This is the official blog of the Landmark Group with insights
and stories from the people behind our many brands.

Don't weight and watch!

wellness.jpgThe Dubai Stone - I am sure most of you have heard the dreaded term. For the uninitiated it means adding a minimum of 7 kgs and with it a whole lot of other things. How does this phenomena happen ? Quite simply moving into a new environment often leads to a big 'Lifestyle Change'. Routines shift, diet starts to vary, physical activity becomes lesser and new temptations lead us to adopting unhealthy habits without realizing them.

People who move here often come from countries where they walk or take public transport to work. All of this changes when you live here. The hot weather for most part of the year makes it difficult to walk or exercise outdoor. Add that to a lifestyle filled with convenience, comfort, luxuries brunches, mall crawling and eating out and there you have it ....the added pounds or kilos !

But really this is not a phenomenon unique to Dubai. Most of us tend to put on the extra weight when changes in life happen and we do have our reasons for it. New job, new relationship, just married, had a baby, went on holiday, partying regularly -we have all been there, haven't we?

Then comes the stage where the clothes don't fit, the mirror makes you unhappy and the carefully worded comments about weight gain start. As people, we are all conscious and a little vain. The first realization of weight gain has us looking for the miracle diet, which will get us back on track in days. In today's age of easy Google search that is  really not difficult. You have celebrity diets, no -carb diets, lose a dress size in a week diets, cabbage diet, juice diet - the list is pretty much endless.

In fact Research shows that 95% of working adults -people like you and me, have tried some sort of a diet or the other, and most times been unsuccessful. While fad diets often help you drop a few pounds on a weighing scale initially and make you feel good, they are difficult to sustain in the long run. When your body is craving taste and proper food, its normal to fall off the wagon and turn to binge eating. So while a few pounds were lost earlier in the battle of the bulge, the 'diet' goes from friend to foe- leaving you right where you started.

Speaking of piling on the pounds, here's a thought. Why don't we combat the weight gain with the same weapon that started it in the first place - 'A Lifestyle Change'
But what does this  change look or feel like, and how do you know when you've made one? Well mostly it's going back to all those good things that are tried and tested and yes, work well for you no matter what age or gender you are.

Coffee is NOT Breakfast
We skip breakfast thinking we are cutting calories and honestly it is the worse thing you can do. By mid-morning  you are starving and you tend to go for anything that's available - cookies, chocolate bars, chips, croissants, etc. How healthy is this list and what it does is something we all know. A research group analyzed 4,200 adults and found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to eat fewer calories overall during the day. In fact make breakfast the heaviest meal of the day.  Muesli, eggs, milk, whole wheatbread, yoghurt, fruit.... they fuel your day.  Breakfast kick- starts your metabolism and since you have a whole day of running around at work you can easily burn those calories off.  Plus it keeps hunger pangs at bay and you don't up going to lunch feeling like you can polish off a whole buffet.

All Good things come in Small Packages
Most of us tend to eat 2/3 big meals in a day often ending with a big dinner. But that's the worse thing you can do to your body. If you think about it excess of any kind leaves you with a bad aftertaste. Try and eat 5/6 small meals so that your body constantly has energy. While grocery shopping pick - up healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, granola bars, whole -wheat biscuits that you can eat when you have a hunger pang between meals

The Balancing Act
Remember sitting on a see -saw, if all the weight is on one side, your either end up in the air or grounded on the floor and neither is much fun. Balance is an important term, so try and ensure that's how your plate looks during lunchtime - 30% Carbs like bread/roti/pasta/rice. 35% vegetables and pulses. 25% Protein. 10% Dairy Products and 5% Sweet Treat.

Don't save the best for last

For most of us dinner often ends up being the heaviest and a really late meal. Your body really doesn't burn much during television watching, net- surfing, bed-time reading and sleeping. So if you consume the most calories at night that your body doesn't need it just goes in as storage and shows up in the most unflattering areas. Keep that dinner light and early and it will go a long way in keeping you fit.

These Legs were made for walking
Most of us spend 8 hours a day chained to a desk but that is not what the human body was made for. Early man spent most of his time standing, walking and running and while the human race's abuse of the environment will some day drive us to the prehistoric ages we aren't there yet. But being on your feet does go a long way. Take a walk after lunch or dinner, go dancing, play a game with your children anything that keeps you on your feet is good.

The Naughty and Nice List
Well let's be honest here it was much simpler to write these things down than live by it every single day. You will have days when you do out for dinner to celebrate social occasions, a deadline at work that will leave you chained to your desk and never see daylight and endless other occasions. But let's try and stick to the 80-20 rule and be on track at least 80% of the times. Use your desk calendar as a measure, for every day you have been good put a check with your marker the next morning and for every day you have fallen off the wagon put a cross. At the end of the month ensure you have more checks than crosses so you end up on your Nice List. And at the end of the year and treat yourself to something nice before you ring in another healthy new year.