The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

What Are Your Weight Loss Weak Spots?

Many women begin a new diet or healthy eating plan and while the first few days go well they see, to find themselves inevitably falling off the wagon time and again.

Now you will already know our view on diets and restrictive plans here at The Body Retreat, but we do appreciate that for many women they feel that their eating has literally spiralled out of control and so for them they need and want the structure that a diet plan or programme can give them.

In our time running Weight Loss Retreats for women we have identified the following 7 Common Weight Loss Weak Spots that come up again and again.

Identifying for yourself your own weak spot can really help you to over come them and achieve your health and wellbeing goals.

First a word on weak spots… I want to be very clear here that these are not a weakness, failing or fault of yours. In identifying the weak spots that have in the past let you down is an opportunity to empower yourself not beat yourself up!!

7 Common Weight Loss Weak Spots


Where you spend your time obviously has a big impact on how you behave. If you work in catering, hospitality or food retail and find yourself surrounded by food all day every day you may find that you have adopted the habit of grazing through the day.

Likewise if you live in a household of all males then you may have found that you serve up the same size portion for yourself as the boys.

Do you have children for whom you feel obliged to keep sweets and snacks on tap?

Is the environment that you spend your time conducive to supporting your healthy eating? Think about what small changes you might like to make to your environment or your behaviour in that environment to help you to eat healthily.


Do you allow yourself to be unduly influenced by those around you? Do you find it hard to say no when offered delicious and tempting foods? Do you have an “eating buddy” you know the friend with whom you can enjoy a good old foodie blow out?

Most people don’t deliberately set out to sabotage your best efforts to eat healthily, perhaps you have simply adopted a habit that has got out of hand, maybe you have never had the firm conversation that you don’t want to eat in the old way anymore.

Think about how your relationships impact the way that you eat, are they as constructive as they could be? If not then it may be time to have a conversation and ask for support or a new way of behaving.



Think eating healthily is expensive? This may be because the last diet plan you followed meant a complete restock of your cupboards with items that once you finished the plan or gave up you never used again. Or perhaps it was a plan that was 100% organic and you cannot justify the extra food bill.

I understand, we do advocate organic at the Body Retreat, I would love it if we didn’t have to stipulate organic because pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other “Stuff” wasn’t routinely added to the food chain…but that is a whole other blog…. I’m a realist and again this is about choice and a bit of compromise.

If you adopt the 80/20 principle and 80% of the time you choose to buy and eat food that is healthy, maybe organic then that allows you 20% of the time to eat anything else that takes your fancy. You will notice in the recipes on our Conscious Cooking Blog that they routinely use the same ingredients time and again. With just a few staple store cupboard ingredients you can always be ready to rustle up a healthy dish



When you begin your new diet or healthy eating regime, what are you thinking? Are you thinking “fingers crossed this time”; “here we go again”; “hope this one works”.

Perhaps you are even thinking “what’s the point”; “I bet it won’t work for me” or even “ I never stick to these things”.

Our thoughts become our feelings, become actions and ultimately become our results. So beginning any new venture with anything less than feelings of optimism, determination and confidence means that you are pretty much setting yourself up to fail.

Time to be firm and honest with yourself. Are you guilty of thinking self sabotaging thoughts and undermining your best effort?



This is a tricky one. So often we hear from the women who join us on retreat that they simply don’t have the time to eat healthy.

I don’t doubt for one minute that these are very busy women, often holding down successful careers as well as raising a family and running a household.

But here is a universal truth…We make time for the things that are important to us.

Healthy eating does not have to involve long and laborious meal plans, slaving over a stove or building up Popeye worthy biceps at the chopping board. There are many easy time hacks and shortcuts to healthy eating, on retreat we have a breakfast that takes just 90 seconds to prepare.

Time is an excuse…a bit of tough love here!!

Its about choice. When you are busy it is easy to grab the unhealthy option, you may even be unconsciously rewarding yourself for your hard work. But it’s just a choice. Grabbing a muffin rather than a yogurt pot, or a baguette rather than a soup.

There is never enough time, I know that. But it doesn’t mean you cannot make a better choice in the time you do have.



This is probably one of the most common weak spots that we hear from the women who attend our Weight Loss Retreats.

The women who join us on retreat are smart, bright professional woman, but over the years and decades they have been so bombarded by mixed health and weight loss messages that they find themselves almost stultified into inaction by the shear volume of choice. Should they be cutting carbs, sugar, fat, fasting , juicing, the list of options literally overwhelms them into inaction.

Keep it simple. Work out what works for you and then stick to that…stop switching and swapping. Allow your body and mind to understand what you want them to achieve and you may surprise yourself how easy it becomes to shed the unnecessary weight.



Everything above really falls under the same umbrella…these behaviours quickly become our Habits. Once a habit is ingrained it cannot be broken, rather you need to adopt a new habit ,which over time grows in strength and drowns out the old unhelpful habit.

Now that you have reviewed our list of Common Wight Loss Weak Spots you may have already identified for yourself those spots where you seem to come unstuck. That is great…because knowledge is power and you are now in a position to make a change.

