Last updated on September 26th, 2023.
Most people blame their lack of weight loss on slow metabolism, so what exactly is metabolism? Metabolism is the process by which your body breaks down whatever you eat or drink into energy. During the process of metabolism, your body combines oxygen and the calories from what you’ve eaten or drank into the energy your body needs to function. The thing with energy is that you don’t need it only when doing complex exercise, but even when your body is at rest. At rest, your body uses energy for bodily functions such as breathing, adjusting hormonal levels, circulating blood, growing and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses to carry out these essential functions is known as basal metabolic rate, what we commonly term “metabolism.”
Understanding metabolism has shed a lot of light regarding weight management and weight loss. Emerging devices give you accurate knowledge of your metabolism and help measure your performance. These devices that you can use to measure metabolism are helpful because you can track your metabolic rate. These devices are easy to use and very accurate.
In simple terms, metabolism is the number of calories your body needs to sustain its weight. To determine metabolism, you need to look at how quickly your body burns calories. Metabolism has many factors that affect it, like height & weight, genetics, sex, age, hormones, lean muscle mass, and cardiovascular exercise. All these factors can make your metabolism fast or slow; this means they will determine how fast or how slow you lose your weight. To meet or maintain your weight goals, you will need to keep these factors in mind together with your diet.
Can you measure metabolism?
Yes, it is possible to measure metabolism. To measure metabolism, you have to determine how much oxygen your body consumes over a specific amount of time. Various factors affect the rate at which your body burns calories; for example, eating in itself increases metabolism because of the thermal effect. The process of chewing, swallowing, and digesting food consumes energy, leading to burning calories. The calories you need to eat, digest, and absorb food are about 10% of your daily caloric needs.
When measuring your metabolism, the calculation you’re using needs to take into account factors like;
- Activity level
All the above factors affect your metabolism rate and hence the number of calories you require daily. Once you’ve calculated your daily caloric needs, you can now use that information to your advantage. For example, if your goal is weight loss, you can decrease the number of calories you consume daily by 200-500 calories.
How do devices measure metabolism?
There are two different ways that recent devices use to determine metabolism. In the past, the only way to measure your metabolism was going to a doctor’s office and getting your bloodwork done. Your doctor can do this by using a basic metabolic panel. This device can measure upto eight different substances in your blood, showing your metabolism and your body’s chemical balance.
But when you have a device, you can measure your metabolism rate at home. There are two common types of technologies used in measuring metabolism. One kind of technology measures Carbon-dioxide levels in your breath, and the other technology works like a scale.
Using the device that measures your carbon-dioxide levels requires you to breathe into it for a few minutes (it can take upto 10 minutes), so it can accurately tell you how many calories you’re burning. When it comes to the scale-like device, you’ll have to weigh yourself on the device then it will show you your weight and BMI (body fat percentage).
How do I know if my metabolism is fast?
If you’ve been exercising or eating differently, you might want specific physical symptoms that will help you know for sure that your metabolism is becoming fast. A fast metabolism results from building lean muscles over time or being keen on your caloric intake. It can be a little difficult to look out for physical symptoms of a fast metabolism, but here are some you can look at;
- Feeling hungry often throughout the day: Even though sweating frequently shows that you’re burning calories, internal factors like feeling hungry often mean that your body is burning lots of calories and needs you to replenish them.
- Feeling hot and sweaty often: If you’re someone that gets hot and sweaty easily even though everyone around is comfortable, it could mean that you have a fast metabolism. When you have quick metabolic reactions in your body, you’ll also have a higher basal temperature.
- Pooping often: If you’re hungry most of the time and have frequent toilet visits, it means your body is working overtime to burn calories. You shouldn’t always take frequent bathroom breaks as a good thing; sometimes it could mean you have problems like irritable bowel syndrome, which isn’t a good condition.
- High energy levels: People with high metabolic rates often experience increased energy levels. You won’t find them needing a pick-me-up coffee break in the afternoon when everyone is getting it.
