What You Need to Know About Fat Camps

Do fat camps really work? Many people think so, supporting their claims with reports of significant weight loss during and after a fat camp visit.

How does a fat camp work? A fat camp, which is slang for a weight loss camp or weight management camp, provides a structured environment for as little as a weekend or as long as a month in which overweight individuals can learn how to responsibly manage their weight problem. Similar to boot camp in some respects, a fat camp offers assistance and support to people who need to lose weight. While many individuals register for “fat camp” due to health reasons, some may also come to lose weight for cosmetic purposes.

How do you find a fat camp? Listings may be found through a medical referral from your family physician. Many if not most camps require a doctor’s referral for a person to register. Searching online for “fat camps” or checking “weight loss treatment centers” or “weight management camps” may also render results.

How do you choose a fat camp? Evaluating the merits of a weight loss camp depends on several criteria:
•         Who owns and operates it?
•         Is it medically approved?
•         Is it licensed appropriately?
•         Do staff members include a state-licensed medical supervisor, nutritionist, and behavioral specialist?
•         How long has the camp been in business?
•         Does it have a Better Business Bureau file?
•         Can you find online complaints or praise for the camp?
•         Does your personal physician recommend the camp?

What happens at the camp? Fat camps are often structured to include a variety of activities, including possibilities like a brief physical exam (although you may need to bring a form signed by your doctor), nutrition education, meal planning skills, a medically-approved exercise plan, healthy and tasty food, personal time for reflection, possible group or individual counseling sessions, and social activities. A schedule will guide campers through each day, with periods of free time for fun and relaxation doing activities like swimming, horseback riding, volleyball, or tennis. Goals may be set for each day or week. There also may be competitions, skits, and excursions to nearby site-seeing locales.

What are the results of going to fat camp? The results depend on each person’s effort, adjustment, and response to the camp schedule. Some campers don’t care for the rigid daily plan, while others appreciate the firm structure and encouragement. If exercise, nutrition, or weight loss goals are set, these will be monitored and checked by the end of the camping period. Often a follow-up plan is worked out between the staff and each camper to ensure continued progress in adopting healthy lifestyle choices and meeting weight loss goals.

How much does fat camp cost? The cost depends on many factors, including camp size, location, number of participants, activities, and personnel. Visit websites to learn what to expect before making a registration commitment.

A fat camp is pretty much like anything else in life. You will probably get out of it what you are willing to put into it. Undoubtedly, some camps are better suited to your lifestyle and personality than others. Learn more about fat camps in your area to see if they can help you or a loved one tackle a weight problem.


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