How did this NewsChannel 3 producer lose over 200 pounds in 10 months?

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Bill DiNicola was known for years as “Big Bill” with the big jokes and big laughs, but inside he felt like a prisoner to his nearly 500 pound frame.

“When you get to a certain weight, and I was 476 pounds, it`s not funny. It`s not like a sketch,” Bill said.

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Today, Bill's doctor's visit proves he is in the best shape of his adult life. In the last 10 months, Bill is down almost 230 pounds.  He did it without surgery but with the guidance of the Bon Secours Nutrition and Weight Loss program.

“It`s the closest you can get to gastric bypass surgery, without having the surgery,” said Dr. Phillip Snider. “What you absorb is what you get when you`re on the program, is about what you would absorb after surgery.”

The program puts people on what's called a ketogenic very low calorie diet. By low, we're talking 800 calories per day through pre-packaged New Direction shakes and foods.  Limited amounts of exercise are also encouraged.  The program is covered by most insurance.   In addition to regular doctors’ visits,  the food costs about $100 dollars a week but it is all the food you eat.

“It`s very easy to do,” said Dr. Snider. “Not easy, but it`s very straight forward and simple and it just works.”

Bill started the program on January 7, 2015 after his failure to fit into a 4X softball jersey jolted him to take action. He lost 13.5 pounds in the first week and continues to make record breaking progress.

“The quickest of anybody,” said Dr. Snider. “You`re our poster child.”

Dr. Snider said people on this program usually lose between two and five pounds per week. When it comes to keeping off the pounds, Dr. Snider said the people who tackle their eating issues find long lasting success.

“It`s the people that have problem-solved and they`ve said this is a tool to help me lose weight, let me fix my relationship with food,” said Dr. Snider. “When people have done that they`re very successful.”

That relationship with food is at the core of any weight loss journey, and putting in the work for what goes on your plate and why is pivotal for dropping pounds for good. For Bill, Bon Secours was the best first step.