Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Is Medical Weight Loss Right for You?

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 02:58 PM

With the help of a doctor-supervised weight loss plan, meeting weight loss goals is much easier.Every year, thousands of men and women join the latest fad diets, hoping that “this time, things will be different.” For some, these programs may work for a time, as they drop a few pounds or a few inches from their waistline.

Unfortunately for many, joining a cookie-cutter diet and exercise plan simply won’t cut it. When joining a weight loss plan that treats the challenges of losing weight as something that is the same for everyone, the unique needs of specific individuals often get ignored.

If you have had problems losing weight and keeping it off in the past using popular fad diet and health programs, it may be time to seek the assistance of a medical weight loss program that is supervised by a real doctor.

Why Choose Doctor-Supervised, Medically-Assisted Weight Loss?

One of the major problems with most fad diets that are made for mass distribution is that they’re designed to be broadly applicable to the “average” person, not customized to the needs of an individual. The problem is that nobody is perfectly average; there is no one body type, metabolic rate, medical history, and level of activity that would perfectly describe everyone. All of these factors affect how well you will respond to specific diet and exercise programs.

While a simple diet and exercise regimen can do wonders for some, not everybody will see the same results. Sometimes, you might need a helping hand in order to meet your weight loss and health goals.

This is where a doctor-supervised medical weight loss program can be a huge benefit. Here, a physician gives you a thorough examination. Factors that a doctor performing an examination can determine include:

  • Preexisting Medical Conditions. Diet and exercise programs can be dangerous if you have preexisting medical conditions such as cardiopulmonary disease, diabetes, susceptibility to seizures, and musculoskeletal disorders, just to name a few examples. A physical exam can help identify such conditions so that your medical weight loss program can be designed in such a way as to not aggravate them.

  • Metabolic Rate. Different people burn calories at different rates. Knowing your metabolic rate allows your weight loss program to be designed in such a way as to maximize the results of your weight loss program.

  • Nutritional Needs. By testing your blood, many different nutritional deficiencies can be identified so that your custom meal or supplement plan can remediate this all too common issue. If your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, it can’t operate at peak efficiency.

This information allows the supervising doctor to create a weight loss plan that is unique to your needs, providing you with the edge you might need to meet your weight loss goals. Medical weight loss programs that are supervised by a doctor can be safer and more effective than dime-a-dozen, cookie-cutter fad diets because your medical needs are an integral part of the program’s design.

Is a Medical Weight Loss Program Right for Me, Though?

Is a doctor-supervised medical weight loss plan right for you?With the extra assistance of doctor-prescribed nutritional supplements and appetite suppressants, meeting your weight loss goal can be made much easier than with diet and exercise alone.

A medical weight loss program may be right for you if:

  • You want to lose weight and have not had much success with previous, non-medical programs in the past.

  • Dieting and exercise seem to have no impact on your body mass index, even when taken to extremes.

  • You find yourself becoming discouraged by constant frustration in meeting weight loss goals.

  • Your lifestyle and busy schedule prevent you from practicing a full exercise/diet routine.

If you have a history of medical problems, you will still want to consult with your doctor before beginning any weight loss regimen. Thankfully, with medically assisted programs such as the Step Ahead Program, your medical history and current condition are checked so that a safe, effective plan can be created just for you.

Using the services of Step Ahead Wellness’ lifestyle coaches can help you keep the weight off once you’ve met your goals.

Learn if a medically assisted, personalized weight loss program is right for you today!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: medical weight loss solutions, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, appetite suppressants

Ask the Weight Loss Dr.: Are Appetite Suppressants Right for Me?

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 @ 11:38 AM

Many people avoid taking medical supplements for their diets out of fear that they'll end up trying to replace their food with pills.When it comes to losing weight, medical assistance is the last resort for many people. The reasons for waiting to seek professional weight loss solutions from a real physician/dietician are legion; ranging from a reluctance to discuss weight-related problems with a stranger to an understandable fear of the side-effects of medical procedures.

However, for all too many people, fad diets and other do-it-alone methods of losing weight prove to be ineffective. Because of this, it is often necessary to seek out the help of a trained physician in order to create a comprehensive weight loss plan.

One of the major discussions your dietician/physician should have with you is whether or not you should use appetite suppressants to help you meet your weight loss goals.

Are Appetite Suppressants Right for You?

