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.

Table of Contents

How an Ayurvedic diet can normalise your ideal weight

weight loss retreat in sri lanka, Weight Loss Retreat Sri Lanka – 5 Essentials
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.”

weight loss retreat in sri lanka, Weight Loss Retreat Sri Lanka – 5 Essentials
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. 

weight loss retreat in sri lanka, Weight Loss Retreat Sri Lanka – 5 Essentials
Staying at the Sen Wellness Retreat in Sri Lanka was one of my best experiences from the moment I entered the retreat I was enveloped in all the warmth and love you could possibly wish for. The delicious food, Ayurvedic treatments, relaxing on the comfortable furnishings in the common areas and the well appointed bedrooms. The thrill of enjoying the sunrise while doing kundalini yoga on the golden sand where the turtles had struggled up the beach the night before to lay their eggs. Sunset yoga, meditation and sitting around the fire chatting to my new family is unforgettable - I am planning on returning in November!! A pool would be lovely - Sam had best start digging!!!!
Ann
17:53 26 Jan 23
Thanks to Sen Wellness I'm starting my year completely refreshed from the inside out. It's the most beautiful, serene, welcoming place located between the sea and a lagoon. The team has gone over and beyond looking after every single guest with individual treatment plans and always being around to support. Not to mention the amazing food.. I've only stayed 6 days and would have loved to have some extra days. Can only recommend it and hope to be back again!
Christina B.
14:09 12 Jan 23
Whether you are looking to take a break from the busyness of life, a complete overhaul of the mind, body and soul or just a place to completely relax and get a good sleep, look no further. You have the ability and opportunity to completely unplug here with no outside distractions. Completely rest and rejuvenate at this very private location with super comfortable beds, nutritious food, amazing daily Ayurvedic therapies and supportive staff. It is called a sanctuary for a reason. The only distraction may be your minds addictive behaviors, for most the rabbit hole of the internet. With the limited wifi, you can turn off your phone for your entire stay or limit it to an hour a day. Then you may get to discover what truly makes you happy from within.My partner, Jamie, and I worked here for 3 months as therapists, yoga teachers and hosts. We fell in love with the place and the staff, we now call friends, that we would often here laughing while they worked. Something that we have discovered working at other retreat centers was not the case.We also noticed the pure synchronicity and harmony of the individual guests who showed up. Most of them became, not only friends with each other, but the perfect support persons in their transformative processes and I'm sure many will stay in touch for years to come.Please consider staying here to not only find your light but to turn it up so bright so you can be a lighthouse onto everyone around you. This world needs more light-bearers.Last but not least when considering how long to stay we noticed guests who stayed for less than 7 days felt their time was cut short and were only starting to get into a rhythm. Those who stayed for 2 weeks or longer were completely transformed and were literally floating by the time they left.Jamie and I look forward to coming back, for our own wellness and to support others in finding theirs. OM.
Arjuna D.
19:05 24 Nov 22
My sister and I went to Sen Wellness Santuary in November 2022. The experience was far more than we expected. The Ayuverdic treatments were so rejuvenating, the food was delicious, plant basic and organic, the morning breathing, meditation and yoga were just what we needed to kick start the day with the right intention and mindset. Also, the community connection is better than any other wellness place I have been to. The location of the sanctuary is between a forest, a lake, and the ocean, so you get the best of the 2 worlds. Highly recommended should you want to slow down from your busy schedule, connect with yourself and renergise 😀
Lamees A.
07:30 21 Nov 22
