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

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/9/2010 1:57 PM   :  551 comments   :  24,588 Views

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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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Comments

  • GETTINGOIN
    501
    That price is outragous! Other than that, I'd do it in a heart beat. ANYTHING to help get motivated. - 3/1/2011   3:22:51 PM
  • 500
    for that cost, absolutely not. if it were a reasonable fee then yes, I'd consider it. I've considered the fatpacking program too... several days' hiking under knowledgable staff mentoring. - 3/1/2011   2:44:30 PM
  • 499
    I would not join one I would run one for less to help people. It would not be a BOOT CAMP. I t would be life changing - 3/1/2011   1:28:46 PM
  • HLTURNER75
    498
    I would also rather spend the money on a gym membership. - 3/1/2011   12:24:55 PM
  • HLTURNER75
    497
    I would also rather spend the money on a gym membership. - 3/1/2011   12:24:18 PM
  • 496
    I love the outdoors so I probably would if the price was right. - 8/28/2010   4:55:41 PM
  • 495
    I would if it were cheaper. - 8/27/2010   12:44:13 PM
  • 494
    I belong to TOPS Take off Pounds Sensibly and their retreats are weekends and week ones and all they do is get your mind in the game and unleash you they are really inspiring. I have always done well with them and the best part is that they are cheap. The majority of them run 200-350.00 plus airfare depending on the destination. They usually rotate so that canada, and all areas of the usa are covered Pacific, Mid West, Rockies, East and South. PLus every so often they ahve a cruise. I would go to a TOPS retreat or something similar because they are cheap and reasonable. Paying 2-5K is ridiculas. I think people are just making $.. My TOPS Friends and I are going to have a Camp retreat for 4 days we are all going to cook a healthy meal, hike and encourage each other. - 8/13/2010   5:28:26 PM
  • 493
    No. It sounds like an expensive short term solution. At the end of the camp, what then? Go back to your old habits? Healthy eating and incorporating more exercise into your schedule must become your new life style. A change of scenery isn't going to do it. - 4/28/2010   11:01:30 AM
  • SANDRA4566
    492
    I would love to go to one. Know of any in the Jacksonville FL area? I am already packed and ready to go! - 3/31/2010   11:25:34 AM
  • 491
    If cost weren't an issue, I'd go in a heartbeat. - 3/31/2010   10:27:53 AM
  • SEVEREDSTARS12
    490
    I would go for sure that is if I could afford it and I didn't have to worry about my five year old. I think learning the skills you need to know is the most important thing. If you apply them to your life is up to you. From what I have seen that is the hardest part and most people just don't do it. - 3/30/2010   1:14:02 PM
  • TECHLADY
    489
    Yes I would and I have. It was a 'mini camp'...5 days...but you could stay longer. It allowed me to see what a 'normal' portion looked like....wow. What an eye opener! It also gave me the chance to experience a totally healthy life day in and day out. - 3/30/2010   6:41:50 AM
  • 488
    I don't want (or need) a lot of indoctrination or education, but I'd love to go someplace on vacation where I KNEW I not only wouldn't gain weight, I'd lose weight. To me, that would mean delicious, healthy food in small portions, healthy, fun drinks instead of "cocktail hour" and lots of opportunity to exercise, including hikes, stretch classes etc. It would be nice to take home a few lifestyle tips and have a massage, or learn self-massage to use a reward and stress-buster instead of food or drink. - 3/30/2010   4:11:48 AM
  • ZOEWEI
    487
    M i COULD NEVER AFFORD IT. wHAT ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE BIGGEST LOSER AND THE CAMP IS FREE. WITH SOME PRIZE IN THE END. nOT A MILLION BUT A SMALL INCENTIVE. - 3/29/2010   5:01:41 PM
  • 486
    "22% of guests weighed 10% less than they did when they entered the retreat" ...
    That's a much better success rate than anything else I've seen or heard of, except bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or lap band.) And a LOT cheaper than the surgical option. Cost is all relative... how much is it costing you to stay fat? Career opportunities lost? Paying extra for larger sizes? Shortened life and worse quality of life? I'd love to go to a fitness camp. I wish one was near me! - 3/29/2010   3:12:03 PM
  • 485
    I think people would do better to gather in weight loss support groups of their own and include camping trips as a part of that process. This would produce more long term results and be less expensive. - 3/29/2010   1:44:04 PM
  • ALICOTTER
    484
    If I did not have to pay for it sure. The idea of having access to a personal trainer and chef really appeals to me. The biggest thing I have problems with is that I HATE to cook. I HATE to have anything to deal with food. Soanything which would mean I don't have to deal with the food side appeals to me. The exercise thing is what I LOVE. I already spend 2 hours 6 days a week at the gym,plus logging 25-30 kms walking my dogs so having to do more would not be an issue.

