So… What is going on?
Can a genuinely overweight man lose weight to the point where he actually has a six pack? Apparently so. Men from around the world all struggling with their weight, are entering the jungles around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, and walking out 40, 50, sometimes 60 kilograms lighter.
Weight Loss Retreat Thailand Review
Retired Australian Navy Serviceman Phil M says “I’m only 5 foot four (160 cm) and I lost 50 Kilos. I’m too old to get a six pack, but Joe got one!”. Joe K a Singapore native with a love of food that saw him eating on the hour every hour has dropped a mammoth 60 kilograms and has a ripped midsection worthy of a Men’s Fitness magazine cover. “Oh I was huge!” he says with a grin. “Food was my life. Everything I did was interwoven with eating. I was a big kid, and you know Singapore has an amazing food culture. I got to 100 kilos. Then 110, then 120. I maxed out at 130 before I realized that I had a serious problem. Walking became difficult. I would sit on the couch under a sheet moving only to get more food and go to the toilet. My life and existence had become very very narrow, and that’s when I became scared. I kind of knew I was going to die…”
To see Joe and Phil and the other guys now you would never know what they used to look like if it weren’t for the photographic evidence. Paul, another Aussie explains “It is a weird thing. You come on your Weight Loss Holidays in Thailand, as a fat guy wanting to get thin right? But pretty quickly the ‘weight loss’ side of things begins to diminish in importance. A bigger picture starts to emerge. I realized that my life, my mind, in fact, was actually being transformed. That’s what made this whole experience so unique. I’ve been on diets and weight loss courses all over the world, and I lost weight, but it always came back. The weight ALWAYS came back! But this time it hasn’t. And it hasn’t because I HAVE BECOME A DIFFERENT PERSON. I know that sounds weird but this is what happened.
Justin transformed me without me actually being aware of it, initially. True story. This has become the most important thing I have ever done in my life.” Paul leans back and takes a sip of water and then says “I have honestly never been so happy. For the first time in my life, I have learned that I CAN actually take control and I can’t really explain to you how powerful that is for someone who has never felt in control before.”
Weight Loss Retreat Scene in Thailand
It’s time to talk to the man behind all this, Justin Footit.
A google search of the name brings up a rash of boxing videos. Footit’s Greatest Hit’s, as well as a slew of other boxing related entries, dominate the first few pages of Google. It’s a pretty significant digital footprint to be sure.
Why weight loss, and why here?
“Well, I live in Chiang Mai because it is the most beautiful place in the world, period. It’s as simple as that.”
“I spent 25 years in the world of boxing so I take a very clinical and analytical approach to performance and training. Most of what I do here is actually psychological shaping though. Losing weight and keeping it off forever is just the physical manifestation of a mental transformation that I make happen at a deep level. And let’s not forget, we are in Asia. I spent the greater part of my professional life in this part of the world. There is a reason why the population here carries far less weight than we do in the Western World”.
“We work on two levels with clients. We work on the physical level. We work in the gym and on the track. We also work in the mountains. We get the guys into the jungle. We use the waterfalls and rivers. There is a health and healing aspect that nature imbues upon us that you simply cannot get by staying and training indoors. That’s the physical level. Gym, river, mountain, jungle. But none of this means anything unless we dig down into the emotional and psychological layers that underpin how we as individuals see ourselves and the world around us. The mental transformation is actually the foundation that the physical work sits on, and those foundations have to be rock solid. There is absolutely no point in going through the blood sweat and tears of losing weight only to have it come back. I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. I’m not interested in weight loss for weight loss sake. There is no point to that.”
He goes on “Yes I have a reputation for fast results. Amazingly fast actually. But I don’t care about that and it isn’t my goal at all. What people don’t understand is how truly incredible the human body is. It responds to situations with amazing speed. People say “oh Justin, how was he able to lose 20 kilos so fast?” and what they don’t understand is that given the right conditions, losing 20 or 30 or however many kilos quickly is actually COMPLETELY NATURAL!”.
Come on, what is the SECRET?
Justin sits forward and smiles. “Oh, I have secrets, I have heaps of secrets and they would blow your mind, some of them. They are secrets and methodologies that have been formulated over decades. Some are very simple and obvious even. Some though can only come from years and years and years of experience. Either way, you’re not getting any of them!” he bursts out laughing.
Unprompted, he continues “There is a secret I will share with you. Hopefully, you know it already. I love what I do. I LOVE WHAT I DO. It is hard to describe the joy I get from helping guys who thought their lives were over. Yes, it is a business. Yes, we need to make money. But the core of the business is that I enjoy, I truly enjoy bringing men who thought that their lives were only going to follow one particular narrow path that was never going to end well. And I bring them to this place where they actually discover and learn that what they have been thinking was dead wrong. It doesn’t matter how much they thought they were beyond salvation, whatever has happened can actually be reversed, repaired and ultimately fixed. But it needs to be done properly. We aren’t actually about weight loss, we are about survival. Weight loss is incidental. We are about transforming ourselves so we can continue living and providing for our loved ones, it’s what we are truly passionate about.
