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Eat clean for superior life

nisthula@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 15, 2021

The awareness of the public to the detrimental effects of fast food is only growing and people are continuously moving towards mindful consumption


Diets and meal plans for a healthy and fit body have been around for decades. If you’ve ever googled ‘How important is diet to weight loss?’, you have probably come across the 80/20 rule — the universally accepted formula that weight loss is 80 per cent diet and only 20 per cent exercise. That should spell out how important what we put in our body is. An increase in adult obesity and disposable incomes coupled with the inescapable reality of ageing means that people are always looking to enhance their health and bodies.

IBISWorld also states that the global forecast for adult obesity in 2026 will be slightly above 32 people per 100 individuals. While the most common causes are overeating and physical inactivity, obesity may also be influenced by genetics, metabolism, environment, behaviour and culture. Obesity is associated with poorer mental health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and the leading cause of death, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.

Especially during the pandemic, during peak shutdowns with less activity, dangers of poor health have increased. A study by Harvard University found that people who were binge-watching television ate fewer fruits and vegetables, had larger waistlines and higher levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides. In general, food marketing is aimed at eating larger portions with jumbo sizes.

The GCC has been experiencing rising levels of economic growth and sedentary lifestyles. Due to the high temperatures outside, many people avoid physical activities like sports, cycling, walking and running, etc. At the same time, busy schedules cause people to resort to takeout instead of home-cooked meals. In the last decade, a Ministry of Health study of married couples found that 33 per cent of the women in the UAE were overweight and 38 per cent were obese, while 40.3 per cent of the men were overweight, and 15.8 per cent were obese. Overall, 20 per cent of the population suffers from obesity, more than the same in the US.

Today, there are a couple of drivers towards a healthier outlook. The access to diet and fitness plans right at the fingertips, be it ready-to-eat meal plans delivered to one’s doorstep or home workouts through a mobile app, is one factor. Lifestyle blogs and vlogs promoting healthy eating habits through social media, along with the emerging gym culture and novelty fitness techniques, is propelling the demand for weight loss.

At a loss for how to lose weight or simply out of convenience, many people turn to weight loss service organisations. These are companies that provide nonmedical services to clients like counselling, diet and workout planning, and weight and body measurement monitoring, to assist people with losing or maintaining a desired weight. This industry is expected to benefit from the post-pandemic recovery period by 2025, according to IBISWorld. Because there is an abundance of substitutes, even these firms’ successes hinge on the integration of digital platforms into service offerings.

Imarc Group states that the GCC weight loss market reached a value of $3.77 billion in 2020 and the aforementioned factors will continue to drive the UAE weight loss market in the coming years.

There are a plethora of benefits to keeping an active body and a clean diet, not the least of which are the mental health benefits. A staunch routine every day helps the mind be prepared for what’s come. Overall a healthy diet enhances mood and boosts energy levels due to lesser energy required for metabolism.

Many find it difficult to stay committed to a fitness routine. As humans are social animals, many like to have a ‘fitness buddy’ to partner with in their journey to a healthy body and mind.

De Novu Institute has noticed this and offers its members a discounted referral programme so that they are surrounded by friends and family who also wish to shed or maintain their weight, which serves as motivation to stay on target.

The Dubai Fitness Challenge was introduced in 2017 to promote a well-rounded and all-inclusive lifestyle, enabling people to explore something new, push themselves further and discover more about the city they live in. This annual fitness festival invites residents to complete 30 minutes of activity every day, for 30 days.

There are also several types of diet plans like the Atkins, paleo, ketogenic, Mediterranean, vegan, raw food, Dukan diets and the list keeps growing. Those who are looking to change their lifestyle want to ‘eat clean’ and eliminate preservatives, GMOs, artificial flavours, thus driving diet-food manufacturers to reformulate their products.

To cater to these needs Fit Fresh aims to explore the rapid growth in demand for premium quality, sanitised fruits and vegetables and their derivates like cut salads, fresh fruit salads, fresh juices, blended smoothies, among others. It provides quick meals for the foodies with hectic schedules.

FreshToHome (FTH), one of the top e-groceries in the UAE, is debunking many myths and transforming customers into health-conscious shoppers. FTH’s growing ready-to-cook range offers convenient and quick meal options, with the taste of homemade food. There is also an express delivery option of 180 minutes so there’s no excuse for ordering take out. Also, those part of FTH’s online community, get to learn cooking tips and healthy recipes.

Eating clean can also be delicious. Kcal, which has been providing the best healthy, simple and accessible food solutions to the UAE for a decade, is proof of that. Kcal offers three options — meal plans, restaurants and the option to order online daily. With their calorie-controlled meal plans, choose the right plan and get a health consultation from the in-house expert nutritionist to ensure you achieve your targets.

Nisthula Nagarajan





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