By: shabaz

Assalamualakum,

I have been living in Saudi Arabia for 1 year now and my weight has increased 10 kg in just one year. Some of my friends are also having the problem. I don't why people living in KSA gain weight so fast. Can anyone suggest to how stay fit and healthy in Saudi Arabia?, Especially people who live without family and don't have option to cook and eat. Eating outside regularly and staying fit is difficult in Saudi Arabia. I will be glad if anyone can share their experience and suggestions.


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By: junaid

I believe there are two main reasons for the rapid weight gain of expats living in Saudi Arabia.

1. Food

  • Food is relatively cheap in Saudi Arabia. The quantity of food restaurants sell for an individual, in general, will be enough for two. People who are eating outside regularly, especially bachelors, will get into the habit of eating more than required.
  • It is hard to find vegetarian and healthy food in Kingdom, on the contrary it is very easy to find junk and unhealthy food.
  • Soft drinks, when consumed regularly, wrecks havocs on human body. Unfortunately cold drinks are cheap and consumed at a level of addiction or at-least as a replacement of water. It is surprising to know in some fast food centers soft drinks are cheaper than water and in some cases water is not available and fast food restaurants offer soft drinks as there replacement.  More about the ill affects of soda here and here.

2. Inactivity

  • The life style changes drastically once you are in Saudi Arabia. It is said that healthy living requires 10,000 steps or at-least 6,000 steps. Unfortunately most of the people in Kingdom - at least people with car(most of the Kingdom population owns car) - walks way less than 6,000 steps. Activity trackers are cheap, you can measure your activity and if you are not making a special effort to do more physical activity, then most probably you are walking less than 6,000 steps.
  • Life style effects on female population is even worse, there activity is even more restricted than men.


Studies show than 70% Saudi population is obese, which is unbelievable. A quick observation of blue-color job workers in Kingdom and less prevalent obesity in them - at-least, blue-color job workers are not as much affected with obesity as the rest of the population in Kingdom- makes the role the aforementioned factors play in causing obesity even stronger.


Hope this will help you lose weight and to stay healthy.