Eating right FOR LIFE

A diet doesn't change a person's way of life, so it ultimately fails.
Dr. M. Shayesteh, of Boardman, says that obesity is not just a cosmetic problem, but related to most chronic diseases. He is a clinical nutritionist with a PhD in nutrition, Board Certified with the American Dietetic Association and a weight loss specialist. He has more than 15 years experience in research and practice, and focuses on prevention of disease. Dr. Shayesteh works with all diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or any nutritional related medical problem, and many clients come to him from another physician's referral.
But he specialized in weight problems. "73 percent of adults in this country are overweight or obese," says Dr. Shayesteh. Some of the diseases related to obesity are: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea, and some cancers. So, why are so many of us obese?
A major factor is lack of exercise and too much calorie intake. "When your hand works harder than your legs, you're in trouble," says Dr. Shayesteh. "The serving size of food has tripled in the last ten years, like in restaurants. There is less physical activity, drive-throughs, laptops--we lead a sedentary lifestyle. Of course there are other elements, too, such as hormones and genetics."
"'Dieting' means temporary behavior, so I don't believe in it," he says. "But instead, I help my clients learn to make good choices on how to eat right. Of importance is the type of food and method of cooking, (for instance, frying would not be a good choice), portion size and lifestyle changes. This is critical, because dietary programs that do not emphasize lifestyle changes are not going to be effective in solving obesity."
"Sales of diet books have increased by 400 percent," Dr. Shayesteh says. "But from 1990 to 2000 obesity increased by 40 percent. None of these diet programs have proven to be long-term effective, and in most cases, can do more harm than good. The Atkins Diet can cause liver and kidney damage, colon cancer, and mood swings. And when you quit these diets, you will gain your weight back, plus usually 10-15 percent extra."
In balance
He also says it is not practical to eliminate any food groups because each contributes certain nutrients to the diet, and by eliminating them, you create deficiencies. The key to losing weight is balancing the energy. "Any time your calorie intake from any source is greater than expenditure, you will gain weight," he says. "When it is less, you will lose weight." He also says that regular exercise is necessary, and recommends walking 45-60 minutes every day.
He says another problem with diet books is that they are written for 60 million people. "Diets should be specifically tailored for each individual," says Dr. Shayesteh. "I spend about 11/2 hours with each client to design an individualized diet and exercise program for them. I also do a body composition analysis to determine percentage of body fat and total body fat, metabolism, and hydration status." He looks at diet history and medical history, and also foods that the person likes, then tailors a program to fit that person's needs. He also designs diets for specific diseases, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, gastrointestinal disease, and diabetes.
Metabolic imbalance
Obesity is the number one cause of metabolic syndrome of insulin resistance, which results in type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and blood clots, which can increase the risk of heart attack. Dr. Shayesteh says the worst type of fat is when it is located in the belly area. If the waist circumference for men is 40 inches or more, or for women, 35, that person is at risk. Often in post-menopausal women, the fat is redistributed in the central area, making them more at risk for chronic disease and heart disease. Even with people who are not overweight, if the belly area is too large, they are at risk for metabolic syndrome for insulin resistance.
Dr. Shayesteh carries a wide range of supplements, and provides literature on dietary information. He also publishes an online newsletter.
XLaughing Crow is a practitioner of holistic healing. She may be reached at

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