In layman's terms, the metabolism is simply a barometer for stress. Stress can come in many forms such as emotional stress like anxiety and worrying, but also physical stress like over exercising and extreme dieting. Not to mention environmental forms of stress like added nitrates in food and even pollutants from the vehicles that we drive.
The headquarters of the metabolism can be found in the brain. Specifically at the hypothalamus. It is here, where the brain sends out signals to the body based on the amount of stress it is currently under. Some of these signals include low energy, sporadic hunger, cravings, trouble sleeping and change in mood. All of these signals can serve as a dialect to us as long as we are capable of interpreting them.
AKA: If we can get to the root cause of why our body is sending these signals to us in the first place, then we get rid of the source of the problem completely.
In fitness, you may be familiar with these signals. Ever go on a diet only to feel like crap a couple of days/weeks in and then end up going on a pizza binge at the end because of the signals mentioned above? Extreme dieting is a form of stress on the metabolism and when you push hard on the metabolism it will push back hard if not harder on you. Contrary to what most people think, the metabolism works more like a pendulum or barometer as opposed to a calculator (think calories in vs calories out).
In order to avoid these aggravating symptoms and signs, we must be able to create hormonal balance when we are trying to improve our health and fitness. This means having energy, consistent hunger, few cravings, and great sleep to name a few signs. We do this by becoming an active listener and by not gravitating towards extremes. Whether that be in fitness or nutrition.
The body is incredibly smart. Sometimes too smart. Learning how to decipher what it is telling us is one key towards gaining progress in your health and fitness.