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What Is a Weight Loss Retreat?

Many participants at Structure House say that they have been researching “weight loss retreats” for years when they arrive at our campus.

Whenever I hear this, I am always surprised by what they tell me when I ask them to define weight loss retreat.

  • Some say that they expect to arrive at a live-in weight loss center where they will be served tasteless – but low-fat and low-calorie – meals.
  • Others say that a stern exercise trainer will make them run on a treadmill until they are exhausted.
  • Still others confess that they might be given supplements or medications.

Clearly, people have so many different ideas about what weight loss retreats might be!

Why Are Weight Loss Retreats Popular?

Weight loss retreats have received much attention in the press due to the popularity of reality television shows that portrayed a group of people competing for the most drastic and quickest weight loss.

It has been widely revealed that the methods used by these television shows are not safe, realistic, or effective in the long run. Additionally, most of the people on those television shows quickly regain their lost weight, because they never learned how to manage their weight in sustainable ways. More importantly, they never really learned why they became overweight in the first place.

The formula is a sexy one for television. But it does not yield true or lasting results.

Structure House: More Than a Weight Loss Retreat

At Structure House, we don’t consider ourselves to be a weight loss retreat. Sure, our participants routinely have success in losing about 5% of their body weight, but so much more happens than what is reflected on the scale.

Unlike a weight loss retreat that focuses just on nutrition and exercise, Structure House understands that learning how to lose weight is just one small part of the lifestyle change that must occur to help keep the weight off after the “retreat” has ended.

To that end, Structure House has always stood out as a place where we dig deeper to really assess the reasons that a person may have gotten into an endless cycle of overeating and being sedentary.

Unlike at a weight loss retreat where someone might work solely on changing these behaviors in the short term, Structure House encourages participants to more closely examine WHY they might have gotten into these cycles in the first place so that they can make long-lasting changes.

Because Structure House sees weight management as a more complex process than simple changes in eating and exercise, and therefore teaches life skills rather than just eating and exercise skills, our participants see benefits in mood, self-esteem, and confidence.

These accomplishments are often much more profound than even the most impressive results on the scale.

Learn more about our proven weight loss program.

About Katie Rickel, PhD

Dr. Katie Rickel graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Florida. She completed an APA-accredited clinical internship in health psychology at Duke University Medical Center, with advanced training in behavioral and bariatric obesity treatment as well as the psychological management of chronic pain and illness. Dr. Rickel also has expertise in treating anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias. Her research has been presented at various professional conferences and published in scientific journals. Dr. Rickel has also appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and has been quoted in several popular media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Health magazine, Yahoo! Health, Women’s Health magazine, Weight Watchers magazine, and

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