If you want to upgrade your metabolic health, it makes sense to track it. Tracking metabolic health:
1) Reveals how your body is functioning
2) Motivates diet and lifestyle changes
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.
There are many markers of metabolic health, but blood sugar (blood glucose) levels are probably the most clinically relevant. High blood sugar levels—before or after eating—mark diabetes risk.
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)
What about type 2 diabetes? That's when HbA1c (a marker of average blood glucose) exceeds 6.4%, and fasting blood glucose exceeds 125 mg/dL.[*]
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.
Apple Watch, Garmin, and Fitbit are three of the most trusted names in wearables. These devices integrate with Carb Manager so you can track your wellness journey in one place.
#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.
(Note: Keto Mojo and Biosense integrate with Carb Manager.)
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.
You can also record body weight, insulin, HbA1c, triglycerides, and other metrics that your wearables don't track. Again, everything in one place.
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.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. Carb Manager may earn a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links.
MirthfulAvocado208004 5 months ago
I have been searching since I started with Carb Manager a place to log my sleep. Where does a person log their sleep?
StupendousKetone934153 a month ago
My FitBit tracks my sleep
AmazingKale485654 4 months ago
If you go into the Goals tab and click on Lifestyle, sleep is one of the things that you can track. If you have a wearable activity device that tracks your sleep, it will automatically enter it for you when you have it linked to Carb Manager.
Marlene E 6 months ago
How do you figure out what your total calorie intake should be for the day
TxPurl 4 months ago
I did an internet search for BMI calorie calculator. Found Calculator .net. Take out the space. Select calorie calculator and input your information to maintain whatever you want as your goal weight. For instance, if I want to maintain a goal wt of 130, with light exercise, I need abt 1600 kcal per day.
MarvellousCauliflower411814 6 months ago
I can not figure out how I track my food on CM
UnbelievableAvocado892125 6 months ago
Where do we log our sleep????