In his new book The Oxygen Advantage, which is based on research by a physician who developed special breathing techniques for astronauts, McKeown claims that it's possible to drop pounds by simply breathing less. He explains that over-breathing (which is apparently quite common) causes the airway to narrow, limiting the body's ability to oxygenate its muscles and organs, which in turn, slows the metabolism. Those who practice optimal breathing habits, however, better oxygenate their blood, suppressing their appetite and helping their body process food more efficiently.
As far-fetched as that may seem, Dr. Robert Pomahac, founder of MaxHealth LA, a functional fitness and health care center, believes McKeown’s theories add up. He also has a few thoughts of his own. "Breathing incorrectly or too often can make it difficult to lose weight. When we don’t breathe optimally, the airway is constantly in a state of spasm. This puts stress on the body and increases levels of inflammation, making it challenging to drop excess weight,” Pomahac explains.
So how can you tell if your breathing technique is correct? Simply listen to your breath. If it seems noisy, irregular or labored, you’re likely breathing too much. Here’s how to fix your technique: Set aside 10 minutes each day and focus on inhaling and exhaling through your nose. As nasal breathing begins to feel more natural, increase the amount of time you spend on the exercise. After a while, breathing this way will naturally become a habit.