FAQ: The Empowered Wellness Approach to Calories and Exercise

Unlike other well-known weight loss camps in the U.S., we believe campers should make their own decisions about food and exercise.

That’s because we built Empowered Wellness from the ground-up as a cognitive-behavioral weight loss program based on the latest science of weight management, not on outdated old-school fat camp approaches.

After all, our campers are teens and young adults with increasing independence, going off to college, living on their own.

How can they be expected to reach and stay at their healthiest, happiest weight if camp takes away all their food and exercise decisions just as they’re becoming fully responsible for them?

Our goal: the ability to make confident choices.

Our goal is to give campers solid information about the links between thoughts, feelings and actions, plus lots of hands-on experience understanding and making their own decisions so they build confidence and know-how.

That’s how you build a lasting foundation that leads to weight loss during camp. And it’s the only proven way to maintain or continue additional loss back home, after camp ends.

At Empowered Wellness our trained, licensed therapists, professional behavior coaches with advanced degrees, and certified personal trainers help campers make their OWN decisions around food and movement.

Top Five Questions Parents & Campers Ask About Calories & Exercise

FAQ #1: How much weight do campers lose?

In our experience, focusing on consistent behaviors is usually associated with an average weight loss of four pounds per week. Of course, every camper’s experience is unique. Some lose more, some lose less.

The truth is that just about every weight loss camp can achieve quick weight loss.

What sets us apart is how our campers lose weight.

Other camps limit everyone to no more than 1200 calories/day — which means most campers feel constantly hungry. The first thing they do after camp ends is start eating again. They also keep campers constantly on the move, often with activities that they won’t even have access to at home.

We don’t do that. We want our campers to learn lasting ways to make healthy choices themselves. We want them to build habits of physical activity and movement they’re happy and able to continue at home.

We know from research and experience that weight loss happens naturally when you focus on consistent behaviors and choices that nourish your body and mind.

Those behaviors are self-reinforcing: they make you think and feel your best. When you’re feeling good about yourself and your decisions, weight loss stops being a struggle.

FAQ #2: How many calories do campers eat?

It varies by camper. Unlike other weight loss camps, we don’t restrict or limit calories. We also don’t use very-low-calorie meal plans or assign a “one-size-fits-all” calorie level.

At each meal, each camper receives a reasonably-portioned, nutritionally-balanced plate that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. In fact, it’s the same food that our staff eats!

Campers may choose additional foods based on their hunger levels from the Camper’s Choice Food Bar.

It includes fresh fruit and vegetables, soup, additional proteins (like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and scrambled egg whites), condiments, toppings, and sauces.

This empowers campers to choose additional food if they still feel hungry, while encouraging mindful eating and new healthy habits.

Each camper’s individually-assigned behavior coach works with them to connect their food decisions to how they’re thinking and feeling, so that campers learn how to consciously make confident decisions they know they’ll feel good about.

FAQ #3: Can you accommodate dietary restrictions or requirements?

Yes, we’re generally able to handle vegetarian, gluten-free and other common dietary requirements.

We encourage you to discuss specific dietary concerns with our Admissions staff during the enrollment process.

FAQ #4: How much exercise do campers do?

Our motto is “Challenge by Choice.” We are not drill sergeants, and this is not a bootcamp that requires unhealthy and extreme amounts of exercise from our campers.

It’s not appropriate or effective to force campers to push themselves beyond their comfort levels. We work with each camper to decide what they feel comfortable doing, and to think through how they can try new things in ways they’re comfortable with.

All campers and staff wear pedometers to count steps. Every day at camp is naturally active, and we provide plenty of both structured and informal opportunities for kids to try lots of different activities.

We build in plenty of rest and relaxation, too — because that’s an equally important part of wellbeing.

FAQ #5: What if my child isn’t physically active?

Safety is our top priority. Our staff is specially trained to work with campers who may not have been active in a while, always prioritizing safety, injury prevention, and helping campers feel comfortable in new situations.

We work closely with our campers to ensure that they:

  • Start activities at a level that’s consistent with their current fitness.
  • Succeed and find activities they actually enjoy doing and will look forward to continuing at home.