How this UAE girl lost 40 kilos in 7 months

Dubai - Nikita ‘Niggi’ Phulwani on what prompted her to go through a lifestyle transformation during the pandemic


Ambica Sachin

Published: Sun 6 Jun 2021, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Jul 2021, 3:35 PM

For former plus size blogger Nikita ‘Niggi’ Phulwani, ‘love yourself’ is a motto that has stood her in good stead over the years. The founder and CEO of boutique agency By Niggi that believes in the core philosophy ‘People influence People’, Niggi has walked the talk.

She is today a bona fide ‘influencer’ having documented her journey from Size 24 to Size 14 on her IG (@niggiphulwani) and inspired many to follow suit and more importantly showcased through her own transformation that it is possible to bring about change if you really want it.

Along the way she has garnered a lot of love and inspired countless people to follow her own fit path. But it is how she handles the haters that is a true lesson for those who are victims of online bullying.

Back in April she courageously took to the social media platform to call out those who had been trolling her for using her ‘plus size’ to drive her own agenda, even after she had lost an enormous amount of weight. Like she remarked in her post: “I showed you (hopefully) how to own it at Size 24 and I am going to show you how to own it at Size 14 too! Till you like who you are, no one else really matters…”

Hopefully a message that will percolate down to those who feel insecure about their weight or the way they look, conditioned as we are by how society expects us to be. We catch up wth Niggi to find out how the pandemic proved to be a turning point in her life and made her embark on a journey of fitness that is today an inspiration for many others in a similar position.

My weight loss journey from Size 24 to 14 … has been incredible to be honest! And something I never even dreamt of or thought could be possible. I started working on my fitness goals with Yasir Khan and Transform Your Body in August 2020 and little did I know that 7 months later I would be 40 kgs and 10 sizes down.

My motivation behind embarking on this life altering change... I have always been a plus size girl/a chubby kid growing up and that never bothered me. However during 2020, because of the pandemic or lockdown, I just made a whole mess of my body. I outgrew my clothes; from a health perspective I was in a very bad place. Yet, fitness or being fit was never something I wanted for myself in my life. But not fitting into any of my clothes, not being able to climb a flight of stairs comfortably and overall health issues I started facing in June 2020 were becoming mini hints that I had to do something. Tie that feeling to meeting Yasir and I knew something was going to change. It has brought me to where I am today.

The hardest part initially of doing this was… all of it! Controlling my diet/no carbs/no sugar! It’s not easy! For a person who can have cake for breakfast, dinner and lunch, to not get her daily  dose of sugar — I lost my mind! I was on 40 grams carbs for the first four months and trust me it was not easy! Also for a person whose physical activity was probably only the walk I had to do to get to my car while going out to then doing almost 90 minutes cardio over and above the 60 minute session 4 times a week — NOT A JOKE! One would think it is not even possible. So I am not going to say, oh it was a breeze or it was easy. Nope! It really was not, but it is so so so worth it! Worth every time I nagged, cried, argued about the process!

My message to others who find themselves in a similar situation would be… Your future self will thank you for the step you will be taking. I think of the day I first decided to do this for myself and I really cannot thank myself enough. I am so grateful for that moment because I literally feel like I am at the best version of my life right now and I am yet to achieve my ultimate goal but I can only imagine how much better that will be.

And please understand that this is not about dropping 40 kgs and the number on the scale changing. My life has changed. I wake up at a certain time and go to bed (on most days) at a certain time. I eat clean, my body is getting stronger and fitter, I feel good, I dress better which ultimately adds to how I feel about myself. There is an uplift in the way I see myself and others see me which definitely is having an impact on how I do things on a day to day basis.

Its very intimidating — please know that too but also very rewarding. You will have to stay true to the plan, trust your trainer and the process and give your body the time and energy it deserves.

Niggi’s daily routine

Her workout schedule

I train 5 times a week.

I do cardio 6 times a week. My cardio is usually 60-90 minutes and it can be a mix of cross trainer, treadmill and stair master

What she eats in a day

Breakfast: 3 egg whites with 2 slices of brown bread and an apple

Morning snack: Green juice

Lunch: Quinoa or Rice with grilled chicken

Evening snack: Fat free Greek yoghurt. I add 3-4 walnuts in this even though I

am not supposed to!

Dinner: Grilled white fish with veggies

Before my workout, I have a banana and try to drink 2-3 litres of water in a day

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