By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer

By now I’m sure most – if not all – of us have heard the terms “results may vary” and “everyone’s body responds differently” when it comes to fitness programs. Different aspects of fitness programs can include workouts (exercises, sets, reps, equipment, volume, etc.), nutrition (calories, macros, food sources, etc.) and cardio (duration, frequency, type, intensity, etc.).

But do you know why results may vary? Do you feel like your body is the one that responds slower, seems to be rebellious and stubborn, plateaus quickly or barely gets moving at all?

Well, I have good news! You can most likely get your metabolism “moving” again by giving it what it wants and needs: a constant stream of adequate healthy nourishment, plenty of energy (calories) and weight bearing workouts or some type of resistance training.


Pending some serious hormonal issues, long-term medical metabolic damage or genetic factors impacting your metabolism (you should consult your doctor if you have concerns about your hormones and/or metabolism), you can “jolt” your metabolism into overdrive with a few simple (not easy, necessarily, but simple) elements you can incorporate into your life on an ongoing basis:

1. Caloric maintenance or surplus Make sure you spend most of your life in a caloric (energy) maintenance or slight surplus. By keeping your calories at maintenance or surplus most of the time, your body will respond much more quickly when you introduce a temporary deficit or leaning out phase.

2. Avoid severe, prolonged crash diets, seep deficits and yo-yo dieting If you diet for too long, reduce your calories too much and do these things too frequently (or if you have in the past) then you will most likely wreak havoc on your metabolism, so much so that your body barely respond to anything. It’s likely not your genetics, or not “having a slow metabolism,” but rather creating a slow metabolism through sever, frequent, prolonged calorie deficits, or yo-yo dieting with severe calorie restrictions followed by a sudden huge swing in the other direction with a caloric surplus.

3. Choose nourishing foods Do you get tired of hearing this? Choosing nourishing foods is a factor that impacts every area of health and fitness, and your metabolism is at the heart of it all because your metabolism is directly impacted by your hormones, and your hormones are directly impacted by the nourishment you receive (or don’t receive) as well as any toxins from overly processed food-like products. What you eat can make a big difference in how well your metabolism operates. And how well or poorly your metabolism operates determines how quickly or slowly your body will respond and how quickly or slowly you’ll see progress.

4. Prioritize weight training and quality muscle Metabolisms thrive in a muscularly dense environment, and – on the flip side – function poorly in an environment with low muscle density and a higher fatty tissue ratio. Even without being overweight or obese, the muscle-to-fat ratio can directly impact metabolic function. So, a person with a high body fat percentage will have a slower metabolism than a person with a low body fat percentage. If someone with a high body fat percentage increases their muscle density and decreases their body fat, their metabolic rate will speed up!

5. Don’t do too much cardio I feel like a hypocrite saying this because I love to run, and I love a good, hard, intense, sweaty stair climbing session also. But I do firmly feel that doing too much cardio, especially if the cardio-to-weight training is higher on the cardio side, it can, over time, end up slowing down your metabolism. This may sound strange, but I can physically feel when my metabolism starts to slow down when I go through months of high-volume running training for an ultramarathon. I not only have very high weekly running mileage and very long, long runs, but I also have to put my weight training on the back-burner and sometimes make only get 2 weight training sessions in per week. I can always tell that “moment” when my body just starts feeling a little softer and like it’s not responding as well when my cardio is at a very high volume as opposed to when I’m not training for a running race and my weight-training is high (5-6 days per week) and cardio is much lower (about 3-4 cardio sessions per week).

Although there may be some exceptions, for the most part there is no such thing as “having a slow metabolism.” We create a slow metabolism through our daily habits and lifestyle choices. The good news is that if we are able to create a slow metabolism, then we can also create a faster metabolism by making different lifestyle choices and creating healthier daily habits.

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Naomi-lighterBIOOne of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.

Go here to find out more about training with the NW Fitness Training Team!