Article Contributor: Admin
How can you deal with hunger – whether you’re dieting or simply trying to watch your weight?
Let’s face it, being on a diet in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to lose some weight and get in shape.
You might have spent years on yo-yo diets where your weight loss is significant only to pile back on the pounds in just a few months.
This is often the case for most people who ‘diet’ because dieting in the UAE is simply a quick fix.
You need to change your mindset about the foods you eat and your lifestyle to really see lasting results, results you can see as well as feel.
We live in a world of fast food and busy lifestyles. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai for example many men and women lead hectic lives and trying to balance their work, family and social life with improved eating habits often seems impossible.
But, the truth is it’s not hard at all. Eating healthy for weight loss and weight management needs to become ‘part’ of your life.
Once a habit is formed it can be difficult to break but where diet, exercise and nutrition is concerned this can work in your favour. It might have taken years of bad choices to create your current habits but breaking those habits with better choices can be done.
If you hire a personal trainer in the UAE to help you get on the right track, create a diet and menu plan for you and ensure you stick to it the entire process is much easier and quicker than you might think.
Let’s take a look at some easy ways to make sure hunger doesn’t push you over the edge and force you to reach for those unhealthy and fattening snacks.
Even the word ‘diet’ fills most men and women in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with dread. The thought of eating rabbit food all day in a society where food and eating is part of the social scene is an uncomfortable one.
Firstly take a good look at what your weekly food intake is. You don’t have to get all sciency and work out protein, fats and carbohydrate macros (unless you want to!) You can also hire a male or female personal trainer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, RAK or Ajman to help you record ‘all’ of your food intake on a weekly basis.
Before we take a look at diets you can actually stick to a really good way to start is by using a food diary. Many people seem to think that snacks are free calories but you’d be surprised how snacks can mount-up during the day and increase your calorie intake.
Be honest with yourself when you write down what you are consuming (both food and drink) on a daily basis. At the end of the day if you think a snack or a meal doesn’t count you’ll only be fooling yourself when you step on the scales and wonder why they haven’t moved.
Diets, whether calorie controlled or not, generally fall into categories. Those being:
Diet crazes, diet crazies or even crazy diets, come and go like the wind. Often propagated by celebrity culture or influencers trying to sell a product. These kinds of diets are more often than not doomed to fail and some can even be dangerous in the long term
Fad diets are often used for one purpose only, that being short term weight loss goals but, the longer you are on these diets ultimately the worse your overall health will be.
Fad diets include:
The cabbage soup diet
Eating only one colour per day (i.e. green, orange, red)
The grapefruit diet
Some diets that actually work for some people in the short term restrict certain food groups.
However, longer term these kinds of diets can cause long term health issues and you should always seek advice from your medical professional or a qualified personal trainer who has advanced nutrition guidance qualifications ‘before’ starting any diet in the UAE that requires you to limit food types.
Diets that require you to restrict what types of food you eat include:
The Atkins diet
The Keto diet
Intermittent fasting isn’t really a diet at all but more a way of changing when and how much you eat.
It works for many people because you can choose the hours that you fast and usually much of that fasting time is done while you’re asleep.
We used to think that a large breakfast was the most important meal of the day and in a sense this was true in the past. However, this was true because many people were much more active in their daily jobs so they needed a healthy and hearty breakfast to fuel themselves for the morning ahead.
Times have changed however but the way we eat and the amount we eat seems to have increased. For many people who spend a large portion of their day seated they are in a calorie excess which ultimately leads to weight gain.
Without delving too much into the science of fasting, fasting means the body needs to burn more stored fats for energy.
For example, a popular fasting method is 16:8. You fast for 16 hours and then consume your calories within the 8 hour period.
Don’t be shocked, 16 hours of fasting is easily achievable for most men and women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and it often just means skipping breakfast.
It has to be said though, you can’t and won’t be slimmer, healthier and fitter if you fast but still have a very unhealthy diet.
Simply put, calorie controlled diets work and are the kind of diets that Doctors approve of.
With a calorie controlled diet the concept is very simple and easy to follow and manage by everyone, even picky eaters.
The idea is that you restrict the number of calories you consume on a daily basis so you are in a deficit. What is a deficit? Simply put, you eat less calories than your body needs on a daily basis. However, it’s not quite that simple in reality.
Everyone is different, everyone has different energy levels and this depends to a large degree on what your daily activity (lifestyle is like) For example, if you work in an office and are seated for much of the day then technically you don’t need to consume as much energy from food as say for example someone working in manual job.
A good male or female personal trainer in Abu Dhabi or Dubai can help you calculate what your calorie intake should be depending on your lifestyle and your weight loss goals.
Finally, while we are talking about diets there are a couple of other things to consider.
It might sound strange saying you should eat more of something if you are trying to watch your weight or stop snacking but there are certain foods that can help you stay fuller for longer which ultimately can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Protein is one of those foods.
Why and how does protein help?
According to an article on Healthline found here There are many scientific reasons why protein helps you stay fuller for longer which can help prevent snacking.
What are good sources of protein
While many people will say protein is protein there are of course some sources of protein that are healthier than others.
Whenever possible you should try to eat protein as close to its natural state as possible. This means unprocessed foods.
You can of course also include more protein in your diet with the help of protein shakes. However, you should when possible try to stay away from protein shakes that include artificial flavourings, artificial sweeteners and other dubious ingredients.
Many men and women in the UAE don’t include enough fibre in their diet. The reasons why are many but often eating too much fast food and too much processed food can lead to not eating enough foods which are high in fibre.
How does eating more fibre help you feel fuller for longer?
Eating foods that are higher in fibre like grains, beans and pulses helps you feel fuller for longer because sugar in those foods is absorbed slower which prevents your blood glucose levels from spiking. When your blood glucose spikes too much it can lead to feelings of hunger.
Insoluble fibre foods also absorb water which can create a feeling of fullness which again can mean you don’t feel the need to snack so often.
Good sources of fibre to help you feel fuller include:
Take your time when eating to help you feel full for longer. Many of us in Dubai and Abu Dhabi tend to rush through our meals because of our busy lifestyles. But, eating is a social thing and doesn’t need to be rushed.
Eating slowly can help you feel fuller because it gives your body more time to realise that it’s full. Eating slowly which includes chewing your food properly gives the stomach and brain time to communicate a feeling of satiety.
This process can take up to 20 minutes which basically means if you eat too fast you are overeating and not giving the brain enough time to tell you’ve eaten enough.
Eating slowly and enjoying your food more will help you ‘feel’ fuller for longer which in turn suppresses your appetite and therefore reduces the hunger pangs and need for snacking.
Being on a diet can be bad enough for some people, but, when you couple that with emotional eating it’s a recipe for weight gain.
There are many reasons why people eat emotionally. One of the biggest reasons is ‘stress’
Some men and women (and children too) in the UAE lead very stressful lives, whether that’s down to work or family commitments. They often find snacking gives them an emotional crutch. But, even though snacking occasionally can be ok when it’s happening often during the day it can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Emotional eating is also habitual. This means you are eating out of habit rather than because you are hungry.
In order to fix emotional eating you first need to find out why you’re doing it in the first place. If it’s down to stress and being unable to relax you might want to try doing something like Yoga in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
If your emotional eating is caused by something else, speak with a qualified Personal Training or even a Behavioural Modification Coach in the UAE to help find the reasons why you need to eat so often.
We hope this article has helped you understand the many ways you can help yourself when it comes to feeling hungry.
Any of the professional personal trainers listed on the UAE Personal Trainers website can provide you with additional information and support if diet and nutrition is your fitness goal.