Weight loss is a prevalent objective among individuals embarking on their fitness journey. In today’s fast-paced world, our well-being often takes a backseat to our careers. We dedicate less time to caring for our bodies and more time engaging in activities that harm them. The prevalence of fast food outlets on every corner, our reliance on TV and social media, and the shift from physically demanding jobs to sedentary office work have contributed to an inactive lifestyle. Consequently, we now face a grave yet frequently underestimated issue plaguing global society – the obesity pandemic. Over the past decade, weight loss in Dubai has emerged as a commonly pursued goal.
In a world saturated with misinformation and even movements promoting unhealthy lifestyles, it requires immense willpower to break free and regain control over your life. Fortunately, you have made the right choice, and that is why you are here. Wellness Shoppe is your gateway to longevity and optimal health. Recognizing the abundance of myths and misinformation surrounding weight loss, we have taken it upon ourselves to put an end to this confusion once and for all. Introducing our comprehensive guide to achieving weight loss in Dubai, providing you with the ultimate roadmap to success.
Why is it so easy to gain weight?
First of all, let’s examine why it has become so easy to gain weight. We mentioned previously that lifestyle alterations are the key factor in this problem. This is absolutely true. With the rampant development of technology during the past 40 years, our societies have entered a new age. What the industrial revolution did during the 19th century, the age of the Internet has done to us with much greater detriment. The development of the internet and its incorporation into our daily lives has changed human culture across the globe. In developed societies with available access to the internet, daily life has become a very static experience. While our minds are kept hypnotized, our bodies languish.
Differences in lifestyle now and before
It is important to understand that over the millennia, humans have evolved to be physically active. Not so long ago, people spent a lot of their time outdoors and had to walk vast distances daily. Looking back even further, the vast majority of labor was physical. This has affected our genetic makeup. With new technologies being developed and the workforce shifting towards office jobs, the lack of physical activity produced serious consequences. With more gyms and fitness trainers available than ever, we have the highest number of obese people and obesity-related heart conditions in recorded human history.
In fact, our societies are now less healthy than they were 60 years ago, even with all the advances in science, fitness, nutrition, and medicine. This deplorable state is in great part due to peoples’ love of comfort, produced by a higher living standard overall. Today, in all developed countries, the masses enjoy quick pleasures. Saturated in media and advertising, we are constantly looking for a quick thrill. This has seeped into every aspect of our lives, including our nutrition and recreation. And while there are many meal plans online, it’s still quicker and, arguably, more delicious to eat out or order in. Bombarded by advertising on every corner and on our handheld devices, we become extremely susceptible to bad lifestyle choices.
Weight loss in Dubai and the fast food issue
Ask anyone in the street, and they will tell you that fast food is bad for you. While there are many healthy and delicious fitness meal options, sometimes they aren’t our first choice. We all reach for some of it now and then, fully aware it’s not the best choice for our bodies. So why do we do that? The answer is simple – it is delicious. But how do we get to the point where we become “addicted” to it? The answer to this question is not as simple as the one provided for the previous question. It lies in several layers of unpleasant truth.
Food affects our hormones and neurotransmitters, including those regulating mood and appetite. Sometimes, ignoring this can lead to serious consequences, like developing type 2 diabetes. When we eat something stuffed with sugar and calories, it induces a strong response with chemicals regulating mood in our brain. It directly affects serotonin and dopamine levels and provides a cheap “high.” We tend to enjoy this “ride” so much that we almost always overeat. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Once the quick “high” has worn off, we may plummet into a bad mood and soon be looking for another “quick fix.”
Overeating as a coping mechanism
One of the many unfortunate side effects of our modern lifestyle is the alarmingly growing number of eating disorders. These are often borne out of extreme exposure to social media and body-image issues. Young people across the world have become more self-conscious from a much younger age. This is due to their premature, unmonitored, and unfiltered access to the Internet and social media platforms.
Celebrities and popular figures on the web often present themselves in a very unrealistic and outright fake manner. This can be a promotion of a seemingly lavish and luxurious lifestyle or highly doctored photographs that create an illusion of incredible physiques. With so many filters and Photoshop available to everyone at the touch of a finger, almost anyone can look divine.
This is a surefire way to create an early stage of an eating disorder. These can range from anorexia and bulimia to extremes on the other side of the spectrum – emotional overeating/binging. While many try to starve themselves into a dream body, others react differently. Of course, the emotional response can be produced by other negative factors in our daily lives. Whatever the reason for that feeling, getting a quick spike in dopamine and serotonin looks very attractive. This is why those who overeat feel powerless to stop once they’ve begun the binge.
When dealing with weight loss and emotional overeating, it’s important to understand the psychology of it, first and foremost. The issue here is not the overeating, it’s the reason behind it. Very often, until the issue behind emotional overeating is resolved, it is very difficult to achieve long-term success.