- Irritability: For some people, high metabolism reflects underlying issues like hypothyroidism. One would also have sleep problems, sweating, anxiety, and bowel problems in such situations. Ensure that you aren’t sick by visiting a doctor.
How do I know if my metabolism is slow?
If you’ve been working hard at the gym and not seeing results quickly, it could not be your fault but rather your metabolism. People with fast metabolism often eat whatever they want and still not gain weight, but when your metabolism is slow, you have to work overtime to reduce or maintain it. Here are some symptoms of slow metabolism;
- Weight gain: If you’ve been working hard at the gym and eating right and you still gain weight, it could be because of your slow metabolism. The other reason for this could be an underlying issue of hypothyroidism. Ensure you see a doctor to clear out that probability.
- Hard time losing weight: When you have a slow metabolism, it gets hard to lose weight even when counting your calories and exercising.
- Fatigue: When your body is burning calories at a slow pace, it will lead to you feeling tired most of the time.
- Dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails: With slow metabolism comes inactive cells, which means your skin doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood losing its luster. Your nails also turn brittle because your body isn’t absorbing as many nutrients as it needs. A slow metabolism can also prevent your hair from growing or regenerating.
3 Devices that Measure Metabolism on the Market Today
The most common way that people know to measure metabolism is by visiting the doctor and getting some bloodwork done. But recently, there have been improvements in technology that allow you to understand your metabolic rate in real-time in the comfort of your own home.
Lumen is a handheld device you can use at home to determine your metabolism rate. By measuring your breath, Lumen will inform you whether you’re burning fat or carbs, then give you dietary recommendations according to your goals or results. If your goal is weight loss, understanding what fuel your body is currently using will quickly help you reach your goals.
To measure your metabolism, Lumen requires you to breathe into the device. It then calculates the carbon-dioxide levels in your breath. The device gives a score of your carbohydrate or fat-burning levels with each breath. With time, you will also get a score of your metabolism flexibility.
The device also comes with a user-friendly app that learns your metabolism based on the algorithm and comes up with a meal plan. These meal plans include calories you need to consume during the day in terms of carbohydrates and proteins. It also recommends overnight fasts to increase your body’s ability to burn fat as you sleep.
Check out the Lumen Metabolism Device Review in that article!
LEVL collects information on your body’s fat-burning performance. The data it collects helps you know if you’re losing muscle weight, fat, or water. This device comes in two versions, one for professional use and another for home use. If you’re looking into a ketogenic diet, this device is the perfect match for you.
Like Lumen, LEVL measures your breath, but the difference is that it measures acetone levels. This genius technology helps you know when your body is burning fat, which is always the goal of weight loss. When your body is in ketosis, it uses fat to produce energy and produces acetone which can be measured in your breath.
If you want to up your acetone levels, you have to maintain your body’s state of ketosis for seven days. The idea behind this metabolism device is to help you monitor your acetone levels and how your diet affects them. By doing this, the device can help you know when you’re burning fat and how much of it you’re burning.
3. Fitbit Aria 2
Fitbit Aria 2 is more than just a scale. It not only measures your weight but also helps you monitor your metabolism. You can easily track your weight from this scale in your Fitbit app. The most outstanding feature is allowing eight users, and you can use it with your entire family.
By stepping on this scale, you will know your weight and BMI. It calculates your BMI by taking your body fat percentage and dividing it by your total body mass. The weight (or scale) sends bio-electrical signals through your body to measure your body fat. It helps you track lean mass, body fat percentage, and BMI. Even though it can do all this; the downside is that it can’t provide you with the real-time conditions of your metabolism.
Everyone is either trying to maintain weight, lose it, or gain it. Tracking your metabolism is the easiest way to achieve your weight goal. Understanding the different types of Metabolism is key too. The above devices can help you track your metabolism so you know which way to go to achieve your goal. Unlike in the past, you don’t need to go to the doctor’s office to know your metabolism rates. The above devices are convenient because you can have them in your home and keep measuring your metabolism throughout the day or week. This way, you don’t have to make trips to your doctor’s office, but rather do it at home and get on with your weight goals.