What an incredible, transformative week at Sen Wellness. A beautiful coccoon for the soul, in such a beautiful location. It's hard to describe what happens here, with the great yoga sessions, personalized Ayurvedic treatments, workshops, meditations, ceremonies, and mindful diet...it just all works together to provide a healing experience, one which expands the mind and heart, and gives the soul room to breathe. Stress lines and wrinkles noticeably vanished from everyone's faces over a few days, bodies began to unfold and stand strong once more, and smiles continued to grow day after day. Everyone at the center was incredibly kind and attentive, and it was a joy every morning to greet them. Madhu at the main desk was a ray of sunshine, Dr Harnika radiated peace and warmth, and all the therapists and kitchen staff took such good care of us. A very special thank you to our yoga teacher (and SO much more) Jamie, who helped to create a safe and nurturing space while helping us to free our bodies and minds. She is an exceptional guide, and a powerful beam of light, helping strangers from all over the world turn into a supportive community. And such deep gratitude for Arjuna who has what can only be described as the most healing hands, who helped me work through my chronic pain of 10+ years in such an intuitive manner - I'm still speechless!!Thank you so much Sen for helping so many people in deeply personal ways. 🙏
Jonathan Z. L.
14:57 25 Oct 22
Thank you Sen Wellness for providing an outstanding stay for Jon and myself. It really felt like a warm cocoon, a safe space to be guided towards our essence, to feel nurtured, grounded, healthy, and to be allowed to just be. The yoga was very integrative to all levels, and Jamie helped us understand and integrate the true meaning of yoga beyond the classes. The ceremonies led by Jamie and Arjuna were so great and genuine heart openers for people from all walks of life. Arjuna’s massages were out of this world, and with a lot of love.Beyond this, the whole staff was incredibly friendly - every single one of them.Madhu’s smile simply unforgettable. Best wishes and we will hopefully be back very soon!!
Manuela C.
14:54 25 Oct 22
I did not write a comment immediately after my retreat because I was looking for the perfect words to describe the beautiful and deep experience I lived at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. You might choose this place because you feel in a certain way but independently of the cause that might bring you there the truth is that you will leave with a clear, light and peaceful body and soul. At Sen Wellness Sanctuary I felt that everyone works towards making that space a home away from your home. The kindness and perfectionism that the staff provides is rare to find. By investing in Sen Wellness Sanctuary you are also investing in the community. The owner's philosophy of making the staff a priority really made the difference for me.The beautiful classes and ceremonies provided by Jamie Sol are undoubtedly memorable. I felt an immediate connection with the teachers and there are lessons that I for sure won't forget. Starting from the interior to the exterior, all Ayurvedic treatments brought me the feeling of floating. I felt many times that I was reborn over and over again. And I can not end this review without mentioning the unity created in the space between its architecture and nature to really create a unity between the all. I left with a tight heart because I really felt at home. The morning tee watching the sunrise from the cabana, the long walks between the empty beach and the immense lagoon, yoga while the sun goes up, the delicious (really delicious) food, the laughs, the sound of birds and monkeys playing around, the chat and meditation with the monk, the sky filled with stars, the reading by the pool, the long conversations, the sunbath by the stairs while waiting for treatments. The many many smiles. Oh I could go back in a glimpse.
Paula Alves S.
11:42 20 Oct 22
I had a wonderful stay at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. I was traveling solo and honestly this retreat was more than I thought I ever needed. Everything - from facilities, food, treatments was just great. You can feel this amazing hospitality from the moment you step through their gates.What is important to mention - I am on a strict gluten free diet and the kitchen staff took every effort to accommodate my dietary requirements. They even made a special GF cake for my birthday!Big shoutout to Jamie and Arjuna - such a lovely teachers and mentors - I have learned so much from them about yoga, meditation, energy healing and more.To the whole staff (and especially the ones I was not able to say goodbye to) - thank you from the bottom of my heart. People are the ones who make places special and you were all so incredible and kind. I received so much love and care when celebrating my birthday there - something I will cherish forever.Everything was organized with lots of care. My transfer from and to the airport was very smooth. The area is very safe and honestly I can't recommend the retreat enough.
Bożena T.
15:45 18 Oct 22
