We spoke to Mumbai residents who lost weight, changed their bodies and improved their health through running. Here are their stories, along with the tips, routes and apps they used, and even the cheat meals they ate. Now put on those shoes and follow in their footsteps.

Jayadev Calamur

Photo source:

Photo: Jayadev Calamur

Mumbai-based journalist Jayadev Calamur lost around 8.5 kilos, going down from 91 kg to 85 kg.

Fitness hack: Jayadev goes running mostly over the weekend, and has been for the past two years. He covers a minimum of 5 kms.

Additionally, fitness apps like Fitbit and Moov, were his companions. He highly recommends Moov, a fitness tracker that you can either wear on your wrist, or foot {while running}. I’ts waterproof, cheaper in comparison to fitbit, and has a longer battery life. you can buy it online here.

When Jayadev does sign up for runs, it’s generally the 10k runs that happen across the city. When he isn’t running, he climbs the 11 floors to his office in the Indiabulls Finance Centre twice a day.

The diet: For a fix of healthy eating out, his go-to place is Le Pain Quotidien for the corn bread soup, and Paninaro for their fresh mix berry smoothie for a quick pick-me-up. Sometimes, the cold version of the signature hot chocolate at Starbucks is thrown in for good measure.

Cheat day: Jayadev indulges in the butter garlic naan and butter chicken from Persian Darbar every now and then.

Nitesh Ranglani

Photo:

Photo: Nitesh Ranglani

Nitesh lost 34 kg in a span of 11 months. He credits the Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Series for inspiring him, especially the running scenes.

Fitness hack: After attending a taekwondo session by Sanjay Shah at the Taekwando Academy, Nitesh fell in love with the intense workout sessions. However, it was the sprint of 3km included in the training that really got him going.

Subsequently, he joined Lokhandwala Running Club, which conducts street runs every Sunday. As the pace picked up, so did the distance. It ended with Nitesh running his first ever 10 km run at the annual Run India Run in Borivali.

Now, Nitesh works out at Prashant Nikam’s Elixir Gym in Andheri West. What’s even better is that he conquered his first ever half marathon of 21 km this January.

The diet: If he’s out early and cannot carry home-cooked food, tandoori chicken from Food Inn {Lokhandwala} or the stuffed grilled chicken from Fellas Cafe {Khar} are his go-tos.

Cheat day: Roadside Chinese at Sagar Chinese in Juhu, the chicken frankie from Breadkraft in Lokhandwala, and Goila’s butter chicken in Four Bungalows.

Anant Ahuja

Photo: Anant Ahuja

Photo: Anant Ahuja

Going from 88 kgs to 65 kgs {which Anant weighs currently} demanded a rigorous lifestyle change. Picking up running, he tells us, was the best way forward for him.

Fitness hack: When he began the process of weight loss, he started off with basic conditioning, as running even 500 meters was unheard of. He took up running religiously and gave up alcohol. The routine was: 1 kms, take a 30 second break, then try and push for 500 meters. He says, the point is to keep increasing the distance. Eventually post three weeks, he was able to get to 1.5 kms.

#LBBTip: He recommends running on the stretch of Bandstand, Carter road, Shivaji Park {Dadar} and Joggers Park {Bandra West}. He covers at least 9.3 km by going up and down the hill everyday via Bandstand. He also advises that runners should keep switching between surfaces like clay, tarmac {roads}, rocks or grassy. Of course, wear the correct running shoes.

The Diet: Anant recommends Amway protein {which costs between INR 1,300 to INR 1,400} which he mixes with his regular food to improve the taste. Also, Threptin Diskettes high-calorie protein supplement {available online, or in grocery shops}.

Cheat day: On Sundays, Havmor’s cake ice cream.

Sandra Almeida-Thevar

Mumbai-based journalist, Sandra Thevar lost around 18 kilos between January 2015 and January 2016. The process is still ongoing, though she is finding it hard with her current hectic schedule. She has hypothyroidism which basically means she gains weight super quick. Running, then, is something that helps her keep off the weight and keep in shape.

Fitness hack: It all began when she signed up for Pinkathon’s 5 km run. Feeling ecstatic after the run, Sandra knew she had to get properly into it. This opened a box of Pandora as she kept signing up for more and more marathons that happened in the city. She tries to take part in as many runs and marathons in the city.

The diet: Cut out wheat and sugar out of her diet completely for a year. This helped her lose weight and maintain her desired body weight. She eats pretty much everything else but keeps a close tab on training modules online and regularly checks in with her fellow marathoners.

Cheat day: Cake and chocolate are her sinful indulgences, however, she says a run post the meal makes up for it. Also, ordering in from Faasos, or donuts from Mad over Donuts.

Ushma Dhamdhere

Ushma has gone from 131 kilos to 81.6 kilos from 2015 till now. For her, running and walking has been a great help in losing all that weight, in addition to making dietary lifestyle changes.

Fitness hack: Living in Thane, she cycles till Lake Upvan, and then does 4 laps of runs around it. Coming to running, she tries to cover at least two to three kilometres. Her tip to people who’re falling in the trap of busy schedules is that they should make it a point to keep themselves active. So far, she is running and loving it.

The diet: Sticking to home-cooked food, eating controlled proportions of food, and cutting out dairy products has been the diet chart.

Cheat days: She loves trying out the spiciest burger on the menu from different restaurants.

Featured photo: Nitesh Ranglani