FAQs About the Pritikin Health Resort

The following are general questions and answers about a health vacation at Pritikin.

For information regarding your specific needs, it is best to call the Pritikin Longevity Center and speak directly to one of our registration coordinators at 888.254.1462.

How many calories am I eating at Pritikin?

At Pritikin, we do not limit the amount of food you eat or count calories. In fact, our guests are amazed that they’re losing weight but at the same time eating to their heart’s content.

Our goal is setting you up for real-world living that allows you to enjoy satisfying portions of food without the need to count calories.

Many other weight-loss resorts do limit the number of calories you take in. That’s easy to do when you’re on the property and someone else is counting out the calories for you, but it’s very difficult to follow when you leave.

And some programs cut calorie intake so drastically that you’re hungry all the time. One program we know of slashes calorie intake to 500 calories a day.

At Pritikin, you’ll never go hungry. You’re eating five filling meals and snacks daily. And you’re learning all the skills for continuing Pritikin living after you leave.

Bottom Line: Pritikin is not about calorie restriction. Pritikin is a sustainable non-diet approach to eating.

Isn’t Pritikin more expensive than other health resorts?

There are programs that appear cheaper than Pritikin. However, they do not offer what we offer.

Pritikin is all-inclusive. All lectures, exercise classes, medical services, meals, and hotel accommodations are part of one fee.

Many other programs charge a la carte. You pay additional fees for private consultations with physicians, additional fees for classes, and so on. When you add up all the a la carte fees to approximate the services offered all-inclusively at Pritikin, you’re often paying far more than what Pritikin charges.

Pritikin also offers the following:
  • 24/7 medical supervision.
    No other program gives you the medical support that we do. We even keep paramedics on staff to ensure your safety.
  • A dedicated “cocoon” environment.
    The only guests surrounding you are guests who share your goals. It’s the perfect environment for helping you make permanent lifestyle changes.
  • 7-day-a-week program.
    Some programs offer lower rates by offering a shorter program, which lessens your chances of fully implementing a lifestyle change.
  • Scientific efficacy.
    Pritikin is the only program with over 100 peer-reviewed studies validating that our program will truly improve people’s health.

What important questions should I ask when evaluating health resorts and deciding what’s best for me?

Here are 7 important questions to ask:
  1. “Is the program medically supervised?”
  2. “Are there physicians on staff who can adjust my medications for blood pressure, blood sugar, and other medical issues as my health improves?”
  3. “Will I have a full health and fitness evaluation?”
  4. “Will I have cardiac stress testing to ensure that my exercise program is safe and appropriate?”
  5. “Is your program offered in a ‘cocoon’ environment in which I’m surrounded only by people like me who are focused on developing a healthy lifestyle? (I don’t want to be sitting next to someone who’s eating burgers and fries.)”
  6. “Has your program been in business for many years?”
  7. “Are there studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals proving that your program works?”

For all the above questions, the answer from Pritikin is “yes.”

Will insurance cover my stay at Pritikin?

If you are on Medicare, you may qualify for a new Medicare-approved program at the Pritikin Longevity Center called Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation, or ICR. Pritikin is the first – and only – health resort in America offering Medicare-approved ICR. For more information about Pritikin ICR, call 888.254.1462.

We do not accept private health insurance, but our Medical Department will be happy to prepare a list of medical services and their codes that you can then submit to your insurance carrier. Your private health insurance may cover a portion of your medical expenses, such as physicians’ consults. Reimbursement depends on your specific benefit plan.  A diagnosis, such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or coronary artery disease, is also needed. 

Many people also use their Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, to pay for fees at Pritikin not covered by health insurance.

How is Pritikin different from other health and weight-loss resorts?

One key difference is our strong scientific background. More than 100 studies have been published in peer-review medical journals over the past 35 years validating the success of the Pritikin Program. No other resort has our scientific efficacy. In fact, most have no research proving their program works.

