With so many diet plans promising amazing weight loss results how can you be sure what will help and what’s pure ‘science fiction.
Medical professionals and personal trainers alike always advise that following a sensible diet combined with exercise is the best way to lose weight safely.
But, a new type of healthy eating is gaining polarity – Clean Eating in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So, can clean eating help you lose weight? We asked a professional personal trainer from Dubai for their advice.
Clean Eating – Can You Explain What It Is?
Like many other ‘diet’s or eating programs, Clean Eating is a broad term which sometimes get overused by people and companies who claim it has magical benefits when it comes to weight loss. Almost all diets in the UAE get touted as being the next big thing when it comes to losing a few pounds. But, you need to really be careful about what you read and what is correct. Misinformation can often lead to detrimental health and you end up becoming frustrated and disappointed with the results.
So let’s take a look at what ‘Clean Eating’ in Dubai is and what (if any) the health benefits are.
Clean eating is such a broad term that it’s difficult to sum it up in a few words but basically it generally means the exclusion of processed foods within you diet. This in itself makes it sound more beneficially when leading a fit and healthier lifestyle but like any food and nutrition program you do need to make sure you know the facts.
While clean eating in general is healthy, sometimes advertising programs and promoters of diets define the basics of clean eating incorrectly and advise that certain food groups should be avoided too. This may lead to overall nutrition deficiencies.
An example of food groups that some promoters advocate removing are:
- Processed Packaged Foods
Let’s take a look in more detail at some of the restrictions placed on this kind of food choice diet
- Gluten. There really is no reason to omit a particular ‘food group’ from a clean eating diet unless you have a medical condition that causes you problems when you eat that particular food. Gluten is not the enemy for the vast majority of people. Like any food group, you just need to balance your diet.
- Processed Package Foods. Not all processed foods are necessarily bad and grouping them into a ‘bad’ category where clean eating is concerned isn’t a good idea. For example, processed package meals which contain high levels of added salt, sugar, preservatives and other chemical aren’t necessarily that good for you. But, on the flip side, frozen vegetables, canned (low salt) legumes and such are time-savers and a big part of many busy people’s diets and as such can we really call these bad because they are considered packaged, processed foods?
As a personal trainer in Dubai with nutrition experience do you think clean eating can help with weight loss?
Clean eating in itself does not mean you will be consuming less calories which you need to do in order to lose weight. In fact, if you eat too many nuts or high fat foods in Dubai you will end up gaining more weight.
However, when you implement clean eating into your lifestyle in Dubai or Abu Dhabi you can see and feel the benefits if you follow good guidance and not limit your food groups too much.
Clean eating is synonymous to eating healthy when done properly.
What should you be eating on a clean eating diet?
- Base your clean eating diet on a variety of ‘quality’ wholefoods that provide plenty of nutrients and energy.
- Make sure you include all food groups unless your diet prohibits some foods (for example gluten for celiac disease etc). Food groups including vegetables, fruits meats and legumes content all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients our body needs to function optimally.
- Omit foods that contain added sugar and food that has been highly processes including processed snack foods. Foods that include additives, trans-fats and too much added salt fall into this category so always read the label.
- If you can, try to adopt a more plant based diet. Similar to the Mediterranean diet which is now considered to be the most healthy because of the high percentage of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish it contains. Many studies like those listed here have proven that eating more fruit and vegetables not only leads to a fitter body but also a happier, healthier mind too.
- For weight loss when Clean Eating try to control your portion size too. You might think that bowl of fresh, organic nuts is great because it is considered a clean eating food but it also contains a high percentage of fat. The same applies to avocado too. Yes, they are healthy but they are a high calorific food.
Does clean eating ‘promote’ weight loss in Abu Dhabi & Dubai
If you follow a clean eating diet properly and seek advice from a nutrition expert there are definitely ways you can lose weight and maintain a healthier weight with a clean eating lifestyle.
Switching to a diet that provides an abundance of goodness from vegetables, lean meats, fruits and pulses definitely has it’s benefits if at the moment you tend to binge on junk food or food that is overly processed.
Nutrients from clean eating sources are absorbed by the body instead of being destroyed by over processing and it’s much easier to check you fat intake because you know what your meal consists of.
In addition, adopting a healthy lifestyle rich in quality foods will reverse any hormonal resistance that causes excessive cravings and uncontrolled hunger. Eating wholesome foods regains the hormonal homeostasis that balances hunger and satiety and restores the microbiota which is known to improve health physically and mentally.
Clean Eating – an example menu
40 grams oats with unsweetened almond milk plus ½ cup of frozen
berries and ½ cup of zero fat Greek yogurt
Salad with greens, cucumber, tomato, beets, 1 medium sweet potato and boiled broccoli, 250 grams of grilled chicken. Dressingbalsamic vingar, mustard and lemon juice. Any herbs are
Grilled Salmon tiryaki 200 grams: tiryaki sauce made of low sodium soy, 1 teaspon honey, ginger with ¾ cup of basmati rice and mixed vegetables ( frozen or from raw)
Organic vegan protein 1 scoop with frozen banana (1) mixed with almond milk and some cinnamon.
Finally, here are my top tips for anyone considering switching to a Clean Eating diet
Clean eating in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is simply avoiding packages sweets, fast foods etc…. It is relying on foods from natural frozen, packaged or fresh.
- Embrace the rainbow of veggies and fruits. Make your plate 2/3 vegetables/grains/ legumes and 1/3 lean meats. Eat all kind of vegetables and fruits. Lettuce and cucumbers are not enough!
- Avoid added oils and dressings. Ask for dressing on the side when you get your salad. Dressings could rack up to 250 calories extra to your meal.
- Choose lean meats and legumes as your protein sources. Eggs, chicken breasts, and low fat meat.
- Don’t omit food groups. Eat everything that is natural including dairy and grains if you like them. Chose the low fat options such as white cheeses and lo fat milk.
- Don’t drink your fruits. The nutrition lies in the wholesomeness and its lost when it is broken down. Eat it, with peel if possible.
- Choose high fiber carbohydrates like quinoa and bugrul and avoid white flour-based ones.
- Control your calories. Know how much you need, eat consistently, be organized. Have healthy snacks with you and don’t over do it on the healthy fats! They are very calorie dense.
- Read your labels. Avoid high caloric snacks ( over 200-250 calories) and meals over 500-550, be wary of saturated fat, choose high protein and low fat, limit added sugars and foods with more than 2 additives in the ingredients.
Whatever your diet and fitness goals a personal trainer in the UAE can help. Whether you are looking for a PT, Diet Coach or Nutrition Expert.
The UAE Personal Trainers website aims to provide you with the latest and best information on all aspects of health and fitness through a wide range of articles, Question & Answer Sessions and useful tips.