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.
Tart cherries are grown exclusively in Michigan, but if you’re able to get your hands on them there is strong evidence to suggest they can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Need proof? Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a 12-week study that found that rats fed tart cherries showed a 9 percent belly fat reduction over those fed a standard western diet. Scientists believe this is because tart cherries are especially high in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with strong antioxidant activity. These and other flavonoids found in tart cherries have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating sugary foods might be satisfying in the moment, but they can increase your cravings for more sugary foods in the future — and that only leads to trouble. "Many foods high in added sugar are also higher in calories and fill you up less than lower-calorie, still-sweet alternatives like fruit," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ. But there are still ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without ODing on sugar. "When you're baking, cut out some of the sugar in recipes by adding in vanilla extract or cinnamon, blend unsweetened cocoa powder into a smoothie instead of honey, top your French toast with unsweetened frozen fruit instead of syrup, and nosh on a slab of watermelon instead of cookies."
High fiber diet benefit # 2: The "chew" factor - "High-fiber foods require more chewing and take longer to eat," explains Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., author of the American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion (John Wiley & Sons, 2003). "Because your mouth is more involved in the eating of high-fiber foods, you feel more satisfied with a high-fiber meal."
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. To find the method of weight loss that’s right for you will likely take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with different foods and diets.
PFASs are extensively used in many industrial and consumer products, including food packaging, paper and textile coatings, and non-stick cookware [31–34]. A recent study reported that the drinking water supplies for at least 6 million US citizens may exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory limit for lifetime exposure to PFOS and PFOA from drinking water . In addition, these compounds are extremely stable in the environment and have a long elimination half-life in the human body , thus rendering PFASs a possible threat to human health. Due to the potential metabolic abnormalities associated with elevated PFAS levels, we aimed to examine the associations of PFAS exposure with changes in body weight and RMR in the well-designed and rigorously conducted POUNDS (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Lost trial .
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In her book The Naughty Diet, author Melissa Milne—whose own essay, “I Eat Slim-Shamers for Breakfast” also went viral—interviewed thousands of women about the body shaming and they all said the same thing: “They were sick and tired of feeling bad while trying to be good,” she writes in The Naughty Diet. “And here’s the secret of all secrets: You don’t feel bad about yourself when you get fat. You get fat when you feel bad about yourself.” This could be because chronic stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which can trigger belly fat storage. Try being kinder to yourself, which will reduce stress and help melt the pounds away effortlessly.
In a 2-year diet-induced weight-loss trial (the POUNDS Lost trial), we measured plasma concentrations of PFASs at baseline in 621 overweight and obese men and women and collected information on changes in body weight, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and other metabolic parameters during weight loss and weight regain over the 2 years the participants were on the study diet.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.
First things first: Whether you do or don't want to lose weight is totally personal; if you want to, great, but if you don't, that is perfectly fine as well. If weight loss is one of your goals this year and you don't know where to start, you're not alone. Nearly a quarter of the Americans who resolve to change something about their lives this New Year’s will be hoping to shed some pounds—and preying on these doe-eyed resolvers will be all manner of “fast weight loss solutions.” They’ll guarantee instantaneous results or promise to make the pounds melt off without you having to change a thing. The reality is, losing weight in a safe, healthy, and effective way is a lot more complicated than that.
Avoiding salt doesn’t mean your food has to be bland. Experiment with using different herbs and spices. Try adding fresh cilantro and cumin to grilled fish, lemon and rosemary to chicken, or ginger and Chinese five spice to tempeh or beef. Pick up some spice blends from your local market to help add more spice to your life… just read the ingredients and make sure there’s no salt added.
A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study of nearly 4,000 couples found that people are more likely to stick to healthy habits when they team up with a partner. Invite your honey to a Saturday morning run and then hit the showers together—knowing you have something steamy to look forward to afterward should serve as some additional motivation. And speaking of getting frisky, be sure to check out these 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis.
