Programs to help people shed pounds - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Programs to help people shed pounds

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Helen Esposito is fighting back against obesity. The 25-year-old didn't want to go down the same path as her dad.

"I lost my father to diabetes and heart disease. I just felt if I didn't do something right away that I was heading down a very dark path," she said.

Sharon Williams, 51, also knew she had to change her lifestyle.

"This was too much weight to be carrying for this long," she said.

Recent research shows the number of people who need to lose at least 100 pounds is the fastest-growing group of overweight Americans with a growing list of health problems.

"You have hypertension, you have diabetes, you have people with knee problems and orthopedic problems," said James LaMar, who runs Obesity Boot Camp in Westbury, N.Y.

Using tire flips, exercise bands and calisthenics, he pushes his clients' limits.

"Tires and ropes-- they actually help to elevate your heart rate. Many people here aren't able to do all the running," LaMar said.

Programs like this one are helping many people get back to a healthy weight and a healthy life. The class meets five days a week. Members also see a nutritionist and keep a food journal.

"I cut out mostly fast foods. I had been eating a lot of that," Esposito said.

She lost 40 pounds in just three months.

"It's an amazing feeling to know you have lost that much weight," she said.

Williams also dropped 40 pounds.

"I want to live longer," she said. "I want to just be a better, healthier me."

The challenge now is to keep up this new way of living for the rest of their lives.

Click here for more on healthy weight loss.

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