How you breathe, affects your weight.

Ever wondered what happens to the fat you 'burn'? You blow most of it out your nose.


Breathe it off. Pic: I Yunmai.

I’m not talking sneezing. I am talking breathing and the magic of our lungs. They do so much and one of their roles is as a weight regulating system.

When we burn off fat, we exhale most of it through our nose. This isn’t to say we can sit on our butts and simply breath – a lot – to get rid of fat.

In a study in the British Medical Journal, researchers investigated where the fat goes when we lose weight. And it turns out, we don’t burn it off, we breathe it out. They found that fats are broken down into carbon dioxide and we breathe it out!

Fat loss takes place in line with our metabolic rate.

If it’s lower and sluggish due to inactivity and poor breathing our fat metabolism is sluggish.

However, when it’s naturally higher due to physical exercise (aerobic) and correct breathing (nasal), we exhale the broken down fat. It is literally in the carbon dioxide we breathe out.

Carbon dioxide (Co2) is absolutely required in our blood to help ‘push’ oxygen into our cells. It is essentially the catalyst. However, when we exhale, we blow off any excess carbon dioxide (Co2). The Co2 our bodies no longer need. This also contains the fat our bodies have burned off.

However fat cannot be burned without oxygen.

When we breathe inefficiently, less oxygen will reach the cells, which can be viewed as closing the door slightly to our fat reserves, and a greater proportion of carbohydrates than normal (sugars) 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 then get sugar cravings.” Anders Olsson, Conscious Breathing.

The nose knows.

It turns out LSD has got a lot going for it! This is breathing parlance. Light, Slow, Deep – when at rest.

Light means breathing so you can’t hear your breath. Slow means taking approx. 6 breaths per minute. And Deep, means breathing into the lower lobes of your lungs.

This is all achieved easily when you breathe in and out through your nose, not your mouth. Your nose is intimately connected to the lower lobes of your lungs where the gas exchanges take place. It is the healthiest and most efficient way to breathe. Your mouth is connected to your chest and little air filters down to the lower lobes.

Breathing through your nose will enhance your metabolism’s fat burning capabilities. And you will then exhale it.

Nasal breathing filters and humidifies the air we breathe down to a micro-level. It also releases the wonder molecule Nitric Oxide (No) into our respiratory system.  No has been shown to increase oxygen exchange efficiency and increases blood oxygen uptake by 18%, whilst improving the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen

I’ll sleep whilst I’m alive, thanks.

Finally, breathing through our nose provides far more restorative sleep. We hold onto weight as part of our stress response. Nasal breathing regulates our stress response and as a result, we’re able to restore and recover more effectively.

We simply cannot lose weight or maintain a weight balance if allowed restorative time and especially restorative sleep.