My retreat at Sen Wellness Sanctuary was exactly what I needed after 2,5 years Covid with full time home working. I was tired, both mentally and physically. As I wanted to completely disconnect from my day to day life, I chose for the 14 day package. It was the best thing I did to recover from these 2,5 years.The staff at Sen Wellness is very friendly and welcoming, from yoga teachers to the kitchen staff and therapists. I had an excellent yoga teacher Jamie, who also guided the ceremonies. We did a fire ceremony, water ceremony and a new moon ceremony. The new moon ceremony was very special. It was like Jamie sensed what I needed. Movement, dance, energy, joy, life! Perfect!The food was excellent, every meal a great variety of dishes. Even the few days that I had the luxury to be the only guest, I had at least 7 dishes for lunch and dinner.I loved the treatments, my favorite was the shirodhara. This oil treatment you have to experience. Words cannot express this experience, you float, lose track of time and space. And let's not forget the joint treatment, loosening your whole body.The yoga classes went beyond the physical postures. There was a lot of attention for both body and soul, with breathing exercises and meditation. And let’s not forget joy. The last day we went at sun rise to the beach to take pictures of my achievement. It was not about the achievement, it was about the joy of life we shared together.A retreat at Sen Wellness is a treat and transformation for body and soul.
Gerti van L.
14:41 16 Oct 22
I attended to summer retreat and this center offered me so much more than I expected. First of all, I was not sure at all of travelling to Sri Lanka from Canada, but all is good, you can travel with no fear, it was a perfect experience, from beginning to end.I have been taking care of from the most caring, knowledgeable, open hearted, and wonderful people that have made my journey at the center a exceptionnel experience.You can trust, that this center will bring you what you need, at the perfect timing in your life.
Sonia C.
18:20 11 Sep 22
I stayed at Sen Wellness for the special golden summer retreat in August 2022. It was everything I was looking for: expanding my knowledge of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. More importantly, it helped me connect with myself. The people that have built this amazing place between the ocean and jungle are so kind and welcoming. Everything is taken care off and the staff really ensures you get a wonderful experience. The food is amazing and I never felt healthier. The yoga and meditation teachers Jamie and Ardyuna who were there at the time, made the experience even more special. With their knowledge and experience, the experience was even more special. Thank you Sen Wellness for helping me connect with myself on a deeper level. I would highly recommend this relaxing and special experience to everyone.Even though Sri Lanka was in the middle of an economic crisis while I was there, this did not affect my trip in any way. The country is safe to travel to and I would recommend everyone to do so!
marleen blanson H.
09:15 04 Sep 22
Everything at the highest level.A unique, authentic place at the highest level.Atmosphere, ambience, food, treatments, doctors, yoga, accommodation - ideal place for retreat for body, soul and mind.5 nights there is an absolute minimum:)Thank you Sen Wellness Sanctuary and see you soon
Dominika M
18:02 20 Jun 22
Sam and the team and SEN Wellness have done a fantastic job of creating a space for healing, rejuvenation and connecting to natureI spent 10 days at the sanctuary in April and to this day I am still struggling to put the experience in to words that could do it justice..!The whole experience there was truly magical - from the location and immersion in nature, the daily structure, community with other guests, the food, yoga and cacao ceremony. Not only was there opportunities to experience and heal during the stay but I also felt there was so much I was able to learn and take away / take back in to 'normal' life to continue the process.Litsa - the yoga teacher during our stay - was incredible at holding space and taking the group where they needed to go as a collective and really opened my eyes to another depth of yoga that I didn't know existed.I'd recommend SEN Wellness Sanctuary in a heartbeat and felt privileged to witness and be a small part of the the transformations I saw in people through their stay. Thank you!
Grant M.
00:09 19 Jun 22
