Poll: Would You Attend 'Fat Camp' For Adults?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  551 comments   :  31,234 Views

Weight loss retreat centers have gained popularity in recent years, particularly because of shows like "The Biggest Loser". Although there have been programs like this for children and teens for many years (often referred to as "fat camps"), programs for adults are on the rise. Are these centers a good way to jump start your weight loss, or do they establish habits that aren't maintainable once you return to the real world?

Of course there are pros and cons to programs like this. On the "pro" side, many programs are structured around healthy eating, regular exercise and lifestyle changes. The goal is to create sustainable change instead of trying to lose as much weight as possible while you're there. The program gives you time to focus on yourself and your health instead of having outside distractions like family and work to detract from your goals.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a weight loss retreat center is cost. Programs range from $2,000 to $7,000 per week. (And keep in mind you might have to take time off work, make child care arrangements, etc.) Although they focus on lifestyle changes, you still have to learn to incorporate those changes into your daily life once you leave the center. So are they really effective? According to one study of a program in South Carolina, one year after their stay, just 22% of guests weighed 10% less than they did when they entered the retreat.

Not all retreat centers are created equal, so it's important to do your homework. Do they focus on permanent change or do they promote rapid weight loss? Do you have to share a room with someone? Do you have options when it comes to meals? Do they offer a variety of exercise classes to meet your needs? If you're going to spend thousands of dollars to attend, it's important to be sure you're getting what you want.

What do you think? Would you consider attending a weight loss retreat? Do you think they are a good idea? Why or why not?

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    I bet you would join this one.

