Dubai Diaries: Never say no to a new diet

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 21, 2021

They come, conquer and leave as fast we wish layers of fat would disappear from our midriff.

If there is anything more ephemeral than fashion, it is the fad diets. They come, conquer and leave as fast we wish layers of fat would disappear from our midriff. When we have a planet that is plagued with obesity and body issues, fad diets easily get popular.

Who amongst us hasn’t fallen for the Keto diet that promises to annihilate fat when you pile on proteins? Oh wait. The hot favourite among weight watchers now is the intermittent fasting which requires you to give your digestive system a 14 to 16-hour rest.

Those with a target of quick weight loss latched on to it thinking it was easy to deprive themselves of food for a certain number of hours. Enter the vegan diet. Why not do a favour to the animal world while fighting fat? Shopping malls and supermarkets started stocking up the best plant-based products for vegan devotees.

We have also swung to the other end of the diet spectrum and followed the Paleo diet that took us back to the Stone Age. Paleo became passe when followers developed gastro-intestinal problems thanks to the huge quantities of meat they consumed.

I have steered cleared of most of the above but lately I have fallen for a low-carb trap that promised to shave off a few kilos from my body. There are times when you go to any lengths to avoid crunches and planks. In one of those ‘I-hate-gyms’ moments, I took the resolve to kick the carbs. If you were born an Indian or reared on sub-continent fare, you will understand the food fallacy I committed.

Usually, the carb-loaded South Indian breakfast is what I wake up for. Depriving myself of the delicious dosas (rice pancakes) and idlis (rice dumplings) is nothing short of a distressing dietary task. Two boiled eggs and a small bowl of oats can hardly match up to the magic of hot dosas with a coconut chutney on the side.

Cooking soups and cutting salads for lunch seemed like doing penitence for the pots of sizzling chicken biriyanis I had gorged on in my lifetime. My under-utilised cooking oven received all the attention as dinner times turned into grilling fests. I have to admit that I am coming close to banging my head on the wall and acknowledging defeat, but I am holding on.

I want to believe everything that has ever been written about the evils of carbs and the disservice they can do to my body. I am turning to motivational videos to keep my resolve.

Who said once a failed dieter, always a failed dieter? Aren’t there any watermelon diets, Mediterranean diets, banana diets or soup diets that can come to my rescue? The fight against fat is all about giving up, only to get up and try again. And never say no to a new diet.


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.


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