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The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee dropped their longstanding recommendation that we should limit dietary cholesterol. Decades of research have shown that it has little effect on blood cholesterol levels, and the government’s outdated recommendations have done little more than send scrambled messages about the pros and cons of eating eggs and shrimp. So go ahead and scramble up an omelet—with the yolk. Eating the entire egg is beneficial to your body because it contains metabolism-stoking nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids, and choline—a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. To learn more about the flat-belly benefits of eggs, check out these What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Eggs.
Kamut, also known as Khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain native to the Middle East that packs in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein while remaining low in calories. In fact, a half-cup serving of the stuff has 30 percent more protein than regular wheat and only 140 calories. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that noshing on Kamut reduces cholesterol, blood sugar, and cytokines (which cause inflammation throughout the body).
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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.
The skilful staff at this retreat are fixated on functional health. As well as fasting (championed by the onsite team of neuro-linguistic programming therapists), raw and vegan diets are on offer to give your insides a rest. Since digestion uses so much of our energy supply, eliminating food stimulates the body's natural healing processes. And when you don't do anything more taxing than snooze by the pool or stroll to the infrared sauna, it's surprising how little fuel you need. Away from the stresses of daily life you will finally get a chance to attend to your feelings. Health mentoring with Kirstie Chisholm has a startling impact, and her ability to connect the dots between mind and body allows for a total awakening - you'll be rebooking before you've left the first session.
A talented staff on the cutting edge of fitness and healthy living teaches guests the latest in wellness thinking: keep moving; eat real food; cultivate connections. They debunk the "calories in-calories out" myths, i.e., the only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and exercise more. In fact, compulsive over-exercising might just be undermining your health.
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.”
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.
Common sense states if you want to lose weight, then you shouldn’t have a large meal not long before going to bed. And now we have additional research to back up that hypothesis. A study published in the journal Obesity followed two groups of overweight women with metabolic syndrome on identical 1,400-calorie weight loss diets for three months. While both groups consumed 500 calories at lunch, one group consumed 700 calories for breakfast and a 200-calorie dinner (the “big breakfast” group), while the other group ate 200 calories at breakfast and 700 calories at dinner (the “big dinner” group). Even though the nutrient content of the meals was exactly the same for both groups, after three months the big breakfast group lost about two and a half times more weight than big dinner group.
It can actually help you cut back on calories. That's because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body's release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What's more, eating hot peppers may help slow you down. You're less likely to wolfed down that plate of spicy spaghetti —— and therefore stay more mindful of when you're full. Some great adds: Ginger, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, and jalapenos.
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.
This 800-acre gated seaside resort offers three-day retreats, weekly programs and an “Extended and Extensive” 9-month program ($43,700, includes 14 weeks at the resort followed by 24 weeks of home coaching). At the beginning of each stay, guests meet with a health specialist to address health issues and set goals. From there, individuals may choose from a variety of fitness classes such as boxing, kayaking, Zumba and tennis. Extra services, such as behavioral counseling, cooking demonstrations, portion control classes and spa treatments are available as well. The resort provides a 1200-1400 calorie-a-day meal plan as well as accommodation. Visitors can choose a two or three-bedroom condo or private room.
Stress is a big no-no at Mountain Trek. The stress hormone cortisol is public enemy number one here, because it messes with metabolism. Everything that happens during the weeklong program is focused on vanquishing it: a diet free of foods that might cause digestive stress, a strict no-devices policy meant to keep guests from thinking about work, and lots of physical exertion to produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones that counteract it. (Oh, and also to burn fat.)
If you’d rather not channel your inner bunny, try dancing as a way to help shed fat on the body as a whole. “It is obviously a cardio workout, but because your body is forced to move in all different directions in different planes, it is making every single muscle in your body work,” Pedraza explains. “Similar to the benefits of a high-intensity interval training workout, you get the cardio plus toning benefit all in one.” Turn up the volume on your iPod and start moving!
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.
Can you guess what this diet involves? That’s right, eggs and lots of them. Nigella Lawson’s ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, reportedly lost four stone in 10 months by eating nothing but eggs. If the thought of eating only eggs has you reaching for the sick bucket, you could also add some low carbohydrate vegetables and lean protein. We think this is definitely one to avoid, after all, we all know what happens after one too many eggs…