How Fast Is Your Metabolism?
When discussing Weight Loss, we eventually need to dive into the mysterious world of metabolism. A quick definition of metabolism is that it is the ability of your body to convert the food you eat into usable energy. However, when dieters use the term metabolism, they're usually refering to the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is something completely different - it is the number of calories your body would use if it did nothing but stay in bed for the next 24 hours.
There are a number of ways to estimate what your BMR is, and they are all estimates as your metabolism is individual to you and has as much to do with your height, percent muscle, weight, gender, and past eating habits as it does your lineage. To learn more about your own body, you can use Calorie-Count's BMI calculator, Allowance calculator, and Expenditure calculator.
Metabolism can be changed, but I do want to warn against the use of diet pills. Those pills that DO work (Such as the drug Ephedra) are dangerous and can lead to long-lasting issues that will definitely interfere with your ability to live healthfully. Luckily, most pills DON'T work.
If you're looking to truly speed up your metabolism and increase your BMR, the healthiest and easiest way to do so are aerobic exercise and weight lifting. Depending on the intensity of your aerobic exercise, you can speed up your body's metabolic rate for many hours even after you have finished exercising. Also, muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will naturally burn over the day.