Posted on Dec 23, 2020, 7 a.m.
Book Review – The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle by Mary Dan Eades, MD, & Michael R. Eades, MD
How many middle-aged adults experience weight gain in their midsection? Even with no changes in diet or exercise, weight gain is commonplace, particularly around the middle. Worse, this area of weight gain is the very abdominal obesity associated with heart disease. Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades address ways to eliminate unhealthy fat that accumulates around the organs in their book, The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle.
Drs. Michael Eades and Mary Dan Eades gained fame in the 70s for their weight loss success and their bestselling book, Protein Power. Both physicians lost a considerable amount of weight by incorporating principles they learned as they researched their weight problem. In turn, they successfully helped many others lose weight.
After decades of success, however, a problem arose. As the Eadeses prepared for a televised show, although they continued to follow their own prescription for success, the cameras zeroed in on a problem: a middle-aged spread around the middle. They wondered how they could promote the success of their program with this weight concern.
The Eadeses went back to what had worked for them the first time: research. They set out to find what had sabotaged their program for successful weight loss.
The answer? Hormones.
Cortisol and Estrogen
During middle age, the adrenal glands may increase their production of cortisol. This may be provoked by a number of factors including stress or sleep disturbances. The increased cortisol levels send signals to store fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
Weight can be affected by both high and low estrogen levels. With aging, estrogen (the hormone associated with curviness in women) decreases, and may contribute to midlife weight gain. The Eadeses recommend using only bioidentical estrogens, estradiol or estradiol with some estriol, as non-bioidentical therapies may not help with weight and may even worsen it.
The Liver and Hormone Deficiencies
In middle age, the pancreatic hormone insulin rises, signaling the liver to store more fat. Additionally, as we age, the liver creates more sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein carrier for hormones. When the hormones are bound to this protein, they are not available for use by the body. While SHBG levels increase with age, the sex hormones carried by SHBG such as testosterone, DHEA, and estrogens decline with age. Hormone deficiencies can occur as lower levels of hormones are produced overall and more SHBG binds the hormones that are produced, making them unavailable for use by the body. These hormone deficiencies can lead to loss of muscle and bone mass and an increase in body fat percentage.
According to the Eadeses, what happens in middle age is a combination of a number of factors: loss of sleep, increased stress, a diet lacking in fat (due to concerns with cholesterol levels), hormones imbalances, introduction of new medications, and difficulties with nutritional intake. Their book is not a weight loss plan, but a path to “body-rehabilitation,” as fat stores leave the middle and the body becomes leaner and stronger.
A dietary plan to address abdominal weight gain is spelled out in The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle. The Eadeses report great success for themselves and their patients. For those that are struggling with middle-aged weight gain, this book may hold the resources needed to help combat it.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy
Edited by Michelle Violi, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy
Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP, CEO and founder of The Wellness By Design Project is an accomplished compounding pharmacist with decades of experience helping patients improve their quality of life through bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy and is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. Her passion to optimize health and commitment to compounding is evident in her involvement with organizations including the International College of Integrated Medicine and the American College of Apothecaries, American Pharmacists Association and the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding. She was also founder and first chair for the Compounding Special Interest Group with the American Pharmacists Association. She serves as chair for the Integrated Medicine Consortium. She co-hosts a radio program “Take Charge of your Health” in the greater New York area. She is also on the Medical Advisory Board for the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR.ca).
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- Eades MR, Eades MD. The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle: The Simple Plan to Flatten Your Belly Fast! New York, NY: Harmony; 2009.
- Eades MR, Eades MD. Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health–in Just Weeks! New York, NY: Bantam; 1996