more relaxed so they didn't have as strong a desire to numb themselves with food.
Stare at this Baker-Miller Pink square
for 30 seconds
throughout the day

An intriguing color-based appetite suppressing technique from the past that is gaining renewed attention involves the use of bubble-gum pink colored squares. A researcher who studied the appetite suppressing effects of bubble-gum pink narrowed down the color to the exact hue of bubble-gum pink that best suppresses appetite and named it Baker-Miller Pink. Patients in a Johns Hopkins University weight loss program carried the squares of Baker-Miller pink around with them throughout the day to suppress their appetite.

Try it yourself by staring at this square for 30-second increments throughout the day and see if you achieve a similar effect. You could also try painting your kitchen this color.

As an interesting side note, Baker-Miller Pink was used to paint prison cells at a correctional facility in Washington State and curbed the incidents of hostile and violent behavior among prisoners; so it might work with squabbling siblings, too.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

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