    Cost would be the biggest issue for me. - 3/29/2010   12:51:59 PM
  • TURQUOIS26
    483
    I would go if it was something like a bootcamp or a fitness retreat, where you had fitness classes then spa treatments. - 3/29/2010   4:47:25 AM
  • 482
    No- but camping with an emphasis on healthy living and realistic exercise would be more of the ticket for me. - 3/29/2010   12:05:51 AM
  • 481
    Not on your life. Ever. - 3/28/2010   7:43:56 PM
  • 480
    I would love to go!!! - 3/28/2010   7:13:56 PM
  • 479
    Yes...but not at that price. I would even think twice about $2,000 for a month!
    For $2,000 week I'd go on vacation first!
    But I do like the idea of a "camp" for adult weight loss, if it were a true teaching tool with professionals who actually know what they are doing.
    And quite frankly, I would love to go to a camp and act like a kid while learning about health. - 3/28/2010   12:59:25 PM
  • 478
    I believe this is one of the options that should be included with the wellness programs some employers offer. For example, mine pays half the cost for certain fitness centers.
    I believe a Boot Camp that encourages people to learn how to implement lifestyle changes AFTER they leave is an excellent idea. I wish more people could participate in such a program rather than give up on weight loss, or use drastic (and dangerous!) surgical methods. - 3/27/2010   3:34:59 PM
  • 477
    If I could afford to take off time from work I would go in a heartbeat! - 3/26/2010   1:56:26 PM
  • 476
    Not unless I did a lot of research about them first. Sorry my core career and been information research and management of that information through its lifecycle. So every time such ideas are thrown at me, I look deeply into their intentions, medical and nutritional staff, mission, vision, etc. Are they single minded or treat each as an individual.

    I am going to visit a camp in April during open house where I will be returning in the fall for an Adults program. It is being put together by a National Metabolic Organization and best of all, because of my disorder it will be free.

    The camp will be broken out for children and adults and we can bring our spouses. Nutrition, Healthy Eating, Learning how to reduce stress --which reduces the symptoms of the various metabolic diseases will all be on the plan.

    I am excited --so very excited. It is not just about the weight. The people in the group in our city are all over the board and struggle according to their doctor and nutritionist. But the entire camp will be on improving our life and education and sharing with our spouses. For the adults, they are telling us to consider it a retreat. Those with children that are healthy will be entertained in another area of the camp, so the couple can "retreat" and relax, share, learn, and experience positively.

