(1) A physiological outcome measure means results are based on measurements related to anything to do with bodily systems or physical measurements, rather than being assessed via self-reporting questionnaires or observations by a third party.
(2) A relative measurement means it only has significance in relation to something else.
When the five HRM measurements have been collected, they are entered into the Health Results software or app and a current score is calculated. Rather than receiving a score of just one figure, the score you receive is a range of plus or minus 10. This allows for variables such as: time of day, how relaxed you were when taking your blood pressure, or if you were bloated while doing your waist to height measurement.
So, for example, if your score was 45, then your range is 35 to 55.
As you make dietary and lifestyle changes, the aim is to keep steadily improving your range by scoring higher up the scale.
Scoring system created by leading doctors with a special interest in metabolic health.
A breakdown of the scoring system follows. There are further guides on how to take these measurements in our other Health Results handbooks.
NOTE for people with T1 Diabetes:
So, you know how we score your metabolic health and we know your HRM score can be improved. But what is exactly is metabolic health and metabolic syndrome and why do they matter?
Metabolic health is a phrase used a lot in medical circles today, relating to how most chronic illnesses we face in Great Britain (including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, strokes, obesity, and more) can all, in part, be related to the release of too much insulin.
This modern onslaught of insulin is mainly caused by the food choices we make, our stress levels, and lifestyle.
“Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and obesity.
It puts you at greater risk of getting coronary heart disease, stroke and other conditions that affect the blood vessels.
On their own, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity can damage your blood vessels, but having all 3 together is particularly dangerous.
Metabolic syndrome may be diagnosed if you have 3 or more of the following:
As you will discover throughout our website, we believe insulin resistance is the root cause of most chronic illness and consequently you could simply interchange ‘metabolic syndrome’, with ‘insulin resistance syndrome’.
What is the meaning of ‘syndrome’? A syndrome is simply an occurrence of factors that occur together more often than by chance alone.
Insulin’s key role is to regulate blood sugar levels. Let us start with a flowchart of equations:
Looking at the above equation, it’s logical to conclude that type 2 diabetes is in fact the intolerance of too much processed foods, sugar, and carbohydrates.
When we want to improve our metabolic health, lose weight, or even reverse type 2 diabetes, individual authors, experts, and doctors all offer varying advice on how many CARBS we should consume each day.
Some will say 70g
Some will say 100g
Some will advise very specific amounts such as 73g
But the reality is: the body doesn’t actually need any CARBS at all!
Put simply, the fewer processed foods and CARBS we eat, the quicker we both lose weight and regain our metabolic health.
Once we reach our ideal weight, if we want to add the occasional apple or banana again, then we can go for it. If we start gradually eating too many CARBS (known as CARB creep)and our weight starts to increase again, we simply need to take notice, and cut them down again.
It really is as straightforward as that.
Well, straightforward in principle, but of course sometimes harder to execute.
And that’s why we are here to support you at Health Results.
First, let’s take a look at what metabolism means.
Metabolism is the process of converting food and drink into energy and unlocking nutrition. As humans, we are designed to eat a certain diet: the evolution of our species hasn’t yet progressed to consume the manufactured and lab-created stuff that we all too often put into our body. We were designed to eat free-roaming animals and ‘in season’, naturally growing plants (collectively known as real food). It’s that simple. After all, fresh plants and wild animals were the only food available to our ancestors.
As we eat food, our body digests each meal and breaks each macronutrient down into a smaller component. For example: fat is actually made up of fatty acids; the smallest component of proteins is amino acids (the good stuff that builds muscles); and CARBS simply become sugar.
The body processes different nutrients in a particular order, based on how easy the task is. Alcohol is absorbed very quickly around a quarter of what we drink can be transferred into the bloodstream and hit the brain in less than one minute! Next come CARBS, which easily break down into sugar, followed by the conversion of protein into amino acids. Fats are left until last, as it is quite a complex task for our body to break them down into fatty acids.
Let’s park that for a moment and get a basic understanding of insulin.
Your standard granulated sugar is actually two sugars in one.
But there is a problem with both sugars when over-consumed.