The answer to this question is dependent on a number of factors, such as:

  • Your eating habits.
  • Your metabolism.
  • Your activity level.
  • Whether or not you are diabetic.
  • Certain heart disease risks.
  • Whether you are nursing, pregnant, or could become pregnant.

And these are just a few of the factors that apply to most appetite suppressants. Specific types of appetite suppressants can have specific side effects for people who suffer from other conditions, such as glaucoma.

For many people looking to shed excess weight, however, appetite suppressants can be a very effective way to help maintain weight loss goals and prevent extra weight gain.

Consider an appetite suppressant if you:

  • Have difficulty controlling the urge to eat.
  • Have constant feelings of hunger.
  • Are considerably overweight.
  • Have been trying to cut back your meal portions but still eat more than you should.
  • Want to reduce your appetite without committing to a more invasive procedure, such as gastric bypass surgery.

As with any form of medication, it is important to make sure that you talk with your physician before starting an appetite suppressant regimen. Only a trained Weight Loss Dr. is qualified to make a complete assessment of your dietary needs.

What Else Should I Know?

If you begin an appetite suppressant regimen, make sure to check in with your doctor on a regular basis to track the progress of your weight loss program. Also, ask the physician supervising your treatment if the specific appetite suppressant that he or she is using is suited for long-term use.

If the treatment that you are on is not suited for long-term use, it is important to make sure that you follow your weight loss doctor’s recommendations as to when to stop taking it.

Why the strong cautionary information? Because, here at Step Ahead Wellness, we’re dedicated to doing what’s best for you. While we know that appetite suppressants can be a wonderfully effective way to lose weight, they aren’t for everyone.

That’s why we’ll work with you to determine if appetite suppressants will be an effective treatment for you specifically. We take into account any pre-existing conditions that you have before we make any dietary recommendations, including the prescription of an appetite suppressant.

Learn more about appetite suppressants and other weight loss tools and procedures by contacting Step Ahead Wellness today!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: diet, ask the weight loss dr, appetite suppressants


Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 03:31 PM

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One of the most dangerous lies of mainstream weight-loss advice
is the notion that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and if the number of
calories you consume is fewer than the number you burn, you will lose weight.

Many struggle with their weight, even as they follow this
advice. They count calories and exercise, yet the numbers on the scale never
budge. Or even worse: the numbers grow higher.

The laws of physics correctly say that if you burn more calories
than you consume you will eventually lose weight. This is a scientific fact,
but hidden in this fact is your metabolic rate is not a static number and the
food you eat as well as other factors can cause your metabolism to fluctuate
throughout the day and over longer periods of time.

These and other factors make accurately determining your
calories burned very difficult.

When combined with overly optimistic and often incorrect
calories consumed as well as thyroid and hormone issues, it easy to see why so
many people calculate calories needed to lose weight wrongly.

 Fat Storage is a Complex Metabolic Process

The idea that you will successfully lose weight if you eat less
and exercise more is continually disproved, but is still often repeated as

Fat storage–how much is stored, where it is stored, and how much
is used as fuel for the body–is determined by the actions of a variety of
enzymes and hormones. How your body processes the nutrients that become fat is
based on genetics and the foods you choose.

You can see evidence of this fact in the people around you: A
pregnant woman’s hips and thighs increase in size, even if she’s usually slender.
One person is thin and struggles to gain weight, while another person is
overweight in spite of hours in the gym and skipped meals.

The foods you eat, especially those that elevate blood sugar
levels, have a tremendous impact on how much fat is burned and how much is
stored. This is why low-carb diets are so effective. These diets eliminate the
foods that spike your blood sugar and promote the release of fat-storing

The Source of Calories Matters

Does it make a difference if you take in 100 calories from a
cupcake or the same amount of calories from chicken breast? Research shows that
the answer is a resounding “yes”.

All carbohydrates convert to glucose (sugar), but some are more
easily digested. This means that, compared to other carbohydrates, they elevate
blood sugar levels higher and for longer periods of time.

Foods like wheat and other grains, sugar, starches, and
dehydrated fruits are the easiest to digest and boost your blood sugar levels
sky-high. Insulin comes in to bring down those levels by storing the sugars as
fatty acids in your fat cells.

Fructose, the sugar contained in table sugar, high fructose corn
syrup, and agave nectar, travels straight to the fat cells. It is much better
at adding to body fat than either glucose or starchy foods.

