“Despite a plethora of diets and weight loss plans, women continue to struggle with weight issues purely because they are making fundamentally wrong health decisions,” Kuwaiti nutritionist, Dana Gharib has highlighted at a session titled, ‘Choosing the Right Diet Trend for your Health as a woman’, she led during the Azyan Exhibition and Conference for Beauty, Fashion and Wellness, currently underwear at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) in Sharjah.
Gharib started her career as healthy lifestyle trainer in Miami, USA, and has also worked as nutrition science professor at the American University of Kuwait. She mentioned 5 mistakes women make to loose weight:
- Calories burnt are less than what is consumed
Gharib offers a simple equation, “Calories burnt must be more than the calories consumed. Walking 10,000 steps/day or a one-hour exercise should do the trick.”
- More carbohydrates than protein
The type, quality and quantity of food are top factors to be considered by women in the Gulf region, noted Gharib. “Here, we generally eat carb-rich foods, which can ruin our efforts to stay fit and cause weight gain.” Her recommendation was to eat more proteins from foods like meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, eggs and others.
- Skipping breakfast
Gharib says breakfast is essential for maintaining a healthy body. “Diets may vary as per our nutritional needs and lifestyles. Irrespective, I recommend a balanced breakfast featuring a mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.” She also noted the increasing popularity of intermittent fasting (IF), and how it is mostly the reason why women are skipping breakfast.
- Drinking coffeeon an empty stomach
Especially in the Arab world, women start their day with a few cups of coffee. Dana Gharib said that coffee on an empty stomach increases the production of Cortisol, which may increase symptoms of anxiety. “I do not recommend coffee before breakfast or with dates in the morning because it is not a balanced meal. The sugar content in dates, even though it’s a natural source, is quite high. I advise coffee to be had with dates after a main meal. A coffee with milk is a good option as it reduces the effect of caffeine, and stimulates cortisol in the body.”
- Weight loss during pregnancy
Gharib also said that it is healthy to gain some weight during pregnancy, as it ensures the health of both the mother and the fetus. “A healthy diet is very important for a pregnant woman to promote the health of the baby growing inside her, especially in the first three months. Eating healthy is also important for breastfeeding mothers.”