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.
In our eat-and-run, massive-portion-sized culture, maintaining a healthy weight can be tough—and losing weight, even tougher. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. You’re probably right: some diets don’t work at all and none of them work for everyone—our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there’s no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve lasting weight-loss success.
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Held at our luxury resort in the centre of Ubud, the ARMA Health & Detox-Spa Resort has everything and more for your healing holidays. Explore the area on our walks and trips, take a dip into one of our swimming pools, or relax in our tranquil gardens. Enjoy our spa treatments and bodywork as part of your program, wander through rice paddy terraces, over bridges and around romantic lily ponds.
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Voted SpaFinder’s readers’ choice top ten for best weight loss and/or fitness program for six consecutive years and awarded the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler: Gold List Platinum Circle Award, it’s no surprise that this luxurious resort made the list. Cal-a-Vie, located in the magnificent hills of Vista, provides 32 Mediterranean-style villas and a five-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, allowing guests an intimate experience. Guests have access to over 130 fitness classes, spa treatments, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and fresh meals during their stay. The resort offers customized three-night (starting at $3,995), four-night (starting at $5,295) and seven-night (starting at $8,295) packages.
A therapist convinced Marion Corns, 35, she had had surgery to fit the band by talking her through the procedure while in a trance. Hospital smells were even pumped into the room to boost the effect. Housewife Marion, who has slimmed from 15st 6lb to 11st 7lb, said: “Bizarrely I can even ‘remember' being wheeled into theatre, the clink of the surgeon's knife and smell of the anaesthetic.”
Assume a prone position on the floor with the knees fully extended and the toes pointed down to the floor. Place hands on floor, palms down, about 2 to 3 inches wider than shoulder-width apart, with elbows pointed outward. Keeping your body in straight line and toes in contact with the floor, push against the floor with the hands to fully extend the elbows. Pause at the top and then lower to starting position.
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3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
When you place heaping bowls of food on the table, over-eating is inevitable. In fact, a study in the journal Obesity found that when food is served family-style, people consume 35 percent more over the course of their meal. To avoid scarfing down extra bites, keep food on the stove or counter and spoon it out onto plates from there. When going back for seconds requires leaving the table, people tend to consider their hunger levels more carefully. And serving healthier dishes can, of course, help too. These 20 Best-Ever Recipes for Zero Belly are all weight loss-friendly options we love.
The K-E diet stands for Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet and is the work of Dr. Oliver di Pietro, from Florida. He promises to help anyone shed 20 lbs. in as little as 10 days. As part of the diet, dieters have to get a small nasogastric tube inserted into their nose going all the way to the stomach, through which a liquid solution drips constantly. The solution supposedly contains a mix of protein, fat and water and makes up 800 calories. A few hours of this and a process called ketosis is said to be triggered, which burns body fat due to the lack of carbohydrates. The fat is burned but the muscle and water in the body remain untouched. Dieters who want to achieve the best results aren't supposed to eat anything for a period of 10 days and also have to carry around the bag of nutritious fluid everywhere they go.
Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact: When a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.
Our Programs include lots of fun, discovery and pampering! With a wide range of activity-based and educational classes from cooking to healing, Yoga, Pilates & Fitness, detoxifications, cleanses & Raw Food, oil massages, trips and much more! This is possibly like no other holiday you’ve ever experienced, and one that will have you returning home feeling fit, free and refreshed. That’s what we’re all About!
Before you even step foot on The Ranch in Malibu, you'll receive a kit in the mail full of daily and weekly goals to prepare you for the seven-day experience. Once there, it's time to power off the cell phones—there's no WiFi connection or cell service so you can focus on being present rather than finding the perfect Insta snap. With a group of 15 others, you'll push through four to five hours of group hiking, core work, yoga, and weight routines every day—none of which are optional—before recovering with a private afternoon massage (trust, your muscles are gonna need it) and daily nap (🙌 🙌). When there's downtime, sign up for a chiropractic, self-defense, or guided imagery session. Round it out with plenty of healthy eats and the occasional soak in the pool and you just might leave feeling reenergized to knock out those new year's resolutions you set oh-so-long ago.
You’ll see some trendy low-calorie diets, including the M-Plan Diet and the 3-Day Military Diet, advertised online and in fashion magazines or tabloids. Their attention-grabbing strategies often appeal to dieters who are looking for something new and something easy. The plans are generally not backed by legitimate weight loss companies, physicians or registered dietitians and they are usually not effective for long-term weight loss.
No, genistein isn’t a trendy food item that’s about to blow up—it’s a compound that can help you lose weight. According to a study of female mice printed in The Journal of Nutrition, genistein has the power to decrease food intake and body weight. Scientists suspect this is because of the compound’s ability to turn down the genes for obesity and reduce your body’s capacity to store fat. To add some genistein to your diet, incorporate peanuts, beans, and lentils into your meals.
“I lost most of my weight (200 lbs.) in about 18 months so I have had to stay busy to keep it off,” he says. “I am extremely competitive and have an amazing network of friends and the From Fat To Finish Line (FFTFL) community. I like to join training groups and training clubs because of the friendships and accountability it creates. It would be easy for me to blow off a 10-mile run at 5:30 on a Friday morning, but I know I have two friends meeting me, who I would never let down.”
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.
Because the physical is also tied to the psychological, your mental health will also enjoy lighter feelings once you lose weight. “Research shows that people who lost just 5 percent of body weight experienced an improvement in mood,” says nutritionist Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches With Real Food, Real Fast. “And the positive changes in sleep caused by losing 5 percent are also tied to mood.” Think about it: You’re grumpy when you don’t get enough sleep, right? Plus, if your weight-loss is tied to exercise, the endorphins can give you feel-good feelings. There’s also a connection between weight gain and depression. Although it’s not clear which causes the other, some research suggests that weight loss can help alleviate depressive symptoms. Learn more about why working out for just one hour a week reduces your depression risk.
