The week before Thanksgiving, the participants in the Colorado Diet program learned that over the past 12 weeks, they collectively lost more than 207 pounds, roughly the equivalent of athlete Usain Bolt
That's 17.3 pounds per person, or nearly 9 percent of their collective beginning body weight.
It was the first time many of the dozen participants had managed to stick successfully with a weight-loss program for so long. The Colorado Diet, the lifestyle advocated in "State of Slim"
by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center authors James O. Hill and Holly R. Wyatt, concentrates on changing lifestyle instead of focusing only on austere menus.
Wyatt, who struggled with her own weight from adolescence to her internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado, points to herself as proof.
"Successful dieters can fix the problems that obesity inflicts on their metabolisms," she says.
The fix is, yes, diet and exercise — but also learning to think differently about choices, discipline and consequences. And it's working for the Colorado Diet participants.
"My goodness, I start getting so excited, because sometimes I still see myself as overweight, and then I glance in the mirror," said Karen Jackson, 56, a program assistant and part of the Colorado Diet group.
"Once I put some personal issues in their proper place, that was when it just started clicking. I was borderline on getting diabetes, and I had sleep apnea, and I just wasn't feeling healthy. I don't know how to explain it, but something inside told me I had to do something."