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Business Owner Fathima Abdoola

Starting and growing a successful nutrition business is a challenging feat. Still, for me, it was a passion that turned into profits. My journey began when I decided to open my private practice shortly after graduating with my Masters in Dietetics. In a saturated profession, finding a position with limited experience took a lot of work. 

I saw firsthand the impact proper nutrition had on my client’s health and well-being when the advice was tailored to their cultural diet. I saw the changes in their energy levels, mood, and overall health. It was then that I knew I wanted to make a career out of helping people improve their health through nutrition.

Starting small.

Starting small, I began writing for a local community newspaper. I was approached by a doctor who had a unique need to service female clients from cultural backgrounds.

Then offering nutrition consultations from a medical clinic, I expanded my services to five additional clinics over the next two years. I had a small client base but provided high-quality services and built strong relationships with my clients. I also stayed up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the nutrition field, which helped me give my clients the best advice and recommendations.

Slowly, my one-on-one consultations client base began to grow. This was where I would assess my clients’ dietary habits and make recommendations based on their specific needs and goals. I also provided meal plans and recipes to help them stay on track. I quickly realised that many of my clients needed more support and guidance, so I began advocating for additional follow-up consultations to check their progress and make any necessary adjustments to their plans.

Building a solid reputation was crucial for my business, and I prioritised my clients’ satisfaction. I always made myself available for questions and concerns. I went above and beyond to ensure they received the best possible service. This helped me attract new clients through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Moving my nutrition business across the globe.

Migrating to Zambia a few years later, I took my experience in starting a private practice here. It was challenging as the Dietetics profession was novel, and I was lucky enough to land a role as a Lecturer for Clinical Nutrition at The University of Zambia. This was a wonderful experience as it expanded my network and understanding of the Zambian nutrition landscape immensely. I saw clients sporadically at two small medical clinics during this time.

I am expanding my nutrition business.

After a few years, I moved into running my practice full-time. I acquired outpatient clinics at various private hospitals. I expanded my services to inpatient, menu-creation, staff training and corporate services. Finding insurance coverage for my clients and clients beyond doctors’ referrals was challenging. I started running public workshops and collaborating with other health-related businesses.

As my business grew, I knew it was time to expand. I began to focus on building an online presence for my business. I created a website and social media accounts to share information, resources, and tips on nutrition and health.

I hired a team of nutritionists, admin staff and business marketing experts to help me provide services to more people. I started selling meal plans and e-Products to suit varying budgets. I also wrote my book, “The Zambian Guide to Healthy Eating”, to cater to the gap in the literature on healthy eating with local foods.

This helped me reach an even larger audience and allowed me to connect with people all over the world. This led me to specialise in the areas I was most passionate about and gave me the title of “Cultural Dietitian”. I focused on weight loss with cultural foods and how to create healthy eating habits with affordable and accessible foods.

It is adapting to change.

Running a business is never easy, and it’s even more challenging when operating in a country where the profession is Novel. One of the keys to my success was my ability to adapt. I was constantly testing new ideas and strategies. I was always looking for ways to improve my services and reach more customers. I also stayed on top of the latest technology and trends in the nutrition industry, which helped me stand out from my competition.

I also realised that the laws and regulations for nutrition businesses vary from country to country, so I kept informed about the requirements for operating a business in my location. I researched local laws and regulations, including licensing and permits, taxes, and health and safety regulations, to run my business in compliance with the law.

Commitment to education.

Another important aspect of my business was my commitment to my education. One of the most important aspects of running a successful nutrition business is staying informed about the latest research in the field. This means regularly reading scientific journals, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals in the industry. By staying current with the latest research, you can ensure that your business provides your clients with the most effective and evidence-based services.

I have focused on my education as a priority and never stopped learning for the sake of my clients. Through online courses and investing in business mentors, I have expanded my qualifications beyond nutrition into business management and social media marketing.

Managing day-day operations to run my nutrition business successfully.

Managing the day-to-day operations of the company can also be a challenge. This includes marketing, promotion, billing, accounting, and hiring and managing staff. It’s essential to have a clear plan in place for how to handle these tasks and to stay organised and efficient to keep the business running smoothly. Another critical aspect of running a nutrition business is developing a solid understanding of your target market. This means understanding your client’s specific needs and concerns and tailoring your services to meet those needs. This could include offering specialised services or catering to specific populations’ needs.

Developing my very own method for my nutrition business.

I have now developed “The Eat Smart Method”, a 5-step proven formula for weight loss success. It includes all the steps needed to ensure sustainable weight loss for a healthier and happier client. 


In conclusion, starting and growing a successful nutrition business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it is also gratifying. The most rewarding part of running a nutrition business is the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s helping someone to lose weight or manage a chronic health condition, being a part of someone’s journey to better health is incredibly fulfilling. Like running any business, there will always be challenges, but with genuine passion, you will always push through.

My journey of turning my passion for helping people improve their health through nutrition into a profitable business has been an incredible experience. If you’re considering starting a nutrition business, remember to stay true to your passion and never stop learning, growing, and improving.

If you’re looking for more information or resources on nutrition and health, be sure to check out my website where you can find a wide range of information, tips, and resources, as well as access my services. You can also follow me on Instagram @weightloss_nutritionist_ or Facebook @eatsmartdietetics for regular updates, advice and inspiration.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

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