Are carbs better before a workout or after? Do women need more protein during menopause? What kind of foods would suit someone with a thyroid disorder?
These are the questions Nmami Agarwal is faced with every day, the kind that she herself has been dwelling on since she was a young girl.
Brought up in Jammu till class 12, Nmami – the youngest of three sisters – was surrounded by overweight relatives, and often wondered how to help them gain better health. Her businessman father and homemaker mother encouraged her to complete her BSc in Home Science and then head to Pune to do her Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics.
They didn’t mind when their ‘pampered’ third child then shifted base to Delhi to work under a well-known nutritionist in the city. Soon, Nmami – whose name means ‘to welcome’ – was ready to start off on her own.
She called her consultancy Nmami Life, and last year, began advising people on what to eat, how to eat and when to eat, while living her dream as a single woman in the big city.
The 25-year-old’s work reached the ears of cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Michael Clarke, who came to her for diet guidance. “There’s no particular regime that sportspersons can follow every day; there’s always something new happening in their lives on a daily basis. They don’t know where they’ll be tomorrow,” says Nmami, who creates guidelines for such clients to follow, which allow them to modify their diets daily.
One diet can’t be followed by all, of course – it depends on one’s profession, body composition, lifestyle, medical history, and food preferences. And so Nmami has found herself very busy this past year, creating customized guidelines for many hundreds of clients who consult her over the phone or video-calls from all over the world from India to Canada. Her firm has won several awards and has been listed amongst top-rated wellness companies.
Nmami is also now the official nutritionist for Femina Miss India 2017 Manushi Chhillar, who is the only contestant representing the country at Miss World 2017 pageant in China this month. Very soon, she plans to launch an app that will allow a larger number of people to access her wealth of nutrition tips and consult her directly from the comfort of their homes, within their budgets.
While Nmami is happy about the fact that fitness has become fashionable in society – “Health is the new LV or Dior,” she quips – she does rue the fact that Indian women are far too focused on simply looking good, and not so much on being healthy and fit.
“It’s important to lose weight slowly while changing your lifestyle in a permanent way,” she says. With her work, Nmami is out to make everyone say “welcome” to a healthy life.