If you want to lose weight, then doing it alone or without expert help could be daunting – as well as potentially see you fail. That is why weight loss retreats exist – to provide help and support as you lose weight, as well as motivate and educate (nutritionally, physically, and with some retreats, emotionally as well, enabling you to better understand your eating behaviours).
Julie Brealy, fitness expert and lead trainer at Brealy Bootcamps, shares some pointers on women’ weight loss retreats – and how you can make the most of them:
Do your research!
Before you hand over any money, do ensure that the retreat will help you achieve your goals – things to consider include:
- what type of diet will you be on? Some will be based around a liquid-only diet, while others will be based on a severely reduced calorie intake. While both of these will show a weight loss on the scales, as soon as you leave the camp and start eating normally, the weight will come back on. Or are they specialised, focusing on weight loss and detoxing, for example?
- what is the focus of the retreat? For example, losing weight by calorie restriction only, or by using a combination of exercise, calorie control, and workshops which look at eating behaviours etc. The latter will be the best option if you are looking for weight loss plus long term weight maintenance and health;
- is everything included in the cost? Some weight loss camps charge extra for food, towels, bed linen and snacks etc;
- are the team behind the programme qualified and experienced? You want to be in the best of hands – after all, this is your health we are talking about.
Before you go
- once you have chosen and booked your retreat, reputable retreats will send you details of the type of clothing and exercise gear that you should bring (for example, two pairs of trainers – one indoor, one outdoor – warm tops and /or sunscreen depending on the time and year and the location of the venue). These recommendations are there for a purpose, so don’t think that you can “manage” without certain items;
- if buying new footwear or clothing for the retreat, make sure that shoes / hiking boots etc are broken in and that you do a trial run of any new clothing. While that pink gym t-shirt looks cute, you may find that after wearing it for half an hour, the label at the back really digs in. While these seem like small matters, being uncomfortable while you exercise isn’t conducive to a successful workout;
- if the Bootcamp also sends you dietary guidelines before you go (such as when you are attending a detox week, perhaps), then, again, do take note and try and follow the guidelines as much as you can. Doing so will put you in the best position when you start the weight loss programme.
Make the most of it!
- it may sound like common sense, but don’t cheat while you are at the retreat. While smuggling in snacks for when you are hungry may seem like a good idea at the time, you will interfere with the weight loss programme and may not get the best results;
- don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are there, whether it is about the diet you are on or whether you are doing an exercise correctly. The Teams at these retreats are there to support and advise you and will only be too glad to help. Having a good understanding of what you are eating and why, as well as how to exercise properly and without causing injury once back home, means you will be able to confidently continue your weight loss and maintain it.
These tips will help you find the most appropriate weight loss retreat for you, as well as ensuring you get the most from it. Enjoy!