Have life’s stresses started to catch up with you, your energy level, your sleep cycle and/or your waistline? Sometimes the most precious luxury is time away for self-care. The days of deprivation diets and punishing push-ups are over – you can be kind to yourself and still get results. What are the latest luxury spa insights on weight loss? Here’s what we learned about getting fit and trim like a boss during seven days of self-care: the latest in luxury spa insights on how best to lost weight.
what are the latest insights on weight loss?
Recently, we found ourselves in need of time off the grid to regroup, renew and recommit to eating better, exercising more, and getting our minds and spirits back to a more elevated plane. Our retreat of choice was Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, and after a week in its expert care, we were totally re-energized (and a few pounds lighter).
Maybe it’s just us, but the impetus for our visit was in part because we found ourselves totally bewildered about the best practices in weight loss and management. In this new era of personalized health, functional foods and tech tools to enable personal accountability, there’s a cacophony of messages and advice coming at us, and its pretty hard to sort out a simple plan to shed a few pounds in the healthiest and most effective way.
We entered our spa visit feeling completely overwhelmed by conflicting “rules” about what to eat, how to exercise, which data we should track, the role of meditation, sleep and spiritual wellness in our overall health and how to keep all of this information in our heads during the crush of real life.
So we signed up for a 7-day intensive weight-loss curriculum, cleared our calendars and our minds, and set out to get smarter about healthy eating and exercise. We tried options from both Eastern and Western culture, and we balanced our time between issues related to mind, body and spirit.
luxury spa insights on how best to lost weight
With time to learn, listen and practice, we came away with some really good information and a new level of motivation. Here are twelve practical tips about healthy and effective weight loss from the pros. Many of these can be done at home and don’t require a luxury budget to follow:
1. Start with personalized data.
Today the best launch point for a weight-loss effort is gathering as much information as possible about your current situation right at the start. For us, that meant a DEXA scan. It’s currently the best technology available to determine body fat composition: with a simple 3-minute scan — similar to a bone density scan – the machine will pinpoint not just your current fat composition, but also precisely where it is on your body, and what kind of fat it is (some types of fat are more detrimental to your health than others). That data makes a targeted plan a lot easier to develop.
2. Gut health is key to weight loss.
Getting the right balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system can aid your weight loss effort — as one nutritionist told us, your mantra should be “my food is my medicine.” For optimal gut health, add kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, mango, sauerkraut and other fermented foods to your regular meals. There are also dozens of pre- and probiotic supplements sold at luxury price points available, but check with your doc first on those.
3. Any exercise is better than no exercise
And low impact cardio is fine. We learned that we can achieve our target working heart rate with a lot less effort than we thought – making it a lot more likely that we’ll exercise a lot more often. If you’re trying to run through pain or have stopped working out due to an injury or chronic pain, seek solutions that will allow you to take brisk walks, at least. We had some exercise-related pain, and at Canyon Ranch we tried a combination shockwave-laser therapy treatment. Over the course of a few days, it made a huge difference, and we’re happily back on our Peloton.
4. Get tech help.
A fitness tracker can help motivate you and keep you accountable. On a recent trip to Miami, we noticed how many chic people wear both a cool watch and a cool fitness tracker. You don’t have to sacrifice style for steps.
5. Acupuncture for weight loss
This was a new one for us. Acupuncturists can target zones in the body that trigger cravings, and a course of treatment over about 8 weeks actually speeds up metabolism in some people. If you haven’t tried it, perhaps give it a go. It’s kind of cool to understand how it works — and it’s no more painful than a dentist’s appointment (it actually tickles sometimes).
6. It’s all in your head
Having a chat with a behavioral nutritionist is as important as talking with a “regular” nutritionist when you start a new weight-loss regime. Focusing on why you’re trying to lose weight, your triggers, and your past weight-loss efforts will help you understand how to stay motivated. You’ll get practical tips on how to distract yourself from cravings (simple things, like tapping your wrist, will slow you down long enough to reflect on whether you really want that pre-dinner bread roll or not).
7. Intermittent fasting can be reasonably easy and effective
12 hours on and 12 off really does work to burn calories, and its reasonably easy to do. You can stop eating after a certain hour (like 9:00P), or you can move your first meal of the day back to mid-morning (like 10:00A). Some people base their routines around two meals a day – brunch and dinner – instead of three, and supplement with healthy snacks. Turns out that late-day food intake is especially hard for the body to convert to energy rather than storing as fat — like us, our metabolism gets weary at the end of a long day.
8. Up your intake of anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation in the body can lead to weight-gain, chronic pain and disease. Eating foods that reduce it will make you feel healthier and also ward off some of the negative effects of foods that actually promote inflammation. Some good options? Tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, almonds, salmon, and fresh berries – basically, the Mediterranean Diet.
9. Don’t forget to breathe
Taking time for just three extended deep breaths can calm you and your cravings. Inhale through the nose for 5, exhale from the mouth for 8. See? Don’t you already feel better?
10. Tai Chi, Qi Gong, restorative yoga and other spiritual practices
These spiritual practices to calm you and center turn out to be core elements of a lasting weight loss effort. Mindfulness of how you really feel, what’s happening in the moment, and your essential value and connection to others and to the earth can help reduce stress-related eating (among other ills).
Thirst and hunger can feel the same, so increasing your intake of water (still or sparkling are equally good) will make a real difference.
12. Make it really easy to make good food choices
Meal delivery services can be salvation for busy people. Keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the house makes it a lot more likely that you’ll reach for them when snack time rolls around. There are so many restaurants and coffee shops now offering healthy, organic, even vegan meals to grab and go – find the closest one to you and make it part of your routine. Have a buddy to help you make good choices in the moments when it matters – like when you order. Or when they offer the dessert menu.
That’s it – the latest luxury spa insights on weight loss.
Lots of this seems like common sense and things we’ve heard before. But there are nuances that are truly new and helpful.
And we’ve learned the power of behavioral nudges to influence our decision-making. What we know and how we think about fitness, health and wellness are constantly evolving.
If you want to up your self-care routine, we hope these may give you some ideas on where to start. ‘Cause living happy and healthy is definitely the greatest luxury of all.
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