Is the way you breathe the biggest obstacle to your weight loss goals?

Of all the articles I’ve written on the benefits of changing your breathing, I’m sure you’ll agree that none will be more headline-grabbing than the one about “how struggling to lose weight can be attributed to poor breathing!” In my field of breathing re-training for clients using the Buteyko method, it’s well known that bad sleep interferes with hormones that make you hungry and make you feel full.

However, I promise you that breathing through your nose has been scientifically proven many times over to increase your metabolism and help you lose that weight.

Here’s a proven fact…

Nose breathing increases oxygen and improves the quality of our sleep which keeps our hunger-suppressing hormones in check.

The proof is in the many studies highlighting how poor sleep is linked to increased appetite and a higher chance of obesity.

I’m sure you’re wondering why…

Well, this is in part due to the connection between sleep and the peptides that regulate your appetite: ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin, known as the ‘hunger hormone’ increases during periods of poor sleep. Simultaneously, leptin – the ‘satiety hormone’ that sends ‘full’ signals to the brain, decreases. 

So how do you achieve a good night’s sleep beyond all the advice you may have heard previously?

Here’s the deal…

Unsurprisingly given my passion for optimal breathing, the route to a good night’s sleep is how you breathe during the day.

If you can start your day by relaxing when you awake rather than e.g. rushing to your favourite piece of technology as you eat breakfast, that’s a good start. Don’t put yourself on a heightened sense of anticipation before you’ve even left the house!

Whilst at work, if you work and, if you e.g. use technology, be conscious of your breathing. Is it relaxed? Is it audible, are you mouth-breathing and/or chest breathing? If the answer is yes to any of these then you are over breathing and you will end up spending your day yawning and sighing because taking too much air provokes this as you lose oxygen.

What’s the bottom line?

The less you breathe, the more oxygen you generate and the healthier you are! It is not the other way round!

Whatever your work or leisure time looks like, remember that the more oxygen you lose, e.g. by excessive talking or exercising with your mouth open or through technology apnea (my last article refers) the greater chance you will mouth breathe at night during your sleep.

It gets worse…

That will do nothing for your weight loss ambitions apart from frustrate you. It really is a vicious circle.

But, then it gets better…

Adopting the right breathing during the day and practising Buteyko breathing techniques can bring a huge change to many of your life goals once you know how.

Joel Jelen is founder and director of Reset Breathing and is a Fellow of the Buteyko Professionals International Institute.

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Why Does Daddy Breathe Funny?

This A-to-Z book includes a glossary of new words for children and short notes about better breathing for parents. Slow down, relax and read this book with your children to find out how you can all breathe better and improve your health.