Sen Wellness Sanctuary was exactly what I needed to start my healing journey with myself. I did the 7 day package (and honestly kind of wish I had done the 10 day instead.) I came to Sen feeling the stress and trauma of the last 3 years of the pandemic and working long hours at a remote job for an international NGO. I came with the intention to focus on my health issues, recommit to a yoga and meditation practice, and explore with ayurvedic practitioners some of my health issues that had developed due to stress. I am happy to say I got what I came for.The staff of the sanctuary - from the front desk coordinators and managers to the ayurvedic doctor to the ayurvedic practitioners, and service staff and cooks were so kind and helpful, attending to any issue that might arise. In particular I'd like to thank Dr. Harnika (the doctor), Madhu & Neeranjana (front desk coordinators), Prema (who served tea every morning), Rupika (my ayurvedic practitioner), and all the other ayurvedic practitioners and wait staff boys who helped serve food, clean rooms, etc.I also had consultations with Sam Kankanamge, the founder, at my request ahead of booking to discuss some of my needs, as well as with Davia, an international coordinator. I found everyone to be very responsive, which I appreciated.The yoga instructor, Litsa, who led the morning and evening yoga classes and meditation during my stay was incredible and I learnt a lot from her practice and really appreciated my one-on-one with her. The use of sound meditation/healing via the use of a gong was really amazing as well. Litsa really helped to focus those of us at the retreat on our healing journey. She was a real rock. Her yoga practice is really spiritual, nurturing, and also high intensity, which I really enjoyed. (Note that the yoga practitioners rotate, so I'm speaking towards the person who was there during my stay.)The ayurvedic treatments and acupuncture were divine and a lot of care was taken to do them well. I felt relaxed and refreshed after all of them.As someone of Sri Lankan descent who now lives in the United States, it was really healing for me to get the kind of care I wanted in my mother country. I felt really taken care of and respected, and I'm glad I invested in myself by coming to this retreat.I also appreciated the international nature of the retreat - and made many lovely friendships through the experience with other guests who were there at the same time. There's a special kind of bonding and relationship building that happens from eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together with all the guests at one long table, which I appreciated.The food served at the retreat is super healthy - a lot of typical Sri Lankan dishes, primarily vegan. I enjoyed the variety in the menus. I even enjoyed the juice cleanses I partook in.If you're looking for a typical "holiday" that's not what you're going to get here. This felt like a very spiritual and intentional sanctuary, particularly for people who are trying to heal themselves and take care of themselves. Having done the research before heading to Sen, I got exactly what I was hoping for and more -- be prepared to put in work and to be committed to the journey.In addition, Rekawa Beach, which is a few minutes walk from the Sanctuary is one of the most stunning and tranquil beaches I have ever seen. While it isn't necessarily safe to swim, it was really healing to go there early morning and evening to watch sunrises and sunsets. This is a turtle nesting beach and it was truly a joy to watch massive turtles lay their eggs on the beach, a once in a lifetime opportunity.I also really enjoyed a boat ride through Rekawa Lagoon, the sounds of the mangroves, and the sweet monkeys who watch you from the trees when you do yoga in the shalet.While it's a difficult time for Sri Lanka, I highly encourage people to support the economy, invest in your own well-being and healing, and experience this very intentional and caring retreat.
Thanu Y.
16:48 18 May 22
I’ve never felt so alive for such a long time! All thanks to my decision to visit Sen Wellness Sanctuary. I have been on autopilot with my daily life, work & even breathing for the longest time I could remember!Sen Wellness had helped me appreciate having a healthy routine, learn to love Yoga and understand the importance of breathing.The sanctuary is a real epitome of inner peace! All the staff both from London office & in Sri Lanka were oh so lovely! And the guests I was with during my stay were all so awesome! The country itself is gorgeous! All these helped make my stay all worth the while..Because of my experience, I can say that I will definitely do this again! I highly recommend that you try this out 🙂
Zulkatro D.
09:16 12 May 22
weight loss retreat in sri lanka, Weight Loss Retreat Sri Lanka – 5 Essentials

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.

weight loss retreat in sri lanka, Weight Loss Retreat Sri Lanka – 5 Essentials
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.