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.

Avoid Hibernation Weight Gain with these Winter Training Tips

Is a comfy seat in front of the TV calling your name this Winter?

The nights are starting to draw in, there is a slight but definite chill in the air, Winter is here but it definitely feels like Christmas is is on its way.

It feels like time to hibernate.

But after being active during the long bright evenings are you afraid all your efforts to stay fit and healthy over the summer months will be lost this winter?

Shorter days and lack of sunshine reduce our body’s production of serotonin, a hormone-like substance that promotes feelings of relaxation and happiness.

A natural reaction to this is that we start to eat more carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and rice that help to raise serotonin levels. With our bodies naturally craving starchier ‘comfort’ food, and the lure of the sofa in the winter evenings  it’s easy to pile on the pounds as the weather turns colder.

But winter doesn’t have to mean adding inches to your waistline.

Below are our Top Winter Fitness Tips.

So no need to be tempted by the sofa’s hibernation call!!

Head to the Hills and Trails

Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year for getting outside. So why not make a point of taking your winter training outside.  Find some local parks or trails to walk, run or ride a bike and take in the view of changing leaves. Check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk/, they organise free, timed 5k runs every weekend up and down the country.  Its a great way to build up your running or you can walk if you prefer. At my local Park run there are dog, prams, kiddies it’s a real family affair.  They are very social and welcoming so even if you go along alone you won’t feel out of place.

Turn Garden Jobs into a Workout

The transition from Autumn to Winter means even more jobs in the in the garden.  The autumnal colour on the trees was lovely, but when those chilly winds blow and they are all over your lawn, it feel like a different story.  BUT….Raking leaves or clearing the garden can burn around 150 calories every 30 minutes.  Wrap up warm and kill two birds with one stone, you will feel strong and smug when you have finished.

Exercise Early in the Day

Try to work out in the morning or during the day. Particularly with it becoming darker earlier, it can feel as if it is later in the day than it really is. This can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee the workout gets done and still allow time in the afternoons and evenings to relax. So get up and get on with your winter training before your brain has a chance to come up with excuses as to why you should lie in!!

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

As the weather really starts to cool down and Autumn ends, it can become difficult to stay motivated.  This is the time of year when gyms and studios put on their winter training timetable so its a great time to try a variety of different activities to help keep a fresh spin on exercise.  Why not try out a dance class or spinning.  Challenge yourself to find something new that you might never have considered and just give it a go…what have you got to lose?

Put The Kettle On

So technically this isn’t a winter training exercise tip, but it’s key to helping you achieve the tips above.  Drink more tea to warm up for the cooler temperatures. Green tea and black tea contain antioxidants that help ward off diseases so you can remain healthy and active as the season shifts into full on winter. Remember, choose organic unbleached tea bags to ensure that you are not “enjoying” a cup of pesticides, additives or bleach that can have a negative impact on your hormones.

So whatever your goal, loosing weight or keeping fit and healthy there really is no excuse to be inactive this season.

Please show that you care about us here at The Body Retreat by sharing what we do.  You can share this post on your chosen social media by using one of the buttons to side or along the bottom.  

As always we would love to hear what your thoughts are, how are you keeping active this weather?

Why Counting Calories Will Not Achieve A Beach Body

Its that time of year when the world goes “Beach Body Crazy”.

Of course it can be pretty hard to not feel a certain pull of beach body worthiness when our society is so image obsessed. Put to one side for a moment that a lot of the images we look at in our media are not real, having had the support of some tech wizard and the mighty Photoshop pen.

But if you are hitting the beach or poolside this year then it’s quite natural to want to feel good.

Feeling good poolside is very different from a desire to look like a Photoshop model poolside and just to be clear, there is no such thing as a beach body…your body is your body, summer, winter, spring and autumn. Feeling good inside and out is a 365 option not just for two short summer weeks. Ok…rant over.

But if you have been thinking that you want to shed your winter poundage (those unwanted pounds that have crept on since you layered up and started hibernation eating over the winter) then I want you to think differently about how you approach your weight loss this year.

In the interest of full disclosure I will say that I am much more an advocate of Gaining Health , not Losing weight. But I live in the real world and I know that there are times when we all want to trim down and tone up.

For decades now we have been told that when it comes to weight loss you need to count calories and then reduce them.

Put less in than you use up and hey presto you lose weight. It’s the perfect equation…except that it isn’t!

Playing the calorie counting game doesn’t work in the long term and even in the short term it may do more harm that good as you can actually gain weight and upset the hormones that control your metabolism, your sleep patterns even your sexual appetites!!

Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work


All calories are not created equal.

For example you want an afternoon snack and you have budgeted about 250 calories. What to have?

How’s about a chocolate bar? A Mars bar has 260 calories or a Kitkat is even better at only 230 calories.  Or how about a boiled egg and half an avocado coming in at 270?

The chocolate bar will give you a real rush, your blood sugar levels will be flying for about 30 – 40 mins then you will feel totally flat as you crash and burn. Your insulin levels will be sky high coping with the sugar. You are also training your brain to respond to sugar and so set yourself up for a lifetime sugar addiction.

