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 186 reviews from Claire W.Claire W.1715076485 ★★★★★ I have just completed a 10 day retreat at Sen Wellness and having researched many options, I was drawn to this but it was way beyond my expectations, it was amazing. The yoga by Frances and the monk was incredible, the doctors were kind and helpful and all the staff could not have been more helpful. Special mention to treatments from Tanisha and the manager Sanath who got me out on the beach one evening to see the mother turtles. A dream come true in so many ways, left feeling refreshed,so much healthier in body and mind!! I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a reset.britta B.britta B.1713871962 ★★★★★ I had a wonderful stay and participated in the Signature Retreat. The resort is located in a very beautiful nature reserve. There is a beautiful beach for long nice walks and you also can see turtles.Meditation and Yoga were very also so good as were the ayurvedic treatments. I love it.The Signature Retreat led by Sam is a great, inspiring journey in itself - I can highly recommend.The ayurvedic food was delicious and the staff is great.I hope to go soon again to this wonderful place.Mandy thanks to Sam and his team at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. BrittaKimberly St. O.Kimberly St. O.1712299536 ★★★★★ One of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. The 10-day retreat is the ultimate in relaxation. They feed you all your meals (delicious homegrown/homemade food), schedule yoga and daily spa treatments and hold special ceremonies throughout the week. The staff go above and beyond to make your experience deep, meaningful and heartfelt. The sanctuary is located in a jungle so be prepared to be immersed in wildlife! Monkeys, reptiles of all kinds, turtles on the beach, eagles/birds and more! I stumbled across this place researching Sri Lanka and it was truly meant to be. The faculties are stunning, comfortable and reasonably priced. Don’t miss an opportunity to come here!Melanie F.Melanie F.1711609773 ★★★★★ A wonderful stay! The staff was so incredible and thoughtful throughout. I left feeling very rejuvenated. Thank you !M U.M U.1710650939 ★★★★★ I had really nice experience at Sen Wellness for 8 nights. Here is in the middle of nature, we can feel that we are a part of nature and it is very natural to live with all kinds of animals and plants. I am now mentally and physically fit.What I really appreciated is food - healthy, everyday different menu, some vegetables that I have never seen… I felt that my feeling of taste transformed through my stay and skin condition and body condition became better.All people here is really kind and peaceful.Yoga teacher, Stefania, is a wonderful teacher, she is really knowledgeable and so kind to care all participants. I had enjoyed conversations with her at breakfast, lunch and dinner.Doctors, therapists are nice, I could ask questions and request whatever I feel comfortable.There are different types of rooms, I experienced the most luxury cabana and eco-cabana with Air Conditioning, too. Luxury cabana was awesome but I liked eco-cabana as well. It was an old facility but authentic, compact and I felt cozy. I was alone in the room so the space was enough for single use. If you wish to have luxury stay, I would recommend you to go for Luxury cabana.Everyone has different purpose and expectations. My purpose was feel nature, have simple life and feel appreciation of life. And it was fulfilled. Thank you so much for all Sen wellness team.sunil D.sunil D.1710516667 ★★★★★ Went to Sen Wellness with family for a retreat, it was a nice spiritual and healthy experience. Fantastic team who were friendly and did everything possible to make it us feel special, great doctors and therapists and of course the daily yoga and one on one interaction with Sam was icing on the cake. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a great mix of spirituality, yoga, treatment and healthy eating. Look forward to my next one at Sen Wellness.Jessica C.Jessica C.1709904229 ★★★★★ Sen Wellness is the perfect place to go to when you are exhausted by life and need a rest to get back to yourself and work through any difficulties you may be experiencing.There’s lovely yoga and meditation classes every day plus a set schedule which is a great way to structure your day of rest alongside tailored Ayurvedic treatments and healthy food.The place is for me perfect but it’s not like a 5 star hotel so if that’s what you are looking for it may be the wrong place for you.If you are lucky you’ll see some turtles as well.Samath and Francis are great managers and will make sure everything goes well.Kumail S.Kumail S.1709739998 ★★★★★ Beautiful experience, beyond my wildest expectations. Would recommend to anyone interested in Ayurveda and healingNeil W.Neil W.1709656423 ★★★★★ I was fortunate to lead a yoga retreat in early February of 2024. Everything was absolutely spectacular. Sen is a very special place with a beautiful energy that is perfect for retreat and healing.What really makes Sen so special are the people. Every single one of the staff members as well as the ayurveda doctors and all the managers were so kind and always trying to make each experience special. The entire team was led by Sanath and Frances and they were both absolutely wonderful. I can't possibly find enough kind words for both of them. Their leadership and warmth really allowed me to lead the retreat in the best way I could and they were always there for me whenever I needed. Thank you!helen W.helen W.1709279369 ★★★★★ Sen wellness is a perfect sanctuary. The Ayurvedic retreat was insane - I loved every minute of it . Thank youElly GElly G1708444914 ★★★★★ Came here for a yoga retreat with our teacher. This is the place to unwind, do yoga, relax and get Ayurvedic treatment. Ayurvedic drs and therapists are so helpful and friendly. Staff are so warm and helpful. Frances is the manager at Sen, a person with a beautiful soul who is very sensitive to our needs and intentions when visiting the sanctuary. Saneth (pardon my spelling) is a very dedicated and hardworking gentleman who made sure that our stay was a pleasant one. Highly recommend Sen Wellness Sanctuary 🙏🏽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!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.