Dieting In Dubai – It Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Dieting doesn’t need to be difficult. Get sensible advice and take proper exercise. A leading personal trainer in Dubai provides some useful ideas and tips.
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Is Dieting In Dubai Difficult?

Article Contributor: Craig

Let’s face it, the mere mention of the word ‘diet’ can often send shivers down our spines. It conjures up images of smaller portions, bland foods, and all the exciting flavors seemingly stripped away from our meals. But does it have to be this way? Is it possible that the negative connotations associated with dieting are primarily a product of our own mindset?

When living in a vibrant city like Dubai, known for its diverse culinary delights and rich food culture, the thought of dieting can indeed seem quite daunting. The question we might find ourselves asking is, does dieting in Dubai really have to be such a miserable experience? Or perhaps, are we inadvertently contributing to our own dread by how we perceive the concept of a diet?

This article aims to tackle these questions head-on by offering several practical ways through which you can alter your perspective on dieting. By doing so, you may discover that achieving better success when dieting doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing enjoyment or flavor. Instead, it’s about restructuring our approach to eating and learning how to make more mindful choices that can still satisfy our taste buds while aligning with our health goals.

Immerse yourself in the content as we explore strategies to revamp your attitude towards dieting—because in the dynamic and fast-paced city of Dubai, dieting shouldn’t mean depriving yourself of the culinary joys life has to offer!

Table Of Contents

Dieting in Dubai – The Facts

The pursuit of understanding how our perceptions influence our metabolism led researchers to conduct a rather intriguing experiment in 2011 (1). The essence of this study revolved around two distinct groups of individuals who were given the same beverage.

The first group was provided with a milkshake that was labeled as a sumptuous treat packing a whopping 620kcal. Imagine your favorite guilty pleasures, akin to a rich Krispy Kreme donut thoroughly blended with creamy, indulgent Haagen-Dazs ice cream. That’s the level of decadence we’re talking about here! It’s the kind of treat that you’d savor every last drop of, knowing full well that it’s a splurge.

On the flip side, the second group received their milkshake under the guise of a health-conscious drink, purportedly containing a mere 140kcal. Picture the kind of shake that’s marketed in high-end health stores, boasting about being ‘so healthy’ due to zero additives—a shake that prides itself on nutritional value while often compromising on flavor. Yes, imagine a beverage that considers “taste” an optional extra.

In an unexpected twist, both milkshakes actually possessed the exact calorific value of 380kcal. This fact remained unbeknownst to the participants; they were both handed the very same milkshake, however, each was disguised with a different label.

Now, here comes the most captivating part of this predicament. Despite consuming identical shakes, the reactions from the two groups were diametrically opposed. The first group reported feeling significantly more satiated post-consumption compared to their counterparts in the second group. But what truly takes the cake—pun intended—is the biological response that ensued. The first group displayed a notable decrease in the production of Ghrelin, the hormone that triggers hunger. Isn’t it astounding how the power of perception can even affect our physiological processes?

This phenomenon uncovers some of the complex layers behind dieting and weight management. It suggests that the mind can be just as potent as the actual nutrients when it comes to influencing our bodies’ reactions. It seems there’s much more to consider in the realm of dieting in Dubai, or anywhere else for that matter, than just counting calories and selecting foods based on their nutritional labels.

Understanding Ghrelin and Its Significance in Dieting in Dubai

One of the most significant advantages of meal planning is its profound impact on

Ghrelin, known expansively as the “hunger hormone,” holds a pivotal position in the complex orchestra of hormones that modulate appetite and food consumption. Produced predominantly by the stomach, ghrelin levels fluctuate significantly throughout the day – escalating between meals when the stomach is empty, thus transmitting signals of hunger to the brain, prompting the thought and often the action of seeking food.

Correspondingly, after the consumption of a meal, these ghrelin levels experience a notable decrease, sending cues of satiety to the brain, thereby engendering feelings of fullness and satisfaction which typically reduce the motivation to eat further.

