Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The famous - and dreaded - Dubai stone

When I moved to the UAE I used to hear of the famous – and very much dreaded – Dubai stone: an average of 7kg of pure fat put on by many expats when they first arrive in the country.

At the time I thought this was just one of those myths that go around, but now, having put on some weight myself, I tend to think there must be some truth to it.

Actually, if you think about it, it makes total sense…

To start with, many expats living in the UAE come from places where it is possible to get a daily dose of unintentional exercise. Ride a bike to work, walk to and from places – even if only to the bus stop or the metro station. But here, we all get lazy and choose the car over our feet every chance we get.   

And then there is the heat and humidity almost all year round, which discourages us to do anything outdoors. Just the thought of it makes me feel sticky and tired.

In addition, people here have long working hours. This usually means we fall on two major traps: go for unhealthy food options available during lunch break and stay away from the gym once we get home late at night.

To top it all up, let’s be honest here, we expats love to live the good life. Every week we try out new restaurants, have drinks with friends, enjoy a very caloric brunch with a very generous free flow of bubbly…

Did we really think all this fat would transform into thin air and simply go away? Well, it isn’t. But there are ways to get rid of it:

Meals delivered to your doorstep
If you are too busy to cook or you simply do not know your way around the kitchen (which is my case), you can always try one of the several health and nutritious catering services available in the UAE.

Usually this is how they work: you make an appointment, meet with a nutritionist to evaluate your data and discuss your needs and goals, and receive balanced meals right at your doorstep.

Most of these places will offer different packages, so you can choose whatever makes more sense for your lifestyle.

Here are a couple of names so you can get started:

Counting points
Another way to lose weight is turn to the ever so popular Weight Watchers.

Although there are no physical meetings here in the UAE (at least I could never find them), today you have the option to do it online.

All you have to do is go to Weight Watchers, register, pay, and get started. You will be able to record your weight, track your points, and receive progress reports. And there are thousands of really great recipes for you to try!

Hit the gym
There is no way around it. Little or no exercise won’t help. You have to get active. Really active.

If you are not fond of weights or the basic machines you see everywhere, try fun classes like Hip Hop, Zumba, Kickboxing, Spinning, Tae Bo and many more offered by many gyms out there!

The important thing is to get moving! Even if you start with a small goal and a few set of exercises just like this...

Have fun!


  1. Enjoyed your post and the fun clip!
    YES,I must work out! Don´t we all?

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