Color Control: Eat Less, Workout More
It's funny to think that just viewing a certain color can send you on a food bender, while another color could actually suppress your appetite. This may seem a bit too "colorful" (pun intended) but, think about it...why weren't the McDonald's arches painted blue or green instead of the now globally recognized "Golden" arches? Did Richard and Maurice McDonald, the earlier pioneers of the McDonald's chain, realize something that only psychologists were keenly observing - that the color yellow will actually help with focus and concentration, while simultaneously stimulating a person's appetite?
If you believe the countless studies on color’s influence, the Golden Arches act a larger-than-life post-it note that subconsciously tells your brain, "I must have a Big Mac and Fries...now". I do believe that there is truth to the color and appetite correlation.
Here’s a list of examples and how you can navigate the spectrum of color as it relates to your wellness:
1. RED: This intense and powerful color will not only get your blood pressure rising, but also cause your appetite to go into high gear. And, most of America's popular-sit down and drive-through eateries have us all seeing red with their logos: Outback Steakhouse, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, Sonic, Dairy Queen, Arbys, Chili’s…the list goes on. I’d guess that the brand managers deliberately used the color red to lure people into their restaurants and make them eat, and eat and eat. So, don’t fall prey! However, since observing the color red can cause an energy surge, you can benefit from wearing red clothes while exercising…. And better yet, paint the walls of your in-home gym a vibrant red to get the most of your workouts.
2. BLUE: Calming in its nature, the color blue is actually believed to create chemicals in the body that are soothing and slows down human metabolism. Further, it has proven to be an unappetizing color. To that point, researchers say that blue curbs the appetite because it is rarely found in nature (meats, vegetables) and thus we don’t have an automatic appetite response to it. Some weight loss experts even recommend that their clients use blue plates and utensils. Give it a try by putting a blue light in your refrigerator to help avoid late night cravings or by simply using blue food dye when having to bake pastries and cakes.
3. ORANGE: Many holistic and alternative medicine practices view orange as an energy booster. It is a good color to get you motivated for a workout. Sleep in orange clothes to kick start your day upon waking up. Throw on an orange iPod cover and fill up an orange water bottle to get amped up for a workout.
4. GREEN: Healthy should be the subtitle for this color. From the eco-friendly labels to the actual color of leafy antioxidant-potent vegetables, green's relaxing tone helps to stabilize emotions. It is a perfect color to paint a kitchen or dining area to keep mealtime and snacking balanced.
5. PURPLE: AHHH! This color's tone is ideal for people who deal with sleep disorders as the color purple can actually encourage sleep and help you relax faster. Think about this the next time that you are shopping for bedding. Why is this important? Because a lack of sleep can cause you to crave sugar and carbs. Levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain that your full drops by 18%; while levels of ghrelin, which makes you crave comfort food increases by 28%. Plus, lack of sleep raises cortisol levels making your appetite surge.
So as you go about your days, pay a little more attention to the colors around you - it just might be a free way to change your diet and workout regimen.