Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Medical Weight Loss: Quick Weight Loss vs. Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 09:31 AM

The best weight loss programs take into account your diet, exercise, and pre-existing medical conditions.Every day, from coast to coast, Americans struggle with losing weight. Bombarded with TV, radio, and even internet ads that promise “quick weight loss,” many people entrust their health to extreme diets in order to shed as many pounds of fat as possible. However, quick weight loss does not necessarily equal a healthy lifestyle.

The problem with many extreme diets that promise staggering weight loss quickly is that losing weight and getting healthy aren’t always the same thing. There are times where it is actually unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast, especially when the weight loss program isn’t being tailored to your body’s actual physical needs or being monitored by a physician.

What are the Problems with Losing Weight too fast?

Shedding pounds quickly sounds like a good idea, and it may even be recommended for cases where a patient is extremely obese to the point where it is causing health complications (under careful supervision by a doctor, of course). Despite this, there are many problems with trying to lose too much weight too fast.

First and foremost, shedding weight very quickly requires an extreme effort from the person on the diet. How much effort, you ask? Well, because one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, you would need to burn at least 500 more calories per day than you took in to lose one pound of fat per week. That sounds simple enough, right? But, when your goal is to lose 5 pounds in a week, then meeting that goal becomes much more difficult (2,500 more calories burned over intake each day). Trying to keep up with unrealistic goals can quickly become discouraging, making it more difficult to stay motivated.

The second problem with this is that when your body is trying to burn fuel for nutrition, fat isn’t the easiest material for it to break down into fuel. The result? Instead of burning fat on your extreme diet, you actually end up “burning” water weight and what would have been healthy lean muscle mass, while the fat remains. Once the extreme diet is over and you start eating the bare minimum amount of food necessary to support lean muscle mass, you start recovering that muscle mass, which shows up as weight gained.

Worse yet, some extreme diets deny your body the bare minimum amount of nutrition that it needs to function properly, which can lead to severe side effects on your health such as muscle weakness and fatigue.

Slow and Steady Really Does Win this Race

Taking your weight loss step by step, slowly but steadily produces more consistent, longer-lasting results.Instead of risking your health on an extreme weight loss program, consult with your doctor and explore reliable healthy lifestyle changes and medical weight loss programs that provide safer, more reliable results. After a consultation, your doctor can identify your specific metabolism, nutritional needs, and health factors that may affect your ability to lose weight.

Using this information that is specific to you and only you, your doctor can create a personalized plan for your weight loss to help keep you on track to shed pounds at a steady, but safe, pace. From making changes to your diet to creating an exercise regimen that will improve your cardiovascular health while burning fat, your doctor can make a superior weight loss program that accounts for your unique needs.

Under a medical weight loss program such as the OPTIFAST plan, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of a trained medical doctor, one who understands that weight loss is about more than just being able to squeeze into a tighter pants, it’s about being healthier (although being able to fit into skinny jeans and look great is nice too).

The benefits of losing weight by making healthy lifestyle changes as a part of a medical weight loss program such as OPTIFAST are numerous:

1: It’s Easier to Keep Weight off

Unlike an extreme rapid weight loss program, where much of the weight you lose may not even be fat, a doctor-supervised program burns fat while preventing the loss of lean muscle mass. This prevents the sudden ballooning of weight after the end of the diet from the recovery of said muscle, because the weight you’re losing is fat, not muscle.

On top of that, becoming accustomed to healthy lifestyle changes over the course of a longer, less stressful diet program makes it easier for you to keep up a healthy lifestyle after the fact. Many people, after weeks of self-denial and hunger when on an extreme diet, relapse into their old, pre-diet habits once they’ve met their weight loss goals. After a period of hardship, it’s tempting to want to get “back to normal.” On a slower, steadier weight loss program based on making healthy lifestyle changes, the diet habits become “normal” for the dieter, lessening the temptation to go back to old habits.

2: It’s Safer

We cannot stress enough how important it is that a weight loss program has the appropriate doctor supervision. Under a program without supervision by a trained physician, it is far too easy for someone with a severe medical condition to suffer a complication related to their condition. With doctor supervision, a weight loss program can be crafted around the physical limitations imposed by a medical condition.

