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How colours stimulate your appetite

Ever notice how depressed you feel when you walk into a dark room that doesn’t have windows or bright colours, or how hungry you are when surrounded by red walls or red dishes? That’s the psychology of colour.

Colour plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. It can sway thinking, change actions and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. Certain shades, tones and hues affect our moods and emotions. Some colours suppress our appetites (which makes them good for people who are counting calories), while others increase our breathing and heart rate.

Colour and the appeal of foods are also closely related. There have been a number of studies performed on how the perception of taste is effected by colour. The studies conclude that people learn and become familiar with specific combinations of colours and tastes. These learned associations may alter our perceptions and create expectations about how food should smell and taste. The sight of food fires neurons in the hypothalamus, convincing us before food is even tried.

So which colours can stimulate (or suppress) the appetite? Move on to the following pages for a list and their effects.

Red is a very emotionally intense and energetic colour. It increases the respiration rate and raises blood pressure, while also stimulating the appetite. Because of this effect, it is often used in restaurants and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home.


Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect and stimulates mental activity. It is a warm, welcoming hue that makes people feel comfortable. As a citrus colour, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite.


Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. Because blue is rarely found as a natural colour, it’s often used as an appetite suppressant. Therefore, avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking. Experts recommend putting a blue light in your fridge when you are dieting, as this will put you off eating. You can also try using blue plates, blue placemats and a blue dining area.

Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Yellow : Cheerful, sunny yellow is an attention getter. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. Yellow is also appetite-stimulating, because it relates to happiness.


Green is associated with nature, health and abundance, and is often used to show a product’s safety. Because of its connection to nature, it is considered a calming and relaxing hue. Green foods are interpreted to be healthy.


Grey : It muffles the appetite and even causes disgust for meals! Grey does not cause irritation, but it calms and muffles anxiety, and together with it the appetite.

Photographs: Love Krittaya/Wikimedia Commons

Turquoise : It stimulates the appetite. Orange and turquoise shades, and also their combinations concern “tasty” colours. If you even hang up a picture of these colours in the kitchen and look at it during meals, you will quickly get rid of excessive leanness.

Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colours. Red and yellow are often used in restaurant decorating schemes because they are appetite stimulants. In order to lose weight, you should eat your food on a black or dark plate. These dark colours subconsciously diminish your appetite. Furthermore, dinner should be eaten on dark plates and breakfast on bright plates.

Photographs: Bateau ivre/Wikimedia Commons

Source : LifeMojo is a wellness company, helping people to live a healthier life. LifeMojo provides online and on phone nutrition consultation services to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.


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