Eating Healthy: Shayesteh lectures on nutrition

Armon Shayesteh, registered dietitian and weight loss specialist, encourages his audience to eat right and exercise regularly.
Armon Shayesteh, registered dietitian and weight loss specialist, encourages his audience to eat right and exercise regularly.

On Tuesday in Kilcawley’s Gallery Room, Armon Shayesteh, registered dietitian and weight loss specialist, offered students and faculty members advice on how to keep their New Year resolutions in good shape.

Shayesteh, a former professor at Youngstown State University, has been in private practice for more than 15 years and has designed several diet and exercise programs.

He explained that setting realistic expectations is important for successful weight loss.

“We can’t change human behavior. Always remember to be smart. Have specific, measurable, attainable and realistic and time based goals,” he said.

Shayesteh presented examples of different meals from restaurants like Olive Garden and McDonalds, and explained the fat content and calories in each one.

“The Whopper was junior, and it wasn’t killing people fast enough so they improved it. A Bruschetta Chicken Salad at Olive Garden has 1139 calories in it, and the chocolate cheesecake has 890 calories, along with 95 grams of fat. It looks good, but it’s not good for you,” he said.

Shayesteh’s lecture was well received.  Alyssa Sansone, an exercise science major, said the lecture hit home for everyone.

“I thought [his lecture] was amazing. He presented the information humorously, and I’ve probably tried everything up there that he said. It’s something that hits us all. As far as the fast food went, it’s really an eye opener to see how much bad food you are putting into your body,” she said.

Shayesteh indicated that this “bad food” can lead to obesity — a widespread, critical issue.

“It’s absolutely important. Obesity has increased 120 percent over the last 20 years in the U.S. Over 75 percent of adults have a weight problem, and 17 percent of kids are overweight,” he said. “Being overweight can lead to diabetes, and 25.8 million adults and children have diabetes because they are overweight. Everyone needs to focus on this sooner rather than later.”

Shayesteh said a healthy diet and regular exercise is the key to losing belly fat.

“It’s about intelligently making decisions about what you eat. Physical activity can prevent heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure and so on, but we all make excuses as to why we don’t exercise,” he said.

Shayesteh urged everyone to implement exercise into his or her routine.

“If you don’t have 900 seconds to exercise, you’re in trouble. A simple walk is good for your heart. A one-hour workout is 4 percent of your day. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing,” he said.

Shayesteh then explained the difference between the distribution of fat between men and women.

“Men have more of an android shape, or the apple shape, and women are usually gynoids, or pear shapes. Android types store fat around the abdominal region, and gynoid shapes gain fat around the hips and thighs. Women have hormones in their bodies that when experiencing menopause, their fat distribution will be more masculine like the android shape,” he said.

Though Sansone, as an exercise science major, was already familiar with most of Shayesteh’s statistics, she said the lecture was still a learning experience.

“I didn’t know that when women become menopausal their hormones change to be more like a man’s, and that’s what causes the pear shape to be an android shape. It’s crazy,” Sansone said.