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Lose Weight Fast: An Amazing New Technique!
by Marty Eisen Ph.D.
Whether we gain, lose or maintain body weight is mainly dependent upon three things: the number of calories required for maintaining life (our metabolism), calories burned through activity, and calories consumed. The body also uses energy to process food, but this energy factor is difficult to change.
Metabolism is the process by which the body converts consumed food and beverages into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release energy for bodily functions. Even when resting, the body needs energy for functions such as: breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels; growing and repairing cells. The number of calories the body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate, commonly called metabolism.
Several factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate:
(1) Body size and composition: Bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest. Muscle burns more calories than fat.
(2) Sex: Males usually have less body fat and more muscle than females of the same age and weight and so burn more calories.
(3) Age. In older people, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accumulates, slowing down calorie burning.
Energy needs for your body’s basic functions stay fairly consistent. They were thought to be difficult to change. However, a recently discovered breathing technique, described below, can change your metabolism. The basic metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75 percent of the calories burned every day.
In addition to the basal metabolic rate, two other factors determine how many calories the body burns each day:
(1) Food processing (thermogenesis): Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the consumed food also takes calories. This accounts for about 10 percent of the calories used each day. The body’s energy requirement to process food stays relatively steady and isn’t easily changed.
(2) Physical activity: Physical activities accounts for the rest of the calories your body burns each day.
Many people blame their metabolism for their weight gain. However, the body generally balances the metabolism depending on its needs. For example, in starvation dieting, the body compensates by slowing down bodily processes and conserving calories for survival. Only in rare cases do excessive weight gain results from medical problems that slow metabolism, such as, Cushing’s syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
Unfortunately, weight gain is most commonly the result of eating more calories than you burn, as shown by the following example.
According to Macdonald’s calorie chart the calories in the following foods are: Big Mac 570, Large French Fries 540, Coca-Cola Classic 410, Salad 35 and Dressing 160. The total calories in such a meal are 1715. Two such similar meals would contain 3,430 calories.
A 150 lb. person sitting for 15 hours (eating, driving, studying, watching television, etc.) burns an average of about 130 calories an hour. Hence 15 hours of sitting would burn 1,950 calories. If you sleep for 8 hours, you would burn about 552 calories. Exercising by vigorous cycling (14- 15.9 mph) for an hour would burn about 704 calories. Few people can or want to engage in such vigorous exercise. The total calories burned in a day would be 3,104, resulting in a weight gain.
To lose weight you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity, or both. However, as the above example shows, diet and not exercise is the primary factor in losing weight.
Obese people can also lose weight by practicing Senobi breathing, which increases the rate of metabolism. This breathing technique, which is simple to learn and only requires 1 minute of practice before each meal, is described below.
The Senobi Breathing Method can be done sitting or standing. The hands are extended above the head with the palms upward. (Fingers are intertwined or not). Lean back and arch the neck backwards. Inhale for 5 seconds and then exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat this breathing cycle 6 times. This is done before every meal. Use abdominal breathing as described in the next two paragraphs.
Abdominal breathing can be practiced lying down or sitting in a chair. The practice methods are similar. The method of practice while sitting in a chair will be described. Inhale and exhale gently, smoothly and continuously through your nose.
Sit comfortably, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe. On inhalation, the hand on your chest must move as little as possible, while the hand on your abdomen must move outwards. On exhalation, the hand on your abdomen moves inward. This movement can be helped by slightly and gently pulling your abdominal muscle inward. Once again, the hand on your chest moves as little as possible. At first, you’ll probably get tired while doing this exercise because an increased effort will be needed to use the diaphragm correctly. Keep at it, because with continued practice, abdominal breathing will become easy and automatic.
The study (1) found significant losses in body fat after 1 month of regular practice. Using various measures researchers found substantial up-regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and increased urinary hormone secretion after 1 min of the Senobi breathing method. They did not find these results in the non-obese control group.
Psychological factors can also be involved in obesity such as: stress, depression, poor food choices, not realizing the discrepancy between calorie intake and calories burned by activity, etc. Practicing additional abdominal breathing for relaxation and stress relief and reflecting on the food you eat may lead to additional weight loss.
The researchers in (2) used heart rate variability measurements to determine levels of parasympathetic (rest and digest) nerve dominance. Higher levels of parasympathetic control are thought to lead to asthma symptoms as the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is in control of opening the airway passages.
Asthmatic patients were asked to engage in the Senobi breathing exercise regularly for 1 month. At the conclusion of this month the majority of patients showed a decrease in use of their inhalers and showed an increase in expiratory volume. Senobi breathing is thought to activate the sympathetic nervous system thus opening airway passages.
Obese individuals have an increased risk of developing depression. The study (3) showed that after one month “Senobi” breathing could relieve depression, especially in obese women.
Hopefully, these applications of Senobi breathing will sway readers to consider that strenuous, and endurance exercises are not necessary for health improvement and can be harmful. Simple activities like walking, gardening and housework can improve and protect your mental and physical health (4).
Senobi breathing is a simple form of Qigong. Qigong (pronounced Chee Kung) is an ancient Chinese body/mind/ breath activity, which has been shown to help about 200 diseases, ranging from the common cold to cancer. Dr. Oz, heart surgeon and star of th Dr. Oz show stated that if you want to live to be 100, practice Qigong (4).
- Sato, K. et al. The “Senobi” breathing exercise is recommended as first line treatment for obesity. Biomed. Res., (4):259-62, 2010.
- Sato, K., et al. “Senobi” stretch ameliorates asthma symptoms by restoring autonomic nervous system balance. J. Investig. Med. 58(8):968-70, 2010.
- Sato, K., et al. The “Senobi” breathing exercise ameliorates depression in obese women through up-regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and hormone secretion. Biomed. Res. 32(2):175-80, 2011.
- Eisen, M. Healthy Exercise for Seniors and Non-Athletes. http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Exercise-Seniors-Non-Athletes-Martin/dp/1494421461
Marty Eisen, PhD, is a retired scientist, who constructed mathematical models in medicine. He has studied and taught Yoga, Judo, Shotokan Karate, Aikido, Qigong, Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and Tai Chi. Dr. Eisen studied Chinese Medicine through apprenticeships and correspondence courses. His new Amazon Kindle and hard copy books “Healthy Exercise for Seniors and Non-Athletes” describes classical Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong to encourage practitioners to learn more about these arts. For more information about Dr. Eisen please visit http://kungfutaichiqigong.com