Just moved to the city? Dietician and nutritionist Anna Cortesi gives us tips on how to avoid putting on that awful 14lbs, the Dubai stone
Going to brunch… If being social is your downfall when dieting, then you’ll probably find yourself attending far too many brunch gatherings for your own good. Here’s how to avoid the extra fat or calories… Customise your meal 1) How we eat can be just as important as what we eat in terms of our health, mood and mental state. If some restaurants have not changed their menus to incorporate some healthier alternatives, they will more than likely be able to alter your meal in some way, to make it less fatty and unhealthy. With weight watching and healthy eating being on the rise, you will not be the first, or the last, asking to hold the lemon butter, to grill instead of deep fry or swap the chips or rice for some steamed veggies. Choose the right place 2) Some nice places you can eat at while in Dubai could be Tribeca offering healthy brunch options. Drink wisely 3) Clubbing won’t be a problem if you watch the calories you drink. Social drinking in moderation is key and depending on what you choose, it can have healthful effects, rather than harmful. When out in Dubai, opt for a glass of grape, a low sugar mixed drink or half pint of fruity hops.
Grocery shopping… Expensive fruit and vegetables can be off-putting when trying to eat healthily, but where you shop plays a big part in keeping up the effort to be good to your body. And if you cheat by ordering in, we’ve even got some tips for you too. Go big and save money 4) Fruit and vegetables may be quite expensive, but you can make sure you fill up on fruit and veg without breaking the bank if you start shopping wisely. Shop from big food markets in Dubai rather than smaller and more expensive grocery stores. Plan your meals 5) Make sure you shop your fresh produce weekly after you schedule your everyday meals. Easy vegetable-filled recipes that won’t affect your waistline and wallet. This can be green leafy salads with chicken, seafood or dried fruit, vegetable casseroles, spinach and mushroom omelets, vegetable pasta salads and of course, grilled vegetables on the side of every high protein dish. Try healthy takeaways 6) If you lack access to your local food markets or you are not in the mood for healthy cooking, you can always try ordering healthy meals from places like Daintree, Detox Delight, Right Bite or Slim n Light. All of these places deliver low calorie delicious meals straight to your door – and if you really like this service, you can always choose your meals to be delivered daily from the weekly or monthly packages they offer. Vegetarian friendly 77 Veggie Boutique, Balance Café and Kcal for healthy nutritious snacks.
Stay active… Staying active and in shape when first moving to Dubai can be quite hard, especially with the warm weather. So how can you stay fit in Dubai’s summer heat? Get moving before work 7) Starting from the parking lot: It is better to start exercising before going to work. Choose a quite far spot in the parking lot and walk until your job. You will notice the difference from the first 10 days. Do the desk workout 8) Stand as much as possible: Rather than sitting down at a table you can take the advantage of the time while talking on the phone or while brainstorming with colleagues to stand or even better, if possible, walk. Use your break wisely 9) During breaks: Instead of hanging around, drinking coffee or chatting, take a brisk walk outside or if the weather doesn’t allow a walk, then do some stretching. For example grab you ankles and bring them to your buttock. It is better to avoid the elevator and take the stairs instead. Drink, drink, drink 10) Make sure you stay hydrated in this heat - always keep a water bottle with you whether you are at home, work or at the mall. By having an easy supply of water, you will find yourself sipping on this throughout the day because it is around and you don't have to go out of your way to get it. It’s also filling and will stop you from indulging on naughty snack before lunch or dinner. For those who do not really enjoy drinking plain water, add some flavour to it with fresh fruit slices, herbs and anything else you desire. This will make your water more welcome to drink. Herbal teas are also a great source of water to keep you hydrated. The decaffeinated ones are the best ones to stick to, but caffeinated ones such as green tea, black tea and coffee still add to this needed fluid.
Snack (yes, you can snack!)... 11) When snacking during the day, it is important to include a variety of nutrients in each snack. Small quantities of lean protein and healthy fats in your snacks, will help to keep your body satisfied and provide you with the energy you need to get to your next meal. When you improve your metabolism by snacking throughout the day, you are likely to burn calories more efficiently causing a small weight loss, resulting in better self-esteem and a healthier, more energetic you.