The 6 Best Weight Loss Camps of 2020

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Our Top Picks


Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Weight Crafters

Weight Crafters

Weight Crafters

It’s somewhat impossible to find an affordable weight loss camp, under the general definition of “affordable.” If you have a higher-than-average income or have a lot of money saved up for this specific purpose, all of the weight loss camps on this list might seem affordable to you. However, with four- and five-figure prices, these services aren’t budget-friendly for most people.

That’s why we scoured the web for affordable weight loss camps, and eventually decided on Weight Crafters, a one-week weight loss camp in Madeira Beach, Florida, which starts at about $2,200 per person, per week. At that price, you get meals and snacks every day for the duration of the program, a private, two-bed villa, more than 20 hours of weight loss and fitness activities, a professional massage, one-on-one nutrition coaching, and more.

Weight Crafters utilizes a flat fee so you won’t be surprised by any hidden costs—what you see is what you get. Plus, Weight Crafters’ price guarantee stipulates that if you can find a similar weight loss camp that offers the same goods and services and runs at the same time of year for a lower price, they will match the cost.

Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for travel to and from the camp, so tack that onto your overall cost. If weight loss camp still doesn’t feel financially feasible, remember that you can pay in a variety of ways.

For example, thanks to the IRS Ruling 2002-19, obesity is considered a true medical condition, which means that a doctor’s referral for weight loss camps means the money you spend is tax-deductible as long as you meet certain criteria.

Check with your health insurance, too, to find out if your plan covers weight loss camps or a portion of the cost. You may also be able to pay for weight loss camps with a Health Savings Account (HSA) if you have one. And, check with the company to find out about flexible payment plans.

Best for Families: Camp Pocono Trails

Camp Pocono Trails

Camp Pocono Trails

For a family-oriented weight loss camp, head to Camp Pocono Trails in Reeders, Pennsylvania. At the family weight loss camp, you and your family will partake in a variety of fun outdoor activities, such as canoeing or kayaking on a lake, hiking, swimming, and more. You can also choose to attend fitness classes, including Zumba, Bootcamp, water aerobics, and more.

Each family gets their own cabin on the campus, which is nestled among lush pine trees. Throughout the duration of camp, you’ll have access to complete medical staff, as well as certified personal trainers, to help you meet your fitness and health goals.

In addition to fitness and nutrition education, you will also learn about healthy habits, changing them, and work on implementing routines that will help you lose and maintain weight loss for life. The cost of staying at Camp Pocono Trails varies based on the length of your stay, but it starts at about $7,200 for four weeks.

Best for Destination: Hilton Head Health

Hilton Head Health

Hilton Head Health

If you want to kickstart your weight loss journey under the sun with access to sparkling, white-sand beaches, look no further than Hilton Head Health at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This weight loss camp doubles as a beachside wellness resort complete with a full-service spa, with costs starting at about $3,375 per week.

For some, feeling totally pampered can make weight loss feel easier—just remember that the luxury ends when you get home, but the weight loss efforts don’t.

Hilton Head Health offers four weight loss programs, including the Jumpstart, which lasts a week or longer, and the LoseWell program, which runs for at least four weeks. Both programs include assessments, fitness classes, healthy meals, weight loss strategy, educational courses, and other optional services, such as massage therapy and one-on-one consultations with health professionals.

Best for Small Groups: LifeStyle Fitness Camp

LifeStyle Fitness Camp

LifeStyle Fitness Camp

If the thought of weight loss camp intimidates you, you might consider attending a small-group-formatted one like LifeStyle Fitness Camp in St. George, Utah.

This weight loss camp accepts a maximum of 10 participants at a time because the company focuses on fine-tuning and customizing nutrition and fitness strategies for each participant—something that’s tough to do with a camp of a few dozen people or more.

At LifeStyle Fitness Camp, you’ll start with some health and fitness assessments, such as a body composition test, resting metabolic rate test, body measurements, and a gait analysis. There are some unique perks, too: After your gait analysis, a running professional sets you up with a brand new pair of athletic shoes.

During your stay at LifeStyle Fitness Camp, you can choose from a dozen types of trainer-led fitness classes to attend on a daily basis. You’ll receive nutritional guidance and culinary coaching, so you can recreate healthy meals at home when the program ends. During camp, you’ll attend weekly weigh-ins and check-ins to measure your weight loss progress.

The fees for LifeStyle Fitness Camp start at about $2,399 for a week and can increase to about $8,000 for four weeks.

Best for Medical Supervision: Pritikin All-Inclusive Health Retreat

Pritikin All-Inclusive Health Retreat

Pritikin All-Inclusive Health Retreat

The Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Florida, seamlessly blends a wellness retreat and weight loss camp into one all-inclusive experience at a luxurious spa resort.

The location has long been known for its successful weight loss and health programs; the company claims it has helped participants reverse type 2 diabetes, eliminate the need for cholesterol and blood pressure medications, and control metabolic syndrome.

