Sharjah resident Shuaib Ali has been consistently hitting the gym for the past year, yet despite his strict regimen, his weighing scale showed minimal movement. "I began the gym at 130kg in August last year. After adhering to a rigorous exercise schedule, both outdoor and indoor, I managed to lose only 6 kilograms in a year," Ali recounted. Each morning, Ali wakes before dawn, ties his sneakers, and heads to the gym by 6am. His workout routine is intense, including 45 minutes of exercise with a 10-minute cardio session. "I expected this disciplined routine, along with a proper diet, to result in significant weight loss," said Nicolas, a freelance fitness trainer who collaborated with Ali. "However, Ali's experience has been different. I've trained many who lost weight within 5 to 6 months," the coach added.

Despite the scale's lack of movement, Ali remained dedicated to his routine. "I've read about rapid weight loss, which can be disheartening when you see no progress. But I am committed to my health and will persist," the expat affirmed. Ali was advised to see a doctor, where he discovered he suffers from thyroid disorders. "I realized these symptoms I thought were normal are due to thyroid issues," Ali explained. Dietitians emphasize that weight loss is not solely about diets and workouts; complex physiological and lifestyle factors are involved. "Cravings and energy use are heavily influenced by psychological factors such as stress, emotional eating, and sleep habits," noted Fahmida Jafri, dietitian-clinical nutritionist at Thumbay University Hospital. Medical interventions might be necessary for issues like insulin resistance or thyroid abnormalities, as hormonal imbalances can severely hinder weight loss efforts.

Personal trainer and nutritionist Alain Pigoupa advises that appropriate dietary changes and physical exercise are key to weight reduction. Experts warn against believing in instant results often 'glorified' on social media. Instead, consistency is crucial. Here are some tips: Choose the right exercises, considering age and body type. Avoid long periods of sitting and aim for a balanced diet. Proper hydration based on age and body type is essential. A proper sleep cycle is vital for a healthy body, as lack of sleep can disrupt hunger hormones. Managing stress is also important, as chronic stress can raise cortisol levels, making fat loss more difficult.