Consequently, many facilities have sprung up throughout the United States to try to address (and in some cases, exploit) the health problems that have resulted from the imbalanced American lifestyle. Although many describe themselves as “wellness resorts,” they fall short of the qualifications this designation entails. A legitimate wellness resort is medically supervised and takes a holistic, long-term approach to wellness; in contrast, some centers peddle pseudoscience, push questionable supplements and powders, and promote fad diets.
For almost 50 years, the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa has risen to the top of the list of all-inclusive wellness resorts due to the success of its medically guided, integrative approach to lasting health. Described by Oprah Winfrey as “the gold standard in health and wellness support,” Pritikin has long been lauded for its sensible yet transformational approach to lifestyle change.
The Pritikin story
Founded by Inventor Nathan Pritikin in 1975, the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa was originally inspired by Pritikin’s view—then considered radical—that heart disease could be treated with diet and exercise rather than medication. Now, almost 50 years later, the health of over 100,000 guests worldwide has been radically improved by Pritikin’s programs.
In contrast to many wellness resorts, all of Pritikin’s techniques are based in science—not the latest diet or nutrition fad. The medical supervision guests receive not only exceeds what they typically get from their regular physicians and specialists—it also provides a comprehensive education on the many factors that affect physical and mental health.
What makes Pritikin the “Best”?
With accolades including “best for weight loss,” “best overall healthy living program,” and “best for nutrition,” Pritikin consistently appears in Top 10 lists of wellness resorts both in the United States and globally. So what makes it so special?
To answer this question, we can turn to studies that have measured Pritikin’s efficacy as well as the personal anecdotes of people who have been through programs at Pritikin. Over 100 studies have confirmed the efficacy of Pritikin’s approach, with articles that validate its programs’ success appearing in numerous journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Diabetes Care.
At Pritikin, guests aren’t encouraged to try fads, gimmicks, or starvation diets. Instead, they’re given the tools to develop sustainable wellness habits that will benefit them for years to come.
The testimonials from former Pritikin guests confirm the research findings: it works. Not only do many individuals express gratitude for the lifestyle adjustments that helped them achieve and maintain dramatic weight loss and control chronic health problems; some even credit the program with saving their life.
While some wellness resorts operate on a pay-as-you-go model, charging for every medical appointment and test, the core components of Pritikin’s program are all included in the overall price. In addition to your luxurious accommodations, satisfying and delicious meals, and array of fitness classes led by top instructors, all basic medical screenings, physician consultations, and blood panels are included in your package fee . That said, you still have the opportunity to purchase additional a la carte services and treatments if you so desire.
It creates a supportive, educational environment
While some so-called wellness resorts promote extremely restrictive diets and boot camp–style fitness, Pritikin is known for fostering an environment of mutual support and empowerment. Guests benefit tremendously from experiences such as working out in the communal fitness center, where they can cheer each other on as they meet milestones for weight loss or strength training. Rather than pushing guests to engage in extreme exercise or dietary restriction, Pritikin advocates a regimen of moderate, regular exercise and sensible eating choices that has been proven effective time and again.
Through its educational component, Pritikin equips its guests with key information about why healthy dietary and fitness habits matter, as well as the ability to understand the roots of negative lifestyle behaviors through small-group sessions with behavioral health specialists. Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to wellness, all dietary and fitness recommendations are customized to the guest’s individual medical profile. Pritikin nutritionists, doctors, fitness trainers, and psychologists get to know each guest personally in order to best understand the obstacles to a healthy lifestyle with which they may struggle.
Program participants not only learn the basics of making healthy choices; they practice making them in real-world situations such as going out to a restaurant or shopping at the supermarket. Other experiences, such as the Diabetes Luncheon, are designed specifically for guests who have or are at risk of a particular health concern. And rather than promoting a quick-fix diet, Pritikin has its world-class chefs instruct guests on how to prepare nutritious meals at home that won’t leave them hungry.
It provides real-world solutions to lifestyle change
When you take a week or two out of your normal life to attend a wellness resort like Pritikin, the effects can be truly remarkable. By setting aside a finite amount of time to concentrate on your wellness in a medically supervised environment, surrounded by others on the same path, you can uncover the roots of behaviors that have limited your wellness and learn new habits to optimize your health in the years to come.
In contrast to wellness centers whose restrictions are impossible to maintain past the length of your program stay, Pritikin tasks its expert staff with supplying you with the skill set you need to thrive once you get home.