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.
The gleaming Espace Henri Chenot is a place to kick-start a lifelong, and in some cases life-saving, understanding of how to look after yourself. The Chenot method is rooted in the expulsion of toxins through cupping massages, mud therapy and hydroaromatherapy baths, as well as a diet of the tiniest, most exquisite morsels of food. Lunch is three beautiful courses: grilled baby-vegetable salad, black-rice spaghetti, baobab ice cream. A cherry-picked few are then invited into Henri Chenot's inner sanctum where he diagnoses ailments by simply peering at you over the rim of his glasses. Next on the schedule here is a DNA-testing machine so the team can delve even closer into the prevention of illness.
As far as spices go, saffron is one of the most expensive ones around, but it’s also a substance that preliminary research suggests can contribute to weight loss. According to a study published in the journal Antioxidants saffron extract may inhibit weight gain in a number of ways similar to how antioxidants function. The research suggests the colorful spice could decrease calorie intake by blocking dietary fat digestion, act as an antioxidant and suppress inflammation, suppress food intake by increasing satiety, and enhance glucose and lipid metabolism. Though scientists aren’t totally sure what makes saffron so weight loss friendly, they suspect it has something to do with crocetin and crocin—two antioxidant-rich compounds found in saffron that give it its distinct color.
Believe it or not, weight loss isn’t just about exercising and eating right; research suggests what motivates you to get in shape can play a role in your success. A 2014 study in the journal Body Image looked at 321 college-age women and found that long-term, those who exercised primarily for appearance-based reasons had a harder time sticking to their fitness plans than those who worked out to maintain their health. In other words, stop envying those fit models on Instagram and instead remember that you and your loved ones are the people who really benefit when you slim down.
Who knew that fantasizing about eating your favorite candy can actually result in real-life weight loss? A study found that daydreaming about eating an entire packet of the sweet stuff before indulging may cause you to eat less of it. To come to this finding, researchers asked participants to imagine eating three M&Ms versus 30. Then, they conducted a taste test where participants were able to nosh on the chocolate orbs. The results? Those who imagined eating lots of M&Ms ended up gobbling down the least!
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A healthy weight loss program should never be about dieting alone. It should be a balanced approach including nutrition that’s right for your metabolism, sensible exercise, food preparation management and the right mindset.  This retreat embodies that holistic approach, with personalized tools to get your weight to where you want it to be and continued support with weight management thereafter. Your pre-arrival consultation will guide our team of nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, physiologists and instructors, to prepare your bespoke plan of action and help you execute it.
Listen up: Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash an energy bar or a piece of fruit in your car or tote, keep snacks in your office desk drawer, and make a point of getting up to grab a nosh — anything that will keep you from going hungry! Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: You've skipped breakfast and lunch, so you're ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don't wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a "snack alarm" on your phone if needed.
The American Heart Association recommends that the amount of added sugar consumed in a day shouldn’t exceed 25 grams for women and 37.5 grams for men, but since the sweet stuff is in everything from bread to tomato sauce, most Americans aren’t adhering to those guidelines and they’re fatter for it. In a review of 68 clinical trials and studies, New Zealand researchers reported in the British Medical Journal that increasing sugar intake meant increasing body weight while reducing sugar meant reducing body weight. Additional research has shown that cutting back on the granular stuff is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.

Trans fats, which are typically found in processed foods with partially hydrogenated oils, should be avoided when buying, cooking, or ordering food because of the role they play in weight gain. As noted in the journal Obesity, these unhealthy substances have been found to pack on the belly fat in monkeys. As it turns out, they’re not great for humans either. “Trans fats cause inflammation in the body leading to insulin resistance and impairing the body’s ability to use glucose properly, resulting in excess fat storage around the belly,” says Tina Marinaccio, MS RD CPT in 50 Ways to Shrink Your Belly. Trans fats, which are created by partially hydrogenating vegetable oils, are beloved by manufacturers because they increase the shelf life of processed foods, but they are no friend to your waistline. “Trans fats may be lurking in any processed or fried food such as chips, baked goods, and even butter spreads,”Marinaccio warns.”To avoid them, check the ingredients for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.”


But perhaps the biggest change has been in my mindset. I’m learning that health is all about balance, which I’ve always known but to be here and live it has been eye opening and comforting seeing it firsthand. It’s so easy to fall into an "all or nothing" mindset, thinking that if I couldn't do everything perfectly then it wasn't worth trying or if I “messed up” then it wasn’t worth continuing on.

Whether you want to escape for one of their well-known WellFit retreats or stick to a personalized program like Beat the Bloat or Lose It, Tone It, there's basically always an option for you at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia (and when it doubles as a vacation to St. Lucia, well, you always win). Our personal favorite, though, lies in the Adventure Program: Complete with mountain biking, rappelling, kayaking, cave diving and swimming, there's no way an adventurous spirit won't be satisfied. Plus, when you're having fun while losing weight (and getting tons of Instagram hearts to boot), it really makes all the difference.

Wondering why it's so hard to lose that muffin top? There are so many environmental and personal factors that contribute to our putting on pounds and it's not enough to enroll in the latest fad diet or jog for half an hour every day to ensure weight loss. To successfully lose weight and keep it off you have to look at everything from your nutrition and fitness to your sleep habits and stress management. This may seem like a lot but Mountain Trek program can work for you.
Weight loss tips # 1: Drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Beverages with little or no calories, caffeine or sodium, including herbal tea, are best. Avoid regular soft drinks and soups with lots of sodium. If you are eating plenty of water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and low-sodium soups, you can get half of your water requirements from foods, according to a 1998 NAS Food and Nutrition Board report.
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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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