Lose weight by breathing… Really!

Repeated inhaling and exhaling during physical activity results in weight loss, reveals study.


News Desk December 17, 2014

To shed those extra kilos, all you have to do is breathe in and breathe out more during exercise or brisk walking, new research has revealed.

“Our calculations show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat,” the researchers said, noting that more than 80 per cent of body fat can be exhaled away, reported IANS.

Excess carbohydrate or protein in the diet is converted to triglyceride, which consists of just three kinds of atoms  — carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Shedding unwanted fat requires unlocking the atoms in triglyceride molecules by a process known as oxidation, the researchers explained.

“Losing weight requires unlocking the carbon stored in fat cells, thus reinforcing that often heard refrain of ‘eat less, move more,” said researchers Ruben Meerman and Andrew Brown from University of New South Wales in Australia.



They discovered that when 10 kg of fat are fully oxidised, 8.4 kg departs via lungs as carbon dioxide. The remaining 1.6 kg becomes water.

Their analysis showed that the inhaled oxygen required for this metabolic process weighs nearly three times more than the fat being ‘lost’.

The study that appeared in the British Medical Journal proved that to completely oxidise 10 kg of human fat, 29 kg of oxygen must be inhaled producing a total of 28 kg of carbon dioxide and 11 kg of water.

“Keeping the weight off simply requires that you put less back in by eating than you have exhaled by breathing,” the authors explained.

Oxygen is a highly flammable substance that speeds up chemical reactions, reported Daily Mail. In the body, oxygen thins the blood which helps lower the blood pressure and speed up blood flow. This increases your metabolism and burns more calories. The more oxygen you have in your blood the faster your metabolism will be. You burn fewer calories sitting in a stuffy room versus sitting outside in the fresh air. Cool air causes an additional increase in your metabolic rate because you need to expend more energy to keep the body at a comfortable temperature.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2014.

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