This is a review of the handheld Breezing Metabolism Tracker.
After my recent series on the Biggest Loser 6 year followup study and my deep dive into the world of calculated resting metabolic rates (RMR), I started wondering about my own metabolism.
I had it measured before in 2013 at the Cleveland Clinic with a research grade metabolic cart.
The protocol was similar to the one used in the Biggest Loser Study: they placed me in a dark room, had me lie down, strapped a facemask on me, told me to relax, and instructed me to breath normally for 30 minutes without falling asleep.
They measured the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide I exhaled and calculated my resting metabolic rate which was 1390 cal/day.
According to the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, my predicted RMR was 1770 cal/day, so at the time I had a metabolic adaptation of -380 cal/day, meaning I was burning 380 calories less per day than expected for someone with my height, weight, and age.
As we saw with the Biggest Loser Study, using RMRs calculated from formulas is an inexact science… but it’s fun to explore nonetheless.
There are so many experiments that are floating around in my brain that I’d like to explore, if only there were a convenient and affordable way to measure my metabolism.
Here are just some of the things that would be fun to explore:
- What is the typical daily variation in RMR?
- Is it true that on a ketogenic diet metabolism goes up 10% due to inefficiencies in ketogenesis?
- Can the thermic effect of food actually be measured? And if so, what would be the thermic effect of steak? Donuts?
- Does coffee really elevate metabolism?
- How much does metabolism slow after 2 hours of sitting at work?
- How does that compare to 2 hours of standing at work?
- How many calories do I burn during a BJJ class? Crossfit class?
- How long does this burn last? At 2 hrs? 4 hrs? 24 hrs?
- Is it true resistance training will cause an elevation in metabolism for up to 24 hours whereas normal aerobic training will not?
- Does a carb-up day after a week of ketosis actually elevate metabolism?
- Does cold thermogenesis actually elevate metabolism? Exactly how much cold is needed?
- Can probiotics alter metabolism at all?
- How does my metabolism with differences in how long I sleep?
I’ve explored various options in the past and have found things to be just too cost prohibitive.
The less unwieldy and more affordable KORR Reevue system can be found for $3495 new or $1995 used. I actually seriously considered this machine but then I learned that each breathing tube can only be used once, and they go for $10 a pop, which ultimately pushes this into the too pricey for my blood category..
Also, I don’t think the BJJ Cavewife would’ve have been too happy. She’s very understanding with all the gadgets and gizmos I buy… but when things start to cross the 4 digit mark, eyebrows start getting raised.
I had resigned myself to scheduling appointments at the nearest University for the reasonable price of $75 per test, but this would have really limited what I could test… and also it’s just hard to find time during regular business hours to do something like this.
Finally technology has produced a portable, convenient, consumer grade device that can measure my metabolism. I forget how I discovered this although it probably came about from my random Google and Ebay searches for a “cheap metabolic cart.”
Here is the video on Breezing.com introducing this device:
Looks promising right?
It’s hand held, connects to your smart phone, and simple to use. Everything I’m looking for in a new gadget.
Unfortunately there just aren’t any reviews out there on this device… in fact aside from the website, there wasn’t much out there at all!
The only reviews available are the 11 reviews on Amazon.com giving this a full 5 star rating… which could be from the makers themselves for all I knew, I mean in this day in age not many things get the full 5 star rating if there are enough users.
This seemed a little suspect to me. Either this device was just extremely unheard of and unknown… or it was a scam.
On top of that, the single use replacement cartridges go for almost $5.00 a piece.
After a few weeks of hemming and hawing, I figured what the heck, and ordered it.
What’s in the box?
I was relieved to discover that this definitely wasn’t a scam! There was actually a real-life device packaged in an Apple-esque sleek white box.
Included are the Breezing device, AC adapter, T-tube, 3 mouth pieces, a nose clip, 2 training cartridges, a USB stick, and various papers.
The USB stick contains two PDFs and an instruction video.
