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.

THE BOTTOM LINE

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.