Once thought of as more of a joke (i.e. the fat farm), a weight loss retreat is now embraced as a positive resort-like experience where men and women go to get in shape.
Why Try A Weight Loss Retreat
There are numerous benefits to the average well-planned retreat.
- Many are now upscale, located in beautiful outdoor settings and combine spa-like luxuries along with fitness goals, healthy yet delicious food, and exercise. Talk about a way to take the bad vibes out of dieting.
- At a retreat for weight loss it's likely to be among peers. True, some women show up who by normal health standards don't need to lose weight, but the majority of guests will be in the same boat as you; trying to get fit and healthy. For those who are uncomfortable attending a retreat that also caters to average-sized individuals, some retreats have specific weight requirements in place. More information on how to find a retreat will be offered at the bottom of this article.
- Besides taking the bite out of a diet, retreats like these often allow attendees to see that healthy food can be yummy, exercise fun, and that goals can be achieved with the right mind-set.
- Relaxation and stress relief. How much easier could it be to kick off a diet with around the clock support and less of the daily grind and stress on you? Diets often fail because people are simply too busy to take time for themselves. A retreat offers a taste of self-pampering and care that may stick with you.
- Make friends. Meeting other people in the same situation is not only a support measure that tends to work well for people trying to lose weight but in such like-minded situations people can develop a long-lasting bond. Who knows what kinds of great people you might meet at a resort.
- When a weight loss retreat does its job, it helps an individual to lose weight and learn to keep on losing until they reach their goal. This is a healthy outcome. Being overweight is unhealthy for numerous body systems and can be emotionally taxing. Getting into shape is one of the best gifts someone can give themselves and overall better health is one major weight loss retreat benefit.
Limitations of Retreats
There aren't truly negatives per say to trying a retreat - it's like any vacation. You might choose the wrong one for you and be disappointed but anything you're trying in order to have a healthy body isn't negative. There are however, limitations to retreats focused on weight loss.
- Retreats may not build healthy long-term benefits. While it's nice to get a break and be taken care of at a retreat, it doesn't really set someone up to be successful once they do return to their busy life without a chef of their own. To avoid this kind of setback, look for retreats that offer long-term diet and fitness goal planning support and dedicate yourself to following through.
- In this case, the term retreat does not equate to easy weight loss. People may be disappointed when they don't lose and keep on losing weight simply because they attended a retreat. The problem is two fold. No one can lose weight quickly; such as at a week long retreat, because that's not healthy. Secondly healthy habits from the retreat don't always follow the person home.
- Retreats can draw a lot of people so they aren't a good fit for individuals on the shy side or people who are extremely self-conscience about their weight.
- A retreat may simply be a poor retreat. You could spend a lot of money because a retreat pumps it's services only to find they don't come through with what they promise. This is why researching retreats before choosing one is so important. See how to do this in the following section.
Find A Retreat
When looking for a retreat it's terribly important to find one that suits both your needs and budget. Retreats for weight loss vary quite a bit in cost and what they offer. Some are more resort-like and others are based outside. For example, you'd spend much of your time on the beach or hiking in the woods. There are pampering retreats and boot-camp type retreats for those who feel they need an extra kick. Women only retreats abound but co-ed options are also becoming popular - there are even family style retreats that welcome children for when the entire clan needs a fitness make-over. Prices can run from perfectly reasonable, to offering group discounts, to obscene prices like $1500 for a day at a major luxury weight loss retreat in Switzerland. Ask people you know where they've been, read reviews, and make sure you know retreat rules on refunds and other issues before signing on. It can help to make a list of what you expect from your ideal retreat such as; offers yoga, a macrobiotic diet, weightlifting class, co-ed, etc., so that as you look you don't get sidetracked.
Once you're ready to start hunting down that perfect retreat take a look at the following resources.
- Weight Loss Retreats Online offers tons of retreats and plenty of contact information for each retreat plus most have retreat website links.
- Spa Index offers listings of spa-like retreats with a focus on weight loss.
- Weight loss vacations evaluated by Shape Magazine.
- And more for fun - unless you are wealthy is Forbes top retreats for weight loss in the entire world list; very glamorous but pricey.