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How Running Helped a 26 Year Old Mumbaikar Go From Fat to Fab

How Running Helped a 26 Year Old Mumbaikar Go From Fat to Fab

Nitesh Ranglani, a young 26 year old, working for Dharma Productions is your typical Mumbaikar caught in the fast paced life of the city.

Speaking to Fitsaurus, Nitesh tells us how he went from fat to fab & the ingredients behind this achievement!

“So it all began with a demo class on Taekwondo with a friend of mine, under a Martial Arts teacher, Sanjay Shah, who conducts Taekwondo sessions at a nearby park (he also has his studio in Andheri West – Sanjay Shah’s Taekwondo Academy). It sure was taxing in the initial days,

I would feel breathless just by doing basic warm ups, considering the fact THAT I WEIGHED 110 kgs, when I started out.

I had an Asthma history, but as soon as the journey began, I started bidding it goodbye. But the fun part was towards the end, when

our coach stood with training pads and we were asked to kick it. Just that sweet sound of the impact, of the kick connecting to the pad, made me happy.

Having battled various demons in my head about initial work struggles, or each time I recalled a bad incident, I’d place that damn visual on that pad and go for it. And those thoughts, never dared coming back.

This went on for quite a few chilly 6 AMs, until we realized, the training had become way more intense. It had also become fun, with us making friends with a couple of other students in the batch. The competitive spirit kept us all going. Sprints had been added to our training, along with our usual 3 km runs. We were introduced to exercises like burpees, sit-ups, mountain climbers – what people refer to as Cross-fit and Functional training, nowadays.

I had started feeling lighter in the first month itself, and with the flexibility and correct technique, I knew I was heading in the right direction.

As much as my legs hurt, I knew for a fact, if I take a break and then go back to the park; the day after it will only hurt me more.

I was clear in my head, that pain is temporary and this same pain, will help me look back at myself with a smile on my face. Trust me, there are absolutely no regrets.

I enjoyed a successful run of 14-16 weeks, without a break (4 days a week). Nothing felt better.

What started out as helplessness in the wee hours of morning, turned into fun and love for the sport, that also made me feel fitter & healthier.

But due to erratic work hours, it got slightly difficult for me to carry on with the training, because it required ample amount of rest in the afternoon for recovery. 

Around the same time, I was introduced to this voluntary running club called, Lokhandwala Running Club (LRC), that conducted street runs on Sundays. Thanks to my usual 3km running, I started running longer distances with LRC – 8km and 10km in decent timings. Gradually, I started opting out of my Martial Arts training, and coincidentally LRC started with weekday runs as well. In a few weeks, it was all about 3 days a week of running and no Martial Arts. It felt easy and nice, until I started running much longer distances.

Looking at the buzz around me,

I registered for my first 10km Race – A Mini Marathon of sorts, called 10k Run India Run, held in Borivali every year. That day I clocked my personal best timing of 00:59:53 for a 10km run. And ever since, with God’s grace, there’s been no looking back.

The Run India Run race, helped me qualify and register for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, where I registered for the 21km run. I stuck to the basics, and followed the plan as advised by seasoned runners.

But i was somewhere missing the more tedious workouts I was used to. So I enrolled for Bootcamps with PN Fitness (Prashant Nikam’s at Elixir Gym in Andheri West). That not only got me back to my core strengthening, but also helped me train well for the Half Marathons.

I completed my 21 km race in decent timing and I realized my new found love for this sport.

Ever since, it’s been my biggest rescuer, strength and source of sanity.

Be it a bad day at work, fight with loved one or a setback of any kind, running helps me steer clear of all that unnecessary clutter in my head.

Be it a distance as short as 2-3 kms, I know the peace that this sport will get me, nothing else will.


As far as diet goes, I was off Rice particularly for almost 18 months, until I resumed recently. It was a mental block that rice bloats a person (Of course it doesn’t hold true, entirely). But it surely helped me believe that, it’s helping me lose weight. Another deliberate restriction was Alcohol. The thought of consuming the munchies along with drinks (read: soda), kind of killed me from within – because I knew it will ruin my training, and I didn’t want to. I wasn’t a very social person ever, so luckily for me, the consumption of outside food / junk was anyway limited.

My trainer helped me with a very simple and achievable diet plan that involved eating correct things, in correct quantum, every 2 hours – from

bitter-gourd juice with 3 glasses of warm water and boiled eggs at 10 am, two rotis and green veggies / chicken at 12 pm, Salads at 2 pm, Cut fruits at 4 pm, light snack like a butter free dosa or idli or a sandwich (this, by the way, was a cheat meal according to him), followed by an early dinner, same as lunch.

I remember I had just gotten off watching Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Series in 2 days flat, and to a very large extent, that man’s echoing words helped me go forward.

I don’t mind some roadside Chinese or a Frankie at times, or that Butter Chicken I love but it is all under control. I don’t really have cheat days drawn up as such, because they occur anytime, anywhere for me. If there’s over indulgence of junk, I try to break even with strictly home cooked food for the next few days, topped a couple of good runs.

If I know my schedule before hand (even if it’s as early as leaving home at 5 in the morning), I try and carry home cooked food with me. In extreme conditions, I would call for a Tandoori Chicken or Stuffed Grilled Chicken.

To maintain what I have achieved in the last few months, I follow my usual running plan of 3-4 days a week, targeting at least 15-20 kms a week – amalgamation of short runs, long runs and speed intervals. Having a target in sight, it definitely pushes me to achieve it, and the end result definitely helps me stay fit. 

At the end,

It is a mental game for sure. The results won’t show instantly, it will be a gradual rise, so let it be. Stay focused and never stop!!

There’s no point in checking the weighing scale every week and feeling disappointed, and then indulging in more junk to get over the sadness.

The idea is to give your body time, let it recover from the fact that you’re a changed person and you won’t be feeding the system any more wrong things.

For some, the initial bit may be real quick and the difference will be evident in no time. But then soon your body will get vulnerable to your plan and the weight-loss will stop. So in both cases, it’s advisable to take correct measures by consulting the correct people – nutritionists, coaches, trainers.

In any case, consume a lot of water through the day, warm water in the mornings. Green Tea, Papaya are good sources of Fat Burners. I never resorted to any external supplements or protein shakes, since my trainer never advised me to. My nutrition was well balanced and the intake helped me perform well for myself.

In 18 months i went from 114 kgs to 81 kgs.

The idea is to be true to yourself and avoid cheating yourself.

Try and follow it up with a run or two and balance the equation. For people taking up Running or Jogging as the medium to lose weight, it’s best to stick to the basics.

2-3 days of running, topped with 2-3 days of strength training (Gym, Crossfit, Functional, etc.).

It’s essential to go for strength training along with running, because excessive running can cause injuries, if legs aren’t fueled well with good training.

All said and done, always do it under correct guidance.

Ultimately, it’s a mind game that you need to play with your heart, because after all, it will only make YOU win.

At Fitsaurus, our goal is to bring together fitness enthusiasts from across the country. We intend to reach out to people who have achieved their fitness goals and how they went about their fitness journey. If you have a similar story to share that will inspire fellow fitness fanatics, write to us!!


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