What’s the best place in the world to lose weight and get back into shape? We’re often asked this question, and although there’s no real answer to it, it was high time for Pascal Languillon, Director of Luxe Wellness Club, to visit VIVAMAYR in Austria to find out how one of the world’s most renowned detox cures works. What if, by focusing on intestinal health, we were to find one of the best approaches to losing weight and, above all, learning to live healthily? Here’s our verdict after an exciting stay in Austria’s two luxury fitness centers: VIVAMAYR Maria Wörth and MAYRLIFE in Altaussee (formerly Vivamayr Altaussee).
A method renowned the world over
When I arrived on the shores of Lake Wöthersee in Austria, I wondered what kind of celebrity I was going to bump into… The VIVAMAYR centers (and now MAYRLIFE in Altaussee) are renowned for hosting a wide range of celebrities. international eliteFrom Europe, but also from India and the United States, to follow this very special diet. No famous faces during my stay, although I just missed a certain princess from a principality whose name I won’t mention.
It all began in Austria with Dr Franz Mayr (1875-1965), a true legend in the medical world. Dr Harald Stossier ran the Mayr Clinic for 10 years before founding his own VIVAMAYR center in Maria Wörth in the early 2000s. The second facility in Altaussee opened in 2015.
You know the old adage: “You are what you eat”… according to Dr Stossier and his followers at Vivamayr, “you are whatyou digest“! Indeed, it’s what we do with the food we eat that counts. It’s better to eat a burger calmly and chew well than to gobble down an organic salad in a hurry. Digestion is essential and there is a proper way to eat, which the vast majority of the population does not do. The cause: modern society, with its plethora of stress and screens, which means that we eat quickly and without paying much attention to our food… So it’s not just a question of what you eat, but also of how you eat.
The VIVAMAYR cure goes much further than helping people lose a few unwanted kilos, although this can be part of its immediate results. The aim of the method is to guide you towards a new approach to your nutrition and to guarantee that you will lose weight if you wish, but above all that you will learn to live with greater vitality…
The VIVAMAYR detox diet
Diet is the cornerstone of every VIVAMAYR cure. Let’s face it, there’s no alcohol, sugar or coffee here! However, this is not a vegetarian or vegan diet, as some fish and white meats are on the menu. The basic rules of the VIVAMAYR plan are as follows:
- Chew as long as you can (they talk about 40 times per bite….I must admit that I don’t think I’ve managed to go over 20 times even with hard bread, but it’s already much better than usual).
- Don’t eat anything raw after 4 p.m. (because raw foods are harder to digest and the digestive system is less efficient at night).
- Don’t drink with meals (leave an hour or so between meals), but drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day between meals!
- Eat more in the morning and less in the evening (for the same reason).
- No cell phones or screens at the table.
But what exactly do we eat in these restaurants? The VIVAMAYR diet is essentially alkaline. Portions are small, especially in the evening, as dinner often consists only of soup or broth. However, you can always ask for a second portion of what you’ve just eaten.
This diet also includes a daily intake ofcold-pressed oils. I found myself drinking flaxseed oil or hempseed oil by the spoonful at every meal… and I must admit I took a strange liking to it. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for health, with their high levels of omega 3, 6 and 9, and VIVAMAYR recommends ingesting them at every meal. Perhaps surprisingly, these oils, which should be eaten uncooked, burn fat from the body.
I personally found the food to be good, even very good at times, especially the lunch dishes, which are particularly well prepared. Although I’m not a big fan of “chewing trainers”, the breads deliberately hardened by VIVAMAYR to train customers to chew properly, I recognize that the method has its merits, and anyway, when you’re hungry, you eat what you’re given!
What also characterizes VIVAMAYR is that every customer has his or her own little box of food supplements on the table at every meal. Following the initial results of the blood and urine tests carried out at the beginning of your stay, the doctor will prescribe food supplements to make up for any deficiencies. For my part, I particularly needed 5-HTP to calm my stress and anti-oxidants to bring up my levels, which were considered too low.
There’s also a whole ritual that’s rather surprising in VIVAMAYR cures, but which you soon get used to. As soon as you wake up in the morning (7 a.m.), rinse your mouth for 5 to 10 minutes with a mouth oil, then spit it out, to eliminate bad bacteria and toxins. Swallow magnesium citrate and Epsom salts to cleanse the intestine (caution: laxative effect). Eat meals at set times. Daily abdominal massage by the doctor. Ingest alkaline powder to counteract body acidity. In the evening, place a hot water bottle on the stomach where the liver is located for 30 minutes. Ideally, go to bed before 10pm and…start again!
Attractive, comfortable spa facilities
Let’s face it, both VIVAMAYR establishments are located in beautiful natural settings, and both are both comfortable and beautiful, with a certain sense of minimalism, while remaining warm and colorful.
In my opinion, you might as well opt for rooms overlooking the lakes, even if the other sides of the two hotels have beautiful views too. I loved the super-cozy rounded sofa in the Deluxe Lake View room at Maria Wörth.
