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Ghina Hamoui


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Nebal Ghandour, BSc.


More than ten years of experience in Clinical Nutrition.

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Medically supervised weight reduction programs
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Manar Daniel

Manar Daniel


Bachelor in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

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Sixty deadliest dieting mistakes

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Articles - Nutrition

Excerpt from Dr. Max Sawaf’s new book "Anti-Aging Made Simple"

diet mistakes, fluid intake, obesityWRONG FLUID INTAKE

1. Drinking sugar-laden drinks including fresh juices especially when living in a country with hot climate. Air conditioning dries up your mucosa. You need to drink a lot of fluids. Nothing goes through your mouth without calories or chemicals except water. 

2. Not drinking enough water: your brain confuses thirst with hunger. Do not wait until you are thirsty.. Drink anytime you can… Keep the bottle next to you… Drink before, during and after the meal. Sure water dilutes the gastric juice and slows digestion. But why worry about digesting your food fast when you want to feel full and lose weight? 

3. Drinking juices and full fat milk instead of water or skimmed milk during breast feeding. 

4. Indulging excessively in alcohol. Alcohol has Sorbitol, the fastest sugar that the body can absorb, which stimulates insulin secretion followed by uncontrollable hunger. All alcoholic drinks contribute to the beer belly…not just beer. 

5. Thinking diet drinks do not make you fat: your taste buds will be programmed to demand more sweets. After drinking a diet Cola, an apple does not taste good. Your taste buds demand an apple pie, chocolate or an ice cream. But after drinking water, an apple is sweat indeed. Diet drinks are also loaded with chemicals. If "Detol" does not clear a stain on your kitchen floor, try a diet drink. This idea impressed the heck out of my children! POOR SLEEP HABITS (If you are sleepy during the day you are not sleeping enough at night) 

6. Staying up late and having a big meal before going to sleep when the metabolism is slowest. 

7. Skipping breakfast because you are not hungry and feel guilty when you wake up after eating so late and thinking that skipping breakfast reduces caloric intake. Breakfast shifts your metabolism into higher gear. 

8. Consuming too much sugar and caffeine to get the energy you could have stored if you slept well. The result is more stress and more emotional eating (food stimulates the secretion of brain serotonin, a stress reliever). POOR EATING HABITS 

9. Finishing every last bite of a meal, even after you are full. Going back for seconds at meals. 

10. Eating too much meat. Change your thinking a bit by making meat the accompaniment to a meal rich in legumes and vegetables - almost a side dish. Stay away from processed meats such as salami or bologna. 

11. Eating at "all-you-can-eat buffets" and consuming large amounts "to get your money's worth." Buffet food is copious but is rarely delicious, so we keep trying to find something good buy trying so many poor tasting dishes. 

12. Starving all day then binging out of control. You should have three meals and one or two snacks to keep a higher metabolism. 

13. Not chewing properly and eating too fast. (Eat with your left hand to slow down ! It takes twenty minutes for the brain to sense that your stomach is full) 

14. Eating on the run and in every place (assign one place to eat in the house.) 

smoker15. Thinking that smoking makes you lose weight. In fact it interferes with the ability to exercise and thus make you gain weight. (People who quit gain an average of three kilograms but are much better off in the long run- See section on how to quit smoking without gaining weight. 

16. Finishing the food off of your family's plates while you are doing the dishes. 

17. Tasting and nibbling on food while you are cooking it. 

18. Baking cookies, pies and cakes more often than just for holidays or very special occasions. 

19. Shopping and stocking at home candy, juices, chocolates, deserts and nuts supposedly for guests, but eating more of it yourself. The place we make most food choices is actually at the grocery store. 

20. Serving sweets, dates, juices and nuts to your guests instead of serving them with healthy choices of fresh salads and fruits (being afraid of teaching them better habits.) 

21. Buying unhealthy snack items "for the kids or potential guests," but eating some yourself.” A handful of mixed nuts is a great snack. Do not binge on this high calorie but nutritious snack. 

22. Not having vegetables and/or fruit with each meal and serving more carbohydrates than any other food group for meals. 

