Slim at Home
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The Weight-Loss Camp

Naomi Abeykoon was put through her paces at FitFarms

Where:  FitFarms at Exmoor , Devon , or the Peak District, Derbyshire

What they say:  “FitFarms is a fitness and weight loss holiday for women who need to kick-start a healthy new lifestyle. We don't believe in creating the boot camp mentality to achieve short-term results. We believe in creating a safe, well-controlled, structured environment to give the knowledge and confidence to achieve your short and long term health goals.”

What we say:  “Set deep in the rolling hills of Devonshire , FitFarms is an unassuming place when you first clap eyes on it. I was greeted by Charlotte, one of the personal instructors, before I'd even had a chance to step out of the car, which I thought was a really nice touch; it can be daunting going somewhere totally new, especially if you are on your own. After being shown my room (shared rooms are cheaper), the group gathered for our introductions. From the start the attitude set by the FitFarms team is ‘firm but fair'. And they are keen to stress that it is   not  a boot camp. What you get out of the experience is determined by what you put in, so work hard and you'll get results. Simple, really! We must eat every calorie-counted meal we're given otherwise we'll go without. So it's vital that we devour every single (delicious) puy lentil and roasted aubergine because we'll need the energy for all that exercise we'll be doing! The menu is actually rather tasty – one night it might be salmon with celeriac mash, another you'll have Thai fish cakes with steamed vegetables and noodles. Yes, the portion sizes are smaller than I'd have at home, but that's probably why I'm here...

FitFarms wastes no time getting its participants to start moving – we play an activity-based getting-to-know-you game on the fist night! And the group is varied, to say the least. There are 33 of us (it's one of the, ahem, largest groups they've had) and four ladies have been before – a testament to FitFarms effectiveness, it appears. From teachers to IT managers, to wannabe body builders, women from all spectrums of life are here. Jeanne from Switzerland , lost 6lbs last September during her week at FitFarms. Following the plan they devised for her, she went on to lose a whopping 4st 3lbs! With just 3lbs to go, she enjoyed her stay so much she wanted to come back!

Everyone has a health assessment where their weight, body fat percentage, hips and waist circumference are measured. Here, a weight-loss target is set for the week. Then a fitness assessment in the form of a three-mile run takes place. I'm pleased with my 31 min 35 sec time, as i didn't stop once, but the tummy toning session after lunch was excruciating! The rest of the week is a blur of runs, cycling and swimming, interspersed with activities like aerobics, tai chi, circuit training and even line dancing. And there's no shouting in my ear as I had feared – just friendly encouragement and constant support. Then there are the workshops to encourage adopting a long-term healthy way of life, so you feel like you are getting a complete package.

Over the week, our group covers 33 miles on foot, 14 miles on bike, and does a 500m swim. Together with the other endless activities, that's 43 hours of exercise in seven days. But with a best weight-loss of 1 st 4oz and a total group weight-loss if 197lbs, it's certainly worth it!

The Verdict:  “If you're serious about losing weight and want to change your long-term lifestyle habits then this is the place for you! Prepare to work hard and you'll get results within seven days, providing you with the motivation to keep going.”

Cost: A week's stay at either the Exmoor or peak District farms costs £995 for a shared room and £1495 for a single room. Book now and get £100 off the price!