Frequently Asked Questions about Our Healthy Weight Loss Retreat

The Retreat and Program

Why do you call Green Mountain a retreat and not a spa?

At Green Mountain, you learn how to take care of yourself in mind, body and spirit. Although we have spa services such as massage available, the emphasis is not on glamour or pampering but on developing a sustainable approach to living in a way that supports physical and emotional well-being.

Who goes to Green Mountain?

Women from 17 to over 70 from all over the world come to Green Mountain to experience our non-diet approach. Many of the women who come to us are busy professionals looking for an effective women’s healthy weight loss program. Though we address issues of binge eating and binge eating disorder, emotional eating and body image, we are not a medical facility designed to treat the eating disorders of anorexia or bulimia.

How many women attend Green Mountain each week?

We accept no more than 40-45 women into the program at any one time to ensure each woman receives an intimate, personalized experience during her stay.

I am overweight. Will everyone else be thin?

No. Ninety (90) percent of the women who come to Green Mountain want to lose weight, whether it’s a few pounds to 100 or more. For some, extra weight has been a lifelong struggle; for others, it’s a more recent event tied to childbirth, mid-life, or a long sedentary period.

How much weight will I lose?

Helping you find and maintain a healthy weight (one that feels right for you) is the cornerstone of the Green Mountain healthy lifestyle promise. We appreciate this is the burning question for many of you. But first, we want to point out that worrying about a number on the scale is likely to get in the way of your success. Feeling good while you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle that supports achieving a healthy weight, then staying there, is a goal that is much more likely to take you where you want to go. We focus on helping you adopt an intuitive, intrinsically motivated way of eating, exercising and living that moves you more purposefully towards a healthy weight than dieting does, and in the long run helps ensure the weight you lose stays lost.

That said, we can tell you that women who participate fully in our residential weight loss program experience considerable changes – weight loss being just one. Average weight losses in a week may be as few as two pounds or as many as 10 pounds. In a month some women may lose up to and over 20 pounds. But that is all dependent on current weight, height, age, dieting history, possible food sensitivities, certain medications, and above all, what each woman’s healthy weight is.

Is there a physician on staff?

We are associated with a number of physicians in the local community who attend to our participants’ immediate or ongoing needs. Our physician consultants can monitor participants during their visit, if requested by their primary physician, as well as attend to any illness or emergencies if they arise.

Fitness and Exercise

Will I be able to keep up with the exercise program?

Every Green Mountain participant has an initial evaluation by one of our credentialed fitness specialists to determine fitness and activity level. Whatever your age, weight, or fitness level, you will be given a program that is right for you. Classes are small and geared to the needs of every fitness level.

I’m reasonably fit; will I be challenged?

We offer intermediate level fitness classes, including Kickboxing“Abs” olutely No CrunchesCardio BlastIntermediate Pilates; and Latin meets hip-hop in our popularZumba dance classes. We also offer snowshoeing and intermediate level hikes for those who seek more challenging workouts. View a typical day at Green Mountain.

How will I know what exercise classes are appropriate for me, based on my age and abilities?

Our professional fitness specialists will make specific recommendations on which classes to attend.

Do I have to participate in every fitness/exercise class?

No. This is not boot camp. You’re here to stop that “all-or-nothing” approach to weight loss and health. We start by taking time to figure out your current physical conditioning and history and set up a realistic, livable plan tailored to your needs and most importantly that you’ll enjoy.

I haven’t exercised in years, and I’m afraid that I might get injured. Do I need to worry?

There’s no question that if you are beginning a fitness program for the first time in years, you have to be careful, as the risk of injury is considerably greater. Before you go to any classes, you’ll be assessed by our exercise specialists, who will review your medical and past fitness history and talk about your fitness goals. Together, these elements contribute to a plan for success—not only while you’re here, but especially when you return home.

I have orthopedic issues (such as a knee injury). Can the fitness program accommodate my needs?

Many women who attend the program have orthopedic conditions, including knee, hip, ankle and shoulder problems. Our professional staff have years of experience providing exercise modifications for all fitness levels and special conditions.

Planning Your Stay

How long should I stay?

While the minimum stay is one week, our complete program is a four-week journeycombining educational, nutritional, and exercise components. A two or more week stay provides the best opportunity for ‘”take-home” success. Four-week “alumnae” qualify for a 20% discounted rate on all future stays.

When is the best time of year to visit Green Mountain?

Each season has its advantages. Summer offers hiking, swimming and the naturally “air conditioned” climate of central Vermont. Autumn boasts spectacular foliage, and winter means snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Golf in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter are also available on your own, if you wish. Summer and fall are our most popular seasons, and our rates reflect that.

If I want to share a room, do I need to find a roommate or bring a friend?

The vast majority of women come to our program by themselves and are matched with a compatible roommate. We have consistently been voted one of the best spas for going solo.

Should I bring my cell phone and laptop?

We have good cell phone reception for all the major carriers. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the building for personal laptops, and guest computers are available to check your email.

Will my health insurance cover Green Mountain?

Insurance reimbursement is relatively rare but not impossible. Insurers often consider our program to be preventative and therefore not covered. Participants with a primary medical condition other than obesity (hypertension, diabetes or orthopedic complications) may be successful in getting insurance coverage if they get a referral from their primary care physician.

Food and Dietary Needs

What’s the food like at Green Mountain?

You’ll be pleased to discover that healthy eating never tasted so good! At Green Mountain, we serve balanced low-gluten meals that are carefully prepared with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. About 98% of our dishes are made in-house, from pizza dough to salad dressings, with an emphasis on healthful oils, plenty of vegetables and no refined sugars. Our beef is naturally-raised and grass-fed, chicken is free-range and eggs are cage-free. All our proteins, including tofu and soymilk, come from local New England producers. Produce is organic, when possible, for those items which tend to have a greater pesticide residue.

Gluten-free dishes, also all house-made, are as delicious as our regular menu and available upon request with a slight surcharge. Gluten-free or other special meal plans may also be recommended if you have had an individual nutrition consultation via our Healing with Food program.

This peek at our typical menus shows you how we put it all together.

  • Our Breakfast Buffet includes selections such as a 10-grain hot cereal, scrambled eggs with salsa, veggie sausage, waffles, pumpkin seeds and seasonal fruit.
  • Lunch features familiar favorites, such as soups, wraps and free-range chicken salad made with a healthful twist, and introduces new whole-grain foods such as millet cheddar cakes and amaranth salad. Asian and Mexican buffets add additional interesting choices.
  • Nourishing pick-me-ups such as house-made hummus with veggies, fruit smoothies or the ever popular Green Mountain Truffles satisfy at Snack.
  • Dinner showcases satisfying meals of well-seasoned wild or sustainably-farmed fish, locally grown beef, pork or chicken, and always an interesting starch rounded out with a bountiful amount of antioxidant-rich vegetables.

I am vegetarian or I have special dietary needs and allergies. Will I get enough to eat?

We want you to eat enough to feel well and be able to participate in our physical activity program. Plus, we don’t want you to feel deprived while you are with us. As a result, we take personal food needs and preferences very seriously. A vegetarian option is available at every meal, and we are well equipped to deal with food allergies and medical conditions including diabetes, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, diverticulitis, gastric ulcers and other issues that may affect what you can eat.