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Why People Who Are Deficient Of This Mineral Struggle To Lose Weight

Why People Who Are Deficient Of This Mineral Struggle To Lose Weight
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Losing weight is about more than just working out regularly and cutting out junk food. If you really want to slim down quickly (and healthily), maintaining a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is essential. In addition to getting enough protein, carbs, and fiber, you should also ensure you’re consuming all of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function properly. And as it turns out, there’s one vital mineral that many people underestimate: magnesium.

To learn more about the importance of magnesium in weight loss and how you can make sure you’re getting enough of it, we spoke to registered dietitian Catherine Gervacio, nutrition writer for Living.Fitand registered dietitian and nutritionist Krutika Nanavati from Clinicspots. Read on for all of their expert insight!

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Magnesium

While magnesium may sometimes take a back seat to minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium in the conversation on wellness, experts agree that receiving ample amounts of it is essential, especially when it comes to weight loss. “Magnesium is very important to weight loss because it is involved in many body functions that include regulation of blood sugar, production of energy, and nerve function, among others,” Gervacio says, adding that “One of the key focus of weight loss is to maintain or improve metabolism and magnesium is one mineral that is needed for that.” Nanavati agrees, noting that “a magnesium deficiency can make it difficult to lose weight for a few reasons.”

One of the main things to keep in mind about magnesium is the fact that it plays a major role in energy production and metabolism, which means that if you’re not getting enough of it, you could run into fatigue and you may even be unable to burn enough calories to lose weight.

Another important role magnesium plays in our bodies is regulating blood sugar levels, which means that, as Nanavati explains, “a deficiency can cause cravings for sugary and carb-rich foods.” And we all know that when you give in to those cravings, you’re much less likely to stay on track with your weight loss goals. In fact, to make matters even worse, she points out that “a deficiency can lead to increased fat storage” since one of the functions of magnesium is to help the body store less fat. Overall, ensuring you’re getting ample amounts of this mineral diet is a major key to slimming down.

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display of magnesium-rich foods like banana, avocado, brussels sprouts, and nuts

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How to prevent a magnesium deficiency

Okay, so now we know just how important magnesium is to weight loss—but how can you make sure you’re getting enough in your diet? Nanavati suggests eating magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. If you’re worried that you don’t eat enough of these things, you can also add a magnesium supplement to the mix.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that calcium helps your body absorb and use magnesium, which means increasing your calcium intake is another great way to keep your magnesium levels up. “You can take a vitamin D supplement and get enough vitamin K in your diet,” Nanavati recommends. “Some sources of vitamin K include beef and chicken liver, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, soybean, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.” Got it!

Other minerals that help your body absorb and use magnesium include phosphorus, copper, and zinc. “Some sources of phosphorus are fish, beef, chicken, pork, beans, nuts, seeds, and dairy products. Copper can be found in liver, oysters, lobster, crab, whole grains, mushrooms, leafy greens, and avocados. Zinc can be found in beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains,” Nanavati lists.

Finally, Gervacio tells us that if you want to optimize your magnesium levels, “it’s best to lessen the intake of alcohol and caffeine as they compete with magnesium absorption.” Instead, she recommends sipping on freshly-squeezed fruit juices and vegetable smoothies.

At the end of the day, true magnesium deficiencies are quite rare, and likely not something you have to worry about. However, if weight loss is what you’re after, it definitely doesn’t hurt to up your intake of magnesium-rich foods. Who knows—it could be the push your body needs to reach your goal weight!

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