Peter Barron (left) and Dr Abdullah Al Mutawa Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Diets that offer rapid weight loss are a short-lived approach, fitness and health experts told audience at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit on Monday.

In a session titled ‘A world of Health and Fitness’, the speakers, who are also influencers, said a sustained approach to weight loss is needed to achieve the desirable results.

“Food preparation is key. How many people here spend time on social media instead of spending time to prepare meals,” said Peter Barron, a Dubai-based fitness trainer and nutrition consultant.

“There are so many diets out there such as the intermittent fasting, where you go 16 hours without eating. In reality, this approach is not sustainable. The main thing is to stay prepared, and if you don’t have time there are many companies providing meal plans for you,” said Barron, who has over 110,000 Instagram followers.

He said when trying to lose fat, people should fall in love with the process and it doesn’t mean cutting out everything from one’s diet.

“Nutrition usually falls at the bottom of the list for many people when I ask them about their priorities. People do everything but forget to have breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day,” he said.

Meanwhile, dietitian and nutritionist Dr Abdullah Al Mutawa noted four things to achieve an ideal balance when trying to shed weight.

“The first thing is to separate your meals and reduce carbs at night when it’s time to sleep because the energy gained from the carbs cannot be released and gets stored as fat. The second is to never have sweets during a main course, the best time to have sweets is after a workout,” he said.

He added that anger and stress can easily cause weight gain. “Last but not least, persistency is what helps with weight loss. You need to be able to understand the body and manage meals.”

Barron warned of the ads on social media that deliver false information that promise fast results. “People look for what is convenient but that’s not sustainable and they end up getting back to their previous lifestyle. It’s all about developing a habit.”