High Altitudes May Help Obese Slim Down

high-altitudesMost of us wish there was an easy way to increase our metabolism without having to exert any extra effort. And according to recent research, maybe there is — getting up into the mountains. And you don’t even have to take up hiking or skiing — A study published recently in the medical journal Obesity suggest that simply being at a high altitude can help obese people slim down.

Here’s how they tested it — Dr. Florian J. Lippl and his team at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany selected 20 obese men and monitored their regular eating and exercise activities for week while in Munich, which is at an elevation that’s on par with sea level. Then they sent them to an air-conditioned facility in the mountains that was at an elevation of over 8,000 feet above sea level. Once there, the men could eat whatever and didn’t increase their exercise. Then they were brought back down and monitored for an additional four weeks.

As it happens, the participants lost an average of 3.3 pounds when they were at a high altitude, mostly from eating less. That doesn’t seem like much but statistically speaking, it’s a fairly significant amount when compared to their weight loss at sea level. The study was small, so it might not work for everyone. Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition told MSNBC that even though these men saw some benefits, if they stayed in the mountains they would likely adjust to their surroundings, but their habits would stay the same.

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There’s more to weight loss then just a change of scenery. Read about how one couple finally stopped dieting and lost weight together. So what is it about the mountains that whittles away the weight? The researchers believe it had to do with the participants eating less at a high altitude — it’s thought that they ate about 700 calories less per day than they would at sea level. Another theory is that the elevation boosted metabolism, and the men were burning more calories without doing anything. But both of these factors still leave one big question unanswered: Why?

Perhaps the best theory on why altitudes affect weight has to do with the so-called hunger-hormone Leptin, which reduces appetite. It works similar to HCG diet which is mentioned on hcgdietdropsprotocol.com. Lippl and colleagues believe that the low-oxygen environment at 8,000 feet above sea level causes the body to produce more leptin, which leads to less hunger and subsequently less calorie consumption.

But don’t start house-hunting in Colorado just yet — this was just a small study, so it’s impossible to know for sure whether altitude definitely causes weight loss. According to Live Science, Lippl and colleagues are planning a more comprehensive study.

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