Cooling economy heats up weight gain

An efficient metabolism won’t allow you to put on fat merely because caloric intake temporarily shoots up, or stress delivers a whammy.

by Dr. Hayle Aldren — 

As the economy slows down and the GDP shrinks, American waistlines and fat portfolios are headed for a bull market, atop an already inflated “fat bubble.” Even before the economic contraction, the ranks of the overweight and obese had expanded to include nearly two-thirds of the population.

Over the last six months, added recessionary stress and uncertainty have fired up the desire for comfort food and drinks. But is there another reason for the fat bubble? Yes, and it’s an important one behind the scenes — your metabolism.

Although it is true that habitual overeating can make you overweight, it is the damage that overeating does to certain parts of the brain and to the metabolic machinery of the body that alters body chemistry, making it a fat friendly type of metabolism. The body now becomes resistant to losing weight, even when the overeating stops. This is often a vicious circle, where damaged metabolism, in turn, triggers further excessive appetite, which causes more metabolic derangement and worsening obesity.

Doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers have watched the creeping adipose bulge, as cost-conscious consumers top off their tanks on lower priced, denser calorie fast food. Meanwhile, time-starved road warriors, on the go-go-go, race in for quick fill-ups of hunger-reducing “naught cuisine.”

But for rich and poor alike, is food the only culprit responsible for weight gain, or is it also the stress of the rat race? Is it enough to just say no to fries or crème brulée, or to multitask at higher heart rates? The answer is a resounding no if your metabolism is out of whack.

I have observed these behaviors in my patients for more than three decades and discovered the following: metabolism rules weight. Simple diet and exercise make you lean only if your metabolism is balanced and reasonably healthy. If not, all the dieting and exercise in the world won’t make you thin.

An efficient metabolism won’t allow you to put on fat merely because caloric intake temporarily shoots up, or stress delivers a whammy. Fortunately, metabolic damage can usually be repaired and metabolism reset back to normal to allow the body to resist and reverse fat accumulation and weight gain, even in the face of strong genetic tendencies.


Hayle Aldren, M.D., M.D.(H), has practiced, researched and taught medical nutrition for more than 30 years, and treats resistant weight problems by resetting metabolism through the Pounds Inches & Body Chemistry (PIBC) program. or 623-321-4148.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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