Weight Loss Retreat in Sri Lanka - 5 Essentials

When researching for weight-loss retreats, it can get a little overwhelming trying to decide which one is best suited for you. How do you differentiate between them all and how do you really know which one will be the best fit? Perhaps a weight loss retreat in Sri Lanka is the answer? Many weight-loss programs are based on extreme methods that reduce consumption, promote starvation and push you to your physical limits. Most have little concern for your medical or emotional health, promising to help you lose weight but not supporting you in keeping the weight off.

This article will aim to provide a little more enlightenment on weight loss retreats in Sri Lanka and offer a deeper insight into how to choose a programme best suited to you, your constitution and your medical profile.

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How an Ayurvedic diet can normalise your ideal weight

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Ayurvedic Diet

Many weight-loss programmes just focus on the end goal rather than tackling the root cause of weight gain and unhealthy diets. However, when weight is lost dramatically, it will be regained even faster and so the cycle begins again, further adding to the mental frustrations of the process.

Sam Kankanamge, the founder of Sen Wellness, has over 30 years of experience with extensive research working with hundreds of people all around the world in both retreat and clinical environments. His experience working with people from all over the World means that he notices how in a fast-paced, modern Western world, it is often a stressful lifestyle combined with deeper psychological roots that can affect our relationship with food, health and body weight.

“At Sen Wellness Sanctuary, we believe that weight-loss programmes should not be putting you through painful or extreme conditions. Instead, we believe that the most effective weight loss can be achieved with a beautifully crafted and tailor-made Ayurvedic treatment that can be curated to suit your constitution.
It has been continuously proven that short term, intense strategies are not sustainable for effective weight loss. Moreover, people are often not medically viable for most of these programmes nor are they emotionally supported during them. Our approach is simple, easy to maintain and adapt to.

As hunter-gathers, humans could only provide one meal a day since we were natural grazers and could only eat what we could find from the land. We would eat fruit, nuts, berries, seeds and on very rare occasions meat or fish. Our bodies have not evolved to eat 3 meals a day, full of sugar, dairy, complex carbohydrates and additives. Our recommendation is to eat 2 meals a day of equal proportion that give space and time for your metabolism and digestive system to re-align and regenerate itself naturally. Intermittent fasting has become a popular, known method that supports this notion. At Sen Wellness Sanctuary we combine intermittent fasting and juice fasting in our detox and weight-loss programmes under very careful observation from our Ayurvedic doctors.

Our Panchakarma method is designed to be less intensive than traditional Panchakarma. We integrate it with other holistic treatment modalities. We do not offer enemas or intense colonic cleansing but instead offer a deep purge, supported by herbs, alongside detox and fasting, to help cleanse the intestines and digestive system.”

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Sam Kankanamge

What you can expect from a Weight Loss Retreat?

A weight loss retreat in Sri Lanka can vastly reduce stress levels and support the body to enter ‘rest and digest’ mode. This state is when the parasympathetic nervous system dominates instead of the sympathetic nervous system, which affects our ‘fight, flight or freeze’ state. The ‘rest and digest’ state is achieved through a balanced combination of great quality nutrition, a calm nurturing environment and engaging in various healing or cleansing practices such as Ayurvedic medicine, yoga, meditation, breathwork, sound healing and massage. All of these practices are known to calm the nervous system, boost immunity and enhance wellbeing. A light, clean diet that combines fresh juice and herbal medicines can lighten your digestion, clear the liver and raise the metabolic rate all contributing to effective weight loss whilst keeping the body concentrated on healing. Maintaining a light fitness exercise routine with a healthy diet will also lighten the energetic body and restore energy levels.

We understand that it can be intimidating and a big commitment to come to a detox and weight loss retreat. However, here are 5 things that you can expect from a weight loss retreat:

The 5 Essentials Needed on a Weight Loss Retreat

Support

Whilst on retreat, it is common to meet people who are on the same journey as you. Here, you meet on even ground and everyone is equally committed to improving themselves despite their differences or backgrounds. Whether you are bonding over: homesickness, the experience of change, the challenge to adapt to routine changes or simply over body aches from daily yoga there is still an abundance of support from our therapists, retreat hosts, Sanctuary staff and other guests to keep you motivated.