I’ve uploaded the PDFs:
Here are the easy to follow instructions:
The steps are:
- Download the app
- Attach the mouthpiece to the T-joint
- Attach the T-joint to the Breezing
- Clip the nose clip to your nose
- Turn on the Breezing
- Connect it to your phone via bluetooth
- Follow the training sequence which takes 3-5 min
- Use an actual sensor cartridge
- Breathe into the mouthpiece
They also include a free 1 month trial to a health tracking service called enquos.
I never got around to signing up for this because all of my info is already logged into an excel spreadsheet and google doc, so I didn’t really see a need. I can imagine how this service would be useful to people who are spreadsheet-phobic, but the $7.95 monthly fee is something to consider, and may price most people out.
Since the the Breezing comes with either 5 sensors, 30 sensors, or 100 sensors, I chose 30 since which felt like the Goldilocks “just right” number. 5 seemed hardly enough and 100 seemed way too many. The sensors themselves come in packs of 5. Each sensor is individually sealed in a black air tight pack with it’s own silica packet. They also included some alcohol swabs which I thought was a nice touch.
The Breezing was charged already so I could use it right away. After I downloaded the app I followed the directions to sync it via Bluetooth, which was almost instantaneous.
The app then prompted me to do a training session which instructed me to clip the nose clip to my nose, attach the mouthpiece to the Breezing, insert the training sensor cartridge, and then breathe into the mouth piece for a few minutes.
I passed with flying colors.
The Breezing then started to make a humming noise. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is a built in fan that automatically turns on after every session to dry the device to prevent accumulation of moisture. Pretty neat!
Next up was to use an actual sensor and measure my metabolism. I knew that I wouldn’t be measuring my actual resting metabolic rate (most protocols require at least 15-20 min of lying still before measuring) because I had already been walking around my house a bit and fussing around with things, but I was so eager to test it out that I didn’t care.
Prior to measuring RMR, the app prompts you to scan the QR code of batch the sensor came in with the camera in my phone. Once this is accomplished, this series of instructions appears:
Once each check box is ticked, the app then displays an animation of a leaf blowing in the wind with some soothing music while you are told to breathe. This whole process takes less than a minute. Sometimes the app will tell you to change your breathing pattern, either faster, slower, deeper, or shallower.
Unfortunately I forgot to save screenshots from my first session but I recorded the data:
RMR: 1280 kcal/day
Energy Source: Fat & carb burn
When I saw this I surprised at how low it was and doubted its accuracy especially since there were a few times during this first session when the app prompted me to breath slower and then later on to breathe more deeply.
I quickly repeated the process and burned through another sensor, this time focusing more on my breathing and this was the result:
RMR: 1520 kcal/day
Energy Source: Fat & carb burn.
I believe the second measurement more since wasn’t chided by the app to adjust my breathing, presumably indicating that my breathing was more optimal. I’m sure I’ll get a better sense as to what my true RMR is as I use this more.
Obviously this is not a scam and is in fact a tangible device.
It’s amazing to have something so portable, affordable, and easy to use at my finger tips. For the initial cost of $349.90 and $5 per sensor I can literally measure my metabolism at the push of a button whenever I feel like it from the comfort of my own home.
I can even bring it with me wherever I go: work, BJJ, Crossfit, etc…
Instead of relying on calculated or estimated metabolic measurements, I can measure them myself!
That list of experiments at the beginning of this post? I plan to explore each and every one. I’m sure new experiments will pop into my head too.
When I get the time, I think I might even schedule a session at the University and do a comparison between what they measure and what the Breezing measures.
I’m excited by the possibilities and can’t wait to do some testing! Keep an eye out for followup Breezing posts.
If you’re interested in trying one out for yourself…
You can order directly from the Breezing store and use discount code: BJJCaveman
This will give you 10 additional sensor cartridges ($49.98 value) with the purchase of the Breezing. All you need to do is add an additional 10-pack of sensors to your cart, check out, and enter BJJCaveman as the discount code.
It’s important that you select a 10 pack, and not two 5 packs for the discount to work properly.
The order page should look something like this: