It’s not unusual for us to blame our weight gain on a slow metabolism. Boosting metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast our body burns calories depends on several things. Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside our bodies to keep us alive and our organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells, and digesting food.

Body size, age, gender, and genes all play a role in the speed of our metabolism. As we get older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle. This explains why our metabolism may slow down as we age. Although we can’t control our age, gender, or genetics there are other ways to improve our metabolism

Here are four ways to boost your metabolism:

  • Vima/ThinkStock

    Spice It Up

    Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate.

  • Pavel Timofeyev/ThinkStock
    Pavel Timofeyev/ThinkStock

    Take A Sip

    If you're a coffee drinker, you probably enjoy the energy and concentration perks. If you drink it in moderation, you may get one of coffee's benefits - a  short-term rise in your metabolic rate.

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    Get Active

    Aerobic exercise may not build big muscles, but it can rev up your metabolism in the hours after a workout. The key is to push yourself. High-intensity exercise delivers a bigger, longer rise in resting metabolic rate. To get the benefits, try a more intense class at the gym or include short bursts of jogging during your regular walk.

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    Smart Snacking

    Eating more often can help you lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.

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