Slim by Design

Contrasting the colour of your plate and food, and even where you sit in a restaurant, could help you lose pounds without you even having to think of the ‘diet’ word

contrast colour

I’ve recently been asked to write a health article for S magazine, part of the weekend section of The Daily Express all about how the way you eat and set up your kitchen is just as important as what you eat when you are trying to lose weight.

For instance, a recent study at Cornell University in the US, found that simply contrasting the colour of your plate to your food, could help you cut the number of calories you eat by up to 18%.

In the study, they gave 60 people a red or white plate and asked them to help themselves to a pasta buffet, serving a red, tomato sauce or white, alfredo sauce, made with butter and Parmesan cheese.  Those who chose food which matched their plate ate more because it disguised the size of the portion.

‘This is good news for those who tend to eat lots of white starches like pasta, rice and potatoes, a big source of calories,’ explains Brian Wansink, Director of the university’s  Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating for Everyday Life, from £11 ‘It means that using dark plates could be a smart strategy in helping you if you’re looking to lose weight.’

To find out the other tips and tricks, including which glasses to use to cut down your alcohol intake, you’ll have to read my feature in the magazine, out in July. But, writing it did get me thinking and inadvertently, I’ve put some of it into practise.

For any of you who follow us on instagram (fitbitchbootcamp), you’ll know that I’ve been obsessed with achieving an unassisted pull up for months. Well, I’d lapsed in practise so I decided to rectify this.  Every time I went into the kitchen, where my pull up bar is, I decided I had to do as many pull ups as possible.

What started as just a way to resurrect my pull up practise has now had multiple benefits.

1. Pull Ups – I’ve now done a lot and I’m progressing!

2. Eating – I’m not snacking as much because I’m avoiding going into the kitchen needlessly.  When I do eat meals, I sit down and eat them in the kitchen rather than in front of the TV, or while reading, which would mean more pull ups. sResult? Being more mindful when I eat.

3. Digital Detox – and lastly, I’ve taken to plugging my IPhone in to charge in the kitchen, which has stopped me checking it needlessly.

It just goes to show, how a simple change to your habitat and habits can have dramatic effects on both your workout and diet.

So, why don’t you instigate your own kitchen doorway Abracadabra moment, where you are only allowed in after completing a mini workout? It doesn’t have to be a long workout, or even that many repetitions, but it could help you lose a few pounds.