Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… Villa Paradiso in Italy

It’s the day of reckoning for our covert reporter

Spa Junkie at… Villa Paradiso in Italy

Image: Jay Yeo

September 13 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Spa Junkie is at the end of a four-day stay at Villa Paradiso, the Italian medical spa on the edge of Lake Garda.

Dr Loreto, who I now totally adore, prints out all of the analyses. “I apologise, but it’s in Italian.” I try to remember as much as possible of what he translates for me: the tests show that I have body muscle weight of 48.8kg, which makes up 77.4 per cent of my body weight. My fat weighs 14.2kg, which the doctor feels is a little high at 22.6 per cent, and I should aim to get it to 14 per cent in the long term – not in the short time I am at Villa Paradiso. (This is interesting, as it seems to me that, as I saw at the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, Italian doctors seem to skew to the thinner side of the scale. A healthy fat range is often deemed to be 21-23 per cent.) The best exercises for me, he says, are climbing stairs, running, rowing and skiing (which can burn up to a whopping 882 calories an hour).

His summary for my diet: most importantly, always combine carbohydrates and proteins; don’t consume sugar, yeast or alcohol; always eat breakfast, and ensure that it has both fruit and protein; never skip lunch or dinner; and if I have to snack, eat fruit.

The results of the measuring reveal that I have lost 5cm around my waist, 11.5cm around my stomach, 2.5cm off my hips and 4cm off each thigh. I have lost 2.3kg in weight.

Antonella is also happy with my results. “The only area I think you need to work on is your thighs,” she ruminates. “They are too big for your body.” She counsels more Pilates and yoga to create a leaner-looking leg. She also notes that my weight loss could have been better. “Had you done the full seven days I am certain you would have lost 3kg – so try and continue with the good work you have started here.”

At Verona airport, I’m given an upgrade to first class; what a treat on a long haul to LA.

“Can I get you a glass of champagne? And would you like some caviar with that?”

It would be rude to say no…

Barely an hour out, and the retox starts again.


As I drive to Verona for my connecting flight and review the experience in its aggregate, I find I’m pleased that I went. The test results were fascinating; and I suppose the eureka moment for me on this trip is that one should never follow mass diets. We are all so different; if you want to lose weight healthily, it’s so much better to see a doctor and have these tests done so you know what diet best suits your genetic disposition, blood type and pH balance. I was a little disappointed with the weight loss; however, given that I was famished before each meal, realistically, I doubt that I could have gone with fewer calories.

I don’t imagine I’ll go back until I’m perhaps in my mid-40s – but I do think it’s a perfect spa for the over-45 husband-and-wife set.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.