Health Beat: A state of slim – the Colorado diet

Health Beat: A state of slim – the Colorado diet

DENVER - One third of all Americans are obese, but one state, Colorado, consistently defies that trend. 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," said Dr. Holly Wyatt, associate director, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, University of Colorado Denver.

Secrets of the state of slim are revealed in a new book, "The Colorado Diet." Wyatt said 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," 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 what's the number one key to the mile high mind set?

"We've got to get that activity in," Wyatt said.

Wyatt said 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," said Wyatt, suggesting that no matter where you are, you can live and look like a Coloradan.

Another plus for Coloradans is that 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.

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