x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Snug-fitting garments help you stay trim, UAE experts say

Experts say it's hard to measure weight gain when your clothes are not tight.

Emiratis in a cafe at the City Centre Mall in Dubai. A nutritionist suggests that wearing a tight-fitting pair of trousers can help to monitor progress when trying to lose weight.
Emiratis in a cafe at the City Centre Mall in Dubai. A nutritionist suggests that wearing a tight-fitting pair of trousers can help to monitor progress when trying to lose weight.

ABU DHABI // Slimmers have been urged to invest in a pair of tight-fitting jeans for a better guide to their progress in losing weight.

And experts have warned that cosmetic surgery such as liposuction or partial stomach removal is not necessarily the answer to obesity.

Weight problems are mostly attributable to a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating, but loose-fitting clothing also has a role.

"We have many locals who come in with wide abayas, and so they don't feel that they're putting on the weight," said Hala Abu Taha, a nutritionist at Right Bite in Dubai. "It's not only the numbers on the scale that indicate weight because everybody has a different body type. I always say size is key."

Ms Abu Taha recommends that her clients buy a pair of snug jeans to monitor their progress.

"We start at a recommended size and then slowly go down to smaller sizes through healthy changes until they feel the most comfortable."

Liposuction does almost nothing for treating weight problems, Ms Abu Taha said. "It only removes the outer fat," she said. "Obesity is a disease that deals with inner fat, fat that has accumulated on the organs of the body including the heart, liver and kidneys."

Liposuction goes nowhere near that and should be used only for body shaping.

"During liposuction, surgeons are only emptying the fat cells, so it's very possible to put on the weight again," she said.

In cases where surgeons remove the fat cells from the body, consumed fat will ultimately find somewhere else to go, potentially resulting in body deformation. Even bariatric surgery must be coupled with lifestyle changes.

People suffering from obesity are usually emotional eaters, so many of those who undergo bariatric surgery put the weight on again, said Dr Yousef Abou Allaban, medical director of the American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology.

"They don't know how to handle stress and turn to food as a coping mechanism," he said. "Surgery should be preceded by therapy or counselling to teach people how to appropriately manage their stress."

mismail@thenational.ae