More fat lost through breathing than burning

healthy womanA recent study by researchers at the University of New South Wales has revealed a startling fact about weight loss that is changing the way doctors and nutritionists think. They found that 80% of fat leaves the body via the lungs; a low 10% is actually burned and processed out via other methods like sweating and conversion of the fat to fuel in the cell. The knowledge that fat exits as mostly CO2 means that how you breathe is more important than what you are doing – within reason.

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Just breathing hard won’t do it

This doesn’t mean that all you have to do is hyperventilate yourself to a healthy weight; the process is much more complicated than that. It still takes motion and physical stress to trigger the breakdown of the fat into its three parts, and then to convert the majority of the fat to CO2. What it shows is that the target goals and ranges for exercise are much different than initially suspected. Just putting in the time to burn calories won’t be as effective as doing blasts of exercise that are cause you to also breathe heavily.

What the evidence suggests

The main change is an understanding of the composition of fat after it has broken down. While it has been known for decades that it breaks down into a triad of elements, the ability to measure the percentage ratio of the elements has been lacking. This new study was able to measure the ratio effectively and show that 80% of the fat is converted to CO2 and exhaled.

Changing and adapting your routine

The old school of thinking really looked to heart rate and sweat as the primary indicator that fat burning was going on. Now, science is looking not just at the thermogenesis but also at the rate of respiration. The deeper you can breathe while exercising, the more fat you stand to lose. This may bring about a new approach to help those with morbid obesity or mobility problems that prevent them from fully exercising to lose weight safely.


Here are some tips on how to breathe properly to promote fat loss: