When things sound too good to be true, they often are. But, studies have found that you can use breathing techniques to burn fat and lose weight. Today we’re taking a look at the methods and learning about the science.
Huge claims that say you can large amounts of weight through breathing alone aren’t real. But, there is scientific proof that breathing can help weight loss and burn fat! Researchers at Hampton Univ. found that yoga’s deep breathing exercises alter the brain’s metabolic activity and lower BMI. Breathing deeply helps more oxygen enter your system. That, in turn, helps you digest food fully and moves things through your system more rapidly.
Other studies have found that deep breathing can help your body flush out hormones that cause your body to go into “fight or flight” mode and that breathing from your diaphragm increases your resting metabolic rate. So, deep breathing lowers stress and lowers incidents of stress eating and cravings. Deep breathing also has the benefit of reducing your heart rate and blood pressure and can aid sleep!
Breathing through your mouth often leads to shallower breathing. That, in turn, can lead to lower oxygen levels, higher stress levels and poor sleep quality. All those factors can add up to weight gain. Try, whenever possible, to breathe through your nose. Periodically take a moment and check how you usually breathe. If you find that you habitually breathe through your mouth, practicing nose breathing can make it become a habit and lead to taking deeper breaths naturally.
Different types of breathing have also been linked to lower appetite. For instance, one study found that people who did an exercise where they held their breath for three seconds while tightening their stomach muscles felt less hungry on an empty stomach. Another found that 10 minutes of slow breathing could lower hunger in women. And a study that used yoga with 33 minutes of breathing found that participants were less hungry and had higher levels of leptin — a hormone that makes you feel full.
There are many different breathing exercises to explore, and you can read about some of them here. It’s important to remember to speak to your doctor before making large changes to your health routine. It might seem silly to say that about breathing. However, if you have COPD, asthma or other breathing issues, your doctor may have advice about the best breathing practices for you. Your doctor may be excited to hear you’re interested in learning more about breathing better and may have resources or may want to discuss some health risks changes may pose.