Another key difference is that Pritikin is in an environment unto itself. You’ll never, for example, be sitting next to someone eating prime rib and cheesecake. You’ll be spending your days with people just like you – people focused on a better, healthier life. This camaraderie can make a real difference in your own personal motivation, and in the results you achieve.

What is the average age of guests at Pritikin?

Our age range is vast, from 8-year-olds in our summer Family Health Camp to centenarians. But the great majority of our guests are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Are kids welcome at Pritikin?

Absolutely. Year-round, Trump Kids Camp provides a daily program for children ages 4 to 12 with a wide variety of fun, organized activities.

Also, every summer the Pritikin Longevity Center conducts a Family Health Camp that teaches kids and adolescents ages 8 to 17 how fun and doable healthy living can be.

What kind of people come to Pritikin?

All kinds. We have people coming to lose excess weight and people with health challenges like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. But we also have many people who are in great shape and are coming simply to learn how to stay healthy.

For many of our guests, the overriding goal is the same, and can be summed up as: “I want to live long and well, and Pritikin gives me the best chance for making that happen.” All describe their experience as transformative.

Will I fit in?

There’s an excellent chance you’ll fit right in, even if you’re coming to Pritikin by yourself. In fact, the Pritikin Longevity Center was recently voted “Best For Solo Travelers” among thousands of entries by Spafinder.

Just walk in the door, and you feel the excitement. People are smiling, cheering each other on. Around our dining room tables, conversations flow easily about everything from falling cholesterol levels to triumphs over diabetes to dreams for the future. Bonds form, friendships grow, and they often last far beyond the time spent together at Pritikin.

Am I involved in activities every day?

Yes. The Pritikin Longevity Center is open 7 days a week. Every day, you’re immersed in exercise classes, lifestyle-change education, dining at Pritikin, and more. Programs at other health resorts may shut down for the weekend.

How difficult is it to live Pritikin-style when I return home?

Our entire program is set up to give you the tools you need to successfully maintain Pritikin on the homefront. Our cooking classes teach you the secrets for preparing healthy, tasty food. Our nutrition workshops focus on real-world experiences, like dining out and food shopping. We even take you on field trips to restaurants and grocery stores.

Our exercise classes are not complex regimens that would never work in regular life. Instead, the exercise plan you’ll learn at Pritikin is simple and practical, easy to weave into daily life at home.

Our behavioral workshops give you cognitive skills that can help you break through barriers that may have hindered you in the past, like stress or binge eating.

Even if you’ve been living off pizzas and burgers for years, you’ll learn at Pritikin that you can change, and that it’s a lot easier and quicker than you ever thought possible.

But maybe most importantly, your palate changes at Pritikin. Oh sure, if you loved cheeseburgers before coming to Pritikin, you’ll probably still love them after you leave. But what people discover at Pritikin is that their culinary world expands far beyond burgers. With each meal, they’re experiencing new flavors and pleasures, which means that rather feeling deprived, they’re actually enjoying their food more.

Is the Pritikin Diet extreme?

For many people, dietary regimes that are strictly vegan or vegetarian, or raw foods only, are in fact extreme.

And many weight-loss spas do put you on a food plan that is veggies only, or fewer than 1,000 calories a day.

Pritikin is not vegan or 100% vegetarian. And our focus is not dieting. It’s helping you find a non-diet approach to food that is both healthy and satisfying.

At Pritikin, you eat as much as you want, and pretty much whenever you want. Every morning, you wake up to a banquet of breakfast choices – a beautiful array of fresh fruits, whole-grain cereals, yogurts, savory egg white omelets, and more. The bounty of food choices continues throughout the day, as described in our Sample Menu.

Our focus, too, is flexibility. We meet you where you are, and help you progress toward a healthier life in a realistic and sustainable manner. We aim for progress, not perfection.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

People’s weight loss varies depending on their own individual weight. Some men lose as much as 10 pounds in the first week; some women shed about 5. On average, our research has found that men lose about 4 pounds per week and women lose 2.5.

