Dukan Diet Tip: The Color of Your Plate Helps You Lose Weight
When you dish up your next meal you might want to think about the size and color of the plate that you put your food on. This is because recent research at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University suggests that we can control that amount we eat, not by measuring and weighing but by the color of the plate we use.
The study carried out by Dr. Koert van Ittersum and Dr. Brian Wansink showed that there was a link between the the degree of contrast between the color of the food and that of the plate and the amount of food we eat. This is all considered to be due to a long established optical illusion that was discovered by a Belgian philosopher Franz Joseph Delboeuf in 1865. The Delbeouf Illusion as it is called shows how perception alters what our brains see.
You can see this illusion in the diagram above. The solid circle on the left looks smaller than the solid circle on the right yet they are both exactly the same size. I copied and pasted them myself!!
The very aptly named Plate Size and Colour Suggestibility showed that we subconsciously eat more when the food blends into the plate. The researchers invited 60 guinea pigs to a buffet that was serving pasta with a red tomato sauce or with a creamy white sauce. The 60 participants were randomly given a red or a white plate and then told to help themselves to a serving of pasta.
Each serving was then measured and the results showed that those who helped themselves to the creamy white pasta with a white plate had servings of between 17% and 23% more than those who had served the white pasta onto a red plate.
Wansink and Van Ittersum advised “If your goal is to eat less, select plates that have high contrast with what you plan to serve for dinner. Want to eat more greens? Try serving them on a green plate.”
Wansink and Van Ittersum also believe that the color of the table or tablecloth if used can also be important. By choosing a table or tablecloth which is a close color match to the plate this helps to overcome the Delbeouf Illusion.