3: Goals are More Realistic and Achievable

Under a medical weight loss program, your weight loss goals are set based on a professional’s assessment of your condition and how much weight you can safely lose in a given period of time. These goals, even when set to an aggressive pace, are achievable for you when they’re set. This makes meeting goals easier and more realistic.

When goals are achievable, it’s easier to stay motivated as you continue to meet them.

4: These Programs are More Flexible

As your weight loss program progresses, your needs may change. With a premade extreme diet, there is no one there to watch for these changes in your metabolic rate or health, so you end up following the same, inflexible program from day one to the end. With a doctor supervised weight loss program, your doctor can monitor changes in your condition as you lose weight, and make revisions to your weight loss regimen as needed, including changing your nutrition intake, prescribing appetite suppressants, or altering your exercise regimen.

Start a Doctor-Supervised Medical Weight Loss Program Today!

Overall, a doctor supervised weight loss program that helps you lose weight safely over time is more effective than extreme diets. Here at Step Ahead Wellness Center, we're dedicated to helping you lose weight at the pace that's right for you.

Learn more about medical weight loss programs today and see if a personalized weight loss program is right for you at the link below.

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Healthy, weight loss goals, best weight loss

How to Maxmize Your Health Fitness Programs

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

Many weight loss regimens involve exercise and personal trainers.Year after year, thousands of women join the latest diet and exercise programs with the hopes of being able to shed excess weight so that they can feel more energetic and confident about their bodies. Every year, countless women are disappointed by the results of their diet and exercise plans.

What went wrong for these women? And, more importantly, how can you avoid disappointment at the end of your own health fitness program?

There are actually a few things that you can do to maximize the results of your health fitness program, including:

Set Reasonable Goals

Before beginning any weight loss or fitness regimen, it is important to know what your goals are and to have a reasonable expectation of reaching said goals.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, establish how much weight you want to lose and how quickly you would need to lose it under your selected program. Odds are, if your weight loss goal would have you trying to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week, then you might need to reassess your goals.

Why? Because extreme weight loss (loss in excess of 3-4 pounds a week) can be unhealthy, and could lead to severe health problems. Also, such extreme goals are very difficult to meet, and create an unreasonable performance expectation. Failure to meet an extreme goal can be discouraging, which in turn leads to less engagement with your fitness or health plan.

Study ALL of the Features of Your Health/Fitness Plan before Starting it

When looking at a fitness or health regimen, take the time to read all of the program’s features, including:

  • Length of the program.
  • Dates/times of meetings.
  • Location where meetings occur.
  • Location of program’s headquarters/office.
  • Any special medical notices.
  • Dietary restrictions.
  • Names of registered physicians involved with the program, if any.
  • Any medications that the program uses.
  • Support networks tied into the program.

Two of the biggest reasons that a health or fitness program fails are:

  1. The people taking part in it aren’t able to reconcile their lifestyle to the program;
  2. They are not given the support they need to keep up with the program on a day to day basis.

By carefully examining fitness programs before signing on for them, you can find a program that provides everything you need to succeed, which increases your chances of being satisfied with the results of your program.

Get Your Checkups, While Still on the Program

One of the best things you can do to protect your well-being while on a health or fitness program is to schedule several physicals with your doctor to check your condition throughout the program. This way, if the fitness program is causing health complications for you, your doctor can spot the problem straight away and help prevent serious complications.

At the very least, getting regular checkups can help to reinforce the effectiveness of your health program and keep you motivated to stay on track.

Have a Plan for after the Program

For those who successfully complete their health/fitness programs and meet their weight loss or other goals, the end of the program is only the beginning. All too often, weight that was lost while on the program comes back, with some people actually gaining more weight than before.

For this reason, it is important to prepare for the end of the program by establishing your own post-program exercise and meal plan. If your program has a lifestyle coach, consulting with him or her can be incredibly helpful in adjusting your lifestyle to prevent weight gain after the program ends.