    The others just don't compare!! - 3/10/2014   8:05:51 PM
  • 550
    FABTEMP, well said and I completly agree, big yes for me. Though I must admit if asked before loosing weight I'd of said no. - 8/21/2013   8:48:43 PM
  • 549
    I have kidney disease and my dietary restrictions don't necessarily have anything to do with weight loss.
    Also, I have a stomach condition that is currently asymptomatic-- as long as I eat six mini-meals a day... which also helps me keep my blood sugar stable. I'm NOT going anywhere that could conceivably mess any of that up--like some camp that provides "preset" meals! - 8/20/2013   1:13:53 AM
  • 548
    No, I would not. A year later and such a small percentage have kept off 10%?! Just not worth it to me. - 4/27/2013   10:37:56 AM
  • 547
    I would go.They can help me tweek my healthy habits! - 4/26/2013   3:52:23 PM
    I would go...to be able to focus on my health and be with folk with the same goal for 3 or 4 weeks sounds great. - 4/24/2013   9:54:57 PM
  • 545
    I would go sound like it is fun to get away for a week or two meet new people sure I would be all in. - 4/24/2013   2:34:42 PM
  • SUNSET09
    Oh, yeah, getting away from it all and being able to concentrate on me, the food I intake to more conscious and time to work out in a beatiful location, count me in! - 4/6/2013   1:09:54 AM
    Sure. - 10/16/2012   8:50:56 PM
  • 542
    Absolutely!!! Between caring for my 5 year old son and trying to keep up a household, it's taken YEARS for me to estbalish healthy routines. If I had some place I could go where I didn't have to worry about housekeeping, childcare, financial work, schedules, etc and it was all taken care of for me? I'd be there in a New York minute. There's a REASON the more affluent also tend to be thinner. They have the means to organize their time more easily because they can hire people to take care of their physical support. - 7/28/2012   2:42:34 PM
  • 541
    If I could just concentrate on myself and on learning healthy habits and exercise, I would go! - 7/25/2012   8:47:21 AM
  • C_DONE
    Been there, done that! YMCA fitness camp. Would go again if could do it affordably and with a group of friends especially. Best part- working out all day. Worst part- sleeping in a stinky Boy Scout cabin with no AC for a week. - 7/25/2012   6:53:53 AM
  • 539
    In a heartbeat! I don't need "Fat Camp" but would LOVE to go to a "Fitness/Health" Camp. Book me on the next plane. Think of it......100% of your time focusing on just you and your health. It's a dream. - 3/14/2012   12:56:53 PM
  • 538
    I think for someone struggling to make a lifestyle change, it might be worth it. They're is/was a show on A&E called "Heavy" that did just this. Most people had a hard time adjusting to their new lifestyle once they returned home. I am, as well as many others, managing to do this on my own, with support from SP. I would not go. - 10/9/2011   2:45:41 PM
    For sure! My ideal "Wellness Camp" would include exercise, cooking light lessons, therapy, relaxation techniques, massages and skinny margarita's all in a beautiful, natural setting for no more than $1,000 per week. Is that asking for too much! - 10/8/2011   12:29:43 AM
  • 536
    I would go in a heartbeat - if i could afford it - 7/21/2011   1:20:55 PM
    I would want to go, but I would miss my family and then its expensive. Maybe there could be some type of family retreat, where I could still be with my family and also have to incorporate the fitness camp. - 6/14/2011   1:44:58 AM
  • 534
    I would consider it, but dont know if I would really go. But willing to see about it and if cost, foods and everything fits and I think I can get results that I am not able to at home be myself then would deffentially go! - 6/9/2011   10:00:36 AM
  • 533
    If money was not an issue, I would SO be there!!! - 5/7/2011   3:12:40 PM
    I would probably go if they weren't so expensive. - 5/5/2011   8:37:37 PM
  • JAYREE757
    I would love to go. i have wanted to go to the Biggest Loser Resort in Utah but money is the issue. - 5/5/2011   6:42:07 PM
    I would go in a heart beat. Learning while losing. - 5/5/2011   6:14:06 PM
    Not my thing. It would probably be counter-productive for me: I need some flexibility or I'll rebel. - 5/4/2011   8:08:51 PM
  • 528
    If money grew on trees, I'd pick a few and go. I think it would be great. However, I am so thankful for a free website like Spark-people...to help those of us that can't drop a grand but still want a place to give us the tools that we need for success in living healthier lives. Thanks Sparkpeople! - 5/4/2011   8:18:59 AM
  • 527
    Absolutely, if I didn't have to worry about the money!!! - 5/3/2011   11:14:00 PM
  • 526
    If I had unlimited funds, yes! - 5/3/2011   8:51:53 PM
  • 525
    I wouldn't go to one because I would miss my family too much. - 5/3/2011   4:09:38 PM
  • 524
    Oh yeah...if blogging works, I can imagine what being with other of my same fate would do to inspire - 5/3/2011   4:05:31 PM
  • 523
    Although I think I would enjoy the experience, and I once believed I would need something like that to get over some of my hurdles, I am now convinced that I can achieve my goals without such a major intervention. - 5/3/2011   3:26:21 PM
  • 522
    I think I would benefit greatly from a focused program like a 'fat farm'. I know I would do well when all I have to do is exercise and eat right.
    But in reality, I couldn't afford something like that. And I work from project to project so I can't take time off - it would all be out of pocket (no vacation time or whatever). All I can do is use my own willpower to do this myself. - 5/3/2011   2:09:56 PM
    Yes, if money were not an issue. I need to get over the hump and know what I can do. I'd also like to know what is best for me with my limitations. But I know what I really need is consistency in lifestyle changes, not a one week crash course. - 5/3/2011   8:24:18 AM
    I have been considering it. Instead I have been disciplining myself to walk with neighbors in the morning, and going to the gym in the evenings, plus I bought the wii fit, and the biggest loser program to go with it. So far so good. - 4/27/2011   2:37:07 PM
    Do they offer scholarships? I'll be first in line if they do! - 4/27/2011   9:36:12 AM
  • 518
    Too many other things can be done with out this huge cost. Daily walking is free. If done everyday you will get results. It's a mind set. I sure don't have that kind of money to throw around and even if I did, I could think of other things to spend the money on. It shouldn't be about quick weight loss, but about lifestyle changes. - 4/27/2011   6:00:31 AM
  • 517
    If I had the money you bet I would! - 4/26/2011   5:47:16 PM
    Nope - 4/26/2011   1:00:35 PM
  • 515
    YES-YES-YES-YES-YES but since I'm a poor mom and wife I have to figure out a way to do this on my on. - 4/26/2011   12:11:38 PM
  • 514
    If it was affordable yes! - 4/26/2011   11:48:13 AM
    i would definitely go - 3/8/2011   7:54:40 AM
  • 512
    i would go. - 3/7/2011   1:21:05 PM
  • 511
    Yes for me! (of course, if money was not object) I was actually looking for places online just to see what the cost was....& got the sticker shock. I agree with "WLCWARRIOR"....I work out steady now....but there are times when I know I probably should push through...but stop because I'm tired or sore.....so would love to just see how far I really can be pushed & succeed at it. - 3/5/2011   2:17:07 PM
  • 510
    I don't believe it's the only way to be successful in making positive change, particularly if you are a working, single parent like me.
    - 3/5/2011   9:50:03 AM
  • 509
    I'd love to go and get a jump start; away from all the daily grind. I think I'd need at least 2 weeks to make some real changes. However, the cost is ridiculous. I don't think that's the best use of my money. - 3/5/2011   2:35:35 AM
  • 508
    If I had a great insurance, yes I would go. Do you have to be over a 100lbs or more over your weight goal? - 3/4/2011   1:38:34 PM
  • 507
    Absolutely! - 3/4/2011   12:50:20 PM
  • 506
    If I had the money...you bet I would! It's too bad that the majority of people who need it can't afford it! - 3/4/2011   12:24:10 PM
  • AMETHYST2364
    At the price they charge...I would not like to attend. I don't think a week is long enough to make lasting changes. For that price I could get a trainer once or twice a month to work with me. If money wasn't an object...I think it would be fun to try it once. - 3/3/2011   9:18:57 AM
  • 504
    I'm not sure if I would want to go even if I could afford it. Part of me says, heck yes and the other part says no way. Lol. I think if I had that kind of money to spend, I would put it toward personal training for me, hubby and my daughter. I really need someone helps to set up a program that I can safely do without hurting myself or acerbating my current health issues. - 3/2/2011   11:18:17 PM
  • 503
    I would like it. But afraid of any exercise routine that I may not be able to do! - 3/1/2011   11:42:02 PM
  • 502
    If I had the money I would do it in a red hot second. I wanted to be on biggest loser, even filled out all the paperwork, but found that I had to lose over 100lbs to be considered. I definately feel like it would be easier to eat my way up to their "desired" weight, than to try to lose the 50-60 lbs I am trying to get rid of now! - 3/1/2011   5:35:48 PM

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