The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

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.

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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

 

Why our Detox Retreat Isn’t Really a Detox!!

We are currently on the last day of our Sugar Detox Retreat and in conversation around the breakfast table we were chatting about the retreat and one lady said that our detox retreat isn’t really a detox retreat. Come Again?? I nearly fell of my chair!

The Oxford English dictionary defines “Detox” as Abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.

Isn’t that what we are doing here at The Body Retreat’s Detox??????

Then conversation became clearer… Having spent some time looking for a retreat many of the ladies had seen the same old detox blurb time and time again. Eat little, move less, have a few treatments then home.

What Makes a Detox Retreat a Detox Retreat?

When you think of a detox retreat what comes to mind?

Well probably a few things, depending on whether you have ever been on a detox retreat or not, but there may well be a few common threads…

Juice fasting, raw foods, herbs & supplements, yoga, mediation, lounging around in fluffy robes and perhaps even colonic irrigation or other holistic detox treatments.

On the whole this is a pretty fair overview of many detox retreats at the moment. Based on the principle that the body needs to be cleaned from the inside out, purging the body of toxic overloads that have built up from your sloppy modern lifestyle, detox retreats promise your leaving with your insides squeaky clean and everything working just as its should do.

Here’s the thing, your body comes fully prepared to detox itself …without outside intervention. Your kidneys, liver, lungs and skin are all part of your body’s waste management system, ensuring that you don’t end up in need of serious medical attention

So why do so many people claim to feel better after a detox? It may be due in part to the fact that a detox diet eliminates highly processed foods. Avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better.

Aren’t you simply making the case NOT to go to a Detox Retreat at all?

Yes and No.

Don’t go to a detox retreat expecting to be some how fixed in a few short days. It’s not the days on retreat that make the improvement in your health, but rather what you do when you return home.

Really think about what you want to achieve from your time at retreat, weight loss, kick start a new healthy eating programme or perhaps you are just looking for a break away from a hectic lifestyle?

Make sure your retreat will suit your goal.

Why Our Detox Retreat is different.

Thinking back to the common threads of detox retreats what about The Body Retreat?

Well at The Body Retreat we do have juices…but only once a day. Every afternoon we have a greens juice as it’s a great way to really blast your system with vitamins, mineral and antioxidants in a format that is really easy to digest. Juices never take the place of real clean whole foods. Yes, we agree that it can be useful to lighten the digestive load from time to time, allow your body to play catch up without overloading it with rubbish or hard to digest foods. To that end there are also some raw food dishes during the week long retreat, but as part of balanced meal plan and not the main staple of the retreat.

We also have yoga during the week, but as part of a varied exercise and activity programme. A very important part of supporting your body’s natural waste management system is movement. Movement increases circulation and lymph drainage. If you are existing on a very low calorie diet of juices then the chances are you don’t have the energy to move very much or very far. In fact to do so would be counter productive to your health as you could find yourself cannibalising muscle to give you the energy you need. At The Body Retreat we have a programme that includes walking, swimming, yoga and toning classes.

There are no colonics or enemas at The Body Retreat. We are not anti-colonic ourselves, but we feel that the decision to have a colonic is one that should not be taken lightly and should be undertaken with the support of a professional. Hosepipes and buckets and a “give it a go” approach are not for us.

Our Detox has a pretty specific purpose…its all about Sugar. Or rather it’s all about getting free from the clutches of sugar. Sugar is endemic in our food these days, hidden in the most obscure places from sausages to hummus, combine this with the over availability of sweet treats, soft drinks and processed foods and you really do have a health time bomb. Of course not all sugar is in the crap we know we should be eating less of, you can over consume sugar in an attempt to be healthy, eating too many high sugar fruits, dried fruits, smoothies even starchy veggies can all add up to a high sugar intake. Quitting sugar is hard, so our retreat is an opportunity to begin the process of detoxing the sugar from your body while at the same time detoxing your mind of the cravings, triggers and self sabotaging thoughts that can lead to over consumption of the sweet stuff.

Oh and course there are robes to lounge in, if lounging is your thing. R&R is an important part of every Body Retreat not just the Detox Retreat, so there is time every day to sleep, curl up on the sofa and read, hit the hot tub or pool, whatever your R&R is.

But the real difference with The Body Retreat’s detox is that it is not designed to be a quick fix. Yes, you will lose pounds and inches on the week, but that is only the start of the real result. You leave us with a four week at home programme that helps you to maximise your result. Having felt for yourself how your body feels eating clean whole foods, how your energy levels rebalance, how your skin tone and hair condition can have improved, you may even see improvement in some chronic conditions like reflux, eczema, IBS etc So it feels natural to want to carry on choosing to eat, move and behaviour in much the same way at home.

