The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Food Glorious Food …do you love food too much?

“I just love food”

“Life is too short to eat boring, bland food”

“I hate diet food”

Does this sound familiar to you?  Us too!!

Diet Mentality

It never ceases to amaze me how many women who join us here at The Body Retreat are surprised to hear that they don’t have to stop eating real food in order to be able to shed the weight that is unnecessary for them.  They love food but they feel that is shameful to admit it.  It’s wrong to love food.  Food is just fuel right??

The diet industry has convinced us that we need to starve ourselves, make great sacrifices, deprive ourselves of our favourite foods in order to shed the pounds and inches.

Just recently I was reading an introduction to a diet book that recommended that us girls ( ….yes this was a diet book aimed solely at women …for the record I read these things to keep abreast of the nonsense still being shared out there!!)…anyway I digress… this introduction advised us girls to prepare ourselves to battle against our food demons, to fortify ourselves for the struggles to come over the next couple of weeks…but the promise of shedding pounds and inches was so real that these sacrifices would be all worth it.  It read like they expect the reader was preparing for war!!!

Do you really want to do battle with your body?

Do you really want to spend the rest of your life denying yourself?

Do you want to be in a permeant state of denial, deprivation and dieting?

No me neither!!

The Key to Weight Loss

But that’s the only way to shed weight right???  You have to diet and dieting means giving up on nice food. You cant be on a diet and love food at the same time.

Except that it really doesn’t.

Shedding the weight that is unnecessary for you, achieving and maintaining the body, health and wellness you want and deserve isn not about dieting, willpower and deprivation.

It does mean creating a new positive relaionship with real food.  It does mean eating in a way that nourishes your body and your brain.

That is what is so different about our approach to eating here at The Body Retreat.  It is why mindset change is at the heart of what we do.

But you can’t simply think your way thin… sorry I’ve read that book too 🙂

You need to start to eat in a way that supports your brain chemistry and your hormones so that it genuinely starts to feel easier to make positive choices about food.

Eat Real Food

Let me show you or remind you of just some of the food that we eat on retreat to illustrate my point



Real food right?

Yes of course some of the food we serve regularly on retreat you may not have tried yet…but thats great as you get to experience new foods in a way that you don’t have to worry about how to make it, store it  etc

On our retreats no whole food group is excluded, so this means that you eat bread, potatoes, cheese, pancakes etc etc. Like I say real food, for real results.

We focus on nutritional density, eating foods that are rich in protein, with good quality fats and high in fibre..because these foods are nourishing your body and your brain, they click the satiety switch in the brain meaning that you don’t need to eat so much, they tell your hormones how to act.

Once we have built this base we then get to work on changing how you feel about food, letting go of old unhelpful habits, recognising emotion eating patterns and building up positive resources to help you want to make positive choices about food.

Does that mean that you simply want to diet!!!  No way… we are all about balance.  The Body Retreat is about eating for life and so enjoying a little indulgence is an important and wonderful part of life.  Life is too short to not enjoy a little sweetness right??

What to do?

So if you want to continue to love food, if you want to eat exciting tasty food at every meal, if you want to feel able to enjoy a little indulgence and not feel guilty then it is time to ditch the diets and start to build better behaviours instead.

“I honestly cant believe how easy it has felt to make good food choices.  I’m down 9.5kg since I joined you on retreat.”  DT. Oxford

“I’ve really enjoyed making your recipes at home, it has made healthy eating so easy” JG. London

“I still cant quite believe that I get to eat all my favourite foods and I’m still losing weight…slowly but surely. What a result” PT. Glasgow

Get out of the Diet Trap

You don’t need to give up on food in order to shed weight.  That is the very thinking that is keeping you stuck in the diet trap.

If you are looking for food inspiration then why not check out our Conscious Cooking Blog

We would love to have you try out some of our recipes and see for yourself how easy it is to make healthy and delicious meals.  If you do try out any of the recipes then do please leave us a comment or question not the blog and we will come back to you.

Or if you feel that you are done with feeling stuck in the diet trap and want to do something different then check out our Weight Loss Retreats every year we help hundred of women break the vicious cycle and achieve and maintain he body, health and wellbeing they want and deserve.

