Alongside amenities of the 21st century, we have also inherited a host of non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, cancers, arthritis, sleep apnoea etc. One of the most important contributing factors to these diseases? As the Harvard School of Public Health points out, it is obesity and being over-weight. It further reveals that maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to our long-term health and well-being.
Many different factors contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight, such as environment, family history and genetics, individual metabolism and habits. Even if they all seem to be going against you, achieving a healthy weight is not impossible if you get some professional help in the form of weight loss programmes.
Choosing the Right Programme
It is better if you enrol in a retreat than a stay-at-home programme, as a retreat will remove the contributing factors mentioned above. As recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the U.S. Health Department, the best weight loss retreats will be a collaboration between the client and the experts, they will offer counselling and training on life style changes that will help you change counter-productive eating habits, they will support you when you suffer withdrawal, attention is paid to keeping the weight at an optimal level (and not losing weight continuously) and the staff is made up of professionals.
Look no further than the Santani Resort and Spa in Kandy, Sri Lanka that fulfil all of the above requirements.
Santani Healthy Living
Santani is located in a beautiful misty valley in Sri Lanka’s central hill country. Sri Lanka is a well-known tourist hotspot that offers something for everyone. Recently, it has achieved a well-deserved reputation for birthing several high-end wellness resorts that offer holistic practices and treatments that have resulted in truly life-changing experiences for its clients.
Santani boasts several wellness packages including Ayurveda, Yoga, Detox and Healthy Living. Weight loss is a component of the ‘healthy living’ package. In true Ayurvedic fashion, Santani offers no quick fixes for sudden weight loss; instead, weight-loss is accompanied by sleep management, physical activation, mindfulness and most importantly, healthy eating practices.
Mindfulness as Treatment
No longer is mindfulness only the purview of ‘alternative’ medicine like Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Western medicine and research has shown the importance of slowing down in our daily lives and curbing the over consumption of goods and services that invariably lead to excess weight gain. For instance, when we eat lunch at work or eat dinner in front of the TV, our attention is split – we ignore the body’s intuitive response to fullness. Thus we overeat.
Santani’s solution to our lack of mindfulness is to, first, remove all distractions by limiting mobile phone usage. There are also no TVs in the rooms. Secondly, clients following the weight loss programme have a rigorous schedule to ensure that our minds and bodies become used to healthy practices as soon as possible.
After a consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor and mapping out individual lifestyle goals, there is herbal medication that helps correct dosha imbalances in the body and induce fat burning; there are detox procedures known as virechana (purging) which removes excess fluid build up and prevents water retention in the body; there is 90 minutes of daily personalized spa treatments that include udwarthanam (herbal paste massage), Thai massage, deep tissue massage, churnaswedana (sweat-inducing thermal treatment) and dhanyamla dhara (oil treatment). Then there are daily 90-minute yoga sessions and guided nature walks to take care of physical activation to ensure our bodies remain fit.
Mindfulness as Lifestyle
After all of the above, we work up a good appetite for mealtimes. Santani boasts a fabulous chef with experience in France so the dishes served are très bien! There are ketogenic, vegetarian and detox versions of the menu, but meals are also modified to suit individual needs, in tandem with the treatments that each client is following at the moment.
Mealtimes are when Santani’s ethos truly comes to light. The dining room has a 360⁰ view of the surrounding valley, so the view id spectacular. There is no distracting music; no small talk. No one bothers with shoes here, so you are rooted to the ground at all times. The overall result is that we are immediately attuned to the calls and needs of our body. There is no need to exert an effort to eat intuitively – we do so automatically as we have no other distractions around us. Research has shown the need to move away from restrictive eating practices and use intuitive eating as the yardstick for maintaining a healthy body composition. Santani does so without giving it a second thought.
In the end, it isn’t the best practices or bold vision that helps the programme succeed; it succeeds because of the care extended to its clients. The final phase of its programme is guidance in healthy eating and simple cooking techniques that help customers when they go back to their daily grind. Santani is also working on an outreach programme that follows up with customers about their overall health for up to a year after their stay. Such commitment of time is rare in an industry that usually prioritizes superficial quick fixes over longevity, but Santani is ready to make that commitment – to you.