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Blood Sugar, Metabolism and Weight Loss

By Jill Corleone

Many people struggling to lose weight blame a slow metabolism. While your metabolism helps you burn calories, in most cases a slow metabolism is likely not making your weight loss efforts difficult, according to NHS Choices. If you're concerned about your weight and its effect on blood sugar, following a healthy diet with regular exercise helps you lose weight, improve blood sugar levels and boost metabolism. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

Eat Right

You don't need to eat any special food or follow a complicated diet to lose weight and manage blood sugar. In fact, the same healthy diet recommended for everyone can help you gain control over your weight and blood sugar. This is a nutrient-rich diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins such as poultry, fish or beans, and lowfat dairy.

Control Carbs and Calories

If you're trying to control blood sugar and lose weight, you need to pay close attention to calorie and carb intake. Your calorie needs for weight loss depend on age, gender, body size and activity. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says most women can lose weight limiting intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, and men and women who weigh more or exercise regularly can shed pounds eating 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. For carb control, the American Diabetes Association suggests 45 to 60 grams of carbs at each meal -- 15 grams of carbs equals one slice of bread, 1 cup of milk or a small piece of fresh fruit.

Drink Water for a Boost

While there's not a whole lot you can do with your diet to increase metabolism, drinking more water may help a little. A 2003 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism investigated the effects of drinking water on energy expenditure in a small group of men and women. The researchers found that drinking 6 cups of water a day may help you burn an extra 200 calories. This was a small study, however, and more research may be necessary to investigate the effects of water intake on metabolism. Water makes a good drink choice on your diet plan, however.

Exercise, Metabolism and Blood Sugar

You don't have a lot of control over your metabolism, but making exercise a regular part of your routine can help you burn more calories and, as a bonus, aid in blood sugar control. Aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming, helps you burn the most calories. Aim for 30 minutes, five days a week. Muscle burns more calories than fat, says NHS Choices. Build muscle with strength-training exercises such as weight lifting, bouts of high-intensity aerobic exercise or heavy yard work and gardening. Work out most major muscle groups, including legs, hips, back, abs, arms, shoulders and chest, to build muscles evenly.

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