Secrets of the Weight Loss Spas

I’ve never been to a weight loss or fitness spa. Even when I had a well-paying job, the expense seemed too extravagant for something I knew, deep down, that I had to do on my own. Plus, given the amount of weight I had to lose, I figured a couple weeks at a spa weren’t going to make a huge difference. :)

Now that I’m without the ecess pounds or the disposable income I had in the past, it’s pretty unlikely I’ll probably go to a fitness camp/spa.* If you’re like me (read: slightly-to-moderately short of cash), you won’t either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn and benefit from the lessons to be learned there.

Fortunately for us, Miriam B. Weiner has collected some insights from the country’s leading fitness spas in The Skinny on Weight-Loss Vacations, which you might want to check out on Yahoo Travel. In case you’re also facing a time shortage, I’ve prepared a digest of the resort take-aways:

Canyon Ranch (
Location: Miami Beach, Fla.; Lenox, Mass.; and Tucson, Ariz. (The Tucson location is the only one with a specific weight-loss program.)
Resort Take-away: Don’t rely on willpower as it will run out. Instead, build a routine of healthy habits, relying on improvement, rather than perfection, to set the pace.

Red Mountain Resort & Spa (
Location: St. George, Utah
Resort Take-away: You have to eat to lose weight. “[Under-eating]can lead to weight gain just as easily as over-eating. Adding a balanced breakfast to your daily routine is a sure way to shed pounds.”

Rancho La Puerta (
Location: Tecate, Mexico
Resort Take-away: Lose refined foods; add fruits and vegetables

Hilton Head Health (
Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Resort Take-away: Find/build a support system.

Golden Door (
Location: Escondido, Calif.
Resort Take-away: Celebrate successes, don’t dwell on mistakes.

The Ranch at Live Oak (
Location: Malibu, Calif.
Resort Take-away: Consider consulting a nutritionist to develop a healthy diet.

The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge (
Location: Malibu, Calif. & Ivins, Utah
Resort Take-away: Exercise, whether you like it or not.

Live In Fitness Enterprise (L.I.F.E.) (
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Resort Take-away: Set realistic goals and don’t dwell on mistakes.

Pritikin Longevity Center (
Location: Miami, Fla.
Resort Take-away: Small steps, one after the other, are the best approach to weight loss.

Heartland Spa (
Location: Gilman, Ill.
Resort Take-away: Variety in your program will improve your motivation.

All good tips for consideration, to be sure, and except for the nutritionist, they’re all steps I figured out for myself or learned over the past three years. And a lot of what I learned came from reading your blogs! No hefty travel or enrollment fees necessary! This is what I love about blogging. In addition to the excellent camaraderie, we’ve saved each other a fortune!!

Of course, the downside is that we missed out on the prepared meals, the massages, and the pampering facial treatments. :)

Have you ever been to a weight-loss spa or ranch? Would you consider going? Will you take me with you?

*Note to spa/ranch owners: If you’re looking for a success story-type person to visit your facility for a day (or a month), just let me know! I can be packed tomorrow!

15 thoughts on “Secrets of the Weight Loss Spas

  1. Thanks to my very generous mom, I have been to Canyon Ranch several times. I cannot say enough good things about the experience. LLLLOOOOVVE it. They really do want to change lives, not just have people come and enjoy themselves. If that plea to spas works for you I am soooo trying it too!

  2. I’ve never been, and since over the past 18 months whenever I go on vacation I manage to lose weight anyhoo… why not go where I want (like Hawaii!) and choose my own methods of pampering, whether it be Lomi Lomi massage on the beach, outrageously priced seats at The Metropolitan Opera, room service, exercise from snorkeling, or walking through wonderful destinations?

    Of course you can come along. Next big trip is back to Hawaii for 2 weeks but you gotta sleep on the pull out sofa in the condo. :)

  3. I think it would be fun to go, especially if someone else paid! I would rather spend my money on a more fun vacation, but if I won a spa trip – I wouldn’t complain!

  4. You get those raw food retreats in the tropics – I would quite happily go and spend some time in one of them!

  5. Wish I could afford spa treatments. It will be my first stop when I hit the lottery. 😉

  6. I’ve actually been to two – Tennessee Fitness Spa in middle TN and Westglow Spa in Blowing Rock, NC. The week at TN Fitness Spa was with a friend and the trip to Westglow was all on my own. Both were treats I gave myself upon completion of major contracts during my career. Probably wouldn’t do it again. Now that I’m retired, can’t justify spending that much money. But I am glad to have had the experience. I can tell you this – you and I would have a BLAST at TN Fitness Spa and it’s just about halfway between us!!

  7. I went to Red Mountain for a week on vacation by myself a long time ago. Best. Vacation. Ever. I would not call it a weight loss resort at all – it was more of a healthy eating and being active resort. Loved it – especially the daily hikes… and massages. 😉

  8. Oh, so many that are close to me & so little money like you! Dang! I would so go in a heartbeat to learn new things AND be pampered! I sure would take you if I had the money!

  9. What a wonderful idea for a post. I like all the suggestions the resorts have except The Biggest Loser Resort: Exercise, whether you like it or not. It’s not exactly that I don’t like their mantra, because I get it — there are days I won’t feel like exercising but should do something anyway. I guess I would want them to change it to “Find exercises you do like and do something every day.”

  10. Hi Cammy, I’ve never been to a weight loss spa, but I’d love that one day. Maybe for a “girls away” long weekend sometime. Have a great day.

  11. No, I have never been ti a weight loss camp. But after reading Karen;s comments above, might be something to wish for. I am like you, short of cash, so not in the for-see-able future. Thanks for the links.

  12. i enjoyed reading all of those tips Cammy. I have never been to a spa but I would love to go to one! With two kids in college that is highly unlikely!
    I can always dream about it though.

  13. I have never been but it is high on my lottery winnings list. Yes – I keep a list of things I would do if I win the lottery. I have now added your name to the list of people I would take on a spa trip!

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