First For Women
High altitudes spur slimming effortlessly
Women looking to shed pounds even faster may want to head for the hills—literally. New science in the International Journal of Obesity found that Americans living well above sea level in places like Colorado or West Virginia were four to five times less likely to be overweight than those living closest to sea level. That’s because high altitudes trigger a surge in leptin, a hormone that improves satiety and fuels metabolism. And previous research suggests that you can get the perks of the mountain air in as little as one week: In a German study, overweight subjects who spent seven days at 8,700 feet eating whatever they wanted and avoiding exercise unconsciously consumed 734 fewer calories per day and lost an average of 31⁄ pounds—and they kept
2 the weight off even after returning to their normal lives. Popular high-elevation places in the United states that can deliver the perks include the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky and West Virginia, the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee and the Rocky Mountains in Utah and Wyoming.
“What’s great about hiking is that it’s physically challenging and there’s something meditative about it,” Julia, 56, has said