If you feel you need some extra accountability in your weight loss journey, the Pritikin All-Inclusive Health Retreat is the place to go. Everything you do will happen under the watch of board-certified physicians, registered dieticians, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, and other health and fitness professionals.

Every participant begins their stay with a comprehensive health analysis that includes bloodwork, dietary intake, fitness testing, body measurements, and more. You’ll continue to consult privately with physicians to assess your progress and make changes, such as reduce the dosages of any medications you take because of your weight loss progress.

You can choose from a three-day, one-week, or two-week stay at Pritikin. All-inclusive costs start at about $4,000 per week, but they will vary depending on the length of your stay.

Best for Fitness: Unite Fitness Retreat

Unite Fitness Retreat

Unite Fitness Retreat

The backdrop at the Unite Fitness Retreat weight loss camp in Salt Lake City, Utah, could be motivation enough to get up, get moving, and lose weight—the glittering lakes, snow-capped mountain tops, and lush forests can convince anyone to sign up for the hiking program.

Aside from the stunning scenery, Unite Fitness Retreat offers structured exercise programs to kickstart weight loss and help you discover physical activities that you actually enjoy (and will stick with when you leave camp). Every camper begins with a comprehensive health and fitness assessment, which includes many of the same tests that professional personal trainers use to assess the movement quality of their clients.

If you’re interested in learning how to move well and rid your body of aches and pains through fitness, Unite Fitness Retreat, which starts at about $3,000 per week, is a great option.

Of course, fitness isn’t the only aspect that Unite Fitness Retreat emphasizes: At this weight loss camp, you’ll also learn about healthy nutrition strategies and mindfulness techniques that can set you up for a lifetime of success. By the time you leave camp—whether you choose the five-day program or the five-week program—you’ll have an arsenal of tools and tactics under your belt to lose weight and keep the weight off for good.

How We Chose the Best Weight Loss Camps

To help determine the best weight loss camps, we scoured the internet for the top options across the U.S. We started with actual participant reviews, as well as reviews from reputable consumer-first sites such as Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau. We also searched the Federal Trade Commission website for consumer complaints about weight loss camps or services to make sure these weight loss camps uphold their promises.

From there, we analyzed each program’s offerings and narrowed them down to a select few that encompassed the essential elements of successful weight loss: physical fitness, nutrition, culinary skills, and habit change. For instance, we selected the Unite Fitness Retreat for its diverse approach to fitness that included the use of its stunning outdoor setting and also wanted to provide an option that focused on a more medical-based approach, which was the Pritikin All-Inclusive Health Retreat.

What Are Weight Loss Camps?

A weight loss camp is an intensive, structured, (usually) sleep-away program designed to help people kickstart weight loss and establish healthy habits. Weight loss camps typically include healthy meals, fitness training and exercise classes, consultations with doctors and dietitians, body assessments and health tracking, and educational seminars.

What Is the Difference Between a Wellness Retreat and a Weight Loss Camp?

Before you start researching weight loss camps, make sure you know the difference between a true weight loss camp and a wellness retreat. While the two services overlap somewhat, a wellness retreat won’t necessarily be weight-focused.

Many wellness retreats focus on mindfulness, nature, and movement, and incorporate those values into their programs through workout classes, outdoor activities, yoga, and meditation. Those are all great, but they may not be the right choice for someone looking for a program that will help them lose weight.

A weight loss camp, on the other hand, emphasizes nutrition education, fitness, and habit-change techniques to set you up for a lifetime of success. You’ll learn about how different foods affect your body, how to exercise for weight loss, how to establish healthy habits, and more.

How Much Do Weight Loss Camps Cost?

The cost for weight loss camps varies, but in general, they hover around $1,000 per night. Some weight loss camps give discounts for longer stays, and most package their fees into one all-inclusive price. Depending on the length of the camp, you may spend anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $10,000.

Who Are Weight Loss Camps Best Suited For?

Anyone who struggles with their body weight can benefit from a weight loss camp. However, weight loss camps are generally geared toward people who have trouble learning and implementing habits that support weight loss, such as healthy eating and consistent exercise. These programs are also great for people who have a history of yo-yo dieting that results in weight cycling (weight loss and regain).

What Kind of Support Is Provided at Weight Loss Camps?

At a weight loss camp, you can expect to have the support of several health professionals, including physicians, dietitians, and personal trainers. You’ll also have the resource of health educators (who are usually licensed professionals) to learn about nutrition strategies, exercise physiology, and habit change.

Additionally, most weight loss camps provide meals and cooking instruction, as well as spa services such as massage therapy. Of course, you’ll also have accommodations and access to equipment (such as a gym) that help you reach your weight loss goals.

Some programs offer post-camp support, meaning a professional will check in with you periodically after you leave the space. Not all camps offer this, so if you feel you’ll need post-camp support, make sure to factor that into your search.

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