One third of all Americans are obese, but one state consistently defies that trend, Colorado. Researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver studied lean Coloradans to find out what they seem to know instinctively.
For years, Colorado has ranked the number one leanest state in the country. So, why are the people in this state skinnier than others?
"It really is about getting your metabolism to burn fat and to burn the fuel you are eating," Holly Wyatt, MD, Associate Director, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, University of Colorado Denver, told Ivanhoe.
Secrets of the state of slim are revealed in a new book, "The Colorado Diet." Dr. Wyatt says the key is to watch what you eat: portion control is more important than counting calories, while you are also increasing your metabolism.
"We don't really manipulate it, what I like to say is we optimize it," Dr. Wyatt said.
She also suggests to eat often, but eat right. That means eat something every two-to-four hours, adding up to six times a day and eat breakfast within an hour of waking up—but the number one key to the mile high mind set?
"We've got to get that activity in," Dr. Wyatt said.
Dr. Wyatt says that you should eventually devote 70 minutes a day to physical activity. So, if you are watching your child's soccer practice, walk laps around the field or meet a friend for a walk instead of dinner. Also, make sure you choose your friends wisely.
"What we know is the people you hang around with tend to influence your behavior," Dr. Wyatt said, suggesting that no matter where you are, you can live and look like a Coloradan.
Another plus for Coloradans—it's cold! According to the university of Alabama, keeping ourselves too comfortable reduces the energy we expend to stay warm in the winter. So, turn down your thermostat this winter, save money, and turn up your metabolism.
BACKGROUND: Most doctors would say that diets don't work, lifestyle changes do. Then why are there so many diet plans out there? In fact, most diets do work, but they do not last. When people diet, they can lose up to 10 percent of their body weight just within the first 6 months, but they will gain it back within 5 years. It is also true that those who plan to diet will be more likely to gain weight rather than lose weight. Not only, does dieting affect the appearance of your body, but it creates health risks for the inside of your body. (Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/67422.php)
DIETING TIPS: In order to be successful when dieting, you need to provide your body with nutrients and get rid of the "junk" it doesn't need. Drinking water rather than sugary drinks is one of the most crucial acts you can do when trying to lose weight because water filters out the toxins in the body, and it makes us feel full so we do not over-compensate with food. Binge eating is one of the worst things you can do while trying to lose weight because you are simply eating for no reason. Ask yourself if you are truly hungry rather than eat to satisfy a craving. Late night eating is a red flag too. Train yourself not to eat past a certain time, or have a low-calorie snack. Keep in mind that starving yourself will not help you lose weight either. By skipping meals, your body stores food as fat, which makes it more complicated to lose the pounds. It is recommended to eat 4-5 small meals a day than 3 big meals to keep a high metabolism. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/15-best-diet-tips-ever?page=2)
THE COLORADO DIET: Colorado is known as the slimmest state in the country. With only 20 percent of its population suffering with obesity, Colorado natives seem to know how to keep the extra weight off. The diet suggests that people should eat six times a day. It also states that breakfast should be eaten within the first hour after you wake up, and to eat a healthy fat twice a day. Measuring food portions is a crucial component of the diet along with eating protein and carbohydrates with every meal. Colorado does not have to be the only state with a low obesity rate. With these simple changes, everyone can maintain a healthy lifestyle and can achieve the body they are happy with. (Source: http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrition/colorado-diet-fix-your-metabolism-weight-control-lose-20-pounds-8-weeks)
* For More Information, Contact:
Holly Wyatt, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes
Anschutz Health and Wellness Center
University of Colorado Denver