Get High to Lose Weight: Study

Elevated altitudes stimulate weight loss in the obese
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2010 3:41 PM CST
A mountain is seen as the sun comes up as preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics continue in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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(Newser) – Slimming down without diet or exercise may be as easy as relaxing for a few weeks in the Swiss Alps. A new study found that 20 obese men who spent two weeks at a mountain facility 8,700 feet above sea level—but were forbidden to exercise and could eat whatever they wanted—lost an average of 3.3 pounds, and had kept it off four weeks after returning to sea level.

The researchers found that the subject ate about 700 calories less each day on the mountain, which they speculate could be the result of an altitude-caused bump in their levels of leptin, a hormone that controls appetite. Besides a change in diet, however, there was also an boost in the subjects' metabolism, meaning that they burned more calories, even just at rest, LiveScience reports.

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