This hormone’s role extends beyond mere hunger signalling; it is intricately involved in a multitude of metabolic processes. It orchestrates interactions with other hormones and plays an integral part in energy homeostasis – balancing energy input with energy expenditure. Ghrelin’s influence permeates various physiological pathways, not only influencing eating behavior but also impacting glucose metabolism, fat storage, and even certain aspects of cardiovascular health.

As researchers delve deeper into understanding ghrelin and its mechanisms, it becomes apparent that this hormone could potentially be a key player in addressing obesity and related metabolic disorders.

The modulation of ghrelin activity through therapeutic means is being explored as a promising avenue to influence appetite regulation and thus manage weight. However, this also exemplifies the complexity of the body’s hormonal network, underscoring the importance of a nuanced approach when considering interventions aimed at manipulating hormones such as ghrelin.

In essence, ghrelin’s capacity to sway the body’s physiological response to food intake is not just fundamental but also highlights the intricate balance our bodies maintain to ensure we are fuelled and nourished in response to our daily activities and energy demands. Understanding and respecting the role of hormones like ghrelin is crucial in fostering a healthy relationship with food and maintaining overall metabolic health.

In the fascinating study mentioned above, individuals who anticipated feeling unsatisfied with their meal replacement shake unknowingly influenced their body’s reaction to it, thereby affecting their overall satisfaction and satiety levels. This highlights the intricate interplay between mindset and physiological responses during the dieting process in Dubai.


Key Points:


  • 1. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite.

  • 2. Its levels fluctuate based on meal timings and food consumption.

  • 3. Mindset can impact the body’s physiological response to food.

  • 4. Understanding Ghrelin’s role is essential for effective dieting strategies in Dubai.

Understanding the Power of the Nocebo Effect in Dieting

The nocebo effect is a fascinating phenomenon that highlights the impact of negative expectations on our well-being. Essentially, if you believe that something will have a detrimental effect on you, it is more likely to manifest. This concept is particularly relevant in the realm of dieting, where our thoughts and perceptions play a significant role in shaping our experiences.

For instance, imagine you are embarking on a new diet plan in Dubai. By cultivating a positive mindset and reframing your expectations, you can set yourself up for greater success and ease throughout your journey. Remember, as the saying goes, ‘thoughts become things’.

However, despite this shift in perspective, the road to achieving your dietary goals may still present challenges. There will be moments of hunger, cravings, and the temptation to deviate from your plan entirely. In such instances, employing various psychological strategies can bolster your resilience and increase your chances of staying on course.


Here are some additional psychological tricks to support your dieting efforts:


  1. Mindful Eating: Practice being fully present during meals, savoring each bite and paying attention to your body’s hunger cues.

  2. Visualize Success: Create mental images of yourself reaching your desired weight and feeling healthy and confident.

  3. Positive Affirmations: Use affirmations to reinforce your commitment to your goals and boost your self-belief.

  4. Social Support: Surround yourself with individuals who encourage and motivate you on your journey.

  5. Professional Guidance: Consider enlisting the help of a personal trainer with expertise in weight loss and nutrition to provide tailored support and accountability.

By integrating these strategies into your dieting regimen, you can enhance your resilience, stay motivated, and navigate potential obstacles with greater confidence. Remember, your mindset is a powerful tool in achieving sustainable and fulfilling results on your path to better health and well-being.

Have you ever heard of decision fatigue?

The concept of self-control or will power being a finite resource is a fascinating and widely discussed topic in the fields of psychology and behavioral science. The theory suggests that people have a limited store of mental energy for exerting self-control, and as one exerts this energy throughout the day, it becomes depleted, leading to a state often referred to as “decision fatigue.” 

So, imagine you’re faced with several challenging choices during your day or perhaps tasked with resisting the temptation of indulging in a delicious piece of cake that’s making the rounds at the office. In scenarios such as these, each act of resistance chips away at your reservoir of willpower. By the time you reach the end of your day, you find yourself exhausted—not necessarily physically but mentally—due to decision fatigue.

