Weight-loss: Which Method is Right for You?

“Eat very little and exercise all the time. For ages.” This, according to the Independent editor Amol Rajan in his recent Evening Standard article, is the secret to weight loss.

There’s no denying that a lifestyle change is necessary to kick start your weight loss, but for you to able to sustain it, and still enjoy your life, you need to find the right approach for you. Taking a Spa Break to focus solely on that goal is a great place to start – in a nurturing and educational environment away from temptation.

If the phrase ‘weight-loss retreat’ conjures up a fat-farm type scenario, of military style exercise and total starvation – think again. It won’t be a walk in the park by any means – (think of your sugar cravings) BUT you will get results - whichever approach you go for, the emphasis will be on changing your habits for the long-term.

Weight-loss: Medical, Holistic or Bootcamp. Which is Right for You?


Losing weight in a Medical spa

The Lowdown: Spas using the medical-white coat approach will run a series of laboratory tests, check your BMI, weigh you, and design a programme to get rid of the fat for good.

The Spa: One of the most trusted Medical Spas is Parkhotel Igls, in Austria. It is a multi-award -winning wellness centre - voted the World’s best destination spa in the 2013 Condé Nast Traveller Reader Travel Awards and Best for Medical Marvels in the 2014 Tatler Spa Awards.

Treatments and philosophy adhere to the principles of FX Mayr – the pioneering 19th century doctor, whose findings centred on the health of the digestive system being pivotal to wellbeing. Mayr philosophy suggests that 80% of chronic disorders are caused by bad nutrition and lack of exercise. Parkhotel Igls focuses on preventative medicine fixing the problem rather than just the symptom – this is achieved through diet and exercise.

The programme: 

The Metabolism and Detox retreat at ParkHotel Igls will focus on stimulating your metabolism and fixing issues you may not have even know were affecting your wellbeing.

What to expect: 

  • Comprehensive medical tests (you can go as far as having a medical MOT here)
  • Epsom salts to clear the system
  • Minimal food (depending on how much weight you have to lose) - spelt bread, crackers, sheep’s milk yogurt (depending on your programme, protein will be added around day three)
  • Chewing your food properly (at least 40 times)
  • Light exercise
  • Drinking your body weight in water and herbal teas

This is for you if:

  • You want to change your health for the long  
  • You believe in the importance of medical testing
  • You have symptoms and issues your GP cannot diagnose
  • You are looking for a preventative health regime
  • You would welcome the peace of mind of medical supervision
  • You are generally unhealthy and over-weight from stress and bad habits.


Losing weight using an holistic philosophy

The Lowdown: Spas using the holistic philosophy will approach all aspects of a person’s being, addressing the cause of the problem. Programmes focusing on weight loss will put a strong emphasis on the role the mind plays in weight gain. This in conjunction with a tailor-made diet and exercise regime will give you the tools for continued weight-loss.

The Spa: Chiva Som in Thailand - an award-winning legend in the spa world – has excellent facilities, practitioners, and an encyclopaedic treatment list and will tailor all programmes to your exact needs.

The programme: 

The Weight Management Programme at Chiva Som aims to reduce weight through a balanced approach to nutrition and exercise. You will be given the education and tools to continue your weight-loss journey at home.

What to expect:

  • A programme to suit your objectives. Exercise may be low intensity or high intensity
  • Food is fresh, tasty and plentiful but all low in fat with the calories stated next to each dish
  • Personal training and nutritional counselling
  • Daily massages
  • More fitness activities than you can fit into your schedule
  • Cooking classes and spiritual workshops

This is for you if:

  • You do not want a clinical feel to the hotel
  • You want to lose weight in a nurturing environment
  • You like alternative therapies such as acupuncture, reiki and reflexology
  • You do not want to be on a bland or super restrictive diet
  • You have emotional eating issues and would like help overcoming them
  • You are interested in a mind, body and soul approach


Bootcamp for Weight Loss

The Premise: Put simply, bootcamps are based on burning more calories than you take in. That means healthy food combined with exercise, exercise and a bit more exercise.

We recommend : 38Degrees North – this friendly team of fitness and nutrition professionals run seasonal retreats in Spain. Your intensive programme is complemented by slimming wraps and treatments.

The programme: 

The 38Degrees North weight loss programmes aim to help you lose weight and develop better habits through exercise and nutrition. 

What to expect:

  • 5 – 8 hours of fitness activities per day
  • Group fitness for the majority of the activities
  • Low carb healthy food
  • Slimming treatments such as slimming wraps
  • A supportive group atmosphere

This is for you if:

  • You are not afraid of an intense fitness programme – they will make you work hard
  • You believe in no pain no gain
  • You are motivated by a team atmosphere
  • You need to be immersed in a fitness environment to kick-start your efforts at home
  • You want immediate results


If you would like help identifying which weight-loss retreat is right for you, speak to one of our wellness consultants on 020 7843 3597 or email info@healingholidays.co.uk.

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