The bathrooms at Altaussee are very attractive, and both establishments offer shower gels and moisturizers from the excellent Vitalis brand. Very pleasant.
VIVAMAYR centers may look like beautiful luxury hotels, but here the focus is elsewhere. Where VIVAMAYR really stands out is in the quality of its care and medical expertise .
A medical approach to detox
Unlike many hotels, which offer detox formulas based on light food and a few complementary draining treatments, and generally only one medical consultation at the beginning of the stay, VIVAMAYR is first and foremost a clinic, with an essentially medical approach. The VIVAMAYR method is based on three principles: a nutritional diet adapted to each individual, orthomolecular therapy (granting of supplements naturally present in the human body), and applied kinesiology (muscle testing that can determine certain food intolerances, which is completely bluffing).
Here, you’ll have daily appointments with your doctor for abdominal treatment, to interpret the results of the various blood, urine and stool tests that may be taken before and during your stay, and to prescribe dietary supplements. All these diagnostics measure acidity levels, oxidative stress, anti-oxidant levels and more. I really appreciated Dr. Sepp Bodo Fegerl’s calm and caring explanations.
VIVAMAYR centers also take a serious approach to educating customers so that they have the keys to improving their intestinal health. In the space of a week, you can have a consultation to discuss your eating habits, a consultation with a dietician, attend multiple conferences, as well as get summary sheets and a whole plan to take home to continue the detox for at least two more weeks. Much appreciated!
Many detox treatments are surprising at first glance. The center recommends an almost daily 20-minute footbath in an electrolysis machine to eliminate toxins. There’s also nasal reflex therapy , in which cotton buds soaked in essential oils are inserted into the nostrils for around 20 minutes, to deeply cleanse the sinuses and regulate the hormonal system. Naturopathy when you want it! Another strange treatment is the Schummanplate, an upper-body vibration machine with regenerating benefits!
High-quality spas and wellness treatments
For a spa with a reputation for being strict and highly medicalized, I was almost surprised by the quality and diversity of the treatments on offer. Numerous methods and therapies are on offer, even drawing inspiration from oriental techniques. You can take part in a wide range of yoga, meditation and Qi Gong classes. Aqua-fitness classes and guided hikes are also available. Daily massages are also part of the treatment program. Most of them were excellent. I also enjoyed a terribly relaxing Tibetan bowl massage.
The spas are excellent, with beautiful indoor pools at both Altaussee and Maria Wörth. Special mention must be made of the relaxation room facing the lake at Maria Wörth, and the Watsu pool at Altaussee, where I enjoyed an excellent and particularly enchanting underwater massage. The sauna and hammam areas are perfect.
Each center has a cryotherapy room, which helps you wake up in the morning without coffee! Now that I’m used to cryotherapy, I enjoy it more because I don’t have the apprehension associated with the first few times (“will my fingers freeze?”).
I really liked the fact that I could choose between numerous daily group classes, as well as lectures given by the center’s doctors on the subject of nutrition and the gut.
Another special mention: a particularly impressive chiropractic session with a true expert who was able to wield a number of specialized tools that proved devilishly effective.
A wide range of outdoor activities
There are plenty of outdoor activities to do at both VIVAMAYR centers. With stand-up paddle and bicycles on loan free of charge, as well as numerous hiking trails, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
What’s more, the location of the Altaussee center makes for a wonderful walk around the lake, certainly one of the most beautiful in the Alps, without exaggeration. There’s also a ski resort nearby. Maria Wörth is recommended for bathing and water sports enthusiasts, with its higher summer temperatures. Rest assured, you can’t go wrong if you hesitate between the two centers, they’re both magnificent.
For my part, I finished the VIVAMAYR cure with a flatter tummy than ever (admittedly, it wasn’t very big to begin with…), but above all I had both a feeling of overflowing vitality and the impression of being more zen at the end of this “adventure”. The same was true of the customers I spoke to, who were all delighted!
The two VIVAMAYR / MAYRLIFE centers offer exceptional detox cures. Here you’ll not only get immediate results, but the stay will also have a long-term impact on your health. The doctors and therapists are excellent and unfailingly caring. Tell yourself one thing: if the majority of VIVAMAYR customers come back every year, it’s for a reason! Let yourself be tempted by the experience, and you too may become a fan of the method…Luxe Wellness Club
Book (with exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefit)
Take advantage of our expertise in VIVAMAYR and MAYRLIFE detox cures and contact us for a personalized quote with the best rates at no extra cost.
Rates: Minimum stay of one week. Room rates from 240 euros per night, plus the cost of the chosen health program. Prices start at around 4,000 euros for an all-inclusive week for a single person. Please consult us.
Exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefit: 1 free cryotherapy session, 1 free hypoxia/hyperoxia session and 1 free LED therapy session per person for every stay booked.
It’s important to book several weeks or even months in advance, as VIVAMAYR is often fully booked.
Call us from France on + 33 1 85 73 22 14 or from Switzerland on +41 22 501 75 16 to discuss your holiday plans.