In spite of its repetition by nutritionists and doctors
everywhere, a low-calorie diet and physical activity do not guarantee weight
loss. All calories are not created equal. Certain foods, like wheat and
starches, stimulate insulin production that leads to fat storage. Sugars not
only stimulate insulin, but also go straight into your fat cells. Remove these
foods from your diet and replace them with high-quality nutrients found in
animal proteins, vegetables, and fruits for the most effective way to lose
excess pounds. To get started, the next time you go grocery shopping purchase
as many whole foods as possible and start reducing your purchase of processed


For more fitness information contact our fitness director/certified fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at




Taubes, Gary. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the
Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. New York: Knopf,
2007. Print.

Corbett Dooren, Jennifer. “Not All Calories Equal, Study Shows.”
WSJ Health and Wellness. Wall Street Journal, 26 June 2012. Web. 3 July 2012.

Hallfrisch, J. “Metabolic Effects of Dietary Fructose.” The
FASEB Journal 4.9 (1990): 2652-660. Print.



Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Weight Loss, Diet and Nutrition, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, Weight Loss Center, appetite suppressants, diet pills, Step Ahead Wellness Center, 100 calorie snack


Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 05:42 AM

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If you’re trying to lose weight or sculpt your body, you know that quality workouts are essential. However, it can be tough to hit the gym if you don’t fuel up beforehand. You should always eat something nutritious as a way of preparing your body. Here are six pre-workout snacks to boost your energy level:

1. Greek  yogurt

With nearly twice the protein of regular yogurt, the thick and creamy Greek version will leave you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. It will digest slowly and steadily so you can keep your strength up throughout your entire workout. Try indulging in a cup of this smooth, velvety treat before you train and you’ll likely experience a drastic rise in that get-up-and-go

2. Raw almonds

If you’re heading to the gym right after work, you may not have access to a fridge. That means you might want a good source of protein that you can eat at room temperature. Raw almonds are the perfect pre-workout snack for those on the run. They’re lower in calories than most varieties of nuts and can easily be packed in a baggie or reusable container. A handful can even be slipped in your pocket as long as you’re not afraid of a little lint. It’s a portable, protein-packed snack to munch to prepare you for your exercises.

3. Bananas

Forget anything negative you may have heard about bananas. When you’re working out on a consistent basis, you need some good carbohydrates to keep you going. Plus, the high amount of potassium bananas contain will help replenish your muscle function as you go along. That can help combat the soreness and stiff joints that typically accompany a hard workout.

4. Oatmeal

Whole-grain oats are an excellent way to get your pre-workout fiber fix. Have a small bowl of oatmeal about 30 minutes or so before training to allow time for the complex carbs to work their magic. They’ll break down slowly in your body so you’ll feel energized from your warm-up to your cool-down. You can even stir in a bit of nut butter for an added boost of protein and tasty burst
of flavor.

 5. Smoothie

Smoothies are great pre-workout snacks since you can put in any healthy ingredients that your taste buds desire. Almond milk or yogurt could serve as a delicious base to get you started. Then, blend in some wholesome fruits like strawberries, pineapples and papayas. If you’re trying to build muscle, you can throw in a scoop of protein powder as well. The fiber from the fruit will digest quickly so you’ll feel an energy jolt moments after gulping everything down. A smoothie is a nice selection if you don’t have time to wait for slow-moving foods to make their way through your system.

6. Eggs

When you think of having a snack, eggs probably don’t immediately come to mind. However, these staples of the breakfast table are a solid choice no matter what time of day you work out. Try slicing a hard-boiled one over some kale or a piece of whole-grain toast. The protein of the egg along with the fiber of the greens or bread will help you power through your exercise routine.

Anyone with a weight-loss goal or a desire for a toned body knows how important it is to work out. In fact, it’s often the key to seeing results on the scale. However, you’ll never be able to tackle all that gym equipment if you don’t put the right fuel in your body. By eating one of these beneficial pre-workout snacks, you’ll get the energy you need to sustain you as you sweat
it out. These tasty options will help you work off those pounds and build up those muscles!

For more fitness tips contact our fitness director/certifified fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at and visit our website at
for our latest weight loss programs and specials and for weight loss tips.

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Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

We, at Step Ahead Wellness Center in Far Hills, NJ, just made losing weight and reaching weight loss goals even more rewarding! 

With the launch of our "Cash For Fat Program" ... we reward you for each pound you lose!  This program is being offered to all existing and new clients!  Don't delay, call today to schedule your weigh-in and start getting paid to lose weight!


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