A retreat joins like-minded people open to share their journeys and learning about yours. Practicing exercises, learning and experiencing new things together for several days or even weeks creates a foundation for friendship hard to topple in a busy everyday life environment. You might even end up supporting each other and sharing progress back home.
It may be tempting to blame your metabolism for weight gain. But because metabolism is a natural process, your body has many mechanisms that regulate it to meet your individual needs. Only in rare cases do you get excessive weight gain from a medical problem that slows metabolism, such as Cushing's syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
Boredom isn’t just bad for your brain, it’s also bad for your waistline, especially if you’re trying to shed some pounds. According to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology, boredom actually strips you of your ability to make smart food choices; you become an “emotional eater,” What’s more, boredom turns you into the worst kind of emotional eater because you not only make the wrong food choices but also eat much more fattening foods than you normally would. To stave off boredom, try taking a walk or relaxing with a good book.
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.
We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. All too often, we turn to food when we’re stressed or anxious, which can wreck any diet and pack on the pounds. Do you eat when you’re worried, bored, or lonely? Do you snack in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day? Recognizing your emotional eating triggers can make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts. If you eat when you’re:
And we all left with resolve to continue. That’s because as exciting as it is to notice more room in your waistband, or to summit one peak, Mountain Trek is really in the life change business. Director Kirkland Shave—a virtual encyclopedia of health and a poster boy for the healthy lifestyle—gives engaging and inspiring lectures, with lots of take-home tips, but we wouldn’t buy an ounce of it if we didn’t feel great there and or believe it was possible to re-create any of it at home.
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.
Plus, working out early could mean you get more sunlight, which is key to properly setting your body's internal circadian rhythm. In one study, people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking were thinner and better able to manage their weight than those who didn't get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.
“The weight starting coming off,” she says. “I remember I lost 9 lbs. my first week. After I had lost 100 lbs., I started trying more adventurous exercise. I became fascinated by fitness and seeing what new things I could accomplish with my body. I do things that I never dreamed were possible like running races, lifting heavy weights, and completing a sprint triathlon.”
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Though it’s hardly realistic to keep people from moving north, there’s evidence to suggest that those living in northern latitudes may need to be a bit more careful about their gut health than the rest of us. A study in the journal Biology Letters found that living in northern latitudes encourages the growth of Firmicutes microbes, which have been linked to weight gain while decreasing the number of microbes linked with slim body types called Bacteroidetes. Generally speaking, the research showed that the number of Firmicutes increases with latitude and the number of Bacteroidetes decreases with latitude. To help ensure a healthy gut no matter where you reside, make sure your diet includes fermented and probiotic-rich foods, both of which encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
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Have trouble eating reasonably sized portions? Try dimming the lights and cueing up some soft music. According to a study published in Psychological Reports, soft lighting and music lead noshers to eat less and enjoy their food more. That’s what we call a win-win. Looking for the perfect date night dish? Check out these 35 Healthy Crockpot Recipes.
Head to San Diego, CA for a comprehensive health assessment at Lifewellness Institute (seriously, it takes 5.5 hours and basically eliminates the need for your annual checkups), then hop in the complimentary transportation that jets you off to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. Once there, you'll choose a holistic program to follow throughout your stay based on those test results, so you can really zero in on what your body needs to reboot (stress management levels, energy, or an inflammation rebalance, for example). With tons of farm-to-table cuisine—you'll head out to the fields before taking part in cooking classes–plenty of workout options, and rejuvenating spa treatments, there's no way you won't leave feeling refreshed.
Some popular beliefs attached to weight loss have been shown to either have less effect on weight loss as commonly believed or are actively unhealthy. According to Harvard Health, the idea of metabolism being the "key to weight" is "part truth and part myth" as while metabolism does affect weight loss, external forces such as diet and exercise have an equal effect. They also commented that the idea of changing one's rate of metabolism is under debate. Diet plans in fitness magazines are also often believed to be effective, but may actually be harmful by limiting the daily intake of important calories and nutrients which can be detrimental depending on the person and are even capable of driving individuals away from weight loss.
Not fond of exercise and healthy food? No worries, simply ingest a parasite to help you lose weight. At the beginning of the 1900s, tablets containing tapeworm eggs were marketed to help people lose weight. These eggs reportedly hatched in your system and stole your nutrients, causing weight loss. It wasn’t known whether these tablets really contained tapeworm eggs, but the idea itself is pretty extreme.
That’s because the tough love formula on Mountain Trek’s one- and two-week programs ($4,500 and $8,850 Canadian) pays off: Metabolisms rise and pants get loose. And then it all starts to just feel good. By the fourth day or so, the 6:30am yoga classes, sensibly portioned meals, challenging four-hour hikes—in which the encouraging and attentive guides insist you speed up if you’re able to speak in full sentences—and even health lectures start adding up to something energizing. Cortisol is losing! Metabolism-boosting hormones like HGH and DHEA are winning!
