Wearables have come a long way since the humble pedometer and now they do more than just counting steps. Companies like Lumen, creators of the world’s first hand-held metabolism tracker, are continuing to expand the possibility of using wearables to revolutionize the way we approach nutrition and our overall health.

Developed through years of scientific testing and validation, Lumen is a neat little gadget and app that measures your metabolism in real-time in a single breath. The idea of measuring metabolism through the breath isn’t new – it’s actually been helping world-class athletes reach peak levels of fitness for years. However, this required a person to be placed in a metabolic cart or chamber for up to 60 minutes, and a trained practitioner to analyze the results. Now, thanks to cutting-edge technology, Lumen is making personal, at-home metabolic tracking available outside of research labs for the first time.

How does Lumen work?

Lumen is very simple to use and is designed to slip into your daily routine. You breathe into the device first thing in the morning so it can measure your body’s carbon dioxide concentration. These levels indicate the type of fuel your body is using to produce energy – fat or carbs. High levels of CO2 indicate burning carbs, while lower levels mean your body has turned to burning fat. Lumen then takes these measurements and creates a personalized nutrition plan that tells you what and when to eat based on your needs. The company says it’s like “having a nutritionist in your pocket”.

Where did the idea come from?

Lumen was co-founded by Merav and Michal Mor, twin sisters with PhDs in physiology, who conceived the idea for a personal metabolic tracker as they trained for an Ironman race. Determined to improve their fitness and race times, the scientist sought out a way to track and test their metabolism to achieve peak fitness. Eight years in the making, and on the heels of a successful Indiegogo campaign, they released their groundbreaking device. “While metabolism is key to weight loss, the only way to test metabolism was through a restrictive, hours-long laboratory process, leaving regular people with zero visibility into their metabolic rate and only haphazard ways of improving it,” says Michal Mor. “With Lumen, we are bringing scientifically rigorous insight into personal metabolism for the very first time, allowing anyone at home to measure how efficient their body is at burning calories, but also sharing research-driven recommendations on how they can reach their health and fitness goals faster.”

What are the benefits?

Lumen’s ultimate aim is to help users improve their metabolic flexibility, which is your body’s ability to efficiently switch between using carbs and fats as a fuel source. Over time, Lumen tracks your metabolism, sleep, nutrition, and fitness data to provide a Lumen Flex Score, which reflects your success and helps sustain results.

Why does metabolic flexibility matter?

Studies have shown metabolic flexibility has a profound role in assessing a person’s health. People with good metabolic flexibility find it easier to lose weight and keep it off. It also puts them in a better position to gain muscle and perform more efficiently during workouts. Better still, having a flexible metabolism lowers the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. According to Lumen, one million monthly metabolism measurements have proven that users are able to improve their metabolic flexibility by 66% and lose an average of 1.5 pounds per week on a consistent basis.

Should you invest in Lumen?

You should buy Lumen if you want to understand your metabolism and what you should be eating to achieve your health and fitness goals. The Lumen device is available at lumen.me, currently priced starting at $199 for a 3-month subscription which renews at $19 afterwards. The device comes equipped with a travel case, charging dock, USB-C Cable and Premium Customer Support. Users can download the app for free on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.