It’s Time to Stop Eating Less & Moving More!

 Eat Less and Move More!

You’ll have heard it said many times before…if you eat less and move more you will lose weight. It’s simple mathematics.

The old Energy Balance Equation.

Energy In (Calories) – Energy Out (Exercise) = Weight Loss.

Except that it doesn’t work…

Well, let me be very honest… it does work …to a point.

Usually a very short lived point.

That first couple of weeks on your new diet, when you are watching what you eat like a hawk, weighing out tiny portions of food, hitting the gym like a demon or working out in morning bootcamp every damn day… the scales move in the right direction and you think HURRAH!!!

Diets work, I am eating less and moving move…it is working. It was me all along. I was too lazy, too greedy, too relaxed, too slow, too generous.

But then… the weight loss slows down or even stops. You eat a little bit less, you go to an extra class, your Fitbit is sending you messages about how you have climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Fuji you are walking so many extra steps….still, the scales don’t budge.

You are exhausted … you are hungry… you are off the diet!!

Sound familiar???

We hear this story time and time again on retreat.

Just like you, these are smart, intelligent, educated women who have run companies, raised families, held down important jobs, become experts in their own field… all beating their heads against the diet brick wall.

Why doesn’t it work… it makes sense.

It’s logical.

Calories In minus Calories Out and you lose weight. Everybody knows that!!

“What the hell is wrong with me that it doesn’t work for me!!!!”

They feel that they have failed at something that had such a simple set of instructions, Eat Less and Move More.

But here’s the thing…they didn’t fail the diet ..the diet failed them.


The Real Energy Balance Equation


If we were going to use an equation to lose weight it would look a bit more like this

Energy In

(the real amount of food eaten & the actual calories consumed – the food not absorbed)


Energy Out

(your resting metabolic rate, + the thermic effect of eating + exercise & movement energy use + non exercise thermic energy use)


Many parts of this equation you’d need a week in a lab with men in white coats testing to even come close to your actual numbers.

The reality is that how much weight you lose is determined by your metabolism, your age, your sex, your genetic make up, your stress levels, your water intake, your sleep pattern, your gut microbiome…to name those factors we now understand better.


Eating Better & Moving Smarter

For us here at The Body Retreat we prefer to focus on Eating Better and Moving Smarter.

Yes, you do need to watch not only what you eat, but how and when you eat it…you cant just live on coffee all day and then wolf down a pringle pizza for supper. Likewise, you can’t simply hit the gym and attain your calorie number on the treadmill or your step number on your Fitbit.

It’s a much more subtle ‘equation’ than just eat less and move more. It’s not one size fits all…but then let’s be honest … you have probably already figured out that that isn’t working for you.


Three Top Tips to help you start to make a shift today away from Eat Less and Move More

Eating Better

  1. Focus on good quality Protein at every main meal. Enjoy meat, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds.
  2. Eat the rainbow. When you look at your plate you want to see more than three colours
  3. Eat your main meals sitting down. Even if its only for 5 minutes, this will improve your digestion and absorption.


Moving Smarter

  1. Move your body every day. Even if your day job is sedentary make it a habit to move your body regularly through the day.
  2. Find something you love and commit to doing it every week, it might be swimming, dancing, spinning etc. It doesn’t matter so long as you are having a blast while you do it. This means you are less likely to get bored and just stop.
  3. You are going to have to sweat. If you want to change your body shape and size and improve your fitness then you need to be sweating every exercise session….not just glowing. It doesn’t have to be for long, but you need to be sweaty at the end.


Is it time to stop the diet merry-go-round?

Are you ready to stop the diet merry -go-round?

How many times have you “tried” to lose weight?

I can tell you from both personal experience and about 6 years of working here at The Body Retreat that trying to lose weight is pretty much setting yourself up for failure.

I started to put on weight after the death of my mother when I was aged six… I literally ballooned over night. I went from a little string bean of a kid to a round faced cabbage ( to keep the vegetable analogy going LOL)

I went to live with my maternal grandmother who was a one woman feeding machine… and one that never said no. I can only surmise that she felt that having lost my mother I should never be deprived of anything else.

Naturally, children push boundaries, test limits, try their luck and so I wanted to enjoy all the treats, snacks puddings and favourite dishes that I could get.

