While we're sure you meant well when you set that New Year's resolution to lose weight—and actually stick to it this time—research shows most people ditch their goals by the end of February. But we say it's time to recommit, what with warm weather on the horizon and swimsuits getting pulled out of the closet. And since we may or may not need a little kick in the pants to get started (and figured you might, too), we rounded up the top weight loss retreats that do just that. So instead of focusing on the kids, work, and the 12,000 errands you have to run, book a flight and focus on getting back to, well, you. Because yes, it really is smart to take care of yourself first. Pinky promise. 

(CONFRONT YOUR FEARS) A friend reminded me of this recently and as he did I remembered a fear. It was fresh and still made my skin prickle with anticipation even though it started many years ago. It feels like yesterday and I’m sure you have those moments too, the ones that never left you even though you shoved them away for a long time. It starts with the 6th grade physical fitness tests. They were the worst things ever except for the talented few that got the bright blue patches. These tests traumatized me. Mostly, the timed mile. Even though we were children it was expected that we run it and everyone did- except me. There wasn't much kindness or compassion in the process and once I realized that, it was something that I dreaded, avoided and ultimately feared. It’s so easy to take ourselves out of even trying when there’s no encouragement to try. When your gym clothes don’t fit right and you’re afraid of the attention that coming in last place will bring you. Year after year this test happened and year after year I walked it & then cried, faked being sick and then ultimately stopped showing up. I’ve never run a mile without stopping and it’s always been on my list of things I want to do but didn’t know if I would. But I want to now. No matter how long it takes me and for no one else other than myself. And now, after being here I would rather try and fail than not try at all. Now’s the time to tackle the fears, all of them no matter how small or how big. So one day I started by asking my trainer if we could work on learning how to run in between strength training. My voice raised and I stumbled over my words and I felt self-conscious again like that chubby little 6th grader in too tight of gym shorts. I was nervous putting this out into the world. He said absolutely and then the next day we did. Just like that. He took me through some movements to work on my stride and made me feel like this was something that I could do. And step by step it was. Only 45 seconds this time, but 45 seconds closer to my goal and each step we take towards our goals away from our fears count. Not always the end result matters most, but the time it takes to jog there.
At 9 a.m., I take a fitness class. My current go-to is a treadmill interval class, which energizes me in a whole different way than a cup of coffee does. That is followed by a medicine ball class done with partners, which is a fun way to combine strength and cardio training. Next is a group meditation, followed by an hour to recover, read, or write in my journal.

Canyon Ranch is a big place with people who have lots of different interests. The smaller Life Enhancement Center is where people with a specific interest, including weight loss, can find each other, learn together and support each other.  In a small-group setting, you are surrounded by supportive peers and consult with our wellness professionals to plan a customized strategy to attain a healthy weight.


Losing a little bit of weight can help you conceive if you’re looking to have a baby. “Women with BMIs [body mass index, or ratio of height to weight] greater than 27 are at increased risk of abnormal periods and infertility,” says Jane van Dis, MD, chair of the Bakersfield Memorial obstetrics and gynecology department and medical director of business development for Ob Hospitalist Group. “Studies show women with elevated BMIs are at increased risk for insulin resistance, which can then lead to increased testosterone circulating in the body.” This can cause polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), in which ovulation doesn’t occur regularly. But losing just 10 to 15 pounds can help bring your periods back to normal. Here’s how to lose weight if you have PCOS. 

There is no "best" weight loss retreat. The most effective program for you is the one that meets your individual needs. Explore each category below to see which programs stand out to you. Many weight loss retreats fall into more than one category, so scan the entire list before you narrow down your top picks. Then contact your top choices and ask questions before making a final decision.
Fathi, Y., Faghih, S., Zibaeenezhad, M. J., & Tabatabaei, S. H. (2016, February). Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 295–304. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-015-0846-9
It's a one-time investment you'll never regret. Here's why: Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories — at work or at rest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you'll slim down. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you'll soon see a rapid improvement in your physique.
Dieters already know to steer clear of sugary cocktails and stick to vodka sodas at happy hour. But nixing booze altogether for a few weeks at a time could really help you jumpstart your weight loss efforts. A Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study found that alcohol causes people to eat an additional 384 calories per day on average, likely because booze makes us more sensitive to food aromas and less likely to resist indulgent fare.

Pauline Potter, 47, became the Guinness World Record holder for heaviest woman last year when she weighed in at 700 pounds, but she's managed to lose nearly 100 pounds in the last year by rekindling her romance with her ex-husband Alex. Married for three years, they split in 2008 but reunited when he heard about her Guinness title. It didn't take long for them to land in bed together - repeatedly.
Grazing is a surprisingly good idea because it helps you avoid metabolic slowdown. "Your body will be tricked into thinking it's constantly eating, so it will never slow your metabolism down," explains Bauer. Aim for five small meals (200 to 500 calories) a day rather than three large ones. Also try not to go more than four hours without eating — if you eat breakfast at 7am, for example, have a snack at 10am, lunch at noon, another snack at 3pm and dinner at 7pm.
As you endeavor to lose weight, remember to be your own cheerleader. Practice self-care and reward yourself for building healthy habits. Above all, says Melton, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone else—even if that someone else is you (20 years ago, before you had kids and a career, etc.). Focus on looking forward and give yourself pep talks to stay motivated.”

In addition to blasting belly fat, you should also be working out and trying to build up your muscle mass. Even when you’re at rest, your body is constantly burning calories, and the “resting metabolic rate” is much higher in people with more muscle. That’s because every pound of muscle uses about six calories a day just to sustain itself. If you can pack on just five pounds of muscle and sustain it, you’ll burn the caloric equivalent of three pounds of fat over the course of a year, and be even closer to obtaining that lean physique you’ve always wanted.


Are your portion control issues making it hard for you to shrink your man boobs? Stop yourself from going back for seconds by grabbing a box of mints. People often yearn for that second cookie or helping of mac and cheese because the taste of the first still lingers. To cleanse your palate, keep mints or breath strips on hand and pop them when it’s time to quit noshing. Not only will this rid the alluring taste from your tongue, it will also keep your mouth busy and act as a distraction. Drinking water or tea are also helpful tactics.
Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. A recent study from Case Western Reserve University found that, on average, women who sleep for 5 hours or less per night are 32 percent more likely to gain weight and 15 percent more likely to be obese than those who get at least 7 hours. If stress is keepig you up at night, try these 10 simple tips to reduce stress.

Making your sandwich with two slices of bread is so last year. Aid your slim down efforts by opting for whole-grain bread over white and preparing your sandwich “open-faced” style—the fancy name for kicking the top piece of bread to the curb. Doing so keeps about 70 to 120 calories off your plate. If losing some bread leaves your tummy rumbling, beef up your meal by munching on a cup of baby carrots or sugar snap peas. These pop-in-your-mouth veggies are loaded with fiber and water, which can help aid satiety and weight loss efforts. For even more amazing weight loss tips, check out these 50 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Secrets From Skinny People.

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