23. Shopping for food and going to a party or a restaurant too starved to control yourself. 

24. Consuming fast foods on a regular basis. Any one who eats more than once a week in a fast food restaurant is endangering his health and must watch the popular movie "super size me" where the guy went on a thirty day Mac Donald diet, gained thirty pounds and almost died. At Burger King, you can have it your way, a double Whopper with cheese and 1150 calories and 75 grams of fat. Add a super sized French fries or 600 calories and 400 for Coke and you ate for three people. Go for a single Whopper and you cut it down to 760 calories. Ask for it without mayonnaise and you drop to 600 calories. A simple hamburger by contrast is 310 calories. Your best bet is of course eating at home. Unfortunately cooking is becoming a lost art. 


25. Losing a lot of weight quickly without the supervision of a nutritionist resulting in weight loss from reduced water and muscle mass and not fat. Prevention magazine is an excellent source of good information about nutrition. ( 

26. Going on any diet that is not a manner of eating that you can adhere to for the rest of your life: believing that you can eat cabbage soup -- or any other low-calorie, but monotonous fare -- every day for the rest of your life. 

27. Believing in fad diets: chemical diet, Atkin diet, South Beach diet, liquid diets and diets based on blood groups and food allergy tests. 

28. Thinking diet pills, vitamins, diet food or magic creams are more powerful than they really are in achieving weight loss. 

29. Thinking that "dieting" sprees -- and not total lifestyle change -- will garner lasting weight loss results. 

30. Watching too much television: sitting still for hours bombarded by food ads and eating while watching TV. 

31. Avoiding breast feeding (each breast feeding is a small liposuction) for fear of breast sagging. 

32. Not being aware of the nutritional benefits or detriments of what you consume. 

33. Relying on vitamins and supplements for your anti-oxidants and vitamins instead of a fresh variety of dark greens and fruits.

34. Thinking that you can lose weight with liposuction (liposuction changes your shape and size and not your weight.) 

35. Refusing to read self-improvement materials on a regular basis and not seeking medical help to quit smoking without gaining weight. 

36. Eating more bread, pasta and potatoes than proteins, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Read the labels. Use one hundred percent wheat flour. 

37. Consuming processed foods (chips, plain sugar, corn flakes, ice-cream..) more often than fresh foods. 

38. Taking the benefits away from vegetables by overcooking them or worse frying them instead of using steam methods of cooking. 

39. Relying on fat and oil to give food a good taste instead of spices, garlic, pickles, mustard and onions (the Mediterranean cuisine is the best in the world.) 

40. Thinking that olive oil is less fattening than other oil or butter. (It is as fattening but causes less blocking to the arteries because it is rich with high density fat.) IMPROPER USE OF EXERCISE 

41. Choosing outdoor activities instead of a treadmill at home in countries with hot and humid climate or for people with hectic schedules. 

42. Thinking of exercise as a chore, instead of a way to improve your health and get control of your life. 

43. Relying on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to relieve stress and anxiety instead of regular exercise. 

44. Starting a program too fast instead of going for ten minutes on a daily basis and increasing slowly by five minute increments every ten to fifteen days. 

45. Watching sports on TV rather than participating in sports. 

Exercise46. Attempting to exercise during the day when we may get too busy instead of first thing in the morning before starting the day. Not scheduling exercise as a vital part of your day and week. Leaving exercise up to your mood and available time (see chapter on exercise made easy.) 


47. Having a negative defeatist attitude and blaming others for your shortcomings. 

48. Expecting to learn new habits overnight (exercising, drinking a lot of water...) 

49. Bingeing after failing to lose weight and then waiting until tomorrow to get back on track. 

50. Thinking you are genetically destined to be fat. 

51. Not believing that you have the courage to change. 

52. Confusing "fat" as a personality trait. 

53. Thinking you are unattractive. 

54. Not living each day to the fullest... thinking that happiness will come when you are thinner. 

55. Hanging around the kitchen: either build a carrier, get a job or stay home and work instead of relying on maids and nannies.

56. Obsessing over counting calories. 

57. Waiting for tomorrow to "get started" rather than RIGHT NOW! 

58. . Giving up and resigning yourself to being "fat." 

59. Not visualizing yourself actually living and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. 

60. Not practicing any religion or paying any attention to spiritual issues and overemphasizing material things and selfishness a recipe for depression and feeling of loneliness and emptiness. 

So there you have it. Bypass the hefty sixty dieting mistakes by reading the above list at least once per month (it is amazing how quickly we forget information) and enjoy life the way you want it: slimmer, healthier and more beautiful. Let your motto be "habits not diets." New habits are hard to learn. It takes three months to learn a new habit so go slow but keep at it.



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