He then went on to say “If regular guys want to come on in and shape up, lose a few pounds or kilos, we do that too, because a healthier world is a happier and better world. And don’t forget, this is also a holiday experience like nothing you have ever done before. The mountains, the jungle, the rivers and villages are all incredible experiences. It’s a once in a lifetime adventure. So you want to lose only 8 or 10 kilos? Fine, I’ll do that for you because you are going to return to your loved ones a better man, a more productive man and most importantly for the world at large, a HAPPIER man. We’ll help anyone that wants it!”
How to Lose Weight in Thailand
Over the last few years, Thailand has come to prominence as one of the world’s ultimate weight loss and health and wellness destinations. In this blog, we investigate some basic weight loss principles and we look at what kind of weight loss program might be right for you.
So you’ve just come back from a nice long holiday in Fiji or Bali or Spain or wherever when you realize your pants don’t fit anymore, and your belt is suddenly too short. You take a good look in the mirror and bingo, you’ve developed the beginnings of a pot belly. No problem, you’ll simply start doing sit-ups and crunches and work that gut off, right?
WRONG! It is a myth that you can target a specific area of your body for weight loss. It is true that as we lose weight some areas do seem to shrink faster than others, but generally speaking, when you lose weight it is from everywhere all at once. Remember those ab machines that used to be all over late night TV? “Get the ripped midsection you’ve always wanted!” Well, the truth is that you could use one of those machines a thousand times a day and it isn’t going to give you a ripped midsection unless it somehow magically was able to make all the rest of the weight elsewhere on your body disappear as well. So that was a scam? Kind of, but you could also say that at least they were promoting the idea of moving your body as opposed to sitting on the couch.
If you are a man moving into middle age and you find that you’ve started to gain weight, read on.
Why am I gaining weight and what should I do
The core of the problem (especially for guys entering middle age) is usually a slowing metabolism and fluctuating hormone levels. And the way to re-align these things is to focus on two key areas: a healthy diet and the right kind of exercise.
After the age of about 35, most men naturally lose 1 to 2 % of their muscle mass every year, so one of the first things to think about is halting this loss. Short but intense bodyweight workout programs are some of the best ways we can retain muscle mass. A half an hour walk followed by 10 – 15 minutes of pull-ups or push-ups every day is going to be a great way to start. If you can’t do push-ups or pull-ups, start with something easier and slowly work your way into it.
What about running? Should I start going on long runs? Marathon runners are all thin, right? NO! Taking up running is THE LAST THING you want to do if you are a guy who wants to lead an injury free healthy life. Long boring cardio sessions are a waste of time plus you are putting serious pressure onto hip and knee joints that are not used to it. If you don’t know anything about exercising using your own body weight, check out some of the thousands of videos available on Youtube.
When it comes to diet, boring and plain are where it’s at. The body responds to CONSISTENT inputs whether it be exercise or diet. Eating Chinese one night, Italian the next followed by Indian sounds good, but it is not. We are creatures of habit and the body actually loves a basic repetitious diet and will reward you for it.
Successful weight loss comes when we eliminate the rubbish from our diet, and we all know what that is. Takeaway food is all basically ALL JUNK. Most packaged and processed food is all junk. Virtually all breakfast cereals are junk. If it is packaged in a brightly coloured wrapping or container, it is quite likely absolute junk. If you want to lose weight, stop eating junk food and stop drinking soft drinks. It’s that simple. Eat basic food. Boiled eggs, banana’s, peanuts, potatoes, vegetables and good meat. We all know what they are deep down don’t we… Eat what your grandparents ate and stop eating rubbish. It is much easier than you think if you are actually serious about losing weight. If you find it difficult to eat in a healthy fashion, you are possibly are not serious yet about losing weight. It’s an effective test.
But if we really want to take weight loss seriously, we need to not only eat healthy and proper food, we need to start eating less of it. If you are a young person whose body is still physically growing, yes you may need to eat quite a lot of food, but if you are a fully grown adult you actually need almost nothing to keep you going. This absurd amount of food we eat in the modern world is almost INSANE! Three huge meals a day EVERY DAY and snacking in between. It’s a wonder we aren’t all obese… oh yeah, that’s right, we are.
Human beings were never intended to stand at a buffet table cramming food down our throats 24/7 yet that’s what a lot of us do. It’s a ridiculously weak thing to do.
OK, it’s time to get serious and start thinking about going to some kind of weight loss retreat or program. I know I need to get away from my home environment and I already know that Thailand seems to be a popular destination for health recovery and weight loss. Should I go to a weight loss retreat or a boot camp? What is the deal with weight loss holidays in Thailand?
Fitness Boot Camps are increasingly popular these days as more and more people look for alternatives to traditional methods of losing weight. A Weight Loss Camp or Boot Camp, as the name suggests is health and fitness retreat run along military lines. They normally involve a group of people training together through a series of different drills or routines led by a trainer. The idea is that because it is a group setting, peer pressure will force or coerce less able individuals to exceed the limits of how far they would normally push themselves.
