The gradiometer of a SQUID-system for measuring very small biomagnetic signals should be made as insensitive as possible to the much larger uniform background fields. The balance of a gradiometer can be improved considerably by modifying the effective area of the gradiometer loops by a system of small adjustable superconducting plates. This paper is intended as an aid for designing such a balancing system. We calculated the effective area of a gradiometer loop perpendicular to a rectangular or parallel to a circular plate. The paper contains graphs showing how large the plates have to be and where they must be placed. The calculations show that for accurate balancing the distance of a plate to the wire of a loop must be large and that the plates must be as small as possible.