by Rana Asfour
Thursday night, health conscious individuals gathered at the Salwa Zeidan Art Gallery to listen to a talk by author and photographer Racha Zeidan whose book, ‘Great Body No Diet’, is based on her personal experience and journey with food.
In 2006, prompted by an exasperation brought on by her friends moaning after every meal and also fed up with the questions regarding how she ‘eats all that food and still manages to maintain a great figure’, she decided to launch a series of emails addressed to her friends offering advice and tips she had garnered from her readings and research.
The result of these emails was the emergence of an idea for a book. However, it took Zeidan another four years of further research until she managed to sit down and write the book. ‘Great Body No Diet’ was finally published in 2013 and has since then travelled the globe.
According to Racha Zeidan, the formula to staying fit is quite straightforward, ‘Burn more than you eat’ How? Easy: by make exercise part of your lifestyle.
‘The book’s title says no dieting is involved, but doesn’t say anything about ‘no exercise’ for a reason: because I believe that exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. The good news is that laziness is more of a thought than a physical problem. Meaning that once the mind decides to be active the body will get up and get moving. It is the best way not only to lose the weight but also to maintain that loss’.
In the book, Zeidan writes that one of the discoveries in her life for a long-term solution to the matter of sticking to an exercise program is ‘a less intense workout routine that can easily be managed’ and which takes into consideration your current level of fitness as well as your busy schedule so that it may be sustainable in the long run. Exercise goals should be ‘realistic and comfortable, meaning it should fit into your busy schedule, complement your life, and the results should not be painful or exhausting’.
On the benefits of water, Zeidan has dedicated an entire chapter. She stipulates that we should drink water either 10 minutes before or 45 minutes after meals as water may interfere with digestion. She urges people to drink water before eating ‘anything at all’. One of the benefits for this she writes is that ‘the water has more space to flow right in, and every bite gets plenty of water to dilute it, as opposed to water trying to dilute an entire lump of food’.
In general, Zeidan’s book is written in an easy-to-follow format and is designed in a way that makes it easy for the reader to keep up. It is a no-nonsense, logical look at how a healthy lifestyle is not that allusive. It is within the grasp of anyone once they consciously take steps to alter a thought here and an action there. That being healthy should never only be about how we look but that it should be about strengthening and nurturing the body as well as the mind.
Racha Zeidan is a Lebanese photographer and author raised in the United Arab Emirates. She earned her Business Management degree from London’s Webster University and worked in marketing and contemporary art in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. As a world traveler, conscious of emerging health trends, Zeidan has become an advocate for healthy living and a coach to those seeking weight management.
Conventional wisdom is that diets provide the only path to weight loss. Though diets may work temporarily, they are not long-term solutions. They only serve to restrict freedom and diminish the pleasure of eating.
'Great Body No Diet' is a manual for safe and satisfying eating practices, made up the right thoughts and actions to lose or maintain weight at will, without following a specific diet or a strict exercise program.
The book's method is simple and offers a fresh perspective on how to achieve and maintain a healthy body using practical solutions that complement your active lifestyle.
Restore your confidence and energy for life while relying on your own logic to manage your meals in today's food abundance, free of calorie calculation, food restrictions, post-meal guilt, pills, pre-planned meals or weight-loss surgeries.
For more information on Racha Zeidan, click HERE.