Movement

At Sen Wellness we don’t believe in strenuous, intense, physical exercise. This is not a boot camp or solely a yoga retreat! Instead, our retreat programmes teach you how to align with your body in a way that is accessible to you, allowing you to attune with what you are already naturally capable of. Movement through Yoga, Pranayama and Qi Gong shows you how to develop your own strength, at your own capability. It is empowering to learn how to move and utilise your own innate strength.

Education

After 30 years of experience, our approach at Sen Wellness Sanctuary is to educate our guests so that they can create positive changes to their eating habits. Through education, the individual guest is able to adjust their own lifestyle and feel self-empowered in doing so. The experience of receiving knowledge and applying it to make lifestyle changes ensures that guests’ lost weight is not re-gained once they return home.

Freedom

Freedom to clear your mind from the stresses of your normal life and routine, free from judgement or fear so that you can get back to just being you. At The Sanctuary we encourage you to be free, to be curious, adventurous and playful. You are even free to be nervous, vulnerable and scared. This experience is unique to you and your journey in a totally raw and authentic way.

Ayurvedic Diet

We believe a healthy diet that encompasses a more ancient and natural connection with food and sourced locally (not from the supermarket) is the key point to successful weight loss. We recommend organic, natural and home-cooked meals with no additives or chemicals. Gluten and wheat free recipes, minimal dairy and meat products are mostly recommended with the addition of fresh fish on occasion.

Best places to go for a weight loss retreat in Sri Lanka?

There is an infinite selection to choose from in countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States when it comes to certain weight loss programmes. While many encourage a specific focus to lose weight, most should also promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Many programmes include workshops that tackle a wide range of topics such as healthy eating, exercise routines, recipe planning and other tricks and tips for everyday life. However, if you are truly ready to commit to a weight loss programme that will empower you, teach you and most of all keep the weight off then Sri Lanka is the ideal destination. Sri Lanka is the perfect place to reverse your weight gain as you can be immersed in a beautiful, tranquil place finding space to relax and learn about healthy living in paradise.

Santani Wellness Resort or Barberyn Beach Ayurveda are both very popular retreat centres for detox and weight loss in Sri Lanka. However, for a more authentic Ayurvedic experience, at Sen Wellness you can enjoy a luxurious retreat that combines Yoga, Movement, meditation, nature immersion, sound healing, group healing sessions and spiritual ceremonies all year round. Our world-class therapists and teachers ensure that our weight loss retreats and detox retreats stand out. Their special approach is infused with a wide range of holistic treatments and ancient Ayurvedic teachings that respond to a Western lifestyle and each person’s constitution. 

