AFib and Healthy Weight Management

AFib and Healthy Weight Management

Research shows that you can improve your AFib experience, reduce the burden of your AFib, and give yourself the best odds for AFib prevention by maintaining a healthy weight.

Obesity is clearly linked with AFib. Many people prefer not to talk about their weight, even with their doctors, but rather than avoiding it because of any shame or embarrassment, begin to take small steps toward building a healthier life.

Track Your Nutrition and Physical Activity

You manage what you measure.

The first step to eating right is to figure out what you’re actually eating. Start by tracking your food using a food diary as a means of learning your average calorie intake.

Keeping a food diary, which means writing everything you eat for at least a week, can be very helpful. You may also want to jot down how you’re feeling in general so you can start to understand what drives eating decisions. (Stress? Happiness? Sadness? Boredom?) Reviewing the diary on a regular basis may also help you learn how your eating may change depending on the situation, or whether it’s a workday or weekend.

Tracking Your Activity

It also helps to use an activity tracker to know your activity level and write down intentional steps you take toward becoming more physically active. Many people have found that fitness devices and phone apps have helped them put their best foot forward and make improvement in their level of physical activity.

Make Healthy Changes, But Start Small

Once you have a clear picture of your eating habits and your activity level, focus on small goals that can be easily attained. Setting yourself up for success makes you more likely to remain motivated to keep working toward your larger goals. Even a goal of “one bite less” can be enough to motivate you to get going in the right direction.

Make Healthy Trade-Outs

Set healthy goals for your diet, starting small by substituting heart-healthy options. For example, trade butter, which is high in saturated fat, for a healthier vegetable oil, such as olive or canola, or incorporate more fiber-rich whole grains by substituting a whole-grain wheat bread for white.

Try a Taper-Off Approach

Another approach, is to tackle a big problem area with gradual steps. For example, if you’re overeating sweets, such as having ice cream every night, start by eating half as much each time, then shift to every other day and then once a week as a small treat; that is more realistic than trying to eliminate it all at once.

Celebrate Successes One Meal at a Time

Celebrate successes, even small ones. A big meal out with friends may bust your calorie budget, but focus on eating healthy for the next meal rather than beating yourself up. A small step backward shouldn’t undo all your steps forward.

You’re planning for lifetime of healthy living, so keep working on your changes even if it takes a while to feel the rewards.

Recent Discussions From The Nutrition & Dining Forum
daveinermo avatar

I thought I would start this thread to talk about magnesium as I see very little about it on this board and there does not seem to be a lot of understanding of the amazing benefits of it. I belong to another AF forum which is UK based and magnesium and other supplements like CoQ10 get quite a bit of attention so thought it worth raising it here.

Before I start I should mention that big pharma has produced several anti-arrhythmic drugs that are completely based on the backbone of what magnesium does for the heart except you can not patent magnesium so therefore there is no huge money in it for them !

I am a massive fan of magnesium. It is responsible for over 300 important biochemical reactions in the body including anything from stopping leg cramps when you sleep (restless leg syndrome) to helping to elevate your mood by ensuring serotonin production is able to occur efficiently to making your heartbeat regular!

Around 90% of people who experience AF or similar heart problems are thought to be magnesium deficient.

I first stumbled across magnesium when in January of this year I started to wonder why I kept being given magnesium IV drips to get my 200 bpm AF under control.

Once I started to do some investigation I found out magnesium is one THE most important nutrients in your body and is critical for maintain an stable heartbeat. Risk factors for depletion of magnesium in the body include alcoholism (tick!), obesity (tick!) and smoking (tick!) so my past history almost guaranteed I was low on magnesium BUT most people are.

I would usually have an AF attack at least once a week and land in hospital at least once every 6-8 weeks.

I started supplementing in January and have not been to hospital in 4 months and have had 2 minor flutters that lasted about 20 minutes. My heartbeat feels stronger and less thready and I have been able to halve my anti-arrhythmic medication since the beginning of April.

An incredible bonus is that the depression I have fought since my early 20's (3 decades ago) has finally lifted and I feel better than I have in years. I thought it would be with me forever after trying several antidepressants with no success - if only I had known about magnesium years ago i could have had a rather different existence.

I could literally go for pages about magnesium but I won't because you may not be interested and there is PLENTY of supporting evidence and clinical studies everywhere on the web. It has very few drugs that it is a problem. The only common one I know of is that if you are taking magnesium you should wait two hours between warfarin and taking magnesium. 

You should of course always check your own medications for contraindications with magnesium - there are many resources on the web that can tell you these just google XXXXX (your drug) and magnesium.

Magnesium citrate is usually the most easily absorbed oral supplement however an even better form of magnesium supplementation is magnesium oil.

This is sprayed onto the skin and instead of having to battle the digestive system it is simply absorbed through the skin and directly into the blood stream.

There are a very limited number of people who maybe sensitive to magnesium supplements and you should always be careful with any kind of supplements of you have kidney disease. 

I would suggest you talk to your healthcare professional. That being said doctors will readily admit a lack of knowledge in the area of supplements because it really is not something covered very well in their years of training.

If you have any questions or want to discuss feel free to reply here - we can all learn from these.

Here are some links re: magnesium and its benefits for the heart

This one talks more broadly about the importance of magnesium and is rather technical but interesting viewing


tennisguy7 avatar

Go figure.  I am 3 weeks post ablation and feeling normally ok with no major issues. However this past tuesday and today i went into afib right after drinking cold OJ and taking my vitamins and eliquis.  I did not think anything of it until today when the same timing occurred. There was no stress precipiating it otherwise.   So I decided to see if there is a relationship between cold foods and afib and found this article in one of the medical databases.   Basically it says that the esophagus abuts nears the left atrium and vagal ganglia and that proximity with cold drinks can trigger afib.  There is other interesting information in the article as well.  

Maybe many of you knew this but it is news to me. So............. I will let my cold drinks warm up slightly before gulping them down and see if this makes a differece.  Has anyone else experienced the same thing?


retiredlcsw avatar

I have been taking magnesium supplements for the past several months to help alleviate PVC's that I have had for many years.  (Diagnosed with Afib 1 1/2 yrs ago.  Had ablation done last April with no episodes of afib since, but  PVC's continued) I was confused about which magnesium supplement to take, so I tried taking Magnesium Taurate for 1 month, then Magnesium Orotate for the next month, and now this month Heart Calm.  I have noticed a slight reduction in PVC's with all 3, but I have had stomach pains with the Heart Calm.  I take them after eating, not on an empty stomach, so that should not be an issue.  Anyone else experience this with Heart Calm?  I did not have this with the other supplements.  I think that the Magnesium Orotate worked the best, but the tablets are HUGE!!!!!!  Any suggestions about your experiences with magnesium supplements would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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