Over the years I just kept on growing , out as well as up.

All through my teens and into my twenties I was always known as “big girl”…its something of a term of endearment where I’m from in Northern Ireland. “What about you big girl”, “Nice to see you big girl”. You get the picture I’m sure.

Of course, there were others who were less endearing…being the but of a group joke as being a pot bellied bear still stings even now some 30 odd years later.

As a young girl I “tried” my first diet…it was called the F’Plan. I was about 11.

It worked …for about a week and then the lure of the puddings and my grandmothers cooking lured me away from the high fibre bran and back on the bacon and eggs.

I was taken to the GP who told my granny off for being soft with me, so we were left to our own devices trying whatever new diet seemed the rage.

My Personal Diet Merry-Go-Round

The South Beach Plan

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Beverly Hills Diet

Slim Fast

Weight Watchers


Decades I have spent trying to lose weight, with varying degrees of success.

It wasn’t until about the ripe olde age of 39 that something clicked…

Shift your Mindset to Shift the Weight

Having studied NLP (neuro linguistic programming) I began to realise that all the negative self talk and feelings I had about food, weight, the way I look, how much I weighed were all mixed up with the feelings I had about my mother, my grandmother, who I was as a girl and now a woman.

I was trying to lose weight by any means necessary but at the same time I found food to be a comfort, it felt like love, food made me feel safe. Why would I stop those feelings!

My brain was filled with so many mixed up messages… and these in turn led to self sabotaging behaviours.

I was like a hamster on a wheel…round and round the diet merry go round I went…getting smaller, getting bigger but getting more and more ground down by it all.

I never found the prefect diet…because that doesn’t exist . If it did there would be no obesity crisis, every one would be slim.

What I found was a healthy mindset…one that let me define myself and let me make my own choices.

I lost about four and half stone and give or take a few pounds (ok who am I kidding I put on 7lbs over Christmas…im only human) I never regained the weight.

Mindset is a Key Pillar of Health

That is why Mindset is the first pillar of Women’s Wellness on all our retreats but the one that is so important on our Weight Loss Retreat. Changing your Mindset is the first step to stop the diet merry-go-round.

Mindset is about acknowledging where you are at, you don’t have to like it, but you do need to acknowledge it. Then start to make small changes that all add something positive to your health. Not because you have to …..but because you want to. Because you care about your body and your health.

Trying to lose weight and keeping yourself stuck on the diet merry go round will grind you down.

Perhaps its time to try something new?

Maybe it is time to change your self talk. Shifting from being negative and critical of ourselves being positive and encouraging



Self Talk Exercise


Get yourself some small index cards or note cards.

On each card write one individual negative thought or belief that you currently hold about yourself, your body and your health.

For example:


I am always going to be fat


I hate my body


I cant lose weight


I am not good enough


I can’t exercise


Next over the next couple of weeks take each card in turn and take 5 five minutes to review the statement you have written.

Now under your original statement write down a new positive statement.

So for example if you wrote “I hate my body” you might now right, “I like my face, eyes, ankles, hands etc etc”. You do not have to like everything but there is always some positive to be found if you choose to look for it.

As simple as it sounds…looking for the positive, no matter how small it might seem helps to move your brain from a negative into a positive frame of mind. You shift from thinking it is impossible, to possible and then probable.



Get Back On Track 3 Day Plan

If you have a few pounds to shed after the  excesses of the festive season then don’t panic, it really only takes a few days to get back on track.

Our Get Back on Track 3 Day Plan is designed to help you to over come those sugar and carb induced cravings that lead you to want more and more sugar and carbs, it will balance your blood sugar levels meaning your energy levels will stabilise and you will loose the bloat and an inch or two from your tummy.

If you have really over indulged over the festive period then you might find that you do feel a little hungry on day one of this plan, but the key to be consistent with the timing of your meals and to keep your water levels up.  that way by day 2 or 3 you will have gone over the hunger hump and be feeling great again.

This plan is not devised to be followed long term, it really is a short kick start.



The Rules for the Three Days.


