If you want to upgrade your metabolic health, it makes sense to track it. Tracking metabolic health:
1) Reveals how your body is functioning
They say ignorance is bliss, but not here. Up to 88% of U.S. adults have some form of metabolic dysfunction.[*] To live a long and healthy life, you don't want poor metabolic health sneaking up on you.
The good news? With the help of devices, wearables, and the Carb Manager app, you can easily incorporate tracking into your daily routine.
It's more simple than you think. This article will explain.
What Is Metabolic Health?
Metabolic health relates to how your body uses energy. For instance, your metabolic health determines how you partition fat, carbs, and protein after eating.
One aspect of metabolic health, metabolic flexibility, denotes your ability to oscillate between burning fat and burning carbs. The metabolically flexible person can eat a carb-containing meal, go to sleep, and be a fat-burning machine again by morning.
Sound desirable? You can increase metabolic flexibility by:
- Avoiding refined sugar
- Trying a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet
- Sleeping well
- Fasting intermittently
- Managing stress and mental health
The pillars of health, in other words.
Why Track Metabolic Health?
Tracking metabolic health is like regularly inspecting your car. You catch problems before they become serious.
If you notice your blood sugar ticking up, you can make behavioral adjustments to bring it down. Nobody develops type 2 diabetes overnight.
But even if you haven't caught it early, tracking becomes even more critical. If you have metabolic syndrome or diabetes, managing your metabolic health means reducing your risk of organ damage, blood vessel damage, and most chronic diseases.[*]
So what should you track? Keep reading.
Metabolic Health Biomarkers
We've discussed metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes as metabolic problems to avoid. But what, exactly, are we avoiding?
To have metabolic syndrome, you must display three of the following five criteria:[*]
- Fasting blood sugar 100 mg/dL or greater
- Elevated waist circumference (this marker isn't standardized)
- Triglycerides 150 mg/dL or higher
- Blood pressure 130/85 mmHg or higher
- HDL-C below 40 mg/dL (men) or 50 mg/dL (women)
So blood sugar, waist circumference (or body weight), triglycerides, blood pressure, and HDL are the primary clinical markers. Other markers related to metabolic health include:
- Ketones (elevated ketones indicate fat-burning)
- Exercise performance
- Fasting insulin levels
- Energy levels and cravings between meals
- Mental clarity
- Ability to lose weight
- Various metabolites to measure fat burning (see the Lumen device)
Speaking of devices, let's nerd out on a few.
Measuring Metabolic Health
There are many ways to measure metabolic health, and most don't require a doctor visit. Let's discuss further.
Wearables are now ubiquitous. These devices track sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, exercise performance, daily steps, and other metrics directly or indirectly related to metabolic health.
#2: Glucose and ketone meters
To most accurately track metabolic health, consider tracking your blood glucose. Fasting blood glucose below 85 mg/dl seems optimal for reducing diabetes risk[*], though anything below 100 mg/dl avoids the metabolic syndrome criterion.
Most drugstores carry basic glucose meters, but these devices won't tabulate and analyze the data for you. You'll have to make a spreadsheet. (Fun times!)
Or you can use a device that makes life easy. For instance, the Keto Mojo Meter accurately measures glucose and ketones from one drop of blood. Plus, it stores and displays the data so you don't have to spend Sunday afternoon hunched over your laptop.
The Biosense breath ketone meter is also worth mentioning. By measuring breath acetone levels, the Biosense meter tracks your fat-burning capacity.
Then there's Lumen, a revolutionary device that tells you how much fat (vs. carbs) you're burning by measuring carbon dioxide on your breath. Pretty cool.
Some metabolic biomarkers—triglycerides, HDL, insulin—are only available through traditional lab work. Either get a script from your doc or use an online lab (DirectLabs, Ulta Labs, etc.) to buy these tests without the hassle.
Tracking Metabolic Health With Carb Manager
Wouldn't it be nice to track all your metabolic data in one place? To not juggle an army of apps, spreadsheets, and scribbles in your journal?
Carb Manager is here for you. The Premium version integrates with your favorite devices—Fitbit, Keto Mojo, etc.—so you can stay in command of your metabolic future.
And tracking metabolic data is just the beginning. Once you collect the data, Carb Manager helps motivate the necessary behaviors to shift your metabolism in the right direction.
Downloading Carb Manager is like jamming the world's most knowledgeable health coach into your pocket. It doesn't just track your health data but motivates, educates, and inspires you to achieve your health goals.
Carb Manager can help you:
- Track macros and limit carbs to better manage blood sugar levels.
- Stay accountable to a daily exercise routine.
- Track your sleep. (Did you know that good sleep helps you burn more fat?)[*]
- Adopt an intermittent fasting routine that works for your body
- Lose fat and gain muscle
- And much more
Of course, no wearable or app will improve your metabolic health for you. (That part is up to you.) But when you enlist the help of modern technology, you'll find that success comes easier.
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