Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca is the fourth location in a chain of resorts built after NBC’s popular reality competition. The Biggest Loser Resort opened in California, Utah and New York previously. According to Lou Ann Chvatal, registered dietician, The Biggest Loser Resort Chicago, the idea of opening a Chicago location came from the guests, as many of them traveled from the Midwest to the other resorts.
Over 75 percent of the guests at Biggest Loser Resorts are female. According to Ms. Chvatal, this is because of the resorts safe, non-judgmental, empowering and provide social community-focused programs. And the resort’s approach in combining fitness, nutrition, education, relaxation and group camaraderie works.
There’s no weight requirement to stay at the resort, explains Ms. Chvatal; half of the guests come to lose about 15 to 30 pounds. Another 25 percent of guests are in shape and come for a ‘fitness getaway’ and the remaining 25 percent come because they have serious health challenges associated with their weight.
The average age of guests is between 30 and 60. Young adults between the ages of 14 through 17 can also attend with a participating guardian.
According to Ms. Chvatal, “The program is structured from 6:30AM to 7PM every day, and includes fitness training, educational training with dieticians, nutritionists and life coaches, meals (calorie controlled at 1,500) and accommodations. So a typical day might include a stretching class, hike, strength and circuit training, water aerobics and a spin class along with educational sessions.”
A minimum stay of a week is required, but most guests average two weeks and some people have even stayed up to 20 weeks! “We also offer an ‘in-town’ program for local residents so they can spend their evenings at home,” explains Ms. Chvatal. “Because Chicago is such a large city, we will also be offering a variety of special programs just for locals – bringing in experts and special guests from our Biggest Loser family.” And don’t forget about the spa! “The spa treatments are optional and not included in the cost.”
Ms. Chvatal explains the goal at the end of the retreat for every guest is to have an “understanding that getting healthy is possible for anyone and it’s all about having the proper ‘tool kit’ to make the right decisions each and every day, especially after one leaves the resort. That’s why the stay at the resort isn’t the end. It is really just the beginning of a personal transformation.”
By Angelica Sanchez