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Excellent4.8Based on 177 reviews from Heike M.Heike M.1708017780 ★★★★★ I stayed at Sen Wellness Sancutary for the festive retreat 23/24 - for me a 10 days commitment to complete immersion. I enjoyed every bit of it already at the Sanctuary! Now, back home and 40 days later, I am still profiting from the treatments, the experiences I made and my 40-days-practise that I started, as soon as I arrived home.Here is my deepest gratitude for the gifts I received during this retreat: a wonderful place, a kind, supportive, attentive and friendly team, support and grounding in my personal difficult moments, fantastic and soothing Ayurveda treatments (thanks to the doctors & massage therapists - always there with a smile and advice), delicious food, fascinating ceremonies (an unforgettable experience!), a lot of fun & laughter with other group members...Just to name a fiew.The biggest gift is, that I still have all this in my heart, that I can feel the connection to it. And that the practice of pranayama and meditation starts to become a routine! I hope, I can return to this unique place one day.Sally E.Sally E.1707933557 ★★★★★ My stay at Sen Wellness was exhilarating, from the dramatic colours of the sunsets to the naughty monkeys bouncing on the roof of our yoga room then leaping into the jungle. Best of all was watching, after a sunset walk over the wide empty white beach, newly hatched turtles hurtling over the sand to the ocean beyond. Good food, kind smiling staff, excellent and varied company from all over the world at the communal meals, massages, swimming pool, meditation, yoga, it was all pretty faultless and very inspiring.The serene and mesmerising Tseyang from Tibet provided me with a yoga programme I am actually keeping to.Jennifer M.Jennifer M.1707576319 ★★★★★ One of the most relaxing and intriguing stays I’ve ever had. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, the hosts and staff anticipate and provide for your every need.The creative Vegan meals, yoga, meditation and daily treatments make this retreat a must-do for anyone who wants to experience an absolute gem.Melbin A.Melbin A.1707565341 ★★★★★ I recently attended a 14-day Ayurveda and Yoga retreat at Sen Wellness Sanctuary, and I can confidently say it was the best decision I made in 2024!The sanctuary is nestled in a truly enchanting environment, providing a perfect blend of calmness and nature. Being located next to Turtle Beach added a unique touch to the overall experience, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking serenity and relaxation.The staff at Sen Wellness Sanctuary is exceptional. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with warm smiles, and their hospitality throughout my stay was beyond compare. Special shout-out to Sudheera, Sanath, the Manager, whose dedication to ensuring a seamless experience stood out. Frances,The wellness Manager with her beautiful soul, Tsayang, my Yoga guru, Gopi, my transporter, and the entire team, including Kavindu, Dr. Tarushi, Dr. Udari, Mahil, Madhu, and many more, contributed to making my stay truly memorable.The food was another highlight of my experience. Traditional Sri Lankan dishes, rich in veggies and fruits, were served daily, creating a culinary journey that added to the overall wellness experience.One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Sen was the opportunity to make new friends from around the world. Connecting with like-minded individuals enhanced the entire retreat experience, and I left with a profound sense of personal evolution.In conclusion, Sen Wellness Sanctuary is more than just a retreat; it's a haven for personal growth and well-being. I completed the program with a genuine feeling of having evolved into a new person. I highly recommend Sen to anyone seeking a transformative and rejuvenating experience.Thank you, Sen Wellness Sanctuary, for the exceptional hospitality. I look forward to returning in the future!Linda D.Linda D.1707311735 ★★★★★ I have spent time in very austere ashrams through to very high end spa retreats but, Sen Sanctuary is in a league of its own, it is the only place I have ever been where I haven’t for one moment thought, what am I doing here? It is unique in its ability to blend wellness, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, diet and joy in a relaxed, unpretentious and thoughtful environment. Every member of staff is there to guide you on your way ,all you have to do is turn up with an open heart and mind!I first went there in March 2023 having met the amazing Dr Sam in London and I returned again in January 2024, both times unique, both times wonderful. I have no doubt I will go back again and again.Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a place built with love and integrity straight from Dr Sam’s heart to every one who has the great good fortune of staying there.Anne S.Anne S.1705512394 ★★★★☆ Wir haben fünf Tage im Sen Wellness verbracht und die Zeit sehr genossen. Die Anlage befindet sich direkt zwischen Meer und Lagune (Achtung - die nächstgelegene Badestelle ist etwa 35 Minuten zu Fuss entfernt!), einige der Zimmer direkt neben einem Mangrovenwäldchen. Ein grosses Kompliment geht an die Therapeutinnen, die mit viel Engagement und Erfahrung die Ayurveda-Behandlungen durchgeführt haben. Das Essen ist gut - allerdings nicht streng ayurvedisch (also auch nicht auf die individuellen Bedürfnisse angepasst), das sollte man vielleicht wissen. Die allgemeinen Aufenthaltsräume sind neu renoviert und mit viel Liebe zum Detail hergerichtet. Die - verhältnismässig eher teureren - Apartements sind mittlerweile etwas in die Jahre gekommen (sollen wohl aber in diesem Jahr renoviert werden). Alles in allem eine sehr schöne Erfahrung, die ich wirklich gut weiter empfehlen kann!Ryan S.Ryan S.1702232215 ★★★★★ First of all, I’d like to thank everyone working at this place for making it so magical. