Metabolism refers to the millions of chemical processes that go on in the body. It is the process of breaking down and building up different organic substances in the body.
Basic Metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the amount to energy (calories) your body uses per day to power basic body functions like breathing, blood circulation, digestion and absorption of nutrients etc.
BMR is determined by your height, weight, age, gender, body composition and genes.
The Total amount of energy (Calories) your body burns per day, depends on a number of factors.
Primarily your BMR and your activity level.
Can you really boost metabolism?
As you age, your body metabolism slows down. This may be due to the normal aging process, change in hormones and due to the fact that you get less physically active.
It is quite possible to reverse this process and boost the rate at which you burn calories.
A “good metabolism” is a good health goal to shoot for.
A long term strategy that incorporates a healthy diet, exercise and certain habits can help boost your metabolism naturally over a long time into your 40s, 50s and 60s.
The strategies listed below would help you kick start your metabolism.
What foods boost metabolism
Certain foods can have been shown to have a positive effect on your metabolism.
Protein boost metabolic rate by 15–30%
This study shows that proteins increase metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats. 
Proteins take a longer time to digest and therefore use up more energy. This is called the Thermogenic effect of food (TEF).
In another study, humans consuming a legume-rich diet for eight weeks experienced beneficial changes in metabolism and lost 1.5 times more weight than the control group. 
High fiber diets
Brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa are good sources of fiber.
Fiber increases the bulk of food, thereby increasing digestion time and satiety. This is important if you want to raise your metabolism
A Food & Nutrition Research study revealed that eating a high fiber diet makes your body work hard during digestion. 
They also contribute to gut health. Dietary fibers such as resistant starch and soluble fiber are abundant in Legumes. The body uses them to feed the good bacteria living in your intestines. 
Natural foods unlike their highly processed counter-part take longer to digest. Therefore, are excellent for boosting metabolism.
Many leafy greens provide good amounts of magnesium, a mineral that supports metabolic function and plays a role in over 300 processes in the body. 
Make sure a vegetable is part of your meal and eat fruit in the raw form.S
Add Spicy foods to your meals
Chilli peppers contain caspaiscin an compound that has been found to increase metabolism.
A 2015 study reports that eating capsaicin boosts metabolic rate modestly. 
Ginger and garlic also have metabolism boosting effects.
Dissolving 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help you burn up to 43 more calories than drinking hot water alone. 
Healthy fats and coconut oil
Metabolic health is not complete without adding healthy fats to the mix.
When to eat to boost metabolism
Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal in a day. It is quite true for a number of reasons. Eating breakfast may give you an advantage by providing energy to do more activity during the day.
Hard boiled eggs are a good breakfast choice.
Eat more Frequently throughout the day
I know this may sound counter intuitive. How can you lose weight by eating more?
Already stored energy is used during digestion to digest incoming food. Therefore, the more you eat the more calories you’ll likely burn.
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll throw away all good practice. You still have to ensure you eat healthy and maintain a caloric deficit, especially if you want to maintain or lose weight.
Simple ways to boost metabolism naturally
There are certain habits that would give you an advantage if you can find a way to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Drink water more often
Water often raises your metabolism for a while after drinking.
Drinking water doesn’t take any effort. You can set reminders on your phone to help you drink more water
Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour. 
Stand more and sit less
Sitting has been dubbed the new smoking. It has been found that people who sit for too long drop their metabolism over time. So, get more action.
Alternate some of your work time with standing sessions. Take a break every 30 minutes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do mini sprints in your house.
Any form of movement would do.
This helps boost the basal metabolic rate of the body. In sub-temperatures, the body raises the body metabolism so as to keep the body warm.
An amazing new study published in the journal Diabetes showed that, staying under an AC can help burn through “bad” fat stores. 
Get More Relaxed
Stress can have a negative effect on the body.
Stress makes your body feel threatened and forces your body to hold on to fat.
According to research published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the body starts to metabolize food more slowly during stress. 
Genuine laughter may cause a 10–20 percent increase in basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. That means a 10-15 minute giggle fest could burn up 40 to 170 calories. 
The most effective way to make sure you get the best out of your day is to get a good night sleep.
If you don’t sleep enough and go through the day feeling groggy. Your body tries to compensate by slowing down its processes and you don’t function optimally.
Exercises to increase metabolism naturally
A strategic plan to boost your metabolism would not be complete if you don’t include exercise. However, there are certain kinds of exercises that are more effective.
Strength training exercises
Strength training can help you build strength and promote muscle growth, which can raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or how many calories your body burns at rest. 
Muscles are highly metabolic. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism.
Ladies are also more prone to slowing metabolism than men. This is because of lower amount of muscles. This is why men have an easier time losing fat.
You can also do body weight exercises like push ups and squats to build muscle.
High Intensity Interval Exercises
This is a version of cardio exercise that requires you to do your workout at maximum intensity.
Performing HIIT helped people burn up to 30% more calories than other types of exercise, such as cycling or jogging, in the same amount of time. 
You don’t have to work out for 30 minutes like in a steady state workout. 15 minutes is enough 3 times a week.
Boosting your metabolism naturally is possible, but you have to structure your diet and daily activities to work in your favour.
As you climb up in years you body will need to make these adjustments so that losing fat will not be so much of a challenge for you.
Which of these strategies do you love the most?