When I first stared with Slimming World I started posting all of my meals on Instagram with the hashtag “slimmingworld”. This gained me more and more followers and support so it really spurred me on to lose more weight 🙂 As I became more confident I decided to start this blog. Being a web designer does make things slightly easier.. but there are plenty of free blogging websites out there. For anyone who enjoys writing in a diary it’s perfect.
The first step in undertaking any goal of importance is simply taking a second step. When it comes to arriving at a healthy weight, knowing what you should do, need to do, and want to do, is not as hard as converting that knowledge to action. You’ve decided to enroll in a residential weight loss program at a destination spa or weight loss retreat — that’s taking action. Deciding which program is best for you can be challenging.

Guests can have a sulfur mud bath under the stained-glass windows to target specific problem areas. The slimming program focuses not only on diet and fitness, but also on preventing damage to joints and to the body. Natural springs have been proven to aid in diseases such as rheumatism, and also give incredible energy and strength to anyone coming to kickoff a fitness lifestyle.
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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Everyone at the retreat is on the same journey. Everyone is equally committed to improving themselves, even if their stories are different than yours. Whether you bond over the process of taking the plunge, the difficulty in switching your diet, the aches and pains that come with a new yoga routine, or the grumbles that you maybe received from loved ones back home…
Why a top-pick? Many weight loss retreats develop their programs around a specific exercise schedule and predetermined nutritional goals. At Kripalu, participants spend more time delving into why they eat and what they can do to make healthier choices. Dieters don't go home with a specific meal plan to follow, but they have the opportunity to connect with others so that they can continue to build on the foundation that they establish at Kripalu.
Of course, many guests—whom one program director described as type A’s, double A’s and triple A’s, even if they aren’t all super-fit—come for the results, not just the high. And we were pleased. One guest dropped nearly nine pounds his first week and ten his second. After one week, I’d taken off just about all the fat I'd put on after I was sidelined by an injury several months ago. My skin glowed, the dark circles under my eyes looked lighter, and I genuinely felt rested.
Apparently there’s a special ingredient in grapefruit that, when eaten with a form of protein, triggers a fat-burning process and therefore results in weight loss. So, the idea is to start each meal with half a grapefruit, eat lots of protein and drink plenty of water and black coffee. While this diet may help you lose a few pounds, any weight lost will pile straight back on once you return to your normal diet. Such a drastic reduction in your intake of calories can also result in dizziness and an upset stomach, plus it’s so very boring!
Admittedly, I’m healthier than many people. But that first meal changed every guest’s ideas about what the 16 of us were in for at this tough-love-luxury health retreat in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia. At similar fitness retreats, such as the Ranch at Live Oak, I’d been hungry and cranky, subsisting for a week on little more than vegetables. The results had been more than worth it, but the process was uncomfortable and sometimes stressful. (I stayed at these retreats as their guest.)
The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. The World Health Organization recommended that people combine a reduction of processed foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt[10] and caloric content of the diet with an increase in physical activity.[11]
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
Eliminate sodium in diet tips # 2: Choose fresh, natural foods over fast, commercial or packaged foods. Instead of ordering french fries (265 milligrams of sodium), have a baked potato (8 milligrams). Instead of a pickle (1,730 milligrams!), enjoy a fresh cucumber (6 milligrams). And beware of cured meats: Three ounces of ham packs in 1,009 milligrams of sodium, compared to just 48 milligrams for the same amount of roast pork. Soups are also notoriously high in sodium; some canned varieties contain more than 1,100 milligrams per cup. Read labels carefully and stick with low-sodium brands like Healthy Choice.
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.
A calorie isn’t always a calorie. Eating 100 calories of high fructose corn syrup, for example, can have a different effect on your body than eating 100 calories of broccoli. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories but don’t make you feel full (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories (like vegetables).
One of the best new examples of a weight loss spa is Skyterra Wellness Retreat about an hour from Asheville, North Carolina. It's a small program that encourages longer stays (one to four weeks) where everyone eats the same delicious, healthy meals at communal tables. They exercise together, attend lectures together, even go into Asheville for a bit of chocolate and coffee at French Broad together!
Pritikin was the first comprehensive lifestyle program in America, addressing many of modern society’s health concerns, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The 1-3 week programs are all-inclusive programs and focus on quality food without deprivation, to avoid returning to a yo-yo dieting mindset. Guests are immersed in classes, exercise, weight-loss counseling, and physician care that inspires them with an “I can do this!” approach.
Complicating things even more, research has found that repeated cycles of weight loss and weight gain can make subsequent weight loss efforts nearly impossible. This "yo-yo" style of dieting may damage your metabolism, which can promote weight gain and inhibit subsequent loss. This style of dieting can also lead to a slower resting metabolic rate.4

Pax intrantibus; Salus exeuntibus. This latin phrase is engraved above the entrance to Grayshott Health Spa.  It translates to Peace on Arrival and Health on Departure. Taking a naturopathic approach, Grayshott uses therapeutic treatments, scientific dietary protocols and eating practices to tackle health from the inside out.  The 7 – 21 day programs are strict, precise, and controlled and start a new chapter in health.
One reason for this is that many products labeled "low fat," "light," and "reduced fat" (things like yogurt, ice cream, and peanut butter) are highly processed and engineered to taste like their original full-fat predecessors. To accomplish this, food manufacturers typically add extra sugar — and sugar, unlike fat, has been strongly implicated as a leading factor contributing to obesity and weight gain.
Lifehouse Spa & Hotel focuses on alternative health care with laboratory analysis to identify issues contributing to weight concerns, including nutritional deficits and food intolerance. Treatments range from naturopathy and kinesiology to acupuncture, and a resident spiritual guru is on hand to guide meditation. Programs focus on healthy aging, locally sourced fine dining, and juice cleansing.  There are “Fast and Lean” programs for a quick start on a new wellness commitment, structured Detox Retreats, as well as bespoke retreats to target what you most want and need.
“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.”
It seems counterintuitive to drink lots of water when you’re looking to lose weight fast—especially water weight—but staying hydrated is one of the most important steps you can take to lose weight. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated allows you to be more in touch with the times when you are actually hungry, rather than just thirsty. Plus, a lot of good things happen to your body when you drink enough fluids.
Carb crazy? Consider this: Refined carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice, create a surge in insulin that in turn drives down your resting metabolic rate, explains Aronne. "It's important to keep carbohydrates in your diet, but really focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have less of an effect on insulin levels," he explains. And when buying whole-grain breads and cereals, make sure the first ingredient listed is whole wheat, whole oat or cracked wheat.
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf [PDF-1.25MB]

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