Are you wondering what Vitamin O is? I’m sure you are, as I did when I first heard about it. My mentor Marc David from the Institute of the Psychology of Eating very cleverly came up with this name for the nutrient that is the best kept secret in the nutrition business. The nutrient that has a profound effect on metabolic power.
This miracle nutrient – Vitamin O – is in fact Oxygen. Oxygen – and lots of it – is essential for digestion, energy and for an efficient metabolism. And I am not just talking about the oxygen intake from doing exercise. Dramatically increasing our oxygen intake whilst we eat results in healthy digestive assimilation, calorie burning power, appetite regulation and the receiving of food’s full nutritional value. Oxygen and Weight Loss are best friends The process of digestion breaks down food into microscopic morsels that can be sent to your cells and combusted with oxygen for energy release. More than 95% of all energy generated in the body comes from the simple combination of oxygen and food. Meaning that without oxygen, your food is rendered useless.
Our bodies are literally heat-producing biological machines. All chemical reactions that occur in our physical bodies have heat as a by-product. Just like a fire needs both wood and sufficient oxygen to burn, our digestive process needs food as fuel for the fire and oxygen to keep the fire burning, whilst insufficient oxygen keeps it burning low. Optimal digestion results in optimal metabolism of food. Stress and Weight Loss are enemies There is a saying that ‘Stress is the enemy of weight loss’. When we are stressed – known as Sympathetic Nervous System Response – we breathe faster and more shallowly, and our oxygen levels drop. Breathing deeply stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous system – or relaxation response – and optimises oxygen intake.
I learnt the power of the difference between these two responses first hand. About two years ago, I used to run my life at a million miles an hour. It was a choice I made, and I was of the belief that the more calories I burnt through activity – even if my body was stressed – the more efficient my metabolism would be. But what I found was the complete opposite. The more stressed I was, the more I would eat at each meal, the more I would have digestive discomfort and the fuller I would feel. And the weight wouldn’t budge. After the first 2 weeks of slowing down, taking time for each meal and breathing correctly when I ate, I noticed a few key changes. I noticed how much less I ate throughout the day, how much more energy I had, how my reflux had completely disappeared and how I never felt sluggish after a meal. This spurred me on to dig deeper into the effects of oxygen and the relaxation response. I run my life at a much slower pace these days – especially my meals. The lovely thing is that as a result, I am now my ideal weight without having to diet or deprive myself. The Eating-Breathing Technique The good news is that even if you are stressed out, you can trick your body into believing otherwise by breathing correctly. When you mix your food with high doses of oxygen, you create the optimal conditions for boosting your metabolism, and along with it, you raise your fat burning capability. Here’s how to do it:
- Without picking up your fork or spoon, inhale to 2/3 lung capacity
- Hold your breath for several seconds
- Exhale fully
- Breathe like this for 10 breathes or more
- Give yourself those breathes no matter what
As you breathe, you’ll start to smell the food, which is also good for your digestive power, giving your digestive juices a chance to prepare for what you are about to digest. Then as you begin to eat, continue to breathe mindfully.
- Breathe through your nose, as your mouth will be busy chewing your food
- Ask yourself at least three times during your meal: ‘’How is my breathing?’’
- Keep it natural & comfortable
It’s a very easy technique, and it has amazing results. What you’ll find is that you’ll digest better, you’ll taste more of your food, you’ll be satisfied more quickly and you’ll ramp up your fat burning capability. The bottom line is – when you breathe more, you burn more! If you’d like to learn more about how to transform your relationship with food forever so that you never have to diet again, then visit The Magic of MindBodyFood Transformation Programme where you can find further information, book a workshop or a free exploratory 1-to-1 or skype session Please feel free to leave a comment below and share your own experiences with the tribe 🙂 Yours in health Louise Jeffrey.