What is metabolism?It can be difficult to understand exactly what "metabolism" is, so let's look at some of the different components.
Resting metabolismEven when you lie completely still, your body needs fuel to function. In simple terms, metabolism is the fuel your body burns to stay alive. This includes the countless processes going on inside your body that we don't even have to think about, such as breathing, blinking, and pumping blood. These functions combine to burn up a considerable amount of kilojoules.
Metabolic rateWhile the basic survival functions are your resting metabolism, the rate of fuel used to carry them out is called your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR determines how quickly you burn off kilojoules.
Using a car engine as an example, if you are alive, your engine is running and you are burning fuel. If the engine idles fast, even while at rest, it burns more fuel. If you press the accelerator (physical activity), you burn fuel at an even higher rate.
The Metabolic afterburnDepending on the nature of any physical activity, it can keep your metabolism ticking over faster afterwards (hence the "afterburn"). In essence, your body will continue to burn a higher rate of fuel, even after your workout is done.
So boosting your metabolism really means to elevate your metabolic rate, and increase the amount of fuel your body uses. There are a number of factors that may play a small role in your metabolic function, such as medication, caffeine, alcohol, temperature, illness, hormones, and diet (such as chillies)