If you like to use your iOS or Android mobile, or Apple Watch as part of your health and fitness journey, you might value all the data they can offer. While that can include ways to track calories burned and consumed there hasn’t been an easy way to do metabolic testing at home outside of expensive tests at clinics. Now a breakthrough handheld device called Lumen is making metabolic testing available to anyone and lets you know how to achieve optimal athletic performance, lose weight, build lean muscle, and more with a personalized nutrition plan. Better yet, Lumen has a great iOS app with Apple Health integration.
So in this article, we’ll see what’s Lumen and review it which can help you decide if you should buy or not.
What’s Lumen Metabolism
Lumen is a home use, hand held device. It uses your breath to tell you if you’re burning fat or carbs. According to your goal and your results, it then gives you dietary recommendations.
A big element of training or weight loss, is understanding what kind of fuel your body is using up. By understanding if you are burning carbs or fat, you can reach your goals faster.
Lumen’s goal is to help you “hack” your metabolism so that you’re capable of “metabolic flexibility”—meaning your body can efficiently shift between using carbs and fats as fuel—which is a result of time-restricted eating like intermittent fasting, exercising, and “macronutrient manipulation,” or the process of altering the amount of protein, carbs, and fat you consume. This flexibility can improve your insulin sensitivity, which will help your body effectively burn fat more. It will also make your blood glucose levels more consistent, resulting in more energy and less cravings, and help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system.
Lumen is priced at US$349 and does not require a subscription or cartridges
How Lumen Metabolism Works
Lumen works by measuring Carbon Dioxide levels from your breath and analyzes your metabolism. It has a user friendly app that guides you along the way. With each breath you are given a score on your fat or carbohydrate burning levels. Overtime, you are given a score of your metabolism flexibility.
You can learn more that here are some of the core benefits of metabolic flexibility.
Prior to Lumen, this information about your metabolism required professional testing. Lumen has provided an option to bring this technology home, in the palm of your hand. Unlocking the secret to your metabolism lays in your breath.
The app’s algorithm learns your metabolism and gives you a calibrated meal plan. Your meal plan provides you with the number of carbs and protein you need to consume for the day, according to your body’s needs. If your goal is weight loss, the app also recommends overnight fasts to get your body into fat burning mode.
Lumen really is like having a “nutritionist in your pocket”. It gives you the power to “hack your metabolism” as they put it.
How to Use Lumen
The device is generally easy to use, though it’s sometimes difficult to get an accurate reading. The app (Android or iPhone) instructs you to inhale through the device until a colored ring pictured on the screen expands to meet the outer circle. If you go even a fraction of a second too long, you have to try again.
After holding your breath for 10 seconds, you exhale through the device until the ring on the screen disappears. You have to keep your exhaling steady, to keep an additional onscreen ball in the middle of a bar (as pictured in the screenshot above). This is less prone to error, though you’ll again have to start over if you blow out with too much force. The whole process is tough. I got so frustrated a few times that I had to set it down and take a break.
Once you succeed at breathing through the device two to three times this way, the app gives you a score of 1 to 5, which tells you if you’re burning mostly fat (1-2) or mostly carbs (4-5); level 3 means you’re in the middle.
You need to use the Lumen everyday for at least a month to get your flex score (a big commitment), because it’s determined by your daily morning measurements and measurements after high-carb meals. The score ranges from 0 to 21, and I got a 6.7, which means I have low flexibility. Basically, I have some work to do, which isn’t surprising. Eating and living healthy is a new journey for me, but after using it for six weeks, I do feel equipped to continue eating right.
Like having a personal nutritionist, it’s very easy to understand nutritional advice. And the biggest benefit of Lumen is that it offers live actionable data based on personalized goals while remaining super convenient to use. Lumen changes all that with the ability to analyze your metabolism in a few minutes with a few breaths in a form-factor that’s easy to carry with you anywhere.
On the other hand, Lumen is quite expensive, and the food log feature feels missing in the app. Additionally, it integrates step counts from Google Fit; but we would like to see more metrics like sleep quality and detailed workouts integrated as well. This will help better visualise how the meal plans influenced those results as well. The company recently partnered with Garmin to integrate more health data; and we hope that the same will be available soon for Wear OS, Fitbit and Apple Watch users too.
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