It’s easy today to carry an extra 30 pounds and feel well within the bounds of normal health.
Technically, an extra 30 pounds is ‘overweight’ for the woman of average height; it means a BMI of more than 25. But an extra 30 pounds is the weight we can gain with just one or two extra pounds a year, starting in our twenties.
An extra 30 pounds is socially acceptable, too. About half of Canadian adults are overweight or obese. In fact, according to the Maclean’s How Canadian Are You survey, the average Canadian woman is 5 ft. 4 inches and 155 pounds, putting her well within the overweight BMI.
Why should we be concerned about an average bit of extra weight?
Well, carrying just thirty pounds extra over more than a decade puts us at risk of diabetes. Which means what’s normal, is actually quite risky.
How did so many of us get into a situation where we’re at risk for a chronic, life-threatening disease?
There are the obvious answers: too many calories and too little exercise. But we all know – and many of us are – people who eat moderately, exercise, and still carry that extra 30 pounds.
Dr. Carolyn Dean provides some rare insights into how widespread magnesium deficiency is contributing to both weight gain and diabetes.
“THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND OBESITY
1. Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
2. Magnesium is necessary for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose.
3. Magnesium helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.”
(Excerpt from The Magnesium Miracle, by Dr. Dean)
What’s really interesting about point one, above, is that we may actually be overeating to compensate for malnutrition at a cellular level. Dean explains:
“Magnesium and the B-complex vitamins are energy nutrients…Lack of these necessary energy nutrients causes improper utilization of food, leading to such far-ranging symptoms as hypoglycemia, anxiety, and obesity. Food craving and overeating can be simply a desire to continue eating past fullness because the body is, in fact, craving nutrients that are missing from processed food.” (Kindle version 2804)
We’ve all been there, right? Cupboard door open, hand in the box of crackers or chips or low fat snack doo-thingies, but endlessly hungry.
And then maybe we hear that more protein or more fat is the key to feeling full, and we try it, but still, something is missing and our body just won’t be satisfied.
If magnesium is missing, we get caught in the cycle of endless hunger.
Point two is really interesting, as well. Have you ever been in a situation where you know you’re not overdoing the calories, but you just keep storing fat? It seems so unfair. You wonder if you’ve ruined your metabolism because there seems to be no other explanation.
Or is there?
Dean explains that magnesium is needed for “insulin to usher glucose into cells, where glucose is involved in making energy for the body. If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets stored as fat”. (pp. 2809 – 2810)
In other words, some people really are just storing more fat – and it has to do with magnesium-deficiency.
What about the point about obesity genes? We’ve come to think of genes as setting our fate, but here, Dr. Dean is saying that magnesium makes a difference in whether those genes are ‘expressed’, or in other words, whether those genes are allowed to wreak havoc on our bodies.
In Dean’s own words, “if a mouse with an obesity gene is deprived of B vitamins, the obesity will be expressed. But if it is fed plenty of B vitamins, it will remain thin. The process of metabolizing B vitamins is called methylation, and magnesium is necessary for one of the most important steps.” (p.2816)
So, if you’re feeling like the weight you carry is intractable; it just doesn’t respond to diet or exercise, think about whether you’re getting enough magnesium.
Do you eat a lot of spinach, nuts, seeds and legumes? It can be surprising just how much of a magnesium-rich food you need to get the recommended 400 mg a day.
If you’re not getting enough, and weight is an issue, you might be starving your body of the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy weight. Share this with anyone you know who struggles with weight and may not get enough magnesium!
It’s so easy to inch your way into the 30 pounds overweight category. With a good magnesium supplement – like Natural Calm – it gets that much easier to win the battle.
People find that their cravings for sugar and chocolate really drop off after they start supplementing with Natural Calm – and they get more energy, which is such a bonus for people who are used to depriving themselves of calories and using every last bit of energy to get enough exercise.
You can order Natural Calm online, here.
Statistics Canada. Health Indicator Profile. https://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=1050501&pattern=obese&csid=
Dean, Dr. Carolyn. The Magnesium Miracle (Revised and Updated). Kindle version pp. 2791 – 3001
Maclean’s Magazine. How Canadian Are You? https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/how-canadian-are-you/