Have you ever tried going on a diet that worked incredibly well for someone else but did nothing for you?
The fact is that a "healthy" diet can look very different from one person to another. While general guidelines can be helpful, it's still crucial to understand that your metabolism, genetic makeup, and lifestyle can change how your body responds to what you eat.
When it comes to nutrition, there's no one-size-fits-all. Each body responds to different types of diets in unique ways (1).
The key to enhancing your metabolic flexibility (your body's ability to switch between burning fats and carbs) is personalizing your meal plans based on your body's needs.
We turned to our Lumen Metabolic Coaches to better understand the definition of a personalized meal plan, how it works, and how you can leverage this concept to improve your metabolic health and flexibility.
Personalized nutrition, or precision nutrition, considers a person's individual characteristics to formulate targeted nutritional recommendations and then tailors dietary advice to your unique biological makeup (2). Unlike generic diets, it considers your genetics, lifestyle, and even your metabolism to create a plan just for you. Therefore, the best diet for one individual may look very different than the best diet for another.
Your body's response to food, exercise, sleep and stress is deeply personal. For example, your metabolism can influence blood lipid levels, while genetics might determine your blood sugar response.
Because there are significant differences in how people respond to food, personalized nutrition plays a role in closing this gap and providing nutritional advice and coaching that best suits a person's needs (3). These recommendations are based on your body’s current metabolic profile, dietary habits and lifestyle.
Personalized nutrition has many benefits, including
Emerging research suggests that personalized nutrition plans may offer a more effective approach to managing health conditions such as prediabetes.
Additionally, these tailored plans tend to see higher engagement rates, as individuals are more inclined to follow diets that are specifically designed for their unique health needs and preferences.
In this study, the benefits of using Lumen in adults with prediabetes were investigated. Throughout a 12-week program, participants were instructed to incorporate Lumen's metabolic feedback and personalized advice into optimizing their lifestyle, sleeping habits, nutrition, and physical activity (5). By following the Lumen nutrition plan, participants showed improvements in the three metabolic parameters, especially in triglycerides (fat in the blood).
Findings showed that this 12-week program resulted in various benefits, including weight loss and improved blood glucose levels, as well as a reduction in body fat, blood pressure, and waist circumference.
Trying to create a meal plan based on general guidelines without considering your body's requirements, lifestyle, or health goals is like taking a blind shot in the dark.
However, understanding how your body responds to various foods and eating patterns gives you a clearer picture of how to tailor your dietary plan to enhance your metabolism and health.
But with the rise of technology, it's now possible to analyze in-depth individual information and provide advice based on a person's genetics, health condition, dietary intake, metabolic flexibility, and body size and weight (4).
With Lumen, the advanced sensor and flow meter measure the CO2 in your breath, and, using your fat-to-carb burn ratio, creates a personalized nutrition strategy and daily meal recommendations tailored to your unique metabolic state.
Your body’s metabolism, and more specifically - your metabolic flexibility, has been shown to be central to maintaining overall health, supporting healthy body weight, and preventing chronic diseases.
The human body uses one of two processes to create the energy it needs to function: glucose metabolism and fat oxidation, or as they are more famously known: carb and fat burn.
When you eat, your body digests and breaks down the carbs and fats in your food. This digestion results in sugar and fat molecules entering your bloodstream, which elevates your blood sugar and blood fat levels. These molecules serve as essential sources of energy and nutrients for your body's cells. As your cells absorb these molecules, the levels in your blood decrease.
The extent and duration of changes in blood fat and blood sugar levels after eating vary from person to person. This variation is a key aspect of understanding an individual's metabolic health, highlighting the unique ways our bodies respond to different foods.
Other factors, such as when you eat your meals, the order in which you consume them, your level of physical activity, and the quality of your sleep, also play a role in shaping your individual reactions to food and their effects on your overall health in the long run.
You can start by taking this metabolic assessment to find out your metabolic profile, and discover how you can use personalized nutrition to reach your health goals.
Measuring your metabolic state with one breath using the Lumen device identifies whether you're burning fats or carbs at that moment. This biofeedback, combined with data on your lifestyle and health goals, allows Lumen to create a daily, tailored nutrition plan.
Up until today, measuring your metabolic state was only available in a time-consuming lab setting.
With this arsenal of information, Lumen can provide you with personalized meal plans guiding you on what to eat and how much to eat, as well as daily advice on sleep, exercise, and physical activity. While the overall goal of personalized nutrition plans is often to improve these various aspects of your health, many people who follow them also see weight loss.