The mechanism of weight balance – calories
While a lot of people talk about magic pills or secrets to weight loss, it’s actually a lot simpler than that. People refuse to believe this because it’s not the easiest road to take, even though it is the only one. Whether you’re trying to achieve weight loss in Dubai or anywhere else, it all comes down to this: the principle known as CICO.
The “Calories in – Calories out” principle is based on the first law of thermodynamics. As a rehash of this law, the principle of CICO states that once we take away the amount of energy we spend from the energy we have consumed, the remainder will be our change in energy i.e. dictate if we lose or gain weight. If we achieve a negative caloric balance (we spend more than we consume), our body mass will decrease. This is known as a “caloric deficit.” By extension, our body mass increases if we have a caloric surplus (we consume more than we spend). Caloric balance can be influenced in two ways:
- Increasing/Decreasing intake – Nutrition
- Increasing/Decreasing expenditure – Training
Achieving caloric deficit with nutrition
You’ve probably heard of many different diets. Many of these are based on completely illogical principles and rely on guesswork, at best. Diets that dictate food items and meal timing by ridiculous methods, such as moon phases or color-coded days, etc. None of these work, in most cases, and if they do, it is by pure chance. Put simply, whatever your chosen diet style is, it will only work if:
- It creates a negative caloric balance
- You stick to it
Of course, for each individual body, the needs vary. This is why for weight loss in Dubai, you have a number of options available for your weight loss meal plans. There are many different methods at your disposal, but whatever your chosen one is, remember to adhere to the two rules above. This is crucial!
Counting calories – the nutrients
You’ve heard a lot about calories, but what exactly are they, and how do we know how much we need? In simplest terms – a calorie is a unit of energy. Most packaged food items have a nutrition table on the back with a detailed list of nutrients. Here, you will have some of the most important info outlined in detail. You will be able to see the nutritive info and the caloric value of the food item in a given serving size.
The three types of nutrients are:
- Carbohydrates (Carbs)
Let’s talk a little about each of these groups.
One gram of protein is equal to 4Kcal.
Protein is the building block of life. The human body requires protein for a wide range of necessities. For our purposes, we will mostly be concerned with its effect on muscle mass maintenance. When we go into a caloric deficit, our body will start to shed weight. A lot of this will be water weight, some fat, but also some muscle. In order to prevent our body from catabolism (the process of muscle waste), we need to consume protein.
A general guideline for active people is to consume anywhere between 1.5g-2g of protein per kilogram of body mass. Of course, protein alone isn’t going to ensure we preserve muscle. We would also need to follow a training plan to maximize fat loss and minimize catabolism. Otherwise, we are likely to achieve what is known as a “skinny-fat” look.
There are many high-quality protein sources available in any supermarket. Even if you follow a vegan diet, nowadays, it’s not difficult to meet your protein requirements. Protein sources can be various animal products or different kinds of vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. Whatever your choice, it is a good idea to vary your protein sources and keep your nutrition diverse.
One gram of fats equals to 9Kcal.
The most important thing to understand here is that consuming fats will not directly affect the amount of fat your body accumulates. This is extremely important to understand because fats are involved in numerous processes in the body. Avoiding fats and having a very low fat intake can affect hormone levels in males and females directly. A general guideline would be to consume around 0.75g of fat per 1kg of body mass. This can vary with different diet choices. For example, if you opt for a ketogenic diet, your fat intake will be greatly increased because this will be your fuel source. However, in most cases, the 0.75g will suffice.
Sources of fat can be various animal products, such as cuts of meat that aren’t as lean, dairy products, fish, oils, nuts, avocadoes, etc. There are 4 different types of fats humans consume:
- Saturated fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Trans fats
Numbers 3 and 4 are your friends. These are the types of fats you want in your diet regularly. This is especially true for Omega-3, which is a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fats contribute to the health of our entire body, including our cardiovascular system, hormones, and brain function. As for saturated fat, there are many studies that show it can be detrimental to our health, but they are not conclusive. To play it safe, stick with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Trans fats are to be avoided, if possible. This type of fat has a very destructive effect on our cardiovascular system and can lead to serious health conditions.
One gram of carbohydrates equals to 4Kcal.
Last but not least, we come to the infamous carbs. Carbohydrates are the premium source of human energy. While some consider them to be the devil, and some swear by their high consumption, the truth is, as always, somewhere in between. It is probably for the best to think of carbs as fuel. Although they do have a role in other processes within the body, fueling us is their primary goal. If you want meal plan for muscle gain, you are more than likely going to be consuming plenty of carbs. If you wish to lose weight, you will likely go easier on them. This is because of CICO, which we mentioned before. Indeed, manipulating our carb intake is the best way to create the caloric balance we wish to achieve.
There is no strict guideline on how many need to be consumed daily. Carbs will be added according to how much your body requires to hit daily caloric requirements once you add up your protein and fats.