So there you have it…The Body Retreat’s Detox Retreat. Are we a Detox Retreat? Or might we be something more……

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

Firstly,

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.

The Confusing Problem With Sugar

Are you confused about the sugar you are eating?

It comes as no surprise that chocolate, fizzy drinks and sweet treats are full of added sugar. We all know that and as such many of us make the conscious decision to limit these sweet treats in our diets.   However, there are other surprising culprits that we might not associate with being a cause for concern. Many processed foods contain high amounts of hidden sugar and as we consume these foods daily  you could be unwittingly having regular sugar binges which could be playing havoc with your metabolism and insulin levels, making you store fat.

The problem with sugar is that it is highly addictive, we know now that sugar has the same chemical composition as cocaine, with the exception of nitrogen, so it is little wonder that when we consume a little we find ourselves  craving a little more then a little more.  You know how that story ends.

Thesedays more questions are being asked about where sugar is creeping in.  Consumers are slowly but surely starting to be switched on to these hidden sugars.

Just recently the photo at the top was published in a national newspaper to act as a guide for sugar consumption and on the face of it, it makes sense.  You can see clearly at a glance how much sugar is contained in various foods.  Some of which may or may not surprise you.

But this picture only adds to the confusion about sugar.  You can clearly see that for example a can of coke has less sugar than a mango.  Of course, this may be true but it ignores the fact that the coke is nutritionally empty, filled with chemical additives and preservatives which impact how our bodies systems work.  While at the same time ignores the fact that the mango contains antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

So perhaps mixing fruits, whole foods, sweets and processed foods in the same guide is not as helpful as it could be.  Its suggests that the measure that they are presenting is the most impotent one…but of course this is newspapers…their job is to inform and to an extent educate…but mostly its to make stores that sell newspapers. If those stories add to the confusion about health then thats another story opportunity.  The only losers are the readers who buy into what they are reading.

We know that there is a lot of confusion about sugar in all its forms, we meet ladies on our Sugar Detox Retreat who have been trying to cut back on their sugar consumption but find themselves getting pulled back time and time again into the grip of the white stuff.  Intelligent, professional women who are trying to follow a healthy eating plan or support their weight loss but when they fancy a sweet treat are confused about what the best thing is to have.

Guides like this can encourage them make a choice that isn’t really a healthy one.  Follow this guide and you could be tempted to have a couple of Oreo biscuits and a can of Red Bull as your snack, after all they contain less sugar than the Mango!!  But of course once you have consumed the biscuits and drink your blood sugar levels will have spiked and crashed so quickly that you will be left feeling low and more hungry then before.  Then you end up eating more than you need.

Our ethos at The Body Retreat is that we should all look to Remove the Hidden Sugars in processed foods, Reduce the Elective Sugars in sweet treats and Rethink the Natural Sugars in whole foods.  We need to learn to listen to our own common sense about what we are eat and not blindly allow ourselves to be lead by guides, especially those printed in newspapers.

Stick as close to nature as you can and if you fancy enjoying a mango as part of a healthy balanced diet then enjoy every juicy bit of it.  (Maybe do your blood sugar levels and favour and have a little protein  or fat to help slow down the absorption and you really are onto a winner)

Tried & Tested Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan

Today’s post is part advisory guidance and part confession…..

You see on Sunday this week I had a blow out… I was having a celebratory lunch with a girlfriend. We had planned it months in advance and so I knew it was going to be a feast of a lunch. Somehow….no additional questions please 😉 … my planned lunchtime indulgence cascaded over into the entire day.

The Belly Busting Food Diary
Breakfast : Large bowl of Bran Flakes
Mid Morning Snack: Slice of home made Pork Pie
Lunch: Crab Tiane with Smoked Salmon, Roast Pork & Mash, Baileys Creme Brûlée, Sauvignon Blanc
Supper: Vegetable Crisps, Smoked Mackerel Crostinis, Garlic Prawns, Garlic Mussels. 2 Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Unsurprisingly the next day I felt ROUGH…. now I cannot blame the cocktails or vino as I actually drank in moderation… what I didn’t do was eat in moderation. I was overcome by the “What the heck, it’s a celebration” voices in my head and had over indulged at every stage.

