Lessons Learned From "The State of Slim"

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

If you type in diet books on the Amazon.com website, you receive 60,000 results. No wonder people are confused when it comes to eating right and losing weight. The “State of Slim; Fix your Metabolism and Drop 20 pounds in 8 Weeks on the Colorado Diet by James O. Hill, PhD, and Holly R. Wyatt, MD with Christie Aschwanden hit the market in 2013.

The “State of Slim” is more of a lifestyle than a diet and has some valuable lessons based on research from the National Weight Control Registry and data from weight loss clients at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Colorado.

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is a scientific database of more than 10,000 people from across the country who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained the loss for a minimum of one year.

The authors maintain that while overweight people burn calories at a normal rate, their metabolisms are stuck in a fat-storing mode. The Colorado Diet plan which is more of a lifestyle than a diet, has three phases. Phase one helps to reignite your fat burners to lose weight quickly. People in this phase typically lose 8-10pounds. Phase two helps you build good habits to rebuild your metabolism. Phase three reinforces your metabolism by finding a pattern of physical activity to keep your metabolism high while fueled by a healthy and satisfying diet.

To attain and maintain a healthy weight, the authors use the analogy of a clogged bathtub filled with water. First you must turn the faucet down to lower the amount of water in the tub. Turning the faucet down is an analogy for reducing your calories to lose weight. Phase one restricts calories, especially those from fat to lose weight quickly, similar to the quick start programs used in Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

Once the water level is lowered, (weight lost), the next step is to unclog and increase the diameter of the drain so water flows more freely. In this phase, you work on establishing good habits that will help to rebuild your metabolism. In the final phase, you match the faucet to the capacity of the drain and keep the drain clear. Your food intake matches your metabolism and activity level while eating healthy to keep the drain clear.

Six Key Factors drive the Colorado Diet. These include daily activity, eating real food that is fresh, high in quality, and minimally processed, creating a healthy environment, staying true to your purpose of losing weight and keeping it off, believing you can succeed, and making healthy living fun.

The Colorado diet emphasizes eating less to lose weight and increasing physical activity. Data from the National Weight Control Registry shows that physical activity is the best predictor of success in maintaining weight loss.

Each phase of the Colorado Diet relies on five basic rules.

1. Eat six times a day

2. Have breakfast within an hour of waking up.

3. Don't count calories, instead measure portions.

4. Have the right carb and protein mix at every meal.

5. Eat a healthy fat twice a day.

What separates “The State of Slim” from other weight loss books is the emphasis on establishing positive habits to promote and maintain a healthy weight. The key to this approach is to make healthy decisions automatic. Habits, routines and rituals help us make healthy decisions without thinking or counting on willpower. Relying on willpower will only take you so far.

Our habits are triggered by our environment. Snacking while watching television is a habit. The environment of watching television triggers our snacking habit. Routines are the things we do as a regular course of action to accomplish a goal such as brushing your teeth right after you wake up each morning. Rituals are routines that have a deeper meaning. Rituals connect to our deeper purpose.

Habits, routines and rituals help us conserve willpower. The more we can engage in behaviors that are automatic, the less we have to rely on willpower and losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes easier.

Habit, Routine and Ritual Tips

Do a kitchen audit. Make a list of all the food that you keep including snacks. Look at the list and change your kitchen environment to support your new healthy eating habit. Remove all junk, sugar and high-fat items. Add spices to your list that can add flavor to your meals.

Start a food and exercise journal. Look for patterns that trigger both healthy and unhealthy eating.

Develop special – occasion routines and rituals. Develop a restaurant routine like always sending the bread basket back or sharing your meal.

Develop a ritual to handle travel, holidays and special occasions. Pack a healthy snack and water to take on a long trip instead of stopping for fast food on the highway.

Activity and Nutrition Guidelines

The “State of Slim”, offers two choices for meeting your physical activity, a structured and an unstructured plan. The plan calls for 70 minutes of activity on six days each