Patterns of Weight Gain
When you decide to lower your body weight, you should first consider how you
gained weight. There are many paths to becoming overweight. Many people are
unaware of how they got to be so large. Knowing more about the way you gained
weight will help you understand how you might lose weight. You need to be
Many people gain weight in spurts, as a consequence of binge-eating or
periodic indulgences in rapid weight gain may be associated with hormonal
changes, as in pregnancy or low thyroid states, or whenever life-style changes,
injury, or illness reduce physical activity. Without a balanced reduction in
food intake or change in food selection, reduced physical activity produces
weight gain. Bursts of weight gain represent maladaptive responses to a variety
Five basic factors of weight gain:
- Lifestyle - gradual gain from food in excess with exercise deficit.
- Metabolic - changes in metabolism, reduced physical activity, increased
activity of fat storage mechanisms
- Aging - slow progressive weight gain into sixth or seventh decade associated
with decreased lean-body mass.
- Food-Addiction Complex - compulsive eating is associated with symptoms and
- Emotional Eating - between lifestyle tendencies and the food-allergy complex
lies a twilight zone of emotional instability, careless self indulgence and
petulant child-like behavior.
These weight-gain factors are not mutually exclusive and tend to merge
together as the years go by. Often a lifestyle pattern of weight gain will be
associated with emotional eating, followed by increasing metabolic disturbances,
food allergy, all aggravated by the effects of aging. The mid-thirties to early
forties are the pivotal years when adaptation to dysfunctional habits runs out
and health problems begin to multiply. If you have not changed your ways by the
early fifties, you are heading for bigger trouble.
Lifestyle Weight Gain
Obesity is almost fashionable in some European countries and is common enough
in the USA to be considered a standard feature of the lifestyle. The tendency in
affluent countries is to overeat and drink, accepting both weight problems and
disease as a consequence. Affluence, self-indulgence, sedentary occupations, and
little physical exercise all combine to produce overweight people with
heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Extra food may
be ingested slowly and gradually. High-fat and high-sugar meals, alcoholic
beverages, desserts, and snacks are often to blame. Weight is gained
progressively often with brief interludes of weight loss on weight-reduction
diets, followed by a resumption of steady gain.
Some children get fat right away. They may be genetically predisposed, but
the main reason for childhood obesity is eating too much food. The overabundance
of food and the tendency to eat high sugar-fat foods is a lifestyle problem. The
majority of overweight children we see are also symptomatic and compulsive
eaters. They manifest food allergy-addiction patterns. An overweight child
usually becomes an overweight adult. Others make it through childhood with
normal growth patterns, but gain as adolescents or young adults. An overweight
patient in their 20's to early 30's will often claim they feel perfectly OK, but
eat too much and exercise too little.
If you have a traditional eating pattern, food is important and meals are
well-organized. You follow traditional cooking patterns, have three-square meals
a day, and tend to socialize and reward with drinks, snacks and desserts. Your
problem is that there is always too much food and often too little exercise. If
you are interested in "gourmet" food preparation you may be paying the price of
gustatory pleasure by compromising your health.
You are motivated by pleasure, convenience, social expectations, family
traditions, and you may have a strong identification with the food you eat. You
often talk about food, restaurants, and eating pleasures. You may drink too
much. The prospect of diet revision is daunting because of the convenience of
and sometimes substantial investment in your food preferences and habits. You
may have even more resistance when you realize that we are talking about
enduring changes in your eating behavior, not just a short-term weight-loss
If you fall into the eclectic eating lifestyle, you tend to overindulge in
food outside your own home and tend to eat snack or dessert foods when you are
home. You may seldom cook proper meals at home. Instead you bring home prepared
foods, or order from fast-food delivery services. Your home is stocked with
snack foods. If you are single and working you may not have food preparation
skills and dislike cooking at home. Your appetite regulation becomes
disorganized. Addictive eating patterns increase. You experience strong cravings
for high caloric foods. Excessive weight gain is a common consequence.
The weight management tasks for disorganized eaters are obviously different
from their better organized neighbors. If you belong to the eclectic eaters
group - organized or disorganized, your first task is to begin eating meals at
home. You need to follow the medium to slow track of the Alpha Nutrition Program
with a good support system. You have a lot to learn, but once you "get it" your
life will vastly improve.
Dysfunctional eating patterns, especially compulsive eating, lead to the most
serious obesity. The only way out is through an addiction-recovery process. the
Alpha Nutrition Program works at the technical, biological level. If you clear
on Alpha ENF, you will escape the addictive loops long enough to start
reorganizing your life. You have to slowly re-educate yourself about food
selection and eating. Weight loss is definitely secondary to the restoration of
your health. In order to maintain control of your eating behaviors you must
abstain from eating trigger foods - these usually are made from wheat, milk,
sugar, and eggs.
If metabolism slows down and caloric intake stays the same, you gain weight.
Many chronic illnesses are associated with reduced appetite, increased
metabolism and weight loss. Injuries which require little tissue repair but
reduce physical activity for weeks or months will often cause major weight gain.
Hormonal effects on metabolism and weight are seen in a variety of normal
circumstances such as pregnancy, and several diseases involving hormonal
changes. Low thyroid hormone levels are associated with weight gain and most
patients who go to their physicians complaining of weight gain and fatigue will
have their blood thyroid hormone (thyroxin or T4) level checked. Some physicians
have been tempted to treat their patients with thyroid even when the blood
results fall into a normal range. Many overweight patients have been "treated"
with thyroid extracts with the hope of inducing weight loss. This treatment is
disappointing unless enough of the hormone is taken to cause a hyperthyroid
state, complete with anxiety, insomnia, fast heart rate, and other undesirable
symptoms. This approach, of course, is not desirable.
Food Allergy Addiction Complex
The Alpha Nutrition Program is well-suited to reveal and resolve the health
and compulsive eating problems of people suffering from food allergy. The first
clues that you have food allergy are:
- You do not feel well
- You have chronic symptoms
- Your energy and moods are unstable
- You crave and compulsively eat certain foods
- You gain weight rapidly
- Your efforts to lose weight are futile