By contrast the Egg & Avocado option, while not as attractive from a calorie perspective of is full of good fats and proteins and so the energy is slowly absorbed, avoiding those blood sugar and insulin spikes. You will literally feel fuller for longer and you will have had the vitamin, mineral and antioxidant boost from this snack. It’s also much less likely to have you chewing your arm off on the journey home from work or craving carbs in the evenings.

Choose the chocolate and you could have saved yourself 30 calories, but you will most likely eat much more than that to climb out of the sugar crash.

It’s not about the amount of calories but rather the type of calories that you are choosing to consume.

You May Be Tempted to Eat “Fake Food”

The saviour of any calorie counting diet plan are the artificial sweetners, and processed foods.

“Need an afternoon snack? Why not enjoy our chocolate flavoured yoghurt with mini crispy balls on top for only 99 calories!!!”

Why not? Well, before you tuck in take a quick look at the ingredients list. Does it read like a chemical experiment? Are there lots of words you cannot pronounce and have no clue what they are? You are consuming chemicals, chemicals which fool your brain into thinking you are eating real food. Yes you have only consumed 99 calories but you have consumed a whole lot more “stuff” that messes up your metabolism and endocrine system.

Hormones Regulate Metabolism, Not Calories.

This is a good time to give a quick plain English explanation of metabolism.

We tend to think of metabolism as a furnace that gets switched on or off depending on what you eat and how much you exercise. But actually is much more than that.

Metabolism in your biochemistry, its actually hormonal reactions in your brain, your gut and even your fat cells that tells the body what to do with the energy you have consumed. Burn it as energy, store it as fat or use it to build muscle its your hormones that dictate that and its much more about what type of food you eat rather than the calories composition that makes these reactions.

When you eat Fake Food or very low calorie food you aren’t giving your hormones much to work with and so your metabolism gets sent into free fall.

You might lose weight this week and then having eaten a fewer higher calorie food the next you put on 3 or 4 pounds!! How did that happen? Well your metabolism’s is out of whack. You need start eating real clean food all the time…no exceptions and no exclusions. Your hormones will love you for it and so will you waistline.

When You Calorie Count You Stop Listening to Your Body.

We have all done diets. Day after day of having a fixed reduced calorie intake goal. “Today I’m eating 1,200 calories” and so you plan the day out, splitting the calories into manageable portions.

Picture the scene, you are sitting down to dinner with your calories counted portion and towards the end of the meal you start to feel full. But you still have all those calories left on the plate that you allocated, it would be a shame to waste them…so full or not… most people keep eating and clear the plate. After all they are still within their calorie budget so no problem right????

Not really.

Firstly, when you eat to feeling full that means exactly that, your stomach is full. Which means that you are every so slightly stretching your stomach. So the next time you eat, you find that you need to eat just a little bit more to gain the same feeling of fullness, then the same thing happens the day after and the day after… before you know it your stomach has stretched and you cannot seem to find that same feeling of fullness you once did.

Admittedly you are not very likely to stretch your stomach on a diet of lettuce leaves, but the problem with diets is that they never last…never! And once you have created the habit of always eating until you are full you continue this habit with the higher calorie foods, consuming the same sized portions of food that will now stretch your stomach and are stored as fat.

You Can Become Obsessive About Food

 Viewing foods only in terms of their calorific value encouraged disordered thinking about food. You can so easily become obsessed about hitting the lowest number of calories per day or working out to burn off as many calories as possible…leaving yourself under nourished and over exerted. What you fail to see is the real nutritional value of the food. Often times choosing a high calorie whole food is a better option for your waistline. Note the word whole food, we are talking organic meat and diary, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and great oils…not donuts and takeout.

What’s the Alternative?

We our top tips at The Body Retreat when you want to tone up and trim down are pretty simple..and nothing to count, measure or weigh.

Eat Clean Whole Foods…cut back on the starchy foods and increase the lean proteins and lots of green. Green is Good!

Only Eat When You Are Truly Hungry…get out of the habit of eating. Don’t eat when you are bored, stressed, upset. Learn to listen to your body, listen out for the signs of real hunger.

Never Skip Meals, (if you aren’t hungry after about 4 hours or so are you listening to your body?) You will probably eat about 4 times a day, about every 4 or so hours, this is about how long it takes for your body to use up the energy you have given it along with some of your fat stores.

Keep Hydrated…don’t confuse hunger with thirst. Stay hydrated all day, your skin, hair, eyes and waistline will love you for it.

Move More Every Day…there is no getting away from it. You do need to move. Aim for about 20 – 30 mins of activity every day to help control your blood sugar levels.

Get Your Rest….sleep helps to reset those all important hormones meaning your energy levels and hunger levels are better balanced during the days.

Relax… your body is already beach ready. When you make the decision that it’s ok, but you now choose to nourish your body and mind with real whole foods, enjoy moving your body and feeling how strong it is, how much it can do then your confidence to peel off those extra layers will be right there.