How to avoid the Dubai stone: an expert's advice

Spinneys’ nutritionist Freda Molamphy gives us the insider information we’ve all been waiting for

The dreaded Dubai stone. For those unfamiliar with the term (and what a small group you must be), we’re referring to those pesky pounds that creep on as soon as you’ve stepped off the plane into the sandpit. And what causes this unwelcome weight gain? Changes in lifestyle, climate conditions and eating habits. We sat down with an expert in the field of nutrition to find out how to avoid it:

Ditch the takeaways

Dubai is notorious for its choice in deliverable grub. When your surroundings are new, ordering on demand can easily become habitual but this need not stick; home-cooking is healthier and can be just as quick – sometimes quicker – to prepare. Try inviting friends over for sub-Saturday (spicy meatball, vegetarian Greek and New York sarnies, we’re looking at you), or whip up a gluten-free mushroom, thyme and polenta pizza that’s bound to knock their socks off. For those who are vegetarian, Mexican-inspired quick veggie burrito bowls are the ideal all-hands-in meals.

Beat the brunch

Regularly attending lavish spreads is a sure way to consume surplus calories – overindulging is a given. If you are brunching, stick to a modest starter, main and dessert without overfilling your plate – opt for small portions of different dishes if you want to sample the variety on offer; eat slowly and consume lighter meals the day after. Equally, why not try re-creating a brunch at home? Not only can you control what’s going into your meals but you can invite friends over, taking it in turn to host a buffet-style gathering. We’ve got one for the meat lovers and a DIY food truck-style menu that’ll convert even the most devoted brunch-goers.

Exercise and relax

Changes in lifestyle can seriously affect habits, exercise routines and sleep patterns, so try to replicate your previous work-life balance as much as possible (or improve on it). There are plenty of indoor exercise options for when the weather is too hot and when temperatures drop, Kite Beach has a great running track with stunning views of the Burj Al Arab. Trouble sleeping? Follow these five tips to get a better night’s sleep.

Sit down to eat

If you’ve moved here with your family, set aside some quality time to sit at the table during mealtimes. Not only does this make you more aware of what you’re eating – leading to healthier choices – but it also allows for conversation about how your loved ones are settling into life in the UAE. Here are some ways to get the kids talking around the table and five fuss-free weeknight meals to try at home.

If you have a question for our experts visit any of our social channels, #AskSpinneys and someone will get right back to you.