Let’s just focus on glucose for now.
There’s approximately 5 litres of blood circulating round your body, but it can only suspend around 1 teaspoon of glucose.
Any more than this and it is detrimental to health.
Eat a 12” Subway and the bread will turn into around 15 teaspoons of sugar. Drink a can of Coke and the body has to quickly deal with 7 teaspoons of sugar.
The body now needs to rapidly either burn it for energy or dispose of it.
At this point, glucose levels are too high, causing the pancreas to release a hormone known as insulin that binds to the liver and muscle cells, signalling for them to remove glucose from the bloodstream and store it as insoluble glycogen in your liver and muscles. Glucose is soluble within the bloodstream, made up of a single glucose unit, whereas glycogen is the stored form of glucose, made up of several glucose units. The problem is that, depending on our build, the liver and muscle stores combined only hold around 300–500g of glycogen: in terms of calories this equates to just 1200-2000, after which all excess glucose becomes stored as body fat (also known as adipose tissue).
Conversely, when our blood sugar levels are too low, the pancreas releases a hormone known as glucagon that breaks down insoluble glycogen into soluble glucose, releasing glucose into our bloodstream for use as energy. When it breaks down glycogen in a muscle that itself needs energy, it uses it as its own fuel.
Glucagon Sometimes referred to as the slender hormone, works in opposition to insulin. The two of them need to work in partnership to ensure the right amount of glucose is in the blood.
Glucose Soluble form of sugar within the bloodstream.
Glycogen Stored form of sugar in both the liver and muscles, made up of several glucose molecules
The trouble is, when we continually have high levels of insulin over a prolonged period, cells eventually become insulin resistant. It’s a bit like being in a noisy office – we notice the distraction at first, but eventually we just block it out. For those who eat too frequently, and who consume lots of CARBS, the end result might be hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar level) or hyperinsulinemia (high amounts of insulin in the blood).
This is what often causes type 2 diabetes; when overconsumption of CARBS(3) leads to the cells shutting up shop and not letting insulin do its job. Incidentally, type 1 diabetes is rarer and is a very different medical condition, known as an autoimmune disease. For those suffering with type 1, the body isn’t able to generate sufficient or any insulin to transport sugars out of the blood, and therefore most sufferers have to inject themselves with insulin.
(3) CARBS stands for 'Carbs Are Really Bad Sugars'.
The medical profession once regarded type 2 diabetes as a chronic, progressive, and irreversible disease. Nowadays, thousands of people in Great Britain are putting their type 2 diabetes into remission by learning more about metabolic health and taking the necessary steps to correct it.
Before we start chastising insulin, we should remember that the hormone is only doing the job Nature designed it to do! When we are eating healthily, rather than seeing it as a prison officer escorting a villain to the fat cells, we should view insulin as an usher in a church, accompanying energy to each and every seat.
Insulin is one of the most critical hormones in the metabolism of food, and our cells are unable to process glucose without it. As long as we don’t consume too much sugar, ultra-processed foods, and refined CARBS, our insulin system functions perfectly, just as it has for more than two million years.
There are other causes of insulin resistance too, such as stress, lack of sleep and a sedentary lifestyle. You will find our 'Insulin Resistance Tree' appear several times on this website, as we believe it conveys the message well.
At Health Results we believe we should not submit to chronic illness. Some say that most of the modern diseases that finish us off are because we are simply living longer (though even the fact that we are living longer is not true). Others say ‘we have to die of something’. While, of course, they are right: wouldn’t you rather - just like the centenarians in places like Ikaria and Okinawa, die just of old age?
To live longer and healthier we have to prioritise our metabolic health. Another way of looking at this is how we can improve our inner health.
There is no single test that can tell us exactly what state our inner health is in.
Health Results has brought together a range of scientifically established inner health tests. These include:
The Health Results Metabolic (HRM) Score uses all these measurements to calculate an overall inner health score out of 100.
We recommend you download and read our resource all about your HRM score here, to find out more.
Waist to height ratio
Triglycerides : HDL-C
T1D HbA1c to eAG
Fasting glucose and T2Diabetes