Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are two fatal neurodegenerative disorders with considerable clinical, pathological and genetic overlap. Both disorders are characterized by the accumulation of pathological protein aggregates that contain a number of proteins, most notably TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43). Surprisingly, recent clinical studies suggest that dyslipidemia, high body mass index, and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with better clinical outcomes in ALS. Moreover, ALS and FTLD patients have a significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, supporting the idea that an unfavorable metabolic profile may be beneficial in ALS and FTLD. The two most widely studied ALS/FTLD models, super-oxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and TAR DNA binding protein of 43 kDA (TDP-43), reveal metabolic dysfunction and a positive effect of metabolic strategies on disease onset and/or progression. In addition, molecular studies reveal a role for ALS/FTLD-associated proteins in the regulation of cellular and whole-body metabolism. Here, we systematically evaluate these observations and discuss how changes in cellular glucose/lipid metabolism may result in abnormal protein aggregations in ALS and FTLD, which may have important implications for new treatment strategies for ALS/FTLD and possibly other neurodegenerative conditions.