How much magnesium to lose weight & burn belly fat?

A daily magnesium dose of 400 mg from food is beneficial for weight loss. Also, obese people with low levels of magnesium could burn belly fat and improve body composition by taking extra 100-250 mg of magnesium from supplements. Magnesium is good for weight loss, as it:

  • regulates glucose metabolism
  • improves insulin sensitivity
  • builds muscle mass
  • prevents water retention
  • is vital for the natural synthesis of testosterone

Magnesium for weight loss!

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body. For instance, magnesium is involved in nerve and muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, calcium absorption, cortisol secretion, and bone health.[1,2]

It seems that overweight people who want to lose weight should follow a diet rich in magnesium. Obese people tend to have significantly lower serum magnesium levels as compared to people with a healthy body weight. In fact, low levels of magnesium have been linked to a higher BMI (Body Mass Index).[3]

Above all, magnesium plays a crucial role in determining the weight of a person because it regulates enzymatic processes and glucose metabolism. Moreover, magnesium is involved in insulin homeostasis. It improves insulin sensitivity.[4]

Actually, balancing blood sugar plays a key role in weight loss. Keeping low postprandial glucose levels supports weight loss. Low glucose levels regulate appetite.

Seeds and nuts which are the best dietary sources of magnesium have a pretty low glycemic index. They reduce hunger and lower the total glycemic load of a meal. Hence, the best time to eat almonds, walnuts, or other nuts and seeds is before a high-calorie meal or in the morning!

In addition, magnesium plays a key role in energy production and energy storage. Thus, athletes, in particular, require high magnesium intakes.

Furthermore, magnesium is necessary for the natural synthesis of testosterone. Testosterone is good for muscle growth and decreased percentage of body fat. Increased muscle mass has been linked to a higher metabolism and improved insulin sensitivity.

Magnesium for water retention

Furthermore, magnesium can help reduce water retention. According to a study, a daily dose of 200 mg from supplements reduced the symptoms of water retention and pain in women with premenstrual syndrome.[5,6]

Another beneficial nutrient for reducing water retention and weight loss is vitamin B6.

Magnesium supports Gut Health

Magnesium supports gut health by maintaining a balanced microbiome. Researchers found that replenishing proper magnesium levels reduces harmful bacteria involved in inflammation and associated with human diseases. For example, it can restore a beneficial intestinal flora in IBD patients.[7]

Certain gut bacteria play a role in weight management, and magnesium may positively impact this balance.

Gut bacteria impact energy metabolism. Different bacterial strains have diverse functions. Some promote the breakdown of carbs and fats for energy, while others favor their storage as fat.

Having a “good” balance of bacteria, with more “energy-burning” strains, can help you burn more calories and potentially contribute to weight loss.

Gut bacteria influence satiety and appetite. Gut microbes produce hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and fullness. A healthy gut microbiome may promote the production of satiety hormones and suppress appetite-stimulating ones, leading to you feeling fuller for longer and consuming fewer calories overall.

Besides, obesity, imbalances in gut microbiota may cause a variety of negative health outcomes, including anxiety or depression, which can further affect your weight-loss efforts.[8]

By incorporating prebiotics (food for good bacteria) like fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, probiotics (supplements or fermented foods), and maintaining a balanced diet, you can nurture a healthy gut microbiome. This can potentially support weight loss efforts by optimizing metabolism, regulating appetite, and reducing inflammation.

The richest common food in probiotics is kefir.

How much magnesium per day for weight loss?

The recommended daily intake of magnesium from natural sources is 310-360 mg for women and 400-420 mg for men.

In fact, magnesium deficiency is pretty common. Poor diet, carbonated beverages, age, certain gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes, as well as high intakes of calcium and fat can cause low levels of magnesium, and lead to obesity.

If you have low levels of magnesium, taking magnesium supplements may have beneficial effects on weight loss. You shouldn’t get more magnesium from supplements than the maximum safe dose, though.

Magnesium supplementation seems to cause a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference in magnesium deficient individuals.[9]

Also, obese people may improve their metabolic profiles, blood pressure, fasting glucose and triglyceride levels after treating magnesium deficiency. More studies are needed to clearly show a link between serum magnesium levels and obesity, though.[10]

So, obese people with low levels of magnesium who want to lose weight could benefit from taking extra magnesium from supplements. In most cases, an extra magnesium dosage of 100-250 mg per tablet is more enough for weight loss. Above all, we should get the recommended daily intake from food, which is nearly 400 mg.

You can find a wide variety of magnesium supplements on iHerb.

Foods high in magnesium

Nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and leafy greens are the best dietary sources of magnesium.

pumpkin seeds 550spinach79
chia seeds392kale47
sesame seeds346wheat bread41
almonds279barley bread41
cashews260rice, brown, cooked39
black beans171avocado29
kidney beans138potatoes, boiled24
sunflower seeds129Brussels sprouts23
Foods high in magnesium (mg/100g).


When it comes to magnesium content, spinach stands out as one of the richest vegetables. A cup of cooked spinach provides approximately 157 mg of magnesium.

Swiss chard follows closely, offering 151 mg of magnesium per cup. Other magnesium-rich vegetables include lima beans, acorn squash, and kale.


Among fruits, dried figs take the lead, providing an impressive 101 mg of magnesium per cup.

Avocados, bananas, and guavas also contribute to your daily magnesium intake.

Bananas are the richest common fruit in magnesium per calorie. They provide 804 mg (17% DV) per 200 calories. Avocados provide 606 mg (13% DV) while guavas provide 1,226 mg (26% DV) of magnesium per 200 calories!

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or changing your diet.

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