Step Ahead to a healthier lifestyle

January 5, 2009 3:45:01 PM PST
It's the number one New Year's resolution - to lose weight. Now, there's a unique center in New Jersey that's dedicated to helping people lose weight and keep it off.If you're looking to drop, say, 10 pounds in order to get into that dress for a wedding next week, this is not the place for you.

Step Ahead focuses on changing people's lives, helping them lose weight and keep it off permanently. Eighty percent of the clients are women, who reach their weight loss goals thanks to the unique philosophy behind the program.

"You wear your weight out there," Step Ahead's Dr. Deborah Neiman said. "It's out there like a billboard for everyone to see and everyone to judge."

It is something Oprah Winfrey has struggled with, recently admitting she had just about given up on herself last year after gaining weight.

Jane Cronin can relate.

"I would lose a little bit, then lose momentum, fall back," she said. "And whatever I had lost I would gain right back."

But a year ago, she took matters into her own hands, coming to Step Ahead, a weight loss center with a multidisciplinary approach to dropping pounds and keeping them off.

"I has added a quality of life that I was reaching for that was unattainable," Cronin said.

At Step Ahead, there's a personal trainer, physician, nutritionist and nurse, all under one roof. Clients are typically looking to anywhere from 20 to 200 pounds.

"We're not a quick fix," Dr. Neiman said. "We truly believe weight loss is not a straight line down. If it's a straight line down, it's a straight line up again. It's a very bumpy road."

First, you have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Neiman. There's a physical, and she looks at your past and whether a medical condition may be behind your weight gain. Oprah shares how a thyroid problem contributed to her setback. Then, you meet with the nutritionist and personal trainer Noelle Lusardi.

"I really encourage people to try to find inner strength through exercise," she said. "I believe it is empowering to feel fit and stay healthy."

She develops a workout plan for you that will probably include the 10,000 step program. Walking that many steps a day burns about 500 calories.

And as Cronin found out - she's lost 32 pounds and counting - the biggest plus is the support you get.

"Nobody can do this alone," she said. "You can't be an island and lose weight yourself."

For more information on Step Ahead, visit StepAheadNJ.com or call 908-470-2235.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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