The internet is flooded with hundreds of diets and weight loss strategies that just don’t work, or at least don’t work for everyone. Most weight loss programs offer solutions based on a typical Western diet without accommodating the culturally-specific aspects of food and lifestyle. What makes many of these diets lose their appeal is that they are short term and when a person is expected to put aside their food habits and culture in order to lose weight or improve their health, they relate to this change as temporary, rather than a long-term sustainable adjustment. People committed to healthier lifestyle choices and long-term benefits of well-rounded diets are left looking for alternatives, or worse, they are left assuming there is nothing in the market that can help them lose weight.
In today’s interconnected world, learning about new cultures and reaching out to new people has never been easier. For people looking to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, learning about traditional and healthier cuisines from different parts of the world can in fact be the answer.
Straight from her home in Palestine, Mas Watad, a nutrition specialist and registered dietician, wanted to spread awareness about the benefits of eating healthy and adopting healthier lifestyle choices. Watad was obsessed with making the Arab kitchen healthier since the age of 10 and her life’s work has been making healthier eating accessible to her community. To this extent, Watad, put her expertise to good use and in 2003 founded Dawsat.
But what is Dawsat and how is it helping tens of thousands of people around the world? Dawsat began as a points system for classifying foods based on nutritional value. Dawsat was designed to help health conscious individuals not only eat better to lose weight but to live their best and healthiest life. Watad then established a signature Dawsat group of like-minded individuals who would get together to learn how to make healthier choices when preparing their traditional meals, to introduce fitness and movement into their daily lives, all the Dawsat way.
From that point on, Dawsat started to gain momentum with women and men all over Palestine and the Arab world coming together to form a community of support while adopting the Dawsat system to eat better and get healthy. “We had groups of women from all over the Arab world, they would spread the word and share their Dawsat stories of success.” Says Watad. “We have had success with over 40,000 women and families who have successfully changed their lifestyles to include healthier eating habits. Through Dawsat we are also addressing major issues like obesity and the diabetes epidemic sweeping the Middle East.”
Dawsat is now using technology, local culture and community to deliver the Dawsat method to the broader Arab world, leveraging the reach of the Internet and smartphone usage. “We help people lose weight based on a traditional Arab diet and introduce healthy lifestyle activities and foods while continuing with the traditional Arab diet. We believe that culture and wellness go together with the power of technology,” Continued Watad.
The Dawsat team includes Founder and President Mas Watad; CEO Tally Zingher; as well as 20 core employees running the Dawsat Wellness Centers and developing the mobile applications and contributing to the growth of the brand.
Watad’s ambitions and impressive results have since propelled Dawsat to new heights. The company has since grown to include a signature health and wellness center in Palestine, an integrated mobile application for iOS and android, and online groups with participants from around the world – all in Arabic. The online groups help facilitate the Dawsat solution with a community of support, and knowledge help members make healthier choices and stay motivated throughout their weight loss journey.
“Based on years of research, and development of the first total wellness program based on the Arab kitchen, we provide rich digital tools, in-person and online group support and an in-app social community that provides a path to wellness and healthy living. All this, without any food restrictions and without making drastic changes to lifestyle,” says Watad.
To join Dawsat’s growing community, you can either join an online group or download their integrated application available to all mobile users. The AI-based application helps individuals make more informed health decisions regarding their dietary choices. Dawsat is also available on all social media outlets including Facebook and Instagram.
Rather than focusing on fad diets, Dawsat embraces traditional Arab foods as the solution for thousands of people to disrupt their unhealthy eating habits and get fit. To put this in perspective, people adopting the Dawsat system usually lose 11% of their body weight and over 70% maintain a 5% or more weight loss a year later. But what really sets Dawsat apart is their focus on empowering people all over the world with the knowledge and support needed to live their best life.
Dawsat’s impact is without a doubt massive. With an impressive following and 65 trained leaders in Palestine, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and London, and over 100,000 mobile application downloads, Dawsat is promoting the traditional Arab diet and motivating people to live a healthier life.
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