    If I had the money to spend, I would love to go to a place offering educational programs, meditation, healing self-hypnosis, yoga, swimming and able to cater to my eating requirements. That would be the dream of my life. Definitely on my bucket list if I had the money. - 3/26/2010   12:52:15 PM
  • MISSMANOR
    475
    I would love to go, the wealth of knowledge in itself would be worth it. Plus I think it'd be fun to interact with people who are going through the same struggles... and make lifelong friends. Unfortunately, it's not exactly in a student budget haha. - 3/26/2010   12:07:24 PM
  • 474
    I would love to if I could take the time away from work. Biggest Loser resort would be my choice. - 3/26/2010   11:04:46 AM
  • SUMMER84
    473
    If I could afford it I would go. However I can't take time off work and I have no where to leave my kids so I guess this is not a realistic solution for me. - 3/25/2010   8:19:38 PM
  • SUMMER84
    472
    If I could afford it I would go. However I can't take time off work and I have no where to leave my kids so I guess this is not a realistic solution for me. - 3/25/2010   8:19:38 PM
  • 471
    yes!!!!!!!! - 3/25/2010   10:59:49 AM
  • 470
    I would love to attend a "fat camp" for adults. That just isn't in the cards for me. They cost too much and are not set up for adults with disabilities. Imagine what I could do with the proper training and motivators. Yes, I would dearly love to go to a Fat Camp - 3/25/2010   1:19:49 AM
  • 469
    No I would not, lifestyle changes are the key to successful weight loss and management. A fat farm may produce temporary weight loss but the weight will be gained right back. Spend the money and time on a great vacation instead. Lose weight in a sensible, healthy manner. - 3/24/2010   5:18:21 PM
  • 468
    Me too. Of course, this is if money were no object - but sure. I would Love a 3 week spa vacation. sigh. delight wish - 3/24/2010   4:59:21 PM
  • 467
    yes indeed, I would go... - 3/24/2010   2:19:10 PM
  • 466
    I would love to go just to see how much I could push myself with fitness. I work out twice a week with a trainer and I love the 1/2 hour each time. I wonder sometimes how much i could do if I were pushed to work out 5-6 hours a day. What would it be like to have weight lifting make up your "work day." - 3/24/2010   12:35:23 PM
  • 465
    I'd have to think about it long and hard. It's a possibility. The deciding factors would probably be when and where. - 3/24/2010   12:16:50 PM
  • 464
    I would definetly consider going to the a weightloss retreat if I had the money and the time. Neither of which I have right now. When researching places for my hubby and I's ten year anniversary I found a cool resort that was all about healthy eating and living. I actually would like to go there. However, I know my husband would not. Also, I am not sure if I really want to do that for my ten year anniversaray where I just want to lay around in the sun and relax and not worry about life for a week. - 3/24/2010   9:14:56 AM
  • 463
    I would definately go in hopes of a new beginning but I know the real weight loss and life change happens at home in our daily life. - 3/24/2010   8:35:51 AM
  • NUTSYNRS
    462
    I would definitely go if I had the money. - 3/23/2010   11:43:47 PM
  • ALANDES
    461
    IMHO,I could hire a personal trainer and check into a hotel for a week for less money, and more than likely the same or better results. If it were more affordable, maybe I would attend. - 3/23/2010   12:38:29 PM
  • 460
    I would soooo do it. i might regret it while i'm there but it sure sounds like a good idea. I cant even imagine how much it would cost though. - 3/23/2010   12:21:54 PM
  • 459
    I would go to one for seniors! I am a senior and have a certain amount of limitations I didn't have when I was younger...like arthritis. But if I had the money I would consider it now. It would reinforce some of the things I've already learned and would probably help me maintain. - 3/23/2010   8:57:23 AM
  • 458
    I went to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center back in the 80's and loved it. Stayed there a month and learned what a real thunder storm is!

    There were people there that cheated all the time, (had rich parents) and weren't interested in following the program. Downside, I was really hungry a lot tho.

    I did lose 14 lbs and had a great time going to classes & fitness classes. I would do it again in a heartbeat. - 3/22/2010   9:00:41 PM
  • 457
    I wouldn't want to go to a boot camp-type place, but I'd sign up for a spa-like place. - 3/22/2010   4:18:52 PM
  • DEARLISA
    456
    I've been to Deerfield Spa in the Poconos (PA) and it totally helped me re-set everything from my habits to my "head." It's not fancy, but really friendly, you can exercise all day if you want, the food is delicious, and I lost a lot of weight while I was there -- 20 pounds in 6 weeks! - 3/21/2010   9:07:48 PM
  • DIASTER
    455
    Would like it better if I could get together with other spark members once a week and get their helpful hints, maybe meet in a park for a potluck and a hike, or stroll. That way it would be free. - 3/21/2010   5:14:14 PM
  • 454
    I think it would be a good place to spend a week or two if afforable - to learn some techniques that would translate well to the "REAL WORLD" - if it's like the Biggest Loser - then no - they drop huge amounts of weight in a really unhealthy time frame, although Dr. supervised, it's TOO MUCH, TOO FAST and that only leads to a rebound. - 3/21/2010   2:50:46 PM
  • K_RENEE
    453
    I think it's a good concept, ideally, but The Biggest Loser is not healthy. Many, many of the contestants gain back a lot of the weight they lose (very drastic amounts in very short periods of time) and that's a great way to wind up in a grave. If I had the money, I'd do what many others have already said and that's hire a good personal trainer, a nutritionist, and join a gym! - 3/20/2010   9:54:13 PM
  • TARIANGIE
    452
    Nope I would not have that much money to blow on that sort of thing. If I did have that kind of money I would use it to reward myself or gym memberships here that would last a few years rather then just a week. - 3/20/2010   6:01:04 PM

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