Different Boot Camps do different things. Some are focused on fitness and strength training whilst others focus more on weight loss or general health. The one thing they all share though is that they operate in a group setting and they all follow an established set of routines which are then repeated daily or weekly until the individual has reached their health goal(s). As a business model, Boot Camps are structured mainly for people who want a quick fix. Sure, some people go to increase their overall health and fitness but the bulk of the customers are people who want to lose 5 kilos before the summer beach season. And for people who want this, Boot Camps are definitely a great resource.
But for people who are serious about NEEDING to lose weight, the Boot Camp model might not be appropriate. Why?
First of all, Boot Camps operate with groups, not individuals and while consultation with the group leader is available, Boot Camps never structure their programs around an individual, the emphasis always being on the group. This can lead to the potential for physical injury for less physically able members of the group as they try and keep up with the rest of the group. Don’t get me wrong, Boot Camps are great by and large, but if you don’t fit the mold, there can be negative consequences.
The other downside for certain clients is that the Boot Camp follows programs that are static, that is the fitness programs they utilize do not change. Why is this a problem? Basically, as you proceed through any kind of fitness regime your body undergoes change.
Your weight goes down, your metabolic rate will change and even your hormone levels are affected. Wouldn’t it be better if the fitness program you were on reflected these changes in you? Wouldn’t it make sense to alter the program to take into account your increased abilities and different nutrient requirements? Of course, it would but for a Boot Camp to do this would be costly and disruptive and it may not make business sense to do so.
This is why for men who are serious about NEEDING to lose weight (as opposed to guys who just want to trim up a bit) it is ESSENTIAL you do a good due diligence on the weight loss program you choose to go on. Look for programs that advertise the fact that their programs change and evolve along with their clients own health evolution. This is, therefore, the difference between a boot camp, and a retreat. If you think you need a uniquely personalized service that will take into account your physical capabilities rather than just throwing you into a large group, you are probably better off going to a weight loss retreat/program than a one size fits all boot camp.
If you think a retreat or program is what you are looking for, focus your search on the following:
- A high degree of personalization.
- A focus on diet and nutritional education.
- A physical regimen that is appropriate to your level of physical abilities.
- A program that keeps its numbers of clients very limited.
Should Men and Women be Training Together
Are Women’s and Men’s weight loss programs equal and interchangeable? The majority of the weight loss industry’s focus is turned to women. Surely men can tag along? Unfortunately guys, no. Sure, men who want to lose weight CAN “tag” along, but ultimately they’ll be wasting their time. Biological, physiological and psychological differences between males and females mean their approach to weight loss needs to be quite different if the goal is effective and permanent weight loss.
Some of this has to do with evolutionary biology. As nurturers of the next generation, the biological imperatives on females were (and still biologically are) more directed to infant care rather than “running around looking for protein”.
Men who want to effectively lose weight get better results when training in the company of other men.
I’m saying DON’T go to Weight Watchers or Optifast, these programs are definitely better than doing nothing, but if you, as a male, are genuinely wanting to lose weight in the most effective way possible, do it in a male environment. Apart from different emotional responses to food in men and women, the difference in lean muscle mass and the hormones testosterone and estrogen absolutely necessitate different and separate training and diet regimes.
Best Men’s Weight Loss Holidays Program Workouts
What kind of physical movement programs should I be looking for?
If you are a large heavy guy, look for programs that focus on the following:
- Graduated movement programs that change as your physical capabilities improve
- Programs that don’t stress joints too much
- Programs that focus on walking, swimming and light gym workouts
- Programs that are monitored by staff on a one on one basis
Avoid programs that feature the following:
- Large groups of participants in general
- High participant to staff ratio ie: lots of clients and few staffs
- More than 2 active physical sessions per day
- Running, jumping and other things such as obstacle courses
Example of Local Healthy Weight Loss Foods
What kind of diet regime should I look for in a weight loss program?
This is actually the most important question of all, and that’s why we left it till last. The bottom line is that if you are SERIOUS about wanting to lose weight, the first thing you have to understand is that IT IS NOT EASY!
Any program that presents a scenario where you easily and magically lose weight while eating food from their incredible looking buffets is basically lying to you. If you truly want to lose weight you must have a carefully crafted diet created for you where the calories you consume remain lower in number than the calories you expend ON A DAILY BASIS. This diet also must give you all the nutrients you need to perform at a level that ensures you will lose weight EVERY DAY.
Any program that features lusciously tempting looking salad sandwiches and to die for pasta dishes should be a big red flag. Basically, a healthy diet revolves around a carefully controlled carbohydrate intake. You need good protein, steamed or raw veggies and fruit and a limited amount of carbohydrates. Any program you go on, be sure that they are sourcing LOCAL FRESH PRODUCE. Stick to the following foods and you cannot go wrong:
- Boiled chicken or other lean meat
- Vegetables. Eat as much as you like. You can even have them fried every once in a while. Newsflash, not all fried food is necessarily bad, especially if it is fried in butter.
- Fruit. We recommend 3 – 5 servings a day
- Nuts. Great fillers when you feel peckish. Almonds, walnuts, macadamias, peanuts
If you or anyone you know has a problem with overeating or weight issues and is looking for options to regain their health and lose weight, be sure to visit our website, email or call us as soon as possible.