6 Weight Loss Tips Straight From The Nations Premier Spas

Are Weight Loss Spas Worth the Money?

Are weight loss spas worth the money?

Tao Associates / Getty Images

Forget sipping cocktails on the beach. How about spending your vacation at a weight loss retreat, sweating off your excess pounds? If that sounds dreadful, you might want to reconsider: these days, weight-loss spas and resorts arent the torturous fat farms of yesteryear, touting celery-only diets and grueling workouts. Many weight loss centers rival five-star hotels in amenities, and their holistic approaches to weight loss target guests emotional well-being as much as their physical health.

Weight loss is also made easier with social support. Research[1] shows that a major key to sticking with any weight-loss goal is soliciting outside help, either through a coach, a friend or even fellow dieters. People enjoy the mutual support they receive from working in a group setting here, says Dr. Ronald Sha, interim executive director at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C.

(MORE: The Secrets to Weight Loss: Keep a Food Journal, Dont Skip Meals, Eat In)[2]

The Duke center and most other weight loss spas offer weekend and extended stays for groups and individuals but itll cost you. Visits can range anywhere from $550 a night to upwards of $8,000 for longer reservations.

Are the programs worth the price tag? It depends. To really create sustained weight loss and behavioral change, its going to take a long time, says Dr. Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, who is unaffiliated with any weight-loss programs. People who are looking for an immediate solution are going to be let down. But if youre going in to kickstart your health and learn skills to continue when you leave, then this can really resonate.

So, as long as youre not looking for a quick fix, a weekend weight-loss getaway could help put you on the right track. Cant foot the bill? Some of the leading spas in the U.S. shared their secrets with us free of charge.

MORE: Study: The Best and Worst Food for Healthy Weight[3]

Next: Cal-a-Vie Spa: Write It All Down[4]

Related Topics: Cal-a-Vie Spa, California Health and Longevity Institute, Duke Diet and Fitness Center, Hilton Head Health Institute, Miraval, Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa, weight loss resort, weight loss spa, Diet, Diet & Fitness, Exercise, Medicine, Nutrition, Obesity [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

Cal-a-Vie Spa: Write It All Down

Keeping a list of your dietary problem spots is one strategy Linda Illingworth, director of nutrition at San Diego-based Cal-a-Vie Spa, recommends for her clients. Rank all of your eating issues like, say, needing a sugary snack in the afternoon or drinking too much soda from the easiest to most difficult to change. Work through the list including one new change each week, or every two weeks if its something harder to accomplish, says Illingworth. Within four to six weeks, you can have a major diet overhaul with more success than trying to make all of these changes at once.

Heres an example of a week-by-week food improvement plan:

  • Week 1: Eat a healthy, low-calorie afternoon snack each day
  • Week 2: Use Splenda instead of agave in your coffee
  • Week 3: Choose a salad for lunch each day
  • Week 4: Start eating fish twice a week

Writing down every food you eat and drink including condiments and sauces throughout the day can also aid weight loss. A July study[19] found that women who kept a food journal lost about 6 lbs. more than those who didnt. In every food diary entry, be sure to log your portions too and be honest.

(MORE: Boot Camp: Do Food Diaries Really Work?[20])

About Cal-a-Vie Spa:

Where It Is: Vista, Calif.

The Vibe: The luxury resort[21] and health retreat is the destination to slim down in style. Mornings typically begin with rigorous hikes followed spa therapies and a wide range of full-body fitness classes like Pilates and core training. Guests dine on decadent-sounding meals like lobster and truffle ravioli, but all dishes are low in calories and high in nutrition.

What It Costs: Individual packages from three-day to week-long stays range from $3,995 to more $8,000.

MORE: Calorie vs. Calorie: Study Evaluates Three Diets for Staying Slim[22]

Next: Duke Diet and Fitness Center: Weigh Yourself Often[23]

Related Topics: Cal-a-Vie Spa, California Health and Longevity Institute, Duke Diet and Fitness Center, Hilton Head Health Institute, Miraval, Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa, weight loss resort, weight loss spa, Diet, Diet & Fitness, Exercise, Medicine, Nutrition, Obesity [24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37]


