The latest in obesity research, by Florian Lippl and his team at Ludwig Maximilian University, published February 4 in the journal  Obesity, shows that going to high altitudes increases leptin, a protein hormone that signals to the body satiation and regulates energy.

Obese participants in the study were able to lose weight more quickly because of a quicker metabolism and decreased hunger at higher altitudes plus the weight loss was maintained at normal sea levels for a longer period of time. The positive results are just the beginning; Lippl told LiveScience, science news site, that a larger study is in the works to determine if mountain programs can lead to long-term weight loss.

Lippl continued, "With a little humor, I tell my patients now… to take mountain holidays [rather] than spending their holidays at the sea."

Here is a list of’s high-altitude and mountain spas worldwide:

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