The personal website of Chris Coyier


I recently spent a week at Hilton Head Health. I ended up there rather on a whim. Being overweight is constantly on my mind and several months ago the thought occurred to me to try some kind of adult fat camp. I literally googled that. This article was the first hit. It seemed fairly positive and mentioned HHH.

I was super nervous about the idea, but I must have been feeling adventurous and liked what I saw enough on the HHH website and pulled the trigger. I’m glad I did!

You stay right on Hilton Head of course which is a beautiful place. Loads of beach. No overly obnoxious developments. Everything is only a story or two tall from what I saw. Businesses, even along major roads, are set off the road a bit with trees in between which maintains a very beautiful, nature-y look to the island.

I stayed in a private villa, which was $75 more dollars per day. Not too bad, since it’s already fairly expensive at $2900 for the week. As an introvert, I needed my escape hut. I remember kind of gawking at the price, but I feel like a beach vacation can approach that anyway when you factor in all the costs. Remember this covers everything including lodging and food (but not transportation).

Right away they test your blood and take your blood pressure, and record your weight and such. Then you meet with a counselor to discuss your goals and look at those numbers (blood sugar, triglycerides, good/bad cholesterol, etc) They help you make a plan for the week.

From 7am to 7pm each day, there is stuff going on. Activities, classes, and meals.

Activities range from the very chill like beach walks and movie night to the fairly intense like their signature “Treading” class (fancy treadmill stuff) and a class where you alternate between cardio machines and weightlifting every 2 minutes for an hour.

There are three main meals a day. They are at certain times and everyone eats together. This is where you really get to know everyone. Each meal is around 300 calories. Then there are three “Metabomeals” of 100 calories each, putting the total at 1200.

Classes range from hour long lectures like “Mindless Eating” and “The Restaurant Game” to 3 1/2 hour courses on grilling in their fantastic indoor cooking classroom.

Some of the classes, activities, and meals cost additional money but everything, including the free stuff, is optional. You make of the time you have there what you will. Nobody is cracking a whip. Very chill.

For me, it was all about the food. Forcing myself onto a super strict eating plan like that was worth the trip alone. I enjoyed the classroom stuff quite a bit and did as many exercise classes as I could, but that was just gravy compared to the meal system. That’s just me – eating is my hardest thing.

I don’t have that much regiment in my life, so forcing some structure on the day and being amongst so many nice people in the same situation was wonderful. I’m planning to go back, if nothing else, to give myself some accountability. I can’t go back worse than I left!