Breathing. It’s something that we don’t even think about most of the time. But did you know that proper breathing can decrease stress levels and help you in your journey to lose weight? Here’s how to harness the power of the 4-7-8 method of breathing for weight loss.
When we take a breath in, air enters our lungs and injects oxygen directly into our bloodstream. The oxygenated blood is then transported to different parts of the body to provide much-needed energy for bodily processes. At the same time, waste gas (carbon dioxide) is moved from cells in the body through to our lungs so that it can be exhaled from the body. This gas exchange is essential to life.
Breathing techniques are designed to help relax your body. Specific techniques, such as the 4-7-8 technique, helps give your tissues and organs extra oxygen that can help balance your body and mind. Maximal oxygen uptake, which increases your resting metabolic rate, is a key part of any healthy lifestyle.
Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns when you are not doing anything. Doing breathing exercises can increase your resting metabolic rate, which means that your body will burn more calories.
Practice Breathing For Weight Loss
To practice the 4-7-8 method, sit or lie down somewhere comfortable. Part your lips and exhale completely through your mouth. Then, close your lips and count to four in your head.
Next, hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale from your mouth for eight seconds. Complete this four full times, then you can gradually work your way up to eight full times.
This should be done in a place where you are in a comfortable position and in a state of relaxation.
Doing this exercise regularly helps your body by supporting your central nervous system. If you are only shallow breathing through the day, your cells are likely not getting full nutrients from your lymph system, which can contribute to weight gain.
In addition, when your mind and body are calm and balanced, your metabolism slows and helps with digestion, which also promotes weight loss.
On the other hand, if your mind and body are stressed all the time, your breathing may be faster and shallower, which contributes to an increased heart rate, anxiety, and muscle tension. This may lead to stress eating or could impact how you respond to cravings for food.
Other Methods of Breathing for Weight Loss
Weight loss is a goal for many individuals, and proper breathing techniques can be an effective part of a weight loss regimen. Proper breathing is not only beneficial for maintaining overall health but can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Incorporating specific breathing exercises into your routine can even help fat burning and assist in healthy weight management. The most basic way to use breathing as a tool for weight loss is through deep diaphragm breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing.
This type of deep breathing increases oxygen flow throughout the body while allowing you to stay relaxed in your core or stomach muscles. To do deep “belly” breathing properly, begin by sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor and both hands resting on your belly.
Take slow deep breaths through your nose and allow your belly to rise with each inhalation and then fall while exhaling slowly. Continue taking slow inhales and exhales until you feel relaxed and calm in the core muscles of your body.
Another common exercise is alternate nostril breathing (ANB), which helps reduce anxiety while increasing focus and concentration. You lightly press down on one nostril while inhaling deeply through the other nostril for a count of four seconds. Then you switch sides for another four seconds. Do these two steps several times until you feel relaxed in both your mind and body.
A third method is paced respiration (PR). PR helps improve circulation throughout the body by setting a rhythm for controlled exhaling that is slightly longer than inhaling. These last anywhere from 6-10 seconds depending on your comfort level. Ultimately this helps to reduce anxiety levels leading up to physical activity or exercise, enhancing performance along the way.
Incorporating any one of these techniques into daily life can help you achieve your ultimate goal of weight loss while promoting overall health in mind, body, and spirit as well! As always, talk to your primary physician before performing any breathing exercises to ensure that they are performed in a safe and effective manner.
WeightWise Can Help With Your Weight Loss Goals
Breathing is something you must do. But knowing how to breathe the right way and being mindful of that can be a valuable tool that helps you in your weight loss journey. Deep breathing exercises can help with blood pressure as well as calming anxiety (or the fight or flight response). This form of breathing has been around for thousands of years.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique represents a new wrinkle. It can even help you fall asleep! For more information on the 4-7-8 breathing method and weight loss, bariatric surgery, or to see if you are a candidate, contact us today.
Our team at WeightWise loves helping transform the lives of our patients through weight loss! It’s a proven fact that bariatric surgery, along with an improved diet and increased physical activity, is the best way to lose excess body fat and keep it off. But it takes a lifelong commitment from you to reach your goals and then maintain a healthy lifestyle.
WeightWise performs a variety of weight-loss surgeries, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and the duodenal switch. But we also assign every client a dietitian and exercise physiologist to give you a tailored approach to weight loss. Watch a free online seminar to learn more about our program or take a quick, free assessment by clicking the “Are You a Candidate” button at the lower left-hand corner of the screen.