  1. ^ weight loss (healthland.time.com)
  2. ^ The Secrets to Weight Loss: Keep a Food Journal, Dont Skip Meals, Eat In (healthland.time.com)
  3. ^ Study: The Best and Worst Food for Healthy Weight (healthland.time.com)
  4. ^ Next: Cal-a-Vie Spa: Write It All Down (healthland.time.com)
  5. ^ Cal-a-Vie Spa (healthland.time.com)
  6. ^ California Health and Longevity Institute (healthland.time.com)
  7. ^ Duke Diet and Fitness Center (healthland.time.com)
  8. ^ Hilton Head Health Institute (healthland.time.com)
  9. ^ Miraval (healthland.time.com)
  10. ^ Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa (healthland.time.com)
  11. ^ weight loss resort (healthland.time.com)
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  16. ^ Medicine (healthland.time.com)
  17. ^ Nutrition (healthland.time.com)
  18. ^ Obesity (healthland.time.com)
  19. ^ study (healthland.time.com)
  20. ^ Boot Camp: Do Food Diaries Really Work? (healthland.time.com)
  21. ^ resort (www.cal-a-vie.com)
  22. ^ Calorie vs. Calorie: Study Evaluates Three Diets for Staying Slim (healthland.time.com)
  23. ^ Next: Duke Diet and Fitness Center: Weigh Yourself Often (healthland.time.com)
  24. ^ Cal-a-Vie Spa (healthland.time.com)
  25. ^ California Health and Longevity Institute (healthland.time.com)
  26. ^ Duke Diet and Fitness Center (healthland.time.com)
  27. ^ Hilton Head Health Institute (healthland.time.com)
  28. ^ Miraval (healthland.time.com)
  29. ^ Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa (healthland.time.com)
  30. ^ weight loss resort (healthland.time.com)
  31. ^ weight loss spa (healthland.time.com)
  32. ^ Diet (healthland.time.com)
  33. ^ Diet & Fitness (healthland.time.com)
  34. ^ Exercise (healthland.time.com)
  35. ^ Medicine (healthland.time.com)
  36. ^ Nutrition (healthland.time.com)
  37. ^ Obesity (healthland.time.com)

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    • Jazz
    • August 12, 2012

    What Are Some Weight Loss Tips And Ways To Appear Thinner? I am a teenager with a problem and I need help so please help me… I’m  desperate. I have Lupus and when it flares up I have to take prednisone which causes weight gain. I want a higher self esteem. Please, can someone give me some weight loss tips like high calorie burning excersices, health food, some sort of plan and also tips to appear thinner. Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • August 12, 2012

      There are some good tips listed in the answers, here are a few more. Recent studies have shown that having eggs for breakfast will increase energy during the day and act as a natural weight suppressant. Have listed an article on using eggs as a weight loss food. Tracking your daily food intake and daily exercise will help a lot in determining how much you are really eating and working off each day. Have also noted a article that list a few easy ways to work exercise into your routine.

  1. Reply

    I Am A Teenager What Are Some Weight Loss Tips And Ways To Appear Thinner? I am a teenager and I need help so please help me… I’m desperate. I want a higher self esteem.
    Please, can someone give me some weight loss tips like high calorie burning excersices, health food, some sort of plan and also tips to appear thinner. Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • August 12, 2012

      Some easy weight loss tips :

      Eliminate Eating Junk Food.
      Drink a Lot of Water
      Reduce the Size of Your Portions
      Lower Your Calorie Consumption Without Deprivation
      You Want to Start Exercising Regularly
      Sleep Well- Practice a Good Night Sleep

  2. Reply

    What Are Some Good Tips For Summer Weight Loss? I’m hoping to lose weight for next summer, and I’m looking for some good weight loss tips.

      • HealthNut
      • August 12, 2012

      After reading a lot of weight loss tips, I’ve caught myself saying “I’m not going to be able to do that!” I’m sure that we all have. A good summer weight loss tip is going to have to be something that you’d actually do, obviously. Keeping that mind, I hope that you’ll find the following weight loss tips helpful to you. Over the years they have helped me maintain my current weight, and they’ve also helped me lose weight as well. These are some of the easiest and most effective weight loss tips I’ve found.

      At first, when I started trying to lose weight, I went along with the traditional attitude that eating snacks in-between meals was counter-productive to an effective weight loss program. I cut out snacks from my diet altogether as a result of that belief. I found that the problem was that by the time I sat down to start eating my meal, I was so hungry that I couldn’t control my portion sizes efficiently.

      I found that I can keep my blood sugar at a decent level (and keep my appetite satisfied too) by eating more healthy and sensible snacks in between smaller meals. In fact, over the more recent years, research has shown that you can keep your body’s metabolic rate productive and steady by eating smaller meals spaced out throughout the day rather than the traditional “3 square meals” ideology. You can mix your carbs and proteins when selecting your snacks. Low-fat cheese on some wheat crackers and some grapes would be a great example of a healthy snack.

      Portion control can be better managed, and if not, it will become a large stumbling block. You can purchase smaller, single serving foods, and use plastic bags to enforce portion sizes. You can always use regular sized foods, but use small plastic bags to separate out smaller portions in case buying single-sized foods turns out to be too much of a strain on your budget. That’s a great weight loss tip, since sometimes eating straight from the original packaging will cause you to eat more than you should.

      The calories in the food will count just as much, even if the food is advertised as either low-fat or reduced in fat. Be sure to double-check your serving size by reading the food’s nutrition label. After measuring out the appropriate serving sizes, you can then store them in your plastic bags.

