I found I could up my metabolism without gaining weight (but also not losing… which is my eventual goal) by feeding my cravings… and stopping when satisfied – but eating REAL food, not processed, packaged junk.
I went from 97F on a daily basis to 98.6F consistently by indulging my love of salt and fat… by eating cheese. :)
I also stopped getting low-fat anything. I go for whole cream, full-fat yogurt (I like Nancy’s yogurt… just whole milk and cultures, no gums, gelatin or other ‘stuff’) and real cheese. I also try to eat at least one avocado a week, and cook with coconut, olive oil and REAL butter.
I found eating real food and loading up on things like bell peppers (dipped in real sour cream!) fed both my cravings and raised my metabolism.
I also find eating junk food (cheetos is one of my favorites) makes me want to eat more junk food… so I think there is something in the processed foods which is addictive in nature.
So – feed yourself all the real food you want, and I think you’ll find yourself feeling even better, and satisfied without adding fat to the frame, too.
One thing I found very helpful is a complete shift in my relationship with food. I FEED myself good stuff to make myself healthy. I don’t restrict anything, I never feel guilty about eating anything, especially things like chocolate cake (I let myself ENJOY it!!)… what I do now understand, is NOT eating is denying my body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
As for your other questions – I think you’ll have to answer a lot of those for yourself. Every body is unique and will react to different scenarios differently… so run experiments on yourself and find out what works for YOU.
Good luck on your journey!!