  • NO added sugar for three days
  • NO added salt to cooking or any meal
  • NO salad dressing apart from freshly squeezed lemon juice and black pepper
  • No Fruit other than the apple and avocado
  • Start each morning with a mug of hot water with the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Unlimited salad veggies but no prepared salad, coleslaw or beetroot etc
  • Keep starchy veg to a minimum at night (carrots, parsnips etc)
  • Choose mainly green veg and salad items, eg spinach, celery, cabbage, spring onion, cucumber, peas, broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette etc
  • You Must eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • Nut Butter should be 100% whole nut, with no added oil, sugar or salt etc
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water through the day.
  • Only herbal teas for rest of day
  • No carbonated drinks, no diet drinks.
  • 8 Min HiiT workout Every morning before Breakfast.
  • Walk for at least 30 mins every day to a rate where you can not hold a conversation


Let me know how you get on if you follow the Get Back on Track 3 day plan, I’d love to have your feedback.

If you know anyone who might find our 3 Day Plan useful then why not share using the social media buttons


Ditch the Crazy Quick Fix Diets

Its Silly Season For Weightloss Diets

Some women will go to extreme lengths to become slimmer versions of themselves. Just have a look at the weight loss products advertised at this time of year – everything from miracle diet shakes, detox drinks made with lemon and pepper to Brazilian berries and slimming tea – just to name a few.

Now we see the evolution of the 5:2 diet, it seems the diet industry knows the importance of continuous movement to keep its products fresh.  The newspapers and magazines are full of “get thin quick” diets.

The promise of the new year and a new you.  At The Body Retreat, we hate that phrase, New You, it implies there is something wrong with the old you, it makes people feel that they are some how not right.

At The Body Retreat we encourage our women to be the Best You, rather than a new you.

In an attempt to become the New You that the magazines offer most people will try any quick-fix miracle weight loss aid or quick fix diet that promises to do the trick.

These crazy gimmick diets play on the hope that we have that maybe this time the miracle will work.

To compound matters in the beginning they do seem to be keeping their promise, when you make a change to the diet you follow a certain amount of weight will be lost, but why do so many women find themselves on new years day looking for yet another miracle… because whatever the quick fix diet, the shake, the pill, the juice,  they are no substitute for a healthy banned diet.   One that is based on solid nutritional principles to not only hep you to lose the fat you want to shed but to promote strength, energy and health.

The Danger of Quick Fix Diets

The truth is that quick fix diets can actually be harmful to your health in the sort term as they rob you of vital nutrients for daily health as well as leaving your energy levels in the toilet.

In the long term many quick fix diets relay on serious calorie deficits and so place your body into a starvation mode, which in turn slows your metabolic rate, this means that when you do eventually fall of the quick fix wagon you actually starts to store the extra foods you have consumed directly as fat.

That’s not even the worst case scenarios… quick fix diets can upset your appetite and satiety hormones meaning that they are out of balance for up to 2 years.

Ditch The Diets

Ditch the Quick Fix Diets and instead find a nutrition plan that suits your body and your lifestyle and you will never diet again.

We work with you in making a plan that works for where you are right now, where you want to be and factors in your likes and dislikes, your time commitments and budget constraints.  There is no other take home plan that is as tailored.

Thats why at The Body Retreat we work with you to change your mindset and behaviour, to make  healthy choices so that you can enjoy a balanced lifestyle, that you can enjoy occasional treats without guilt and without increasing your waistline. You start to find it easier and easier to make the choices that are what your body really wants and needs right now.

If you have decided that this is the year when you are going to lose the weight that is unnecessary for you then you may find you will succeed in your goal with the right support and guidance.

Thats were the Body Retreats unique Weight Loss Retreat can help.

Our luxury weight loss retreat will change your relationship with food while at the same time boost your energy and fitness levels, so you return home stronger, leaner,  healthier having lost up to 10lbs.*

We have helped hundreds of women ditch the crazy quick fix diets that promise so much and deliver so little.

We keep our retreat numbers small so that you get the best individual attention to ensure that you leave us in the best possible shape with the right tools, resources and midst to succeed in your goal and active the body and fitness you want and deserve.

Contact us to set up a time to chat through exactly how we can help you to turn your back on quick fix dieting for good.


* Average weight loss at our weight loss retreats.