Get a Step Ahead when it comes to Your Wellness

To get started right, check out our own OPTIFAST program, which features numerous benefits to help you get into shape and stay that way. For more tips about how to make the most of the OPTIFAST program, download the tip sheet below!

Download the Optifast Tip Sheet

Tags: Weight Loss, OptiFast, weight loss goals, health fitness advice


Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 28, 2014 @ 12:55 PM

We are taking you outside this summer with our weekly Wednesday night


Finish your hump day with this amazing hour of movement.  See details below...

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Tags: losing weight tips, physician weight loss program, losing weight fast, Diet and Nutrition, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, lose weight, Yoga classes, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 01:32 PM

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This Mother's Day, skip the flowers and give your mom something she really needs—the gift of good health.

No, you don't have to buy her a treadmill. There are many other things you can do to give your mom a boost in terms of her physical (or mental) well-being. Most moms will truly appreciate that your Mother's Day gift is aimed at keeping her happy, healthy, and in your life for a long time. In case you are drawing a blank, Step Ahead came up with a great gift for every mom.


Step Ahead Gift card towards any program.  

*Offer includes a body composition analysis on our Tanita scale.

* 30 minute personal training session.

  *Step by Step guide on how to reach your health goals

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E-mail us to receive an e-gift card sent directly to your e-mail or pick up your custom gift card in our office!

Phone: 908-470-2235




Tags: healthy eating, mothers day health, Healthy Recipes, weight loss goals, Weight Loss Center, best diets 2014, mothers day gifts, mothers day


Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:17 PM

Wednesday is “GIVE-AWAY” DAY at Step Ahead!



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Come in for a weigh-in, personal training session, or check
in with the Doctor and Registered Dietitian and leave with these

Step Ahead Customized 100 calorie packs.
Enjoy only 65 calories of veggie sticks and 35 calories of popcorn for a delicious 100 calorie snack!

Call Erica at 908-440-2235 to schedule your appointment. 

 Don’t delay… offer is good for today only and while supplies last.

We hope to see you today!!


For more information on all the weight loss programs we
offer, visit us at

Tags: Exercise, diet, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Fitness, Healthy, just 100 calories, Doctor, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight, lose weight in 2014, health, Weight Loss Center, giveaway day, wellness, healthy entertaining, 100 calorie snack

Recipe Corner: Brie Cheese & Avocado Quesadillas

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 04:49 PM

brie quesadillaDid you know that an average restaurant quesadilla packs 1,000 calories!We gave this classic Mexican dish a skinny makeover. Spicy arugula and creamy avocado blends beautifully with the creamy aromatic cheese. For a crunchy & sweet element, substitute the avocado with a sliced Gala apple.



1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 (100-calorie) whole grain tortillas

3 ounces of Brie Cheese, rind removed and sliced

½ avocado, sliced

3 cups baby arugula

Nonfat plain greek yogurt (optional for dipping)


  1. Stir mustard and cider in a small bowl.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with 1 ½  teaspoons of mustard mixture. Place tortilla in pan and arrange 1/3 of cheese slices over half of tortilla. When cheese melts, arrange 1/3  of avocado slices over cheese and top with 1 cup arugula.
  3. Fold tortilla in half and cook 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan.
  4. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 2 tortillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with Greek yogurt as dip.


Makes 6 servings, 3 quesadillas (serving size: 2 wedges): 132 calories

Tags: diet, Sari Greaves, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, quick weight loss, Healthy Recipes, online nutrition, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight, healthy entertaining

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 09:46 AM

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                                                                                               SPRING 2014 NEWSLETTER


