The term metabolism refers to the calories we expend over a day keeping our body functioning. For example keeping our heart beating and lungs breathing. Our metabolism is influenced by a number of factors including: genetics, hormones and our body composition.
There are many pills, foods, supplements and lifestyle changes which claim to speed up metabolism and burn fat such as: drinking green tea, eating more protein, eating spicy foods, taking a sauna, eating at specific times of the day, etc. Unfortunately, most of these claims are unproven. There is no magic formula to remove body fat.
The best way to speed up metabolism and trim away body fat is by making healthy food choices and increasing our regular physical activity. Introducing some resistance training to our exercise routine will increase muscle mass. The more muscle we have the higher our metabolic rate. As we get older we tend to lose muscle and gain more fat which explains why our metabolic rate slows down with age.
On the market there are many gadgets which will measure how many calories we burn whilst we exercise. For some this can be a great motivational tool. The amount we burn depends upon our body size, age and gender. A rough guide would be walking for 20 minutes would burn around 100 calories – depending on the pace.
To conclude: small but important increases to metabolic rate will be gained by improving body composition (increasing muscle and decreasing fat) and by being more physically active.