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Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

Making 60 The New 40!


As an internist (A.K.A. adult medicine doctor, primary care provider), one of the best things about my job is variety. My youngest patient is 17; my oldest patient recently passed away peacefully at 104 and 4 months!

Two weeks ago I wrote here about helping my younger patients develop great health habits. Today, I want to focus on my patients over 35. (To my 35 and unders who are reading: share this with the ‘rents!)

I believe strongly that it’s never too late to make healthy life changes. NEVER! Using myself as an example, I was starting to get the creaks and groans of arthritis in the morning. Hours on the computer at the office were causing my shoulders to hunch forward, and I was starting to notice that I wasn’t as strong as I used to be, which is a sign of the natural loss of muscle mass that is especially bad for women as they age.

So my husband must have thought he wants me to hang around a while, because for Christmas 2013 he signed me up for some sessions with a personal trainer. THIS HAS BEEN LIFE-TRANSFORMING FOR ME! My trainer is Steve Cioppa*. Today we are going to hear from Steve in an interview with him I conducted earlier this week. But first……


While I’m well aware that all of your medical specialist should be board certified, I did not know how important a personal trainer’s certification is! Some trainers have literally only a few hours of training and do not know the physiology of the human body well enough not to seriously hurt you! 

So now that we’ve spilled some knowledge on ya about this topic , let’s spill a little more with an expert in the field!

:::: Check out this interview with CT Personal Trainer Steve Cioppa :::


Dr. Nolfo: Thanks for sitting down with me today Steve. Can you tell our readers what it means to be a certified personal trainer and why it’s so important for your clients?

Steve Cioppa: Your trainer should be certified by a nationally recognized organization such as NATIONAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ASSOCIATION (NSCA) , THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (ACSM) , THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE (ACE) or THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPORTS MEDICINE (NASM). A certified trainer will have rigorous training and also ongoing requirements for continuing education to maintain certification. There are many additional specialized certifications trainers can get on top of this  for example, I am certified to train with TRX  but they need the solid background.

Dr. Nolfo: Steve, what should the trainer do for you?

Steve Cioppa: As you get older, the focus should be on functional strength and fitness. Not only should your trainer be able to help you make your daily life tasks easier, you should be able to advance far beyond that and increase your ability to garden longer, shovel snow easier or improve in any sport you play. One of my 60+ year old clients was upset with me because he had to change all the clubs he used for golf after he added 20 yards to his golf swing! 

Steve Cioppa: Your trainer should have the skill simply to look at your posture and tell which of your muscles are weak and underused and prescribe corrective exercises to balance your body. This can eliminate a slew of unnecessary pains and limitations. I always recommend stretching the hip flexors and strengthening the posterior muscles.

 Here are examples of anterior pelvic tilt:

Here is an example of “upper cross syndrome”, which can cause shoulder pain and a hunched back:


Steve Cioppa: Look at the diagram of Upper Cross Syndrome. In this case, I would work on strengthening the rear shoulder muscles and stretching the chest area.

Dr. Nolfo: What would you say to those of our readers who might ask: “Isn’t it expensive to work with a certified trainer?”

Steve Cioppa: What is it worth to you to be stronger, have better balance, have more energy and have better body composition, which helps your metabolism? And those are only a tiny portion of the benefits. As Dr. Nolfo has written before, exercise, reduces risks of diabetes, cancers and Alzheimers. What is that worth? That’s everyone’s choice.”

Dr. Nolfo: Thank you so much for all the useful information! I will say, working with a personal trainer is without a doubt the best decision I’ve made in this stage of my life. Last night my daughter’s rock band played a gig and afterward we helped her bring her drums to the outside of the club. I snatched up a heavy cymbal bag and two drum stands like it nothing was nothing and I realized I could not have carried them so easily last year! It was a pretty empowering feeling. 

Steve Cioppa is a NSCA Certified personal trainer / TRX certified trainer with over 20 years of experience.  He can be reached at 203-767-5899 or

Work with a trainer? Think about it. As always, the information I have posted for you here is completely unsolicited – I have no financial ties with Steve!

Have a fabulous weekend,

Dr. Nolfo

Forget Thigh Gaps: Healthy Is The New Beautiful!

Strong Is The New Skinny

Greetings from sunny California!

My husband and I take two trips out here per year to the Los Angeles area to be with friends and there is always something new to see. Today I spotted a billboard that I really liked. It showed athlete Marsha Tieken-Christen working out with the message “Strong is the new skinny.”

I’d like to go even further and say “Healthy Is The New Beautiful.”

I was horrified to discover that the concept of a “thigh gap” has somehow become a fitness goal that is furiously circulating in social media, particularly in the athletic community. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but from a doctor’s perspective, the idea of trying to achieve “thigh gap” is absurd. The distance between your upper legs is determined by the shape of your pelvis. The inner part of you leg is composed of muscles. In order to create space – those muscles would need to atrophe, which would also mean reducing your lean muscle mass.

A thigh gap or reduction in size of any body part is not a health or fitness goal.

Please direct your attention to the photo I have posted above. I love this portrait shown in the HuffPost this week because it displays an incredible diversity of female body and bone structure. It is crucial that both women AND men realize their full potential within their OWN bodies instead of trying to achieve the shape and size of others. It seems that most people inherently understand the concept “Every BODY is Different” but are continually blinded by the efforts of advertisers and media tycoons to paint us “the perfect body of society”. For those of us struggling to see through the difference, take a long hard look at that photo again. It is true that all those Olympic women are in the best shape of their lives – but their size, shape and structure are unique and cannot be copied.

Even before Scarlett O’Hara squeezed into a whalebone corset in “Gone with the Wind”, women ( and men too) have felt pressure to achieve certain specific body ideals. It’s well known that if Barbie was a real woman, she’d have measurements of 39-18-33. It’s important to jettison the arbitrary body ideals. As far as the “thigh gap,” for example, most young women need to strengthen their inner thighs to better protect their knees from ligament and cartilage damage. Older women with knee arthritis, every pound of extra weight puts 4 pounds of pressure on the knee joint, so staying at a healthy weight is crucial.  More importantly, strengthening, NOT WEAKENING the inner thigh muscles adds more protection for our bodies.

Evolve your personal fitness goals to be realistic and support your health as well as the activities you enjoy.

These portraits above show us a range of what is healthy and beautiful. These women are fit and powerful and at the peak of their sports. Try to imagine yourself at the peak of your health and fitness for your body type, your age, and your goals. Be realistic about ways you can work towards health and fitness goals for your body and your life. No matter what, a big part of this is maintaining lean muscle mass.

Never mind the gap or anyone else’s arbitrary rules.

Dr. Nolfo


So You Wanna Know How Our Clients Lose Weight!? WATCH:

Check out this unbelievable video that documents how this Pittsburgh news station KDKA TV used our same Ideal Protein weight loss system to change not only their waistlines –
but more importantly their overall health and well-being!

For more information on joining our Physician-Assisted weight loss program here at Stony Creek Wellness
Contact Our Health Coach:

John Moniello
Certified Health Coach
Stony Creek Wellness
14 Business Park Dr
Branford, CT 06405

or fill out our Free Consultation Form


Upon completion of a health survey, I will assist all new clients in designing the best possible CUSTOMIZED approach to our program so that you can look and feel your best in no time while staying conscientious of any medical issues you may have such as high blood pressure, diabetes or celiac disease.

      On Average:

  • Women lose 2-4lbs per week on our program
  • Men lose 3-6 pounds per week on our program

Are you ready to be your best? We can’t wait to meet you!

Dr Emily Nolfo MD

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