Written by Katherine Barrington, Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach
Obesity has become an epidemic in this country and many people are struggling to lose weight. Even if you are trying to make healthy changes to your lifestyle in an attempt to lose weight, it isn’t always as easy as fitness gurus and celebrities make it seem. If you’ve been trying to lose weight and it just isn’t working, you might need to make some adjustments. Keep reading to learn about the top five barriers to weight loss and how magnesium supplementation might help you reach your goals.
What Are the Top 5 Barriers to Weight Loss?
If you feel like you’ve been doing everything right but you still aren’t losing weight, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy and to explore other options. Before you hop on board with another fad diet, take the time to look at what you might be doing right – and what you might be doing wrong. Here are the top five weight loss mistakes you could be making:
Mistake #1: You’re doing the wrong kind of exercise
Exercise is an essential component of any weight loss plan and it does, to some degree, matter what kind of exercise you are getting. Cardiovascular exercise is great for calorie burn, but you should also incorporate strength training to start building muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat – the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn.
Mistake #2: You’re not getting enough sleep
You may not realize it, but sleep plays a role in all of your body’s essential functions including energy metabolism and fat burn. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who get 5 hours of sleep or less each night have more than 30% more likely to gain weight. Other studies have shown that if you don’t get enough sleep, it could cause your body to produce more ghrelin, the hunger hormone that stimulates your appetite.
Mistake #3: You’re drinking too many empty calories
Alcohol and soda are two of the most common culprits that can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Alcohol contains zero nutrients but it does contain calories. Plus, studies show that drinking alcohol can increase your appetite and cause you to overeat. Soda, even the zero-calorie versions, can expand your waistline if you overindulge. If you really want to lose weight, stop drinking your calories and focus on healthy beverages like water and green tea.
Mistake #4: You’re eating more than you realize
Counting calories is an excellent tool for weight loss. Unfortunately, many people don’t have even a basic understanding of what true portion sizes are and this leads them to underestimate how much they are really eating. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit and you can only do that if you know how many calories you are eating. Buy a food scale and start measuring your portions as you track your calories.
Mistake #5: You might be deficient in magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, playing a role in more than 300 different biochemical reactions. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, magnesium intake may also be correlated with weight loss. Eating more magnesium-rich foods may help you to beat the bloat by combating water retention and it helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
Though any of these mistakes could be the reason behind your weight loss troubles, the final mistake is one of the most common – it is also one of the easiest to overlook. Keep reading to learn more about magnesium supplementation for weight loss and how to do it correctly.
Could Magnesium Supplements Help?
As you have already learned, magnesium is an extremely important nutrient for healthy bodily function. This mineral plays a role in everything from energy production to regulating your blood sugar and supporting essential chemical reactions. Magnesium helps with muscle contraction, supports normal heart rhythm, and it helps your body build strong bones and teeth. But how does it relate to weight loss? In several ways.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, higher levels of magnesium in the diet may help to control both insulin production and blood glucose levels. Both of these things are important for maintaining a healthy body weight. The results of the study also suggest that magnesium supplementation may help to reduce fluid retention and bloating. Magnesium also plays a role in energy metabolism and helps your body to absorb nutrients from the food you eat which helps you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Tips for Using Magnesium for Weight Loss
If you’re considering magnesium for weight loss, there are a few options available. One option is to take a magnesium supplement. Keep in mind that there are different types of magnesium supplements, however, so you should talk to your doctor to determine which is right for you and how much you should be taking. General recommendations for magnesium intake are 400 mg for men aged 19 to 30 and 420 mg for men over 30. Women aged 19 to 30 need 310 mg per day and women over 30 need about 320 mg. As an alternative to taking magnesium supplements, you can also just add more magnesium to your diet by eating foods such as whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish, yogurt, and tofu. A final option is to use a topical magnesium oil that can be applied directly to the skin.
Weight loss is not something that happens overnight – it is a journey that you must commit to if you really want to see lasting results. By adjusting your lifestyle and adding magnesium supplements to your daily routine, however, you can make it happen.
How Can Magnesium Help with Weight Loss
~ Written by Katherine Barrington, Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach