Have you seen the Lumen Metabolism Tracker and thought it might be something that would come in handy with your weight loss journey? Do you have an extra $300 US to burn on useless gimmicks that promise to help you optimize your metabolism for fat burning? If you are like most people during this age of the Covid-19 pandemic, you probably don’t.
Scientifically, I am sure this gimmick works as advertised. However…
this is not going to get you to your goals in weight loss!
Yes, you can control your metabolism to a small degree by losing weight and gaining lean muscle mass. You do have some control over your metabolism by making small lifestyle changes by watching what, and how much you eat and exercise. But unless you are doing these things this tracker is NOT going to help you change your metabolism. Additionally, you need to know that any changes you do make to your metabolism are not going to be huge, and the changes will not be enough to allow you to consume as much food as you might desire.
I maintain a very lean body through my nutrition, hard work, and regular exercise that includes 8 hours of strength training and about 3 hours of cardiovascular training each week. You might think just by looking at me that I have a high metabolism, but what you cannot see is the fact I actually do not have a high metabolism. I consume an average of 2,270 calories a day to maintain my current level of body fat and weight. If I increase this by 500 calories per day, I will gain fat on 2,770 calories per day. I know this with absolute certainty simply because I have tried to increase my caloric intake to see what happens. For someone with a very physical job, and who exercises religiously, I have a low metabolism that I cannot manipulate to any great, long lasting degree.
Let me tell you a simple and blunt truth. If you are struggling with your weight and appetite, knowing what your body is burning for energy is not going to help you in any way, shape or form. If you are not struggling with your weight or appetite, this information is not even going to be relevant to you. You have to be willing to make permanent lifestyle choices in order to take off those extra pounds and to be successful at keeping them off. You do not need any gimmicky devices to do this. In order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit, meaning that you either must reduce your caloric intake below your total daily energy expenditure or increase your total daily energy expenditure through physical activity.
No matter your body type, the number of calories you need just for your body to function is called your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. If you know your BMR, you can better determine your caloric needs for healthy weight loss.
You burn most of your daily calories with zero effort, movement, or even thinking. Whether you’re sleeping, talking on the phone, working at a keyboard, or simply watching TV, your body is burning calories to keep your organs functioning such as your heart pumping and your lungs breathing. The calories used to maintain these basic bodily functions add up to your BMR.
BMR is one of many factors in the total number of calories you burn in a given day, also called your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It accounts for roughly 65 to 70 percent of your TDEE, which is determined by genetics, biological sex, age, body size, and lean body mass. While many people blame a slow metabolism (they mean BMR) on weight gain, it’s actually true that increases in body size result in an increase in BMR. The bigger you are, the more calories you are going to need to maintain your weight. The thing is, this is true no matter if you are morbidly obese or muscle bound with little fat. The process to lose body fat is the same for the morbidly obese as it is for one who is just a little over weight. Both individuals will need to reduce their daily caloric intake by 500 in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. This can be done by reducing your food intake, or through exercise, or a combination of these two factors.
At rest, a pound of fat burns roughly two calories per day and a pound of muscle burns roughly six calories, however there are a few things you must realize about this. One of the things people do not consider about metabolism is how active a person is, even when they are at rest affects how much they can consume. Fidgety people are constantly moving their body in some manner. Some people are constantly moving during the day, while some are perfectly capable of sitting still while relaxing. The point is, unless you are naturally fidgety, or one to be moving all the time, odds are, you will not become that type of individual just because it will help you to increase your metabolism in order to keep the pounds off of your body. Trying to boost your metabolism probably won’t lead to weight loss, at least not to the degree that changing your diet and lifestyle habits will.
How much you weigh depends on the choices you make about food and how much physical activity you get.
To lose weight, focus on the factors you can control.
- Calories. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. There are several ways to reduce the number of calories you eat, including reducing portion sizes; eliminating added sugars and saturated and trans fats. Begin choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats instead of processed foods for your daily nutrition. And keep in mind that as you age, you may need to eat even fewer calories. This is because the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease as you get older. Your muscle mass affects how many calories you need because muscle tissue burns calories, even at rest. So having less muscle decreases your calorie needs by decreasing your basal metabolic rate, while having more muscle increases your calorie needs by increasing your basal metabolic rate.
- Activity. Exercise helps you burn calories, and build and maintain muscle mass. Any physical activity is better than none. Start slow, and gradually work your way up to incorporating both aerobic exercise and strength training into your routine.