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If you’re looking for a way to fight the inevitable holiday bulge, the treadmill may not be your only ally. Mindless snacking is a problem that, at some point or another, has afflicted even the best of us. Suddenly, “one more” chip or cookie turns into throwing the empty bag in the trash.

But there may a new, and surprisingly easy, way to curb your overeating tendencies.

According to a new study, people cut back on their food intake when it is placed on a red plate versus a white or blue one.

The study departs from sizable bodies of evidence that show fast-food restaurants use the color red so often in their logos because the color actually promotes appetite. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Department of Social and Economic Psychology gave test subjects the option to snack on pretzels while they filled out questionnaires. Depending on the experimental condition, the pretzel plate was white, blue, or red. Overwhelmingly, the subjects who were offered pretzels on the red plate ate the fewest number of them.

The researchers also had participants drink out of red or blue cups as part of the experiment. Red cups were preferred over blue cups.

Holiday Weight Loss Secret: A Red Plate?  was originally published on

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