If you’re starting on your weight loss journey or looking for a new way to lose weight, it can become quickly apparent that there is a sea of different choices out there. And each of these claims to be the ultimate weight loss solution.
Lumen is not a diet plan in the traditional sense of the word. However, in many ways, it is justified in claiming to be different from all other weight loss methods because it utilizes digital technologies in a way that hasn’t been done before. So we’re going to see if the Lumen hype is justified.
If you’re looking for a fuller picture of the device itself, check out our full review here.
What is Lumen?
Lumen is a device that syncs to an app on your phone and that you can use to monitor your metabolic rate. Lumen claims that you can “hack your metabolism” using the device. So how does it work? The Lumen device itself looks similar to a vape pen and is quite simple to use. You need to blow into it a few times a day to monitor your metabolism. You will then get your results on your app. The results tell you that you are mainly burning fats or carbohydrates, which can help you plan your meals and exercise to maximize your fat burn.
The Lumen device works by detecting the CO2 concentration in your breath, and using this is can tell whether your body is metabolizing fats or carbohydrates at that moment. It is the same reasoning behind medical respiratory quotient tests based on solid scientific evidence.
How could tracking my metabolism help me to lose weight?
Many people trying to lose weight will already be taking their metabolism into account. For example, when you calculate what calorie deficit you need to be in to lose weight, you will use your basal metabolic rate (BMR) as part of the calculation. And if you are using calorie counter apps, they will be taking this information into account when working out how many calories you need each day.
Your BMR is how many calories you burn at rest, depending on your age, sex, and size. And it can help to more accurately work out how many calories you need to be taking in each day to lose weight. But what it doesn’t do is tell you what your metabolism is doing in real-time, which is where Lumen can come into its own.
Your body can get energy from two sources: fats or carbohydrates. If you have taken in enough readily available carbohydrates, your body will always use them first because they are a quick and easy form of energy. If you don’t have enough available carbohydrates, then your body will dip into its fat stores to get its energy.
Of course, when we are talking about losing weight, we are losing fat from our bodies. So if you can get your body to a point where it is burning fats instead of carbohydrates, this can help speed up your weight loss. This is the same reasoning behind the keto diet. But the keto diet can be challenging to maintain (and arguably isn’t healthy in the long-term), and ketosis can be hard to measure with urine sticks. And there are going to be times when it will be helpful to have a supply of carbohydrates available, not to mention the nutrients that you can gain from foods with carbohydrates in them.
Lumen offers an elegant solution to an important problem for people attempting to lose weight through burning fat. It can help you to get your body into a fat-burning state without needing to stick to an overly restrictive diet and with a monitoring method that is quick, easy, and convenient.
Will Lumen work for me?
The key to making Lumen work for you is staying consistent. The app will give you a meal plan perfectly tailored to your metabolism when you do your readings. The meal plan is easy to follow for most people, although it may be more difficult if you are cooking for yourself and your family. And it can be easily modified depending on your dietary preferences.
With those two pieces of information readily to hand (the current state of your metabolism and what foods your body needs), Lumen can give you a weight loss plan that you can stick to. It isn’t a crash diet, but it does mean that you will need to commit to taking your readings multiple times over the course of each day if you want to have accurate results. This can be difficult for some people, although the pocket-sized design makes it easy to use on the go.
Apart from the day-to-day logistics, the science behind how Lumen works is sound. The device was created by two sisters (Merav and Michal Mor), who both have PhDs in physiology. Scientific studies have shown that its accuracy is comparable to the “gold standard” metabolic cart used in medical settings for estimating metabolic fuel utilization. So Lumen does do what it says it is going to do. Whether or not that will result in you losing weight will depend on how easy you find the device to work with and whether the meal planning based on the metabolic results works for you.
To wrap up
There is no doubt that Lumen is approaching weight loss in a way that hasn’t been done before. There is no other method currently on the market of tracking whether your body is metabolizing fats or carbohydrates in real-time at home, and this information can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal for your weight loss plan. However, it does require quite a large commitment to tracking your readings, which some people can find quite cumbersome.
On the other hand, it does free you of the need to stick to an overly restrictive diet and instead use your metabolism for cueing what you need to eat. Maybe hacking your metabolism is the future of weight loss,