I Tried Lumen, An App That Measures My Metabolism, And It Changed My Life Forever (A Review)
I’m a firm believer that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that the two go hand in hand. Right now, I’m in the process of moving, starting a new job, and taking the next step in my relationship with my partner; I can feel this stress having an effect on my body. I wake up tired and don’t feel like I’m giving myself the fuel I need. I don’t feel healthy and happy in my body right now, especially because I haven’t been able to take care of myself like I should.
When I was given the chance to try Lumen, I perked up at the idea of being able to listen to my body with the help of an app. Specifically, Lumen is a device that uses a single breath to help you hack your metabolism, lose weight, and optimize your workouts. It does this by allowing you to see if your body is burning carbs or fats. Yet, unlike a fitness tracker, this platform actually tells you what its data means, how your body is being affected by the choices you make on a daily basis, and it even gives you advice on how to improve. It’s like having a nutritionist at your fingertips.
Though I’m not looking to lose weight, I am looking to eat better and exercise more. Even though I try to work out as much as possible, the exercises I’m doing never feel productive enough, and the food I eat doesn’t seem to make me feel stronger or healthier. This is mainly due to my hectic schedule, which makes it hard for me to be healthy and stay active. Yes, I clearly need help.
Is Lumen truly the life hack I need to understand my body better? For one week, I gave the tool a try. Here’s what I found out, and how it affected me.
Using the device.
As someone who already has a million things in her bag (I like to come prepared, okay?), I was happy to discover that the Lumen device is lightweight — you can easily throw it in your bag or slip it in your pocket. It’s also discreet, with a sleek, modern black design. To let you know it’s working, the front of the device has a purple logo that lights up. I actually found the color quite soothing and truly enjoyed watching the device turn on when my brain was waking up in the morning.
Fortunately for me (not a morning person), using Lumen is easy to incorporate into my brief morning routine. All you have to do is turn on the device, open your app — it immediately shows inspiring tips and quotes, which make me feel more motivated already — and follow the instructions on breathing a single breath into the designated opening (this makes you feel like you’re in the future). Lumen then uses its artificial intelligence engine to calculate the concentration of gases in your breath, which will tell you what cells are being burned for fuel. No doctors, charts, or complicated tests needed!
Once Lumen shows the source from which your body is producing its energy, it will then give you customized advice on how best to address your results with the food you eat and when you eat it. For instance, one morning I had a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast and after breathing into the Lumen device, it alerted me to the fact that I had a lot of carbs in my system. To combat this, Lumen recommended that I eat less carbs and more protein for lunch — it specifically suggested that I eat a mushroom and spinach omelet with sliced vegetables and two slices of whole bread with cream cheese spread, which gave me the energy I needed to run to the post office (it’s several blocks away and super hot here in L.A.) during the rest of my lunch break.
You can even take pictures of your meals, upload them, and have Lumen’s nutritionist tell you how many carbs you’re consuming (the app also has a top-notch search bar for this). Plus, before you exercise, this technology can tell you if you have enough energy to work out, or if you need to fuel up before you head to the gym. There was one day when I definitely needed the fruit it recommended before heading to a TRX class (and yes, it was intense) — I now make it a habit to eat a banana or some blueberries before I grab my leggings and go.
My favorite part about using the device was being able to eat the foods I like — and to see how they’re affecting me as my day goes on.
Results after one week.
Using the real-time results Lumen gave me, I was reminded to stop stressing and to start listening to my body. In the midst of a stressful time, this is exactly what I need right now. The best part is that I didn’t have to do any of the work — Lumen gave me my personalized step-by-step plan, and all I had to do was take a single breath. Genius.
Even though I only used Lumen for a week, it feels as though I accrued years of valuable knowledge. I learned about how my body produces energy using the food that I eat, and also learned that I definitely didn’t have enough energy before my workouts. Yikes. No wonder I wanted to run home for a nap instead of heading to my workout class. Fortunately, Lumen pointed out what I needed to do to improve. Getting even more specific, this technology helped me get in touch with my body, even though I have a crazy busy schedule. Giving me a lesson in Biology 101, I was reminded of how my body works (and how it works best). For instance, I learned the difference between low, medium, and high carb meals. And also figured out what foods my body likes to have throughout the day. (By far, my favorite recommended meal was squash stuffed with parsley, garlic, feta cheese, and almonds. It was super easy to prep, but delicious!)
Lumen also encouraged me to look at all areas of my health, including my sleep schedule. I haven’t been sleeping well lately and that definitely contributed to me feeling unhealthy. With Lumen, I got a wake-up call, because it prompted me to see how my sleep was making me feel less motivated to eat healthy and exercise. Having your body’s information in the palm of your hand really is a game-changer, since it allows you to actually track your goals and progress.
By the end of my week using Lumen, I felt better — both physically and mentally. Using my personalized meal plan, I gained enough energy to exercise, which in turn improved my mental health. When you have a hectic schedule, it’s honestly such a relief to get some help in this department. On my own, I tend to resort to fast food, microwaveable meals, and quick snacks that leave me feeling sluggish and tired. Of course, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s the belief that it’s better for us to deprive ourselves of the food we love. Lumen helped me address both the former and latter, by reminding me that my body craves healthy carbs and fats because that’s what it needs to function. Quick, light meals don’t always cut it — and neither does depriving ourselves of what our bodies want to eat.
Though it doesn’t take long to use, Lumen still allowed me to take the time to care for myself. (Sometimes, all you need is a little push.) It was a reminder that my body matters, and that taking care of my body allows me to function better. I felt motivated to sleep more, exercise, and eat the right food with this technology in my pocket. After a week of doing so, I was able to think clearly and was able to handle the stress in my life without feeling like a nervous breakdown was coming on. Plus, I learned to make some seriously yummy meals! I can now make a tofu red curry like a pro.
While I’ve always felt that mental health and physical health are equally important, I don’t always act on this feeling. Fortunately, there is technology out there that can help us follow through, making our health a priority as it makes our lives easier.