It wasn’t just the amount of food I ate but the type of foods. Just the amount of processed carbs alone was enough to throw my digestive system out of balance and left me feeling bloated, uncomfortable, groggy, with a fuzzy taste in my mouth. The next morning I felt sluggish and really quite down and unhappy. My entire mood being affected by how I felt physically. My stomach was stretched and felt as tight as a drum. Physically and emotionally I was not in a good place. To be honest I felt so bad that all I really wanted to do was lie on the sofa. I was very thirsty and because I felt so sluggish I was craving sugar to give me an energy boost.

It’s a Slippery Slope!!

Does this sound familiar?  This is the point when in the past I would have given in the physical craving for sugar, carbs and diet coke and hit the corner shop… but now I know that only leads to a serious downwards spiral.  One that ends up with about an extra stone around the middle.  I’ve been there.  I know only too well how slippery that slope is!!!

I also see it with my clients, time and again I see the same self destructive behaviour the day after a blow out.  Its as though the blow out wipes out all good intentions, cancels out any good work gone before, confirms that you can’t do this healthy living stuff! They worry that this over indulgence will stop their weight loss.

But Im here to tell you that is just the cravings talking….like any addiction this is when you are at your most vulnerable.  So now is a time for action…but mostly now is a time to be kind to yourself.  Pick yourself up, accept that the blow out happened, but just more forward.  No looking for excuses, no guilty recriminations , no negative self talk…the blow out was yesterday. Today is a new day and you can make a new choice right now.

The question is…what choice do you want to make?

To help you get back on track I’d like to share with you my tried and tested Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan. Just five simple steps to having in you feeling like yourself again in now time…and more importantly to stop you slipping down that slope into daily over indulgence.

The 5 Step Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan

1. EAT
Yes I know this might seem a contradiction when feeling over indulged. But it is important to keep your metabolism moving  and your blood sugar levels stable. So today it is important to eat but EAT LIGHT.

Belly Busting Recovery Food Diary

Breakfast : Detox Greens Juice (You can find the recipe in our blog or on our FB page)
This will set you up for the day, flooding your system with goodness while at the same time being very light to digest.

Lunch: Green Eggs & Ham
A great protein based lunch, add chopped spinach to two scrabbled eggs and serve with a a slice of ham. The ham helps to satisfy salt cravings.

Afternoon Snack: Apple & Walnuts.

At the apple with help to keep you hydrated while irving natural sugar and fibre and the walnuts really pack a nutritional punch as the oils also help to balance your insulin levels.

Supper: Chicken & Barley Soup

Again keeping it really light and hydrating this tasty soup helps to satisfy your hunger which will have begun to build during the day. Again you can find a great recipe for Chicken soup on our blog.

2. DRINK
Water, water, water. Today it is especially important to drink lots of water, aim for about 2 litres in total of fresh plain water. If you really feel like you need something bubbly (I know I did) then avoid carbonated soft drinks. Instead add the juice of one whole lime and one whole lemon to a large glass of sparkling water. This will refresh you instantly.

3. WALK
You really need to get moving and not become a couch potato…even though every part of you will be urging you to just sit it out and wait for the discomfort to pass. Get outside into the fresh air…regardless of the weather. Walking for an hour is great, half an hour is good and 15 mins is the absolute minimum. This walk will lift you physically and mentally.

4. SUPPLEMENT
Having consumed a large about of dairy, sugar and proceed carbs my system was totally acidic. I was feeling totally backed up and very uncomfortable (if you know what I mean!!). I needed to get my system back into alignment as soon as possible. Gentle exercise and light eating both help to achieve this but you can super-charge this process by adding supplements into your diet right now. Both Julie  and I always have Alkalising Salts at home. (I take them for Gastro Oesphical Reflux Disorder and Julie  for an energy boost when she feels sluggish) Making up a glass of alkalising salts morning and evening will help to

Also if you have them take 2 probitotics before you got to bed at night they will also help to bentley get things moving regularly by morning.

5. TREAT YOURSELF
The day after a blow out is usually when the guilt and negative self talk sets in. I was disappointed in myself. I hadn’t meant to over indulge…it sort of crept up on me!! My mood was so low that I found myself ruminating on negative thoughts….. in short i was beating myself up for my behaviour the day before. This isn’t helpful. Instead, acknowledge that you perhaps didn’t stick to you plan, but also acknowledge that this one day doesn’t make you a bad person. There is no reason to be guilty and punish yourself. Instead lift your mood by treating yourself to something you really like to do, maybe its have a massage, a manicure, run a bath and take a magazine to enjoy a whole chunk of you time. Whatever is going to lift your spirits.

Let me know how you get on with the plan…it never fails to make you feel better fast.  Follow this plan and you will undo that over indulgence in no time and find yourself back on track.

Please leave me a comment in the box below, I’d love to hear how you get on.