Archive for February 6th, 2010

Getting High to Lose Weight

Watch out, Colorado

Altitude Causes Weight Loss Without Exercise

The scientists ferried 20 overweight, middle-aged men by train and cable car to a research station perched 1,000 feet below the peak of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze. During the week-long stay, the men could eat and drink as much as they liked and were forbidden from any exercise other than leisurely strolls. The team measured the men’s weight, metabolic rate, levels of hunger and satiety hormones before, during, and after their mountain retreat.

After a week up high, the subjects lost an average of 3 pounds. A month later, they were still 2 pounds lighter. The sceintists’ data showed this was likely because they ate about 730 calories less at high altitudes than they did at normal elevations. They may have felt less hungry, in part, because levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, surged during the stay, while grehlin, the hunger hormone, remained unchanged. Their metabolic rate also spiked, meaning they burned more calories than they usually did.

I love the imagery of “ferrying” the test subjects. Like they were cargo, or veal. “Easy there, young man, you’ll only make yourself tired and stringy. Now, to check on the free-range children.”

Anyway, it’s not all beer and skittles. It’s not clear if fat was lost (vs muscle or water) and there are certain risks involved.

I Love the Internet

Thursday afternoon I had the realization that I still had not purchased a shovel; my inner drive to get one after our last big snowstorm waned immediately after I dug myself out and went home on vacation. So it wasn’t until the latest storm was looming, along with the local ordinance requiring one to go to the store for a 24-pack of toilet paper, gallon of milk and loaf of bread, that I realized I needed to go shovel shopping. And that the odds of quickly locating one might be small.

But I realized the odds of a shove being found elsewhere were pretty good, and that the vendor might be able to ship the shovel to me quickly. Amazon to the rescue! Shovel in stock, overnight delivery available, shovel actually delivered less than 24 hours after ordering. Now all I have to do is wait for the snow to stop.