Photo by karlyukav @ Freepik
Imagine, if you will, living in a world where you could hack your metabolism and thereby lose weight by blowing into a tube each morning. And wouldn’t it be the cat’s meow if there also exists an app to go with that party favor which will inform you what foods that you should actually eat for the day.
Wow, that sounds like some kind of wonderful doesn’t it?
If you are suffering from obesity and believe this fairytale fantasy, let me tell you all about the puppies, rainbows, and unicorns that I have for sell out in my backyard. Just give me an advance notice of your intent to buy in order for my yard gnomes to have the time to gather them up for your viewing pleasure.
Surely none of you reading this are this gullible, but apparently the folks at Lumen believe that you are…
You Cannot Hack Your Way to Permanent Weight Loss!
I get the feeling of being miserable with aching joints, acid reflux, and all the other malaise which comes from obesity – I have been obese too. By carrying too much body fat, our knees and other joints will hurt, and it can be difficult to walk only three blocks without getting a bit winded. Face it, despite the fact that there are many among us who will not admit to being physically and mentally miserable as a result of their obesity, many of these same folks will turn around and try to hack their way to weight loss with devices such as Lumen.
First, if you want to permanently lose weight in a healthy manner, you first need to Understand Yourself as I recently wrote. You need to understand what drove you to obesity in the first place, and then begin to work on those problems along with your weight. No device, nor hack, will cause you to lose your weight permanently no matter what the folks at Lumen say in their clever advertisements. It isn’t happening!
The folks at Lumen tell us;
” Lumen is the world’s first hand-held, portable device to accurately measure metabolism. Once available only to top athletes, in hospitals and clinics, metabolic testing is now available to everyone”.
When we are obese, we might hear or comment on metabolism, and how slow ours must be compared to others who can eat all they desire. If you are one of these people, ask yourself if you truly know anything about metabolism and what it means and how it affects us each individually.
Metabolism is the process by which the body changes food and drink into energy. During this process, calories in food and drinks mix with oxygen to make the energy the body needs.
Even at rest, a body needs energy for all it does. This includes breathing, sending blood through the body, keeping hormone levels even, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories a body at rest uses to do these things is known as basal metabolic rate, also called basal metabolism. (1)
Now I must ask; exactly how do you know that your metabolism is slow, and that skinny person at school or work has a high metabolism? The truth is, you do not know the answer to either. The common knowledge of whose metabolism is slow or fast, is often just a personal assumption.
Assumptions are Insulting.
If you were to randomly meet me on the street, you might assume that because of my build and body shape, I must have a high metabolism. However, what you would not see is how I measure, weigh, and track every bite that I consume each and every day. You would also not see the hours spent in my home gym with cardiovascular and strength training exercises. But I digress…
From the Lumen Web Site
Lumen measures the C02 levels in your breath to interpret your metabolism by understanding if your body is using carbs or fats for fuel.
Lumen provides you with a daily measurement of your source of energy: fats or carbs on a scale of 1 to 5, based on your RER. Lumen then uses these measurements to provide you with a flex score, showing you how flexible your metabolism is. The measurement is a comprehensive evaluation of your metabolism initially based on 4-8 weeks of measurements and other tracked metabolic factors to determine your flexibility. (2)
Based on this metabolic data, Lumen will provide a daily personalized nutrition plan, as well as other actionable insights on your sleep, workouts, and meal timing. Lumen tracks your sleep, nutrition and exercise in order to provide you with a score that reflects how healthy your metabolism is. (2)
First let me say, there may be a negligible amount of truth to the statements made by Lumen. However, unless you are a professional bodybuilder, or an elite level athlete, this nonsense is not going to help you. This is akin to an Olympic swimmer shaving their body and wearing a really light and slick swimsuit in order to shave fractions of a second off of their competitive times.
“Lumen is not about banning foods”.
“All food has nutrition, and training your body to process the food you eat more efficiently will lead to a healthier you. Unlike restrictive diets such as Atkins, Paleo, or Keto, Lumen doesn’t focus on removing nutrients such as carbs which are essential for your health”.
You might want to blame a medical condition for slow metabolism and weight gain. But rarely does a medical condition slow metabolism enough to cause a lot of weight gain. Conditions that can cause weight gain include Cushing syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism. These conditions are uncommon and you need a doctors diagnosis to know for sure if you have one of them. (1)
There are several factors which can affect your weight. Of course we can blame our genes and hormones. However, your weight is really dependent on diet and lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. But the bottom line is, we all gain weight when we consume more calories than we burn.
Just forget about trying to hack your metabolism with Lumen. None of us can control our age, gender, or genetics, but there are ways to improve our metabolism.
You can build more muscle through strength training. The resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. After a session of strength training, muscles are activated all over your body, raising your average daily metabolic rate.
Cardiovascular exercise will not build big muscles, but it can rev up your metabolism. The key to good fat burning is that you really do not have to push yourself too hard. Your best fat burn comes when you are exercising just enough to cause your breath to be labored to point where you are breathing heavier, but can still carry on a conversation although it will be labored.
Keep your body well hydrated. Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four.
Snack smartly. Eating more often can actually help you lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism can slow down between meals. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours can help keep your metabolism a little higher, so you can burn a few more calories over the course of a day. The key to smart snacking is to only snack on high nutrition, low calorie foods instead of cookies, ice cream, and other high calorie low nutrition foods.
Eat more protein! Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does when you eat fat or carbohydrates. You need to balance your diet by replacing simple carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
Avoid hacks, devices, and fad diets! Fad diets that have you eating fewer than 1,200 (if you’re a woman) or 1,800 (if you’re a man) calories a day – are bad for anyone hoping to quicken their metabolism. Hacks, devices, and fad diets might help you in dropping pounds – however this kind of nonsense almost always come at the expense of good nutrition and health. Hacks, devices, and fad diets can cause you to lose lean muscle mass, which only serves to slow down your metabolism. The final result will always be that your body will burn fewer calories and gain weight faster than before.
Lumen sells packages that range in price from $249 to $349 US. Save your money and be more intelligent than to believe this is going to work for you.
Sure, you might lose some weight initially, however it is unlikely that you will be using this device for the rest of your life. What Lumen is not going to do for you is teach you the role of proper nutrition and how to keep your weight off. Lumen is also not going to address the true, deep, inner feelings that play a huge role in how you use and eat food. If you use highly palatable foods with low nutrition and high caloric content to comfort yourself, you will remain obese until these issues are addressed. Again, Lumen is not going to do this for you.
Here are two comments that I found on the Lumen Facebook page:
Lucie Calisto: Horrible service, useless device and bullshit, I have had to take 2 and sometimes 3 breaths of 2breaths each , or 6 breathing in and 3 exhale to see contradictory results……requested an explanation….was given nonsense. Returning the device and am angry that I need to pay return costs.
Be smart with your nutrition. Don’t be dumb with your money.