Breathing and fatburning
Would you like to increase your fat loss but don’t know how? Do you keep trying to lose weight but fail again and again? Maybe you’ve tried various diets and actually lost weight, but put it back on again when the motivation floundered, or you got fed up with the diet. Is it possible to lose weight by improving your breathing habits? Yes it is!
Weight loss advice generally doesn’t include improving your breathing habits, although it’s a simple yet often overlooked way to both increase fat metabolism and improve digestion and thereby lose weight. When we understand how our body works and give it what it wants, weight loss doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Over breathing can lead to overweight
Many of us have a respiratory rate twice as fast as is should be, or even more, which can be likened to eating twice as many meals as you need; i.e. double breakfasts, lunches and dinners. By putting yourself on an “air diet,” i.e. slowing down your breathing rate and breathing less, you reset the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide, which will improve your digestion and speed up your fat metabolism.
Fat cannot be burned without oxygen
To produce energy your body uses two main types of fuel: fat and carbohydrates (sugar/glucose). Your fat reserves are approximately 50 times larger, or even more, than your sugar-reserves and they contain nearly unlimited amounts of energy. Oxygen must be present in your cells for fat to be broken down at all.
When we breathe inefficiently, less oxygen will reach the cells, which can be viewed as if we are closing the door slightly to our fat reserves, and a greater proportion of carbohydrates than normal will be used to produce energy. The relatively small amount of carbohydrates stored will be used up faster than planned, and that is when we get sugar cravings.
Poor breathing and sugar cravings
You may recognise having an afternoon energy dip where you tend to try to resolve the problem by eating cookies and sweets, drinking tea or coffee, or downing sodas and energy drinks. When we improve our breathing habits and thereby increase our ability to burn fat, we also reduce the need to refill with simple carbohydrates and other stimulating foods like coffee, sodas and energy drinks to keep our energy up during the day.
Many of the simple carbohydrates we eat when we are low on energy creates an acidic environment in our body. For example, sugar creates a favorable breeding ground for bacteria found in your mouth. The waste from these bacteria is acidic, i.e., at a low pH level, which corrodes the teeth. Your body’s innate response to acid-producing food and drinks is to increase respiration in order to eliminate more carbon dioxide, which increases pH, in an attempt to restore the pH level in your blood. The risk of establishing poor breathing habits arises and can easily end in a vicious circle.
Next time you crave sugar or feel low on energy, try to focus on your breathing pattern and make it low, slow and rhythmic. The easiest way to achieve this low, slow and rhythmic breathing is by prolonging your exhalation and only breathe through your nose. You can also try drinking water, as increasing your hydration levels can help stave off cravings. Yet another tip is to take a short walk since light gives us energy. I suggest that you also apply conscious breathing during the walk.