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Eat more = lose more weight?  Well, it worked.  And it is still working.  And the funny thing is, I don’t feel like I am on a diet.  I have made a complete lifestyle change with my eating, and I have never felt better.  

Melanie Russo

Looking back on the last 15 years since ‘Eat Smart!’ began, I have seen major growth in myself and have celebrated with many clients who have achieved major victories. Not everyone coming through my door is motivated by weight loss—there are many other reasons why people try ‘Eat Smart.’ Some are looking to feel better, some seek relief from annoying symptoms (like constant burping, stomach issues or acid reflux), and some are not sure what they need but hope I can help. It can’t always be a slam dunk, but I feel most would say they are glad they “Eat Smart!” Here, some clients share their stories.   

Melanie Russo Before Eat Smart and After

I have struggled with my weight since I was a little kid. By the time I turned 13, I was 250 lbs.  Since then I have gone up and down on the scale like a yo-yo.  I have tried every diet, every fad, but I always seemed to slip up and gain again.  After having two children (and gaining 60 and 80 pounds respectively), I thought my body was a lost cause.

When I joined Fitness Incentive three years ago, my weight was hovering just under 200.  I “watched” what I ate and went through the motions of doing come cardio and abdominal work, but this was not enough.  Slowly I gained confidence and started to increase my workouts with weight training and cardio classes.  But I knew I needed a kick to jumpstart weight loss.

I started seeing Rachel over the summer of 2016.  I had never been to a dietitian or nutritionist before so it was hard to be honest about what I put into my mouth every day.  But I was committed to making a change.

I don’t want to say that Rachel came up with a “diet” for me.  It was so much more than that.  She determined what foods and combinations worked for me specifically.  How much of each food group I should be eating, even telling me to increase my caloric intake to boost my metabolism.  This was so foreign to me.  Eat more = lose more weight?  Well, it worked.  And it is still working.  And the funny thing is, I don’t feel like I am on a diet.  I have made a complete lifestyle change with my eating, and I have never felt better.  

I have come a long way over the past three years.  I have lost about 40 lbs and tons of inches.  I have gained confidence.  But best of all, I don’t think about food all the time anymore.  I nourish my body with healthy foods (proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats) and I feel completely satisfied.  I am not at my “goal” body yet, but I know I am headed down the right road.

Melanie Russo

When you work with Rachel you are on a learning journey to a healthy lifestyle, not merely on a diet. Rachel has educated and guided me every step of the way to understand the dynamics of food and nutrition and their impact, not only on my weight but more importantly my overall wellness. Before meeting her, I thought I understood it all, but I didn’t. Her approach is not a cookie cutter version of “eat this not that” but rather a conversation about choices—the good ones and the not so good ones and their consequences. Her role is teacher, mentor, and cheerleader. She has taught me how to evaluate food labels, restaurant choices and so-called “healthy food” and how to tweak recipes to make them work for me. She showed me that it is all about sensible, educated choices and balance every day that slowly evolve into a lifestyle. Rachel is a great communicator and listener. Working with Rachel is a win-win for both my waistline and my overall health!

Anna Stokes

I have had the pleasant experience of working with Rachel. I called myself “skinny fat,” and I couldn’t lose those last few pounds off my belly. My blood test results came back with high cholesterol and high triglycerides. I didn’t want to go on medication, and I saw that Rachel was doing a Clean eating challenge. I decided to try it. Well, it worked! I lost the weight, and my blood test numbers went down to the point of not needing medication. I see Rachel on a regular basis to keep me on track and guide me in making the right choices for my body. She is fabulous!

-Cindy Massina

Rachel is the best! The education she has given me on nutrition and the support she has provided is beyond compare. Rachel has a very straightforward, no judgment approach with her clients and she does a fantastic job at teaching how to read labels and what is correct portion size. With Rachel’s guidance, I have lost 30lbs, am the healthiest I have ever been, and am more active than ever! From the moment I met her I knew she was going to be helpful, but beyond a doubt, she has changed my life. I feel very fortunate to be her client but even more so to call her my friend.

– Nicole J. Gagliano

I contacted Rachel Ezelius several months ago because I needed to lose weight.  My diet was terrible, and I had stopped exercising. From the start, Rachel was incredibly understanding and supportive.  Rachel helped me by showing me how to meal prep and make healthier food choices.  She encouraged me to exercise, and slowly I began to work-out again.  Now I feel better and have more energy.  I see my body measurements go down and am encouraged to keep going.  The whole experience was very positive, and I would recommend Rachel Ezelius and the Eat Smart program to anyone looking to get healthy. There is a reason that she has been voted Best of Long Island for six years in a row.  I have gained a friend in Rachel and am glad I chose her to help me on my weight loss journey.

– F. L.

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About the Author

Raechel Ezelius

Rachel Ezelius

Rachel Ezelius is a Registered Dietitian who manages Fitness Incentive’s Eat Smart program. Questions? Contact her by email: Click here to learn more about Eat Smart

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