Beginning your personalized nutrition journey with Lumen is straightforward. Together with your breath measurements with the device, the app guides you through understanding your metabolic profile and crafting a nutrition plan that includes varied carb intake based on your body's needs and goals. Regular progress tracking helps you stay on course and see the impact of your efforts.
Your health journey is uniquely yours, and so should your goals. Lumen doesn't just offer a one-track plan; it allows you to personalize your goals. Whether you're focusing on improving your metabolic health, shedding weight, or boosting your fitness level, Lumen adapts. Even better, you can fluidly switch between these goals as your needs and aspirations evolve.
Every individual has their own dietary needs and preferences. Lumen recognizes this by allowing you to personalize your nutrition plan according to specific lifestyle diets or avoid certain foods. Whether you have allergens or are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, your personalized plan ensures that your dietary restrictions are respected while still meeting your nutritional needs and daily macro intake. The healthy combo meals also accomodate for your preferences making it easier to find suitable meals and leaving the guesswork behind.
Lumen takes personalization a step further by enabling you to control your nutrition strategy. This includes personalized carb cycling, and adjusting your fasting windows. Taking on-demand metabolic readings to determine if you're in a fat-burn or carb-burn state gives you feedback on your body's current state.
Want to skip breakfast or any other meal to accomodate your fasting window? Lumen can calibrate your daily plan accordingly. And if you're aiming for high-energy days in your workout schedule, you can opt for Lumen's carb cycling plan to adjust an optimal carb intake.
Research shows that a smart, personalized carb strategy is one of the best ways to improve your metabolic flexibility. The problem is that knowing the “right” amount of carbs that's good for you can be confusing and frustrating.
Over- or under-consuming carbs may either slow your progress or take you off track completely. As different people can benefit from a different daily carb allowance (depending on age, gender, activity level and goals), Knowing your personal daily carb budget, and how to reach it is crucial for improving metabolic flexibility.
Lumen's personalized nutrition plan includes low, medium, and high-carb days based on your body's needs and your personal goals.
To start, Lumen calculates your daily nutrition plan by taking into account factors such as age, height, weight, gender, activity level, and health goals.
After several days of waking up in fat burn, you will be recommended higher amounts of carbs to help you improve your carb flexibility.
On days when you wake up in carb burn, your plan will recommend lower amounts of carbs to help you reach fat burn.
Carb quality matters too, and not all carbs are created equal. Foods differ in the amounts and types of nutrients they provide and in the rate at which they release glucose into our bodies, affecting our metabolism differently.
A personalized nutrition plan is an excellent beginning, but the real value lies in observing its effects in real-time. Advanced tracking and biofeedback features enable you to monitor the success of your nutrition plan.
As you work towards your health and lifestyle goals, these tools provide concrete, data-driven insights. This approach goes beyond mere calorie or step counting; it involves a deeper understanding of the metabolic transformations in your body and how they correspond with your overall health goals.
Apart from this, Lumen also gives you access to progress monitoring, enabling you to keep tabs on any changes in your body weight, body composition, and other metabolic health markers. This tracking feature is a great way to monitor your progress and achievements along the way, which may help supercharge your drive and motivation to commit to healthy eating habits.
An effective personalized nutrition approach goes beyond a static meal plan. It dynamically adjusts to your daily life, taking into account your metabolic measurements and physical activity.
This means continuously refining your nutrition recommendations to suit your daily needs. Whether it's after an intense workout, on a rest day, or during a routine change, the nutrition plan adapts accordingly, ensuring your body gets exactly what it needs in various situations.
In the journey to optimal health, both personal commitment and community support play crucial roles. That's why our Lumen Facebook group, with over 60,000 members, is an invaluable resource. Here, you can access personalized support from our team of metabolism experts. It's also a welcoming community of fellow members sharing milestones, questions and inspiring accountability to keep going.
To conclude, personalized nutrition differs from generic healthy eating guidelines by considering your individual metabolism and specific dietary requirements to develop a customized nutrition plan just for you.
While each person's reaction to various foods and lifestyle habits is unique, and these reactions can be effective in managing and preventing the likelihood of developing chronic diseases over time.
Furthermore, extensive research indicates that individuals who follow personalized nutrition plans generally make more significant improvements in their diets compared to those who follow broader, more general dietary recommendations.
Ready to discover what your body truly needs? Start by taking our Metabolic Assessment Quiz and embark on a journey to optimal health.
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Our Lumen editorial desk includes an in-house team of certified and registered nutritionists and dietitians, scientists, researchers, and writers.