This phenomenon has significant implications, especially when it comes to maintaining healthy habits such as sticking to a diet. For individuals living in Dubai, where there’s an abundant array of culinary temptations, this could pose quite the challenge. Consistently making good food choices requires a sustained level of self-discipline which can be significantly harder to maintain under the effects of decision fatigue. It’s not uncommon for people to end up succumbing to treats after a long and strenuous day, as their diminished will power makes it difficult to resist such temptations.

So how does one cope with this predicament? Managing and improving one’s willpower is akin to developing a muscle; it necessitates persistent training and effort. While it may seem daunting, it is indeed possible to enhance your self-control over time. Gradually exposing oneself to situations that require discipline and consciously practicing restraint can lead to better self-regulatory skills. This process is not swift—it demands patience, commitment, and a conscious understanding that setbacks are part of the journey to greater self-mastery.

As with any endeavor in life that’s worthy of pursuit, strengthening your willpower to effectively overcome decision fatigue involves a gradual progression of self-improvement and the unwavering determination to achieve one’s personal goals.

Inspirational quote when body shouts stop - uae personal trainers
Inspirational quote - my goal is to become a better version of myself

Importance of Planning Ahead for a Stress-Free Day

Planning ahead is a crucial strategy that can greatly benefit your daily routine. By taking the time to plan your meals and activities in advance, you can save time, reduce stress, and make healthier choices.

For example, instead of scrambling to figure out what to eat for lunch each day, you can plan your meals the night before. This could involve preparing a healthy salad or sandwich that you can easily grab on your way out the door. By doing this, you eliminate the need to make last-minute decisions and are more likely to stick to your healthy eating goals.

Additionally, planning ahead allows you to schedule your day more efficiently. You can allocate time for important tasks, such as work assignments or exercise, without feeling overwhelmed. This proactive approach helps you stay organized and focused, leading to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment.

Furthermore, planning ahead can also help you save money. By creating a grocery list and meal plan for the week, you can avoid unnecessary purchases and reduce food waste. This not only benefits your wallet but also promotes sustainability by minimizing your environmental impact.

In conclusion, incorporating the habit of planning ahead into your daily routine in Dubai can have numerous positive effects on your overall well-being. From saving time and reducing stress to making healthier choices and saving money, the benefits are endless. So, take the time to plan ahead and enjoy a more organized and stress-free day!

Try to eat at the same time every day

Maintaining regularity in your eating schedule is of paramount importance when you’re looking to establish a healthy daily routine. To encourage this habit, a useful tip is to strive to consume your meals around the same time each day and to keep the number of meals consistent. Such a practice significantly curtails the occurrence of decision fatigue because it allows you to know, with considerable certainty, the specific times at which you will be eating.

Incorporating this method into your lifestyle not only simplifies your daily planning but also aligns with your body’s natural hunger signals. You might have experienced pangs of hunger at seemingly random times, like 10am, even though your next meal isn’t scheduled until noon. This sensation is often the result of having an irregular meal pattern, which can inadvertently throw off your body’s hunger-regulating mechanisms, particularly affecting the hormone ghrelin.

Extensive research has delved into the patterns of ghrelin secretion and how they are influenced by meal timing. It has been documented that ghrelin levels typically increase as a mealtime approaches, which in turn triggers feelings of hunger. By adopting a predictable eating schedule, you can essentially “train” your body to expect food at certain times that align with your daily plans, thus helping to manage hunger more effectively and avoid those untimely cravings.

Dieting in Dubai should be easy

In conclusion, I am not saying that dieting is or should be easy. There is a lot of habit building involved and many obstacles to overcome.

However, know that you are capable of great things. Of enduring many hardships and growing stronger from them. If you are not where you want to be yet, you will be in time with the right effort.

Persevere through the tough times and remember that change is a process that requires patience and dedication. Your mindset plays a critical role in this journey; embrace positivity and constructive thinking. Nurture resilience, and let each small victory motivate you further.

Don’t limit yourself with false beliefs and learn to not only train your body but your mind as well. To achieve success in dieting, or any aspect of life, it’s essential to couple physical discipline with mental fortitude. Continuously educate yourself on nutrition and wellness, stay inspired, and support your endeavors with a community that shares your goals.