For the ultimate luxury resort experience during your weight loss journey, head to any of these resorts. They are all resort spas, which offer a whole plethora of wellness programs. Guests can also enjoy massage spa treatments, nutrition guidance from medical professionals, and one-on-one fitness classes. While they are a bit out of most of our price ranges, they are still worth mentioning.
Driving to work may be easy, but it’s also part of what’s inhibiting you from losing weight. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, those who drive to work gain more weight than those who take public transportation. Per the research, commuting by car slaps an extra 5.5 pounds on your body, whether you exercise or not. And a Japanese study found that people who take public transportation to work were 44 percent less likely to be overweight, 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, and 34 percent less likely to have diabetes. If possible, consider leaving the car in the driveway and walking, biking, or commuting to work via public transportation a few times per week.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
There’s healthy belly bacteria, and then there’s bad belly bacteria, which studies indicate overweight people have more of in their gut. To keep the fat-causing bugs at bay, you need to eat a variety of foods that support their healthy counterparts—the kind found in the bellies of slim people. Examples of probiotic-rich foods that help you lose weight by aiding digestion include kimchi, kombucha, bone broth, and kefir.
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Learn how to balance stress, weight and nutrition during Cooper’s popular six-day “Wellness Week” program ($2,195, does not include accommodation). The program includes two personal training sessions, group fitness classes, three calorie-controlled meals a day and two dining-out experiences where guests learn how to choose healthy options. Before you get started, sign up for the six-to-eight hour comprehensive physical exam that includes a stress test, blood test, skin cancer screening, and CT scan, as it is one of the few that provides same-day results.
“Tahini is an oft-forgotten option for nut and seed butters, but it sits front and center in my fridge because it delivers major creaminess to sauces and smoothies and packs a powerful flavor punch,” says Willow Jarosh MS, RD co-owner of C&J Nutrition. “Although some advise against eating the spread because of its high omega 3:6 ratio, the super high intake of omega-6s in the average American’s diet isn’t due to things like tahini—it’s mostly from not eating a variety of fats or consuming the majority of fats from fried foods and packaged snacks. As long as you’re also eating foods rich in omega-3s, your end-of-day ratio should be nothing to worry about. Plus, tahini is loaded with tons of healthy nutrients like copper, which helps maintain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses in the body. It also provides six percent of the day’s calcium in just one tablespoon.”
“ InBody has been an incredible advance for me in evaluating the progress of my clients because it not only shows whether the training regimen that I am crafting is working--but working on the inside to effect changes in visceral body fat, skeletal muscle mass, and total body water,” said Ram. “It’s part of an integral approach that helps me motivate people to focus on their diet--intake of water, protein, fat and carbohydrates--in the context of preventing loss of muscle mass, which is indispensable to burning fat.”
Weight training is the ultimate way to burn calories fast. "A pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories of a pound of fat," explains Richard Cotton, M.A., chief exercise physiologist for myexerciseplan.com. Weight training increases your resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn while sitting on your butt. What's more, it gives your metabolism an added boost after you exercise, staying in overdrive for up to two hours after the last bench press, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Strapped for time? Try these quick moves: squats, bench step-ups, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups and planks. In a pinch, just do single sets of 10 for each exercise — you'll get optimal results for the time invested.
“The numbers on the nutrition panel aren’t the most important part of a food product. You need to look at the ingredient list, too. If there are ingredients you cannot pronounce or if you see anything you think may not be a natural ingredient, put the product back on the shelf,” Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition tells us in 22 Top Weight Loss Tips, According to Nutritionists.
Leaving the comforts of your gym can be difficult, but outdoor workouts have their own unique set of benefits. Research has shown that breaking a sweat outdoors may be more beneficial than burning calories inside. According to a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, exercising in a natural environment outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress more than working out indoors can.
There are plenty of exercise classes and time for walking (called "Vermonting") on an old logging trail. As you cycle through the program you have fewer lectures and more activity. The facility itself is a sixties-era motel that has been nicely remodeled–simple, comfortable and clean. All-inclusive rates are $3,700 for the first week, single occupancy.
To help combat the negative impact of artificial light, try working close to a window. Researchers have discovered that those who sit near a window tend to be healthier than those who don’t. Per a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, workers near a window got 46 more minutes of sleep a night on average, which is beneficial to weight loss, while workers who weren’t near a window had more sleep disturbances. Additional research has shown that those exposed to natural light during the workweek tended to be more inspired to get outside and exercise.
When it comes to losing weight, everyone wants to shed pounds as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, speedy weight loss methods are not very effective. You either lose a ton of weight in a very unhealthy manner, or you end up gaining all that weight back almost as quickly as you lost it. You have to know which methods are actually effective in order to keep the weight off.
It's truly disturbing when doctors come up with seemingly fad diets that could prove dangerous, but that appears to be happening all the time and most of them are also pretty successful. The latest to join the trend is an American doctor who is providing a drastic and quick weight-loss method, the K-E Diet. It involves putting food into your body through the nose, using a dripping tube.