Today I'd like to share the third way that I believe you can feel great and lose weight which doesn't involve food. And that is to....
#3: BREATHE MORE
Yes! Perhaps surprisingly, you often move so fast through life that you are not actually breathing deeply enough to fully oxygenate your cells. The way you breathe can impact circulation, heart rate and stress level. Breathing correctly can boost energy and improve mood. Taking a few deep, intentional breaths throughout the day actually tricks your body into believing you are calm and relaxed (even when you're not), helping you feel more centered, more present and more focused on whatever you are doing.
So How Do I Breathe Correctly?
Healthy breathing is deeper breathing. It engages the belly and diaphragm, not just the top of the lungs and the throat. A typical method to slow down and deepen the breath involves a three-part format of (1)inhaling, (2)holding the breath and (3)releasing the breath, in various counting patterns. For example: In a 4-5-7 pattern, you would inhale for 4 counts, hold for 5 counts, and exhale for 7 counts. The counting pattern can vary, but the important thing to keep in mind is that with a relaxation breath, the exhale is longer than the inhale. Activities such as meditation, yoga, pilates and some forms of martial arts incorporate intentional, focused breathwork as part of their format.
I tell my clients that the easiest way to add deep breathing to their day is by incorporating it into their current routines. Taking three breaths during regular "transitions" throughout the day can help create a feeling of calm and focus, and set off a much needed relaxation response to your nervous system. For example, you can pause and take some deep breaths:
Breathing And Digestion
Believe it or not, breathing and metabolism are very closely linked. When you are racing through your day as though your life depends on it, your body takes that very literally. Your frantic pace is a signal to your body that you are in some sort of danger, and switches your nervous system into "emergency mode." All your body's energy then is directed to your limbs to help you "escape" the danger (even if you are "escaping" from a demanding boss, screaming kids or a short deadline), and it also stops digesting your food. This is why stress is not a good thing when you are trying to lose weight. When stressed, the energy typically used for digestion gets diverted to places in your body where the need is perceived to be greater. (It is also one of the reasons why stress often leads to a stomach ache.) In contrast, when you breathe slowly and deeply, you are telling your body that "all is well," and so it will utilize its full metabolic power to digest your lunch.
Let's look at how breathing more on a daily basis benefits weight loss and well-being:
So breathe deeply to experience your days in a healthier, more positive way. Your mind, body and waistline will thank you.
If you want to learn more about food and non-food ways to create healthy habits, and how you can feel great in your body (without losing your mind), send me an email, or call me at (201) 803-3257.
I'm also offering a free Discovery Call to discuss your health needs and how I can help you. Click here to schedule your free half-hour phone session with no obligation.
In Good Health,