Technology

How hacking your metabolism can help you burn fat and prevent disease

A portable device called Lumen promises to enable your body to burn fats more efficiently, part of a new trend for “metabolism hacking” – which may even help you run for longer, have better skin and reduce the risk of conditions like diabetes



Health



4 October 2022

Spencer Wilson

MY FAMILY holidays in France are synonymous with one thing: bread. But this year, as everyone else sits down to their croissants and baguettes, my plate is bare. Before even my first sip of coffee, I have to take a long, slow inhalation through a handheld device resembling a sleek electronic cigarette, hold my breath for 10 seconds, then exhale through the mouthpiece. Instantly, an app on my phone delivers the verdict as a score from 1 to 5. Today, it is a 1, and I am elated. For the first time in weeks, I have woken up in “fat-burn mode”. I have taken my first steps to hacking my metabolism.

Usually, I would be the first to roll my eyes at any gizmo associated with weight loss and healthy eating. You don’t need an app to tell you which foods are good or bad. Or do you? Evidence has been mounting that suggests the one-size-fits-all advice on nutrition is drastically failing us, and that we have been thinking about metabolism – the chemical reactions in your cells that change food into energy – all wrong. Against this backdrop, many new technologies are hitting the market, claiming to reveal what your metabolism is doing as you go about your day – and giving tips on how to improve it. Make the right tweaks and you could find it easier to manage your weight, ward off disease, sleep better, and more. I wanted to understand how much of a difference such changes could make and whether ignoring the new science might be leading me to metabolic meltdown.

Dietary advice used to be straightforward: …

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