I saw an interesting Jill Coleman email about having a "leveraged" metabolism. She describes it as when your nutrition, exercise, sleep, recovery are all pushed to the limits with deprivation and stress. It's low calories, lots of cardio, strong hunger and cravings. Your efforts are extreme, but you're doing all that just to maintain or gain. One wrong move and the whole thing crumbles. It's miserable and exhausting, hormones are wrecked, fear and obsession run high. Ugh, been there lived that. The thing is, it's fixable. You can go from being in that state to having a healthy, flexible, resilient metabolism, one where you can take weeks off exercise, or eat nothing but tasty vacation food, and nothing much happens.
I find that conversation interesting because I've experienced it. Being well rested and well fed makes a world of difference. Of course, she's talking about all of this to sell her time-efficient, strength-focused workouts, which I'll pass on, thanks! I like to make up my own short strength and flexibility workouts and only do them when I feel like it. But that emphasis on being strong, feeling great, eating enough, and recovering properly really changed my mindset and metabolism for the better compared to "eat less, move more" dieter schemes.
I did daily workout for years. Now, I find it fun to do nothing for days at a time, which is oddly more effective. I have real enthusiasm when I do workout, and plenty of energy to push myself. When I was in that daily grind and just checking exercise off my to-do list, I don't think I was getting as much out of it.