Inside the crazy-strict wellness retreat Hollywood actresses are obsessed with.

What do Selma Blair, Connie Britton, Julianne Hough, Minka Kelly, Mandy Moore and Rebel Wilson have in common?

The answer is four days off work, $AUD5400 to blow, and The Ranch 4.0.

For the uninitiated, this is a celebrity favourite four-day luxury “wellness” farm in California where big money is dropped on a “no options”, “detox” program involving eight hours of exercise a day and vegan, gluten-free meals.

Rebel Wilson claims she lost almost four kilograms in four days with the program. 


Housed within the Malibu Four Seasons hotel, guests are housed in beautiful rooms with big soaking bathtubs, flat screens and all-important WiFi access.


After a long day at the Ranch, there’s nothing like falling into bed. A photo posted by The Ranch (@theranchmalibu) on Mar 18, 2014 at 9:37am PDT

The Ranch 4.0 is for guests looking for “a jump-start to a healthier lifestyle who are unable to be away from home or work for a full week and who desire to maintain more connectivity during their program immersion.”


The Cuts Allie Jones was understandably curious about what she calls the culture of “new wellness, where deprivation is luxury, choice is eliminated, the environment is completely controlled, manicured hands are held, and transformation — being bought and paid for — is all but ensured.”

So, she booked a ticket to Los Angeles, and committed to living like an under-fed starlet for 94 hours.

What Jones describes is my literal nightmare. The level of detail she provides is great, but I want to highlight the many, many times I would have left the program



Day -10

Ten days before she even arrived, Jones was told to cut out “processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeinated beverages, decaffeinated beverages, and alcohol” from her diet. She says the email from the Ranch warned her that if she didn’t eliminate those items before her stay she would be “quite uncomfortable,” and would experience “headaches, nausea, and extreme moodiness.” I would have canceled the trip right then and there.

Video by Mamamia


Day One

After a fitness assessment on a treadmill, Jones and the other guests head out for a two hour mountain hike in the full afternoon sun. That, I can handle. What I cannot handle is the fact a trainer named Angela handed everyone a plastic bag… to be used in case they have to poop on the trail.

“Everyone nods like this is normal. Is this normal? Prior to this moment, I have gone on exactly one hike … I look around the group and involuntarily imagine everyone squatting and putting their own poop into a bag. Then I imagine Mandy Moore doing it. Oh my God,” Jones writes.


I would have left immediately.


Days two and three

Guests are given walkie-talkies to carry on their hikes just in case they get lost, but they also serve as alarm clocks. At 5:30am guests are woken up by a trainer saying, “Good morning, Ranchers!”

They then head down to a 300 calorie or less breakfast before setting off on a four-hour hike during with they are given a snack.

“On Day 2 we get six almonds,” Jones explains. “Day 3 is an apple. Day 4 is four carrot sticks.”


Nope, just nope.

After another four-hour hike, guests take part in four more hours of group exercise classes like weight training and yoga.

“Throughout the days I feel nauseous, dehydrated, achy, itchy, verklempt, like I have shin splints, like I have a sprained ankle, like my butt is going to fall off,” says Jones.



Day 4

On the last day of camp, the group takes a comparatively shorter hike before their final weigh-in.  

“I lost five pounds,” says Jones, “three of which I gained back within days.”

If you ask me, she definitely should have left on day -10.


Featured images: Instagram (Selma Blair, Julianne Hough, Rebel Wilson)