Spring Fit & Fuel Event
Wednesday, April 23rd 5:30-6:30 pm presented by certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi and Nutritionist Sari Greaves. 30-minute exercise class followed by 30-minute cooking demonstration. Event is free, RSVP by April 18th
Optifast Support Group
Meet, greet, and connect with others following the Optifast Weight Loss plan. Support group meets every Friday from 11:30-12:00pm and every other Wednesday from 5:00-5:30pm starting May 2nd. Register by emailing
Recipe E-newsletter with Personalized Recipes
Take the hassle out of calorie counting and cooking by signing up for Step Ahead’s weekly recipe, emailed directly to you. Learn how to prepare tasty and nutritious meals from start to finish under 30 minutes. Request a personalized recipe from Step Ahead’s Nutritionist, Sari Greaves.  Register by emailing
Friday Morning Coffee Chat with Step Ahead’s Nutritionist
Join Step Ahead’s Nutritionist & contributor to the Dr. Oz show, Sari Greaves at Starbucks coffee shop in Bedminster, NJ  Friday mornings from 10-10:30 am starting May 2nd. Enjoy a free skinny coffee and discuss your diet with Sari. Sari will also discuss seasonal nutrition topics and latest diet trends. Register by emailing
We are offering a "2 FOR 1" spring training special.  Buy any one of our personal training packages and bring a friend or family member in to train with you for FREE!!  This is a limited time offer so act now to take advantage of it. if you have any questions or to schedule appointments.  Offer is good until June 1!
Interested in taking your fitness routine to the next level??  Call today to schedule your FREE 30-minute TRX training session, 908-470-2235.  What is TRX?  The TRX Suspension Trainer is a workout system that leverages gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises. You're in control of how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise - because you can simply adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance. TRX delivers a fast, effective total-body workout, helps build a rock-solid core, increases muscular endurance, and benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors).
We are taking you outside this summer!  From June 1 thru Labor Day weekend, our wonderful certified Yoga instructor, Alyssia,  will be offering a weekly 30-minute power walk followed by a 30-minute Yoga Stretch class in the park across the street from our office.  More detailed info on this exciting new summer program will be out soon!  In the meantime, email if you have questions or want to reserve your spot!
Our group exercise classes are still in full swing on Monday and Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings.  Email to sign up or for more info!
Can you pass along a healthy recipe?
Have a success story to share?
Want to join a support group?

Tags: Exercise, diet, diabetes health, weight loss newsletter, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, summer weight loss, Fitness, Step Ahead exercise classes, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, weight loss goals, health, diabetes and weight loss, exercise classes, Step Ahead Wellness Center, healthy cocktails, healthy dinner recipe

Schedule Your FREE TRX Training Session Today!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 06:17 AM

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Step Ahead's fitness director/certified fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi, is offering FREE 30-minute training sessions next week only!  Call today to schedule your session 908-470-2235, timeslots are filling up quickly.

TRX training will blast calories and challenge your muscles and cardio endurance like never before in as little as 30 minutes.  If you're looking to jumpstart your weight loss goals and get fit before summer, train with us and TRX!

Pictured is our awesome client Julie demonstrating a TRX row during her training last night! For TRX questions or for more info email Noelle directly at  For more information on our weight loss programs and specials visit

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, new weight loss drugs, Diet and Nutrition, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, Nutrition, online nutrition, OptiFast, personal training, muscle conditioning classes, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight, lose weight in 2014, Weight Loss Center, diet pills, exercise classes, lose weight fast

Step Ahead Brings Fitness Classes to Local Companies!

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 12:16 PM

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Our fantastic Yoga Instructor, Alyssia Saporito, takes employees at Peapack Gladstone Bank through another week of great classes!

Interested in bringing fitness classes to your company?

Call today for details -- 908-470-2235, or email our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at


Let us bring fitness to you!

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, Diet and Nutrition, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, weight loss goals, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast


Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 06:18 AM

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Wednesday is “GIVE-AWAY” DAY at Step Ahead!


Come in for a weigh-in, personal training session, or check
in with the doctor and registered dietician and leave with these

FREE Step Ahead measuring cups. 

Great for all your measuring needs!

Call Erica at 908-440-2235 to schedule your appointment. 

 Don’t delay… offer is good for today only and while supplies last.

We hope to see you today!!


For more information on all the weight loss programs we
offer, visit us at

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, healthy thanksgiving recipes, Physician Weight Loss, lose weight, Physician Weight Center, personal training, weight loss goals, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center