The first element of metabolism is muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Beyond that, it’s a matter of calories consumed vs. calories burned. If you cut back your calories too much, you will lose muscle mass and slow down your metabolism, so I’d suggest always lean towards burning more calories rather than cutting back on calories consumed.
If you look at Olympic athletes in most sporting events, they are incredibly lean and eat a high volume of calories; some athletes up to 10,000 calories a day or more. They aren’t lean from restricting calories. They are lean from a high activity level. What activity, sport, or exercise do you enjoy? You can burn calories and become lean while performing an activity you enjoy! For example, I practice martial arts, and the more I practice, the better my skills become, and I burn extra calories. I never dieted during my mixed martial arts career. I would simply train more to make weight if needed. Emmitt Smith, the famed running back for the Dallas Cowboys football team in the NFL, was well known for eating fast food in large quantities and still being extraordinarily muscular and lean. He was also well known for being a workhorse. The most dominant swimmer in recorded history, Michael Phelps consumed 10,000 calories a day and maintained a lean physique through hours of swimming in the pool.
As far as skill goes, the more you do, the better your skills become, and this is great for calorie burning. Suppose you like riding a bike, hop on that thing and ride as much as you can. If you like basketball, get out on the court and play as many games as you can. I spent years doing kickboxing and jiu-jitsu every day, it was fun, and it kept me in shape.
Stay tuned for my next post! I will talk about manipulating calories to add muscle or lose fat.