In addition to improving your health, maintaining a weight loss is likely to improve your life in other ways. For example, a study of participants in the National Weight Control Registry* found that those who had maintained a significant weight loss reported improvements in not only their physical health, but also their energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.
The Wisconsin native also struggled with health issues. In her early teens she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea. “It is extremely difficult to lose weight and maintain weight loss with PCOS,” says Stolfi, who hit her highest weight of 286 lbs. at age 18. “And the lack of good sleep caused me to be lethargic, which meant I didn’t have the energy to work out.”
Green Mountain at Fox Run in beautiful Ludlow, Vermont, is the nation’s oldest retreat exclusively for women who struggle with weight, emotional and binge eating, and feelings of food addiction. Our pioneering non-diet strategies help women end the yo-yo cycle of weight loss and regain by focusing on an integrated health approach that incorporates nutrition, fitness, and behavior/emotional health. Most come for four weeks because it takes that long to change the habits of a lifetime.
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."
The benefits of chowing down on whole fruits are clear, and eating an apple each day can help prevent metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The red or green fruits are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense source of fiber, which research has proven to be integral to reducing visceral fat. A study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years.
If you just can’t shake those belly-bloating sugar cravings, try tyrosine—a building block of protein. It has been shown to prevent that yearning for the sweet stuff by encouraging the brain to release dopamine and another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. In other words, eating more tyrosine (which can be found in eggs, spirulina, certain cheeses such as Parmesan, Gruyère, Swiss, and Romano, milk, sesame seeds, beef, and bacon) helps fend off those harmful sugar cravings that make your belly fat.
Why a top-pick? Duke Diet & Fitness is affiliated with Duke University Medical Center, so clients are able to take advantage of cutting-edge academic and medical resources and the latest in weight loss research. There are a wide range of dietary and fitness options available to accommodate different sizes and medical needs. Patients who have recently undergone bariatric surgery can also be accommodated. Aftercare is provided so clients have access to support services after returning home. Duke Diet & Fitness was founded in 1969, so it has a long history of providing quality care.
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.
After Tom Ram, a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox Wall St., took my body measurements, performed some tests of flexibility, and then had me step on the InBody 770, an impedance-based scale, my state of health (and fitness) became clearer: I had excess body fat, which I already knew, but it was visceral body fat--inside the abdominal cavity—the bad kind that wraps around your organs and increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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For my second month, I moved up to the LivingWell program, which is similar to LoseWell, but it offers more flexibility in what to eat and which activities and classes to try. In the dining hall, everything is labeled with calorie counts and nutritional information, so I could practice making healthier food choices. I also learned during this time how to better listen to my body. If I wanted to take three exercise classes one day, I could, and if I needed rest the next day, I rested.
While having a scale in the house isn’t right for everyone, research has shown that it can help encourage weight loss by providing a level of accountability. When Cornell University researchers observed dieters who weighed themselves daily, they discovered that the routine of stepping on a scale helped those people lose more weight than those who weighed themselves less frequently. To avoid being thrown off by natural fluctuations in body weight, try stepping onto the scale the same time every day.
The CDC found that the average adult consumes about 100 calories worth of alcohol daily, but favoring a glass of wine instead of beer or sugary cocktails can drastically reduce that figure and make your waistline slimmer. Plus, wine is a healthy alternative for those who don’t want to give up booze entirely. In addition to having fewer calories than most alcoholic beverages, red wine in particular is a good source of those waist-shrinking flavonoids that are also found in red fruits. Resveratrol, a particular flavonoid found in red wine, is believed to have heart-healthy benefits because it helps prevent blood vessel damage and reduces your bad LDL cholesterol. Just remember to imbibe in moderation.
Stay for a minimum of one week and be prepared for a fully customized weight loss routine that leaves you feeling exhausted, yes, but reinvigorated (yeah, your hubs will notice that extra little pep in your step). As soon as you get to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, you'll work with experts in medicine, nutrition, exercise physiology, life management, and spirituality to tackle the big issues causing you stress, so you can figure out how to balance it in a way that suits your lifestyle best. Between comprehensive body tests to help you maximize your fitness routine (like telling how well your body consumes oxygen, for one), eating top-notch cuisine, and testing your limits in activities like a High Ropes Challenge Course, we won't be surprised if you pack your bags feeling like a whole new version of you.
Red Mountain Resort enjoys a spectacular setting in the red rocks surrounding St. George, Utah. Programs include a wide variety of fitness assessments and tools to meet your health and wellness goals. The Living Well Weight Loss Retreats, specifically, are customized for each guest and provides mental, emotional, physical and nutritional guidance from an experienced team of wellness and fitness specialists
In one four-week Spanish study, researchers found that eating a calorie-restricted diet that also included four weekly servings of legumes aided weight loss more effectively than an equivalent diet sans the pulses. Those who consumed the legume-rich diet also saw improvements in their bad LDL cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure. Next time you’re cooking something starchy for dinner, consider eating fiber and protein-packed lentils instead.
If you're a European or English yogi, then you can easily stay close to home for your get-into-shape holiday. This makes it much easier to incorporate everything you learn into your new, healthy life. Plus, you are close enough to the retreat that you might meet a few friendly neighbors. And isn't that so cool that you can build a health-focused community so easily?