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But as they say in Jenny Craig ads, "Results not typical." Experts caution that these retreats aren't for everyone and don't always work.
The weight loss may not last, and it may not be worth the cost, which can be as high as several thousand dollars a week.
But now, fueled by growing awareness of the health risks of obesity and the popularity of weight-loss shows such as The Biggest Loser, they seem to be on the rise. "It was a great jump start for me," says Ackerman, who returned to the institute twice and went on to lose more than 100 pounds.
Last year, she was married on the beach; she weighed 165 pounds and was a trim and confident size 12.
"Unfortunately," she says, "some weight-loss camps promote rapid weight loss through very low calorie diets and/or a punishing exercise regimen.At the Hilton Head Health Institute, Ackerman ate three restricted-calorie meals a day (followed by 20-minute walks), and had exercise sessions, nutrition lectures, cooking classes, and behavior modification seminars. Here's how to keep it off Features such as these don't come cheap.The cost of attending an adult weight-loss retreat ranges from about ,000 to ,000 per week. Contestants on The Biggest Loser experience dramatic weight loss, but the show has come under fire because its results are sometimes temporary.Her weight had always fluctuated, but she decided that she wanted to slim down once and for all.
She stumbled upon the Web site of the Hilton Head Health Institute, a self-billed "weight loss spa retreat center" in South Carolina, and signed up.
She lasted just two weeks before throwing in the towel in July 2007.