But it’s never a good idea to focus on numbers of pounds. You can go to plenty of places and do a juice fast or some other gimmick, but when people return home, they often regain any pounds lost. Our focus here at Pritikin is giving you a permanent solution to your weight challenges.

What matters most, in short, is long-term success. Studies published in Diabetes Care and the Journal of Cardiac Rehabilitation found that two to five years after attending Pritikin, people not only maintained their weight loss, they lost more.

The most comprehensive study of successful long-term weight loss ever conducted, the National Weight Control Registry, found that the vast majority of its 4,000+ members followed a program, like Pritikin, that involved daily exercise and an eating plan low in fat and high in whole, naturally fiber-rich foods. The members lost, on average, 66 pounds and, at six-year follow-up, had kept them off.

What matters, too, and what our guests see in just two weeks, is dramatically improved body composition. They’re shedding body fat and gaining muscle, which means that dress and waist sizes are falling. Belts need new holes. Our guests like what they’re seeing in the mirror, and they love how they’re feeling.

Are there medical services at Pritikin?

Yes. A lot of health resorts say they have medical services, but what they’re often selling are a la carte services, which means you end up paying a lot more money than you expected. Or the medical services they’re offering are offsite; you need to travel off the resort to see a physician.

At Pritikin, your Medical Program is part of your all-inclusive fee. And the services take place onsite. Having a team of physicians onsite is very important, particularly if you’re taking medications. You want to make sure those medications are tightly monitored. For example, if your blood pressure drops (and your blood pressure will likely drop at Pritikin), you really need to have your dosages adjusted in order to stay safe and healthy.

What happens if I have a medical emergency?

We can assure you that any medical needs you have will be responded to immediately. That’s because we have medical personnel on site 24/7. Most other health resorts do not offer round-the-clock medical supervision.

We have physicians on site during the day and paramedics on site every night.

What’s more, all exercise programs are monitored by our physicians and university-degreed exercise physiologists to assure that you’re exercising safely.

Will I be given a complete health evaluation when I arrive at Pritikin?

Yes. Many other health resorts have a physician who conducts things like a personal health plan, but it’s often only a discussion of your medical history and goals. It does not include important medical testing.

At Pritikin, you get both: in-depth consultations with our physicians about your health and personal goals plus extensive health and fitness testing like cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, blood pressure monitoring, and treadmill stress testing to determine your personal fitness level. In addition, you’re medically monitored throughout your stay.

How long has the Pritikin Longevity Center been in business?

When you’re looking at health resorts, it’s important to ask how long they’ve been in business. Some opened their doors only a few years ago.

The Pritikin Longevity Center has been in operation for 40 years – since 1975. We’re often described as where the health and fitness revolution in the U.S. began. Our founder, Nathan Pritikin, was among the first to recognize the power of diet and lifestyle in preventing heart disease.

More than 100,000 people from all over the world have attended Pritikin over the past four decades. Many of our doctors and educators have been with us for 10+ years. Our guests know they can come back to Pritikin at any time to re-experience the program; we’ll still be here.

Does Pritikin accommodate special dietary requests? What if I suffer from food allergies?

Pritikin is happy to accommodate special requests for Kosher and Halal meals for just an additional $250 per week, per guest. Arrangements must be made via your Sales Coordinator 48 hours or more prior to arrival. The majority of Pritikin’s plant-based, whole grain meals are gluten, vegan and diabetic friendly, with few exceptions. Please advise your Sales Coordinator of any food allergies prior to your arrival.

Health Resort

Take life to the next level, and be all that you can be. That's what a vacation at Pritikin is all about. Live better. Look better. Best of all, feel better.

All-Inclusive Program

Since 1975, 100,000+ people have come to Pritikin. We are the longest-running, most scientifically documented health resort in America.

Rooms and Suites

Our newly renovated guest rooms at the health resort are spacious, serene, and amenity-rich. Each has a gorgeous garden view.


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Success Story

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