Remember, every step forward is a step towards achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Keep pushing boundaries, and soon enough, you will notice how the pieces fall into place, leading you to a healthier and more fulfilled life.

10 Key Benefits of Working with a Personal Trainer in Dubai for Weight Loss and Diet

Expert Guidance: A personal trainer provides professional advice tailored to your body type and fitness goals, ensuring you follow the right exercises and diet plan.

Customized Workout Plans: Your trainer will create a workout routine that matches your current fitness level and helps you progress steadily towards weight loss.

Nutritional Advice: Trainers often have knowledge about nutrition and can offer tips on what to eat to complement your fitness regimen for optimal results.
Accountability: Having a personal trainer means having someone to keep you accountable, making it less likely for you to skip workouts or cheat on your diet.

Motivation Boost: Trainers are great motivators. They encourage you to push through tough days and celebrate your successes, big or small.
Safety: A trainer ensures you perform exercises correctly to avoid injuries, which is especially important if you’re new to working out or using gym equipment.

Efficiency: With a trainer, your workouts are more efficient because they know how to maximize results in a shorter amount of time, which is perfect for busy schedules.

Personal Attention: One-on-one training means exercises are adjusted based on how you feel each day, making sure you get the most out of every session.
Supportive Environment: Trainers provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment, helping you stay positive and focused on your weight loss journey.

Long-Term Lifestyle Change: Working with a trainer can help instill healthy habits that go beyond just diet and exercise, leading to long-term lifestyle changes and sustained weight management.

Q&A Section: Dieting in Dubai

1. What is a popular diet in Dubai?
A lot of people in Dubai follow the Mediterranean diet because it’s healthy and includes lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and olive oil.

2. Can I find diet-friendly food easily in Dubai?
Yes, Dubai has many supermarkets and restaurants that offer a variety of diet-friendly options, including organic, vegan, and gluten-free choices.

3. Is vegetarian or vegan diet common in Dubai?
While Dubai’s cuisine is diverse, vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular, and there are plenty of dining options for those who prefer plant-based meals.

4. Are there dietitians in Dubai who can help me with my diet?
Absolutely! Dubai has many professional dietitians who can create personalized diet plans to meet your health goals.

5. How do cultural practices in Dubai affect dieting?
Cultural practices in Dubai, like fasting during Ramadan, can affect dieting. It’s important to plan accordingly and make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.

6. Is it expensive to maintain a healthy diet in Dubai?
The cost can vary. While some healthy foods can be expensive, there are also affordable options available in local markets and stores.

7. Can I join a weight loss program in Dubai?
Yes, there are many weight loss programs and fitness centers in Dubai that offer support and guidance for those looking to lose weight.

8. Are there any foods that are banned or restricted in Dubai that might affect my diet?
Dubai has strict food import laws, so some items may be restricted. However, this shouldn’t have a big impact on your ability to maintain a healthy diet.

9. How does the hot climate in Dubai impact dieting?
The heat in Dubai can affect your appetite and how much water you need. It’s important to stay hydrated and adjust your meal sizes and timing accordingly.

10. Are organic foods widely available in Dubai?
Yes, organic foods are becoming more widely available in Dubai, with many stores and markets dedicated to organic produce.

Fat loss, bodybuilding and nutrition personal trainer in Dubai Craig Lapsley

Dubai Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach - Craig

Craig provides personalized fitness coaching to individuals in Dubai and worldwide through online sessions, helping them improve their lives by enhancing their physical appearance.


Regardless of your current fitness level, you have the potential to achieve significant transformations in your body, mind, and overall health. While it took Craig several years to make changes himself, he now possesses the knowledge to help you achieve a remarkable physique within weeks.


During his late teens, Craig did not prioritize his health and fitness. He only occasionally practiced Jui Jitsu at an MMA club owned by a relative. His lifestyle back then was far from healthy, often consisting of sugary cereals for breakfast, quick meals for lunch, and sporadic vegetable consumption for dinner.

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