      Another one of the greatest weight loss tips is ice water! Place a small bottle of water in your freezer. This is a great idea to keep your water cold, and most weight loss programs recommend drinking water anyway. After some time, the water will form a small block of ice inside the bottle as it begins to freeze. That small block of ice will continue to keep the surrounding water very cold as it melts.

      Sometimes it’s boring to just drink plain water. Just for the sake of variety, you can keep low-calorie flavored waters in the refrigerator as well. Request an ice water with extra lemon slices in it when you’re dining out. Then, just add some artificial sweeteners and you’ve made diet lemonade to enjoy!

      Most of the time, the regular versions of foods that you’re used to taste a lot better than their reduced fat and low-fat equivalents. However don’t be discouraged, and continue to try the low-fat and non-fat alternatives of your favorite foods. You might be surprised to find a low-fat version of your favorite food, and there’s a chance that you’ll like it more than the original.

      You also might want to consider that there could be some places in your home that you associate with eating. You might stop and look for a snack while lingering around the kitchen – instead, leave the kitchen after eating. You might be tempted into eating a dessert if you sit longer at the dinner table after you’ve finished your meal. Instead, as soon as you’re finished eating, try getting up and going for a walk. You’ll enjoy the extra exercise, plus it will help get your mind off of eating, food, and snacks. You might need to change where you do things to stay away from these “problem areas” if you have a hard time fighting the temptation of food.

      You can help yourself lose weight by breaking the habit of using food as a comfort and as a stress-reliever. You could listen to music, read a book, go for a walk or jog, or just do some exercise. The point is that each different activity you select can be a viable alternative to eating when you need to relieve stress.

      Schedules can become hectic and full very fast. Squeezing weight loss programs in your already busy life can be a very difficult task. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time in one place, but it’s recommended to try and get at least 30 minutes of good physical activity each day. You can try to break your 30 minute block of time into smaller 10 or 15 minute blocks. You’ll be able to get some much needed exercise by spreading the smaller blocks of time throughout your evening and day.

      Exercise is cumulative, and keep in mind too that getting more and more physical activity can help you burn off calories

  3. Reply

    What Is Are Some Of Your Favorite Weight Loss Tips? What are some of your most succesfull weight loss tips?? I have my few that I live by, but I am looking for some tips on cutting down. Please only share different/ unique tips.
    I know about all the common ones…. lots of water lots of rest six small meals etc.

    thank you so much in advance!

      • HealthNut
      • August 12, 2012

      Hi CollegeGirl

      In my opinion, no weight loss tips are truly successful on their own. Lots of water is not necessarily a good way, because how much water a person needs depends on the BMI of the person. 6 small meals maybe hard at times, especially when you are stuck at school or office and have no chance to eat, and then you need to eat more when you have the chance. Well, dieting is a good way to lose weight, but then it is hard to stick to a diet. For example, something like this:

      2 egg, low fat Cheddar cheese omelette – 320 calories
      2 slices wholemeal toast with thin smear butter – 200 calories
      Large slice melon – 47 calories

      Spicy Turkey Salad recipe – 304 calories

      Muesli or honey nut Health Bar “Sainsbury” – 180 calories

      Baked potato with 100g “Heinz” baked beans &/or Cottage cheese if desired – 300 – 400 calories (350 average)
      Large helping salad fruits &/or vegetables – 100 calories

      Another weight loss tip is to do interval and turbulence exercise.

      Turbulence Training is a fresh plan that requires finishing three 45-minute exercise sessions each week with marginal equipment. It is an increasingly trend-setting fitness plan with the intention of helping you in the reduction of weight.

      Interval training is the fitness world’s equivalent of a visit to the in-laws. The shorter and more intense the visit, the better. An interval is a short period of exercise performed at a given intensity for a specific length of time. Each interval is separated from the next interval by a short rest or lighter activity. There are no strict rules on how long or how intense the interval must be, however, changing the interval length or intensity changes the way your body works and responds to exercise.

      But people have a short willpower. It may be strong at the beginning but will eventually fade as time goes on- as they realize that going on a diet is not actually as easy as they think it is. Of course, the strength of willpower differs from one person to another. This is the reason why there are people who can actually maintain a diet and exercise program for 1 year and there are people who can only maintain it for few months. Nonetheless, willpower is a big factor that dictates someone whether to continue losing weight or not.

      And in my opinion, besides sticking to a diet and exercise plan, it is the ultimate willpower to stop yourself from overeating that is the #1 tip to lose weight. But that is the hardest part if you are accustomed to eating lots of food even though your body does not need it. It is partly because of the delicious taste of the food causing a craving for more. There are certain ways to fight this craving ad I found one that maybe helpful. It is a type of chocolate that can actually suppress your appetite. It will can provide Good Energy that promotes a healthy weight by providing energy while burning fat. And it helps suppress cravings for sugary snacks.

      Good luck!

      PS: Information on the Special Chocolate that I mentioned can be found on the website in the source box. Recently, they are giving away a one month free trial.

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