Burn Fat by Breathing

How Your Breath Stokes Your Fat Burning Metabolic Fire!

Did you know your lungs are powerful metabolic organs? Have you ever wondered where your fat goes when you “burn” it off? When I used to ask patients this and I would hear a lot of interesting answers from it evaporates, or it melts in sweat, to we pass it in the bathroom.

Well, here is how it works. Depending on what metabolic fuel you have set your body to run on, whether you are a SUGAR BURNER or a FAT BURNER, the given fuel source as glucose or fat (triglycerides) are liberated from food or stores in your body, or both, and get broken down into a form that can travel through your blood stream and get into your cells to “burn.”

As that fuel “burns,” it gives your cells, tissues, and organs the energy to move, detox, breath, and function. Yes, each individual cell “breathes,” so to speak. Each cell takes in the fuel, breaks it down for energy, and processes out the by-products. Some of those by-products get neutralized and pass through and out of our body in our urine, bowels, and sweat, yet the majority of it passes through our lungs. In fact, 84 percent of the fat that is lost turns into carbon dioxide and leaves the body through the lungs, whereas the remaining 16 percent becomes water.

Here is the point: there is a feedback mechanism that can turn up or slow down your fat burning and expelling process. Believe it or not, it is your rate and efficiency of breathing during a workout. We breathe out carbon dioxide because it is toxic to us, so your body will not let it build up much at all. Therefor the faster you can rid it from your lungs the more the body will be able to process by breaking down more body fat. Oh, and by the way, this process is completely calorie independent….the whole calories in vs. calories out concept……it is just a vague guess, don’t bank on it.

Remember, this is a metabolic process and your metabolism is not run by calories. Hormones control your metabolism, and although specific foods, chemicals, and nutrients will affect your hormonal responses, pure calorie count does not.

So, how can I use this info to help me burn more fat? Breathe! You will expel the most fat with a varied intensity model, or what we call metabolic workouts. Burst, peak, HIIT, all fall into the Variable Output Exercise model that we use and teach.

Here is the key: Pace and anticipate your breathing. When you workout with a high intensity it is not about getting more air in to your lungs that makes you huff and puff as much it is about getting that toxic carbon dioxide out. So, start paced deep breathing during your workout BEFORE you feel you need to. For example, within the first few minute of my workout I will start my paced deep breathing, belly breathing pacing at 3-4 seconds in through the nose and 3-4 out through the mouth.

As your exercise progresses the nose seems to not be able to keep up, that is OK, but keep the belly breathing going the best you can and start to force air out. Think of it like you are forcefully blowing out a candle during your workouts or during your recovery time in-between. I hope this makes sense; we are planning on building a video series on our Variable Output Exercise model and give examples of this technique, so keep your eyes out for it.

So, if you are at the gym, solo, or with workout partners, don’t hold back, start huffing and puffing EARLY and keep it going and you will stimulate more fat to be broken down and liberated from your body. Pretty cool huh?

Try it out; let me know how it goes.

Dr. Don


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