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and found it so incredibly rejuvenating - from the organic food, top notch Ayurvedic massages, health advice, breathwork, yoga, community.. the retreat is truly unique and unmatched.. it’s really a place that welcomes everyone and caters to each and every person’s needs. I loved connecting with others on the retreat too. I stayed for 3 short nights, but will remember the experience for a lifetime.Elisa B.Elisa B.1701430042 ★★★★★ I just came back after spending a week at Sen Wellness, and the experience was above my expectations.The location is beautiful, immerse in nature and with an amazing beach available.Yoga and meditation classes vary every day, and I can say I learnt so much.The main feedback I’d like to leave is about the team: all of them did everything in their power to make us guests happy, they personally cared about our wellbeing.I can say I came back relaxed, but also changed and nourished internally, I’m looking at problems with a different perspective.I am already planning to be back!Pia S.Pia S.1697801887 ★★★★★ All I could have asked for in an Ayurveda retreat. Beautiful place and nature, with lovely people and a lot of thought and intention in the programs.Richard SRichard S1697016861 ★★★★★ hat an incredible place and lovely team and special stay. Situated between the beach and the lagoon you are surrounded by wildlife and feel completely isolated from the outside world. The treatments, food and yoga/meditation work together to ensure an incredibly restorative and nourishing stay. Ten days seemed a good length of time to stay to maximise the benefits.Thank you to all the team at Sen for a magical stayMithi T.Mithi T.1694508202 ★★★★★ Heaven on earth. A must-visit if you wish to disconnect and self-connect.Irene Boñal B.Irene Boñal B.1693817075 ★★★★★ I came for the second time to this place and it can never disappoint… a truly healing place where you can connect with yourself and with others. I have met some amazing people here both times I have come. The staff really care and worry about you. Thank you ♥️ the first time’s review (last year’s) is just below which still applies.Mind-blowing experience. I am so happy I came to this place - I was planning for 5 days and stayed 10! All the team made me feel like home since I arrived. The kitchen staff are super nice and the food is amazing and healthy! The doctor and masseurs listened to me and gave me a therapy adapted to my needs from the very first day. The doctor, managers and reception were also always there for everything I needed. The yoga teachers are amazing healers that guided me through my journey in the sanctuary and for my home. I know I’ll apply their yoga and spiritual teachings in mind for my daily life. On top of that, a monk comes every week to have a 1-to-1 session with you. Personally, this was a very productive session for me!Moreover, the mini pool in the beach has an amazing sunshine - I’d recommend everyone to go one morning when in here!Amazing place to reconnect with myself which is what I was looking for. I’ll definitely come back😊Elaine L.Elaine L.1693770775 ★★★★★ The most nourishing, relaxing and healing week I have ever experienced in the most beautiful setting!! 7-day Ayurvedic and Yoga retreat left me feeling like a new person. I will definitely be returning.Jill L.Jill L.1693328040 ★★★★★ My two trips to the Sanctuary were equally special. Both were in January, one in 2016 and then again in 2020. It was a perfect way to start the year. The sheer beauty of this part of Sri Lanka is restorative in itself, but when coupled with the luxury and care of the Sanctuary, it becomes a deeply healing experience. I will go back again as soon as I can.Di S.Di S.1693132092 ★★★★★ I arrived exhausted and frazzled from a flight that had lost my bag in transit with the clothes I left London in and raging sinuses from the plane's insanely fierce aircon. Within days the sinus infection was healed with Ayurveda. This was the start of a 10 day healing journey that was pure magic. I stayed in an eco cabana - bed super comfy! - waking up to amazing birdsong. The nature here is lush (bring your mozzie spray!) , the complex open and airy, the food delicious (mainly veggie). Everyone on the team - from the Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners, the amazing manager, the chef and his crew, the yoga teachers to the boys who do the cleaning know what they're doing and radiate positive energy. Days are structured but the vibe is relaxed, open and easy. The Cacao ceremony was amazing. The Fire ceremony also. I'd go back in a heartbeat.js_loader

Sen Wellness Sanctuary - Award-Winning Wellness Retreat in Sri Lanka

Our approach to weight loss differentiates us from many other wellness retreats and weight-loss programmes. We do not use intense methods that promote strenuous exercise or starvation. Instead, we aim to understand the root cause of weight gain and unhealthy eating habits in every individual who comes to our Sanctuary. We recognise that the Western lifestyle contributes to so much stress and demands on the nervous system, therefore we combine a range of healing modalities to calm the nervous system whilst introducing a light exercise routine, Ayurvedic food, medicine and traditional Panchakarma.

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Natural Surrounding at Sen Wellness

The Final Word

A weight loss retreat in Sri Lanka can be life-changing as you begin to discover more energy, a better sleep pattern, brighter eyes and clearer skin. You will leave feeling like all the vitality and vibrancy has been restored throughout your entire body. Contact us below if you would like to register interest in joining a retreat.