For the first month, I did the Hilton Head Health's LoseWell program, which is a very structured program—there's less choice and more guidance, my dieting training wheels, so to speak. I met with a group of other people looking to lose weight, and we ate pre-planned meals and did our prescribed workouts together. In between, I went to classes about the basics of nutrition and fitness, trying to learn everything I could about this new lifestyle.
There are two versions of this diet: one is where you supplement healthy, daily meals with strawberries, for their natural health benefits (they contain high levels of vitamin C, folic acid and potassium), but the more extreme version of the diet is the strawberry fast, in which the person lives on nothing but strawberries to lose weight quickly. While strawberries are very healthy, eating them alone means that you miss out on other vital ingredients you get from a balanced diet. Strawberries are also very high in sugar, just 100g of strawberries contains about 7g of sugar – that’s almost two teaspoons. And after Kim Kardashian was reported to be trying the strawberries-only diet, we’re sure there’ll be a few people ready to follow in her slimming footsteps…
I decided that while I was changing literally everything about my life, maybe it was time to change this too. I deserve to be happy and healthy. Hilton Head Health, a health-focused weight-loss resort, was located nearby so I took another risk and signed up for a three-month stay. I'm lucky in that I was able to take the time off from my work as a freelance writer and use this as an opportunity to really focus on myself.
For an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful life-changing experience, head to Akasha. Their retreat center is set in Romania, which is an off-the-beaten-path destination. Spend your days exploring the countryside with mountain treks and yoga on the summits. Then go back home and tell everyone about how wonderful this beautiful center AND Romania was.
Most people think of their protein or meat as their meal’s main event, but that shouldn’t be the case. “Place flavorful vegetables front and center on lunch and dinner plates, accompanied by sides of protein and whole grains,” registered dietitian Cheryl Forberg said. By simply rearranging your plate, you’ll automatically consume fewer calories and take in more health-protective vitamins and nutrients.
If you’re accustomed to shredding muenster cheese into your eggs, try swapping it for your favorite veggie. One ounce of cheese packs in about 110 calories while a half cup of steamed broccoli boasts 15 calories. Making this morning switch will nourish your body with extra satiating fiber and nutrients, as well as save your waistline from added inches.
BodyHoliday’s “Stronger Me” Retreat is a comprehensive weight loss program based on a combination of fitness activities, calorie-controlled cuisine, education, relaxation and fun. BodyHoliday starts your program before you even arrive, with a consultation with its resident nutritionist/dietician, who devises your meal plan based on your health and weight goals, and once you arrive, you’ll be immersed in a activities from fitness to cooking classes. The retreat includes a good measure of education to equip you with the knowledge and tools you’ll need to continue your new healthy lifestyle when you return home.
In a small German study, subjects who drank 16 ounces of water at a time experienced a 30 percent increase in metabolic rate during the following hour, burning an extra 24 calories. The researchers recommend cool water because the body expends extra calories warming it up to your body temperature. Water's not the only healthy drink. We sipped our way through dozens of smoothies, teas, and juices to find this list of the most delicious and nutritious liquids.
However, if a HIIT workout or piling on muscle mass seems too daunting, simply move for two-ish minutes to whittle your waistline. Why, you ask? Research printed in the journal Physiological Reports showed that people who did five 30-second bursts of max-effort cycling, followed by four minutes of rest, burned 200 extra calories that day. If you incorporate this technique into your workout routine just a few times per month, you can burn thousands of additional calories per year.
Diet Chef’s Nutritionist and Weight Management Specialist, Izzy Cameron says: “I cannot stress this enough, but where almost all clients fall down with dieting is their portion control. I see many people who perceive they eat a healthy diet, but pile their plate too high with food. Cutting down your portion size will not only help you lose weight, but but will be one of the most effective weight management tools for the long term. More importantly means you can still eat some of your favourite foods, just a lower amount."
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The Oaks at Ojai was founded by Sheila Cluff, a wellness visionary who created cardiovascular dance in the 1950s (later known as aerobics) and inspired Mel Zuckerman to open Canyon Ranch back in the '70s. It calls itself "America's best spa value" with affordable rates that include overnight accommodations, three delicious and calorie-conscious meals a day, your choice of 15 fitness classes per day, and evening entertainment and seminars.
I started my journey this summer with 19% body fat, at the upper range of what would be considered acceptable for percentage body fat. The measurement is based on the principle of impedance, the transmission of electrical current through various body tissues, with fat creating the most resistance and muscle the least, based on its higher water content.