Is the easy way to lose weight just to breathe?
Today something landed in my inbox which is a bit out of the ordinary. It’s a new technique to lose weight called Breathslim. Not that new techniques to lose weight are out of the ordinary, they seem to come along every other day– but weight loss by breathing! Well, it certainly got my attention and I decided to take a closer look at it. I haven’t been able to find any research to support it – only testimonials – so I haveabsolutely no idea if it works. My instinct is that it doesn’t. But who am I to say when I don’t actually know? So I did a bit of a skulk around the Internet and found to my surprise – that this isn’t a new weight loss technique at all – only the Breathslim product is new. There’s a whole slew of weight loss breathing programs out there. Deep breathing and its benefits have a very long tradition in Eastern Medicine and yoga.
The basic premise for weight loss breathing is that oxygen increases the rate at which body fat is burned. Well, there is some truth in this – but I doubt if weight loss happens in the absence of exercise. I do know that in order to burn fat when you exercise, you have to be exercising in what is called the aerobic zone. That’s when you are exercising to the stage where your breathing becomes just a little bit difficult but plenty of oxygen is still being taken in and delivered to your cells. If you exercise in the anaerobic zone, where you get your heart rate up high and where you are huffing and puffing, oxygen is not being delivered efficiently to the cells and you create lactic acid. This gets recycled to fuel the muscle in the absence of oxygen. And you will not burn fat but you will gain cardiovascular fitness. (Which is a good thing).
Breathslim is a breathing device which increases the amount of oxygen to cells and helps you to lose weight.
It uses what they call ‘metered aerodynamic resistance’; meaning it feels like blowing to a balloon – that won’t inflate. The reasoning for how this increases oxygen is not all that clear “the air in your lungs is conditioned to a higher pressure than normal which in turn increases the oxygen in your blood”. Well make of that what you will – sounds a bit dubious to me. At least that particular explanation of it. It might be that the device trains you how breathe deeply and slowly and ultimately increases lung capacity.
In my efforts to find out if this might actually work, I searched out some weight loss breathing forums. Forums are where you will find anecdotal evidence for what ever you want to know about. And in the absence of actual research – it’s better than nothing. So what did I find? Some people swear by the breathing weight loss method. There are actually people out there who for no money whatsoever are prepared to say it works. And there are caveats to it too. Lurking around the Oxycise forum for example – one person said that it didn’t work if she ate like a piggy; another said it worked but she hated it because it was sooooo boring… I have to wonder if there is a placebo effect – placebo can work wonders actually and that’s why it’s important to get some real research behind such claims to determine if they actually work.
I guess the least you could say about Breathslim, Oxycise, Optimal Breathing Weight Loss Program – or any one of the many other variations is that there’s no horrible side effects as can come with weight loss supplements. People who are looking for easy weight loss can be put in harms way when taking weight loss supplements, and that bothers me a lot. The other thing of course is being parted from your hard earned money on things that don’t work. Speaking of being parted from my hard earned money, I’m currently trialing African Mango and Brazilian Lean to see if it works. I haven’t had any drastic improvements yet…and maybe I’ll find I’ve parted with my money to no avail. But its for a good cause – at least I’ll be able to say with confidence if it actually does work or not. I keep cheating though….ah….the bain of the dieter – if only it were that easy – we would all do it right the first time wouldn’t we?
But back to Breathslim and the other breathing easy weight loss programs
I actually do think this wouldn’t be a bad thing to waste your money on. As said, I have my doubts if works for weight loss (if anyone out there in cyber land actually knows differently please tell me). But does this mean there is no benefit. Absolutely not.
Deep breathing is one the best things you can do for your body. I had to learn this technique myself some years back to overcome my inability to perform public speaking. Relaxation and calming is only one of the benefits of deep breathing. Most of us don’t fill our lungs to capacity and it has detrimental affects on our health. Deep breathing helps to clear toxins out of the body because the physical action of filling your lungs and expanding them which massages the nodules of the lymphatic system and it is the lymphatic system which carries toxins away.
By breathing deeply you lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. There are actually FDA approved breathing devices to assist people in lowering pressure. It calms anxiety, lowers stress hormones – cortisol is one of them. Cortisol causes the release of stored glucose. Glucose is the body’s main form of energy so it makes sense that when you are in a fight or flight mode you need energy. Instead of burning fat you’ll burn glucose if its available – and if you don’t burn it all then the released glucose will be stored as fat. Bottom line is that it’s a good idea to be able to turn down the cortisol and deep breathing can help do that. When you look at it that way, maybe it really does help for weight loss. The proponents say that it speeds metabolism. Well it might – I’d love to know. Maybe if a moment of madness strikes me I’ll have to try it – if I do, I’ll let you know.