Sources of carbs are vegetables, fruits, and other plant life. Depending on your location, you will have access to different sources of carbohydrates. Weight loss in Dubai may differ in the food items you consume, but it will always be based on CICO. Make sure you consume items that do not cause bloating, as this may indicate a difficulty in digestion of said food items.
Where to start counting calories for weight loss in Dubai?
Now that you know what each of the nutrients is worth in calories, it’s time to start your weight loss in Dubai. There is no flawless way to calculate your caloric needs for the specific goal you have in mind. This is a trial and error-process, and it may take a couple of weeks to set up properly. Do not panic, this is only done once. If you are a male, you may want to begin tracking at anywhere between 1800 and 2400kcal, depending on how much extra weight you’re hauling around. For females, it can be significantly lower (1200-1800kcal), again depending on the current state.
Whatever the number you’ve got, stick to it! Weigh yourself each morning on an empty stomach, and after evacuating and keep a record. You will notice a trend very soon. The weight will begin dropping, remain the same, or increase. You now have feedback and can adjust accordingly. If your goal is to lose weight and your weigh-in shows that you are getting lighter – do not change a thing. In case of stagnation or weight gain, drop your calories lower.
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and track absolutely everything that goes into your mouth, bar water. That bite of chocolate you had? Jot it down. A little extra dressing on your salad? Yep, that goes in the books as well.
Choosing a meal plan for weight loss in Dubai
We established the means by which weight management operates. You have your chosen number of calories to begin the adjustments. Now, let’s see what to fit into the X amount of calories specified. Depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and allergies, you may choose to follow a specific diet. For example, people with celiac disease may need to stick to a gluten-free diet. If you find certain food items inedible, there is no need to force yourself on them. But first, a quick reminder:
- Make sure the amount of calories you consume is less than you spend
- Make sure it stays this way day in and day out
Alright, now that we got that taken care of, let’s explore some options. The internet is full of fad diets. These promise amazing results regardless of the science which directly opposes it. Sure, some people may see some results from a fad diet, but this is usually short-lived and often very unhealthy. When there’s a will, there’s a way!
Achieving caloric deficit with training
Whether you are looking to achieve weight loss in Dubai or anywhere else, at some point, you have to get sweaty. Losing weight through diet alone is possible, but forget about a dream body. Remember that losing weight is not the end goal. The end goal is losing weight, keeping it off, and staying fit and healthy. So how do we incorporate training into our weight loss regimen?
First, we need to know what kind of training we need to include:
- Weight and strengths training
- Cardio workouts
Many are afraid to so much as look at a weight or enter a gym. This is understandable, as there is so much misinformation around. So many believe that lifting weights is only for people who are already in good shape. Some believe that lifting weights will turn them into caricatures overnight. None of this is even remotely true or plausible. In fact, weight training, combined with proper nutrition, is the most efficient way to lose weight in a healthy manner. Not only will you be shedding extra kilograms, but you will also build strength and confidence and shape your body into perfection. Losing fat and gaining muscle is difficult but doable, and if so many have done it before, why not you?
Before you decide to make your first steps in the gym, it’s a good idea to do so with professional help. Make sure that your first steps are made with confidence. A good start doesn’t guarantee a good finish, but it sure does make it more likely. There are numerous reasons and benefits of using a personal trainer when you begin your journey to weight loss in Dubai. You will have numerous advantages if your training sessions are tailored to your specific needs. Not only that, but you will feel more secure knowing that you are not alone in this.
Weight training is greatly overlooked by many, even trainers, when it comes to weight loss. However, it is more than possible to lose weight without cardio training. That is because training with weights has additional benefits that will bolster your weight loss and improve body composition. It is virtually impossible to achieve a dream body without weight training. Losing weight on a caloric deficit alone will not yield the result you desire without putting in work at the gym. Here are a couple of quick tips for your weight training sessions:
- Stick to a training plan that covers all the muscles in the body at least once, but preferably twice a week
- Do not avoid heavier weight or more demanding movements if you’ve got assistance
- Warm up well
- Track your progress in a training journal
- Have fun!
We mentioned before that losing weight without cardio is absolutely doable. However, to achieve maximum results, pairing cardio with weight training is advisable. Cardio training will provide more energy expenditure which will allow for more food consumption. Remember CICO? Well, there are two ways to create a caloric deficit, and one of those is to increase energy expenditure. Engaging in cardio training will help you with your weight loss in Dubai. There are also many health benefits to regular cardio, including heart health and overall conditioning.
There are different activities that can make cardio training fun. You may consider hiring a boxing coach. Boxing can be a very taxing activity and burn off quite a few calories. Not only that, but it provides a useful skill. It is a great way to have fun while doing considerable work. Of course, there are other ways to get some cardio in, such as:
Additional tips for weight loss in Dubai
If your nutrition and training are on point, there are a couple of other things you could do to improve your results. We all want the most from our investment, so adhere to these, and you will see improvements:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
- Hydrate well, especially during summer days
- Keep a journal
- Ask questions
Start your weight loss in Dubai with Wellness Shoppee