Do you want to lose some weight RIGHT NOW?

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 2010. Related presentations (linked below) have been provided during the previous five years.

I can GUARANTEE that you can lose some of your body weight IN FIVE SECONDS! I will even PROVE to you that it works, why it works, and even calculate exactly how much weight you will lose! (about 0.012 grams!)


And it is entirely different than anything you have ever realized before! In order to keep this presentation brief, most of the actual calculations and proofs will be left in existing other (linked) web pages.


  • Step one: Inhale.
  • Step two: Exhale.

Repeat over and over and over!

I am a (Nuclear) Physicist, and I guarantee that this is correct and true!

Now, I admit that in a SINGLE breath, the amount of weight that you lose is not that spectacular! But it is handy that you naturally breathe about 12 times every minute (awake, resting) or around 17,000 times every full day (you breathe more slowly while you sleep).

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The scientific analysis:

In a standard inhaled breathe, you take in around half a liter of air, which is around 0.0013 pound or 0.60 gram total.

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That INHALED air is around 21% oxygen, so we are talking of around 0.0003 pound (or 0.012 gram) of oxygen. It also contains about 390 ppmv of carbon dioxide (a natural content of the atmosphere) or around 0.0000003 pound (or around 0.00015 gram) of carbon dioxide IN each breath. There is Nitrogen gas and Argon gas and other natural components of the atmosphere. Depending on the humidity and air temperature at that instant, there is an amount of water vapor in the air which is also inhaled. Here is a full analysis:

Inhaled Breath
materialper breath
total (100%)500 ml (0.60 gm) (0.0013 lb)
oxygen (21%)(0.12 gm) (0.0003 lb)
nitrogen (78%)(0.47 gm) (0.0010 lb)
argon (0.9%)(0.005 gm) (0.00001 lb)
CO2 (0.039%)(0.00015 gm) (0.0000003 lb)
H2O (0.9%)4.5 ml (0.006 gm) (0.00001 lb)

I highlighted the line of the carbon dioxide for a reason which will become evident.

Exhaled Breath
materialper breath
total (100%)500 ml (0.60 gm) (0.0013 lb)
oxygen (14%)(0.08 gm) (0.0002 lb)
nitrogen (78%)(0.47 gm) (0.0010 lb)
argon (0.9%)(0.005 gm) (0.00001 lb)
CO2 (4.4%)22 ml (0.0405 gm) (0.00009 lb)
H2O (6.1%)31 ml (0.016 gm) (0.00003 lb)
Elemental Carbon(0.0110 gm) (0.0003 lb)

If you compare these two tables, you can see that you GAINED weight of about 0.04 grams of oxygen (which got chemically used in your body) and you LOST weight of about 0.04 grams of carbon dioxide, as well as another 0.01 gram of water (vapor).

Not much, true! But remember that you breathe that 17,000 times every day! In an entire day, you exhale a total of around 681 grams of carbon dioxide (which is around 1.5 pounds!). Much of that weight is actually oxygen that you had earlier breathed in, but carbon dioxide contains (elemental) CARBON atoms! From High School Chemistry, we know that the carbon has atomic weight of 12 of the total atomic weight of 44 for the carbon dioxide. So 12/44 of the exhaled breaths are actual carbon atoms which are PERMANENTLY LEAVING YOUR BODY!

Multiplying, we see that in a normal day, we exhale about 182 grams of actual carbon atoms, or around 0.41 pounds.

In each breath, therefore, we lose around 1/15000 of that or around 0.01 gram of actual carbon, which had been permanent parts of our body weight.

Yes, we note that we also exhaled a lot of water vapor, which also was body weight, but our bodies add and remove water continuously and in many ways, where the water is never really any PERMANENT part of our body or our weight.

Do you see the overall picture here? IF you want to cause your bathroom scale to read one pound lower, just drink one less of the one-pound (16-ounce) cans of soft drinks! Presto, your scale will SHOW an apparent drop in body weight. But it is relatively meaningless, as your body, actually your brain, will inspire you to drink an extra pint of water or other drink within a few days, and any hoped-for weight reduction disappears!

The CARBON is actually the important thing to keep track of!

We just calculated above that our bodies EXHALE around 182 grams (or 0.41 pound) of carbon atoms every day. Wanna guess at how much carbon is in the food you eat each day??? Yup!

A full analysis of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that we eat each day is presented in several of our linked pages, but the result is that the approximate one pound of actual food that we ingest each day contains around 2,200 Calories of food energy, which our bodies need in order to do all the things needed to survive and live, and that amount of food contains (usually) very close to 182 grams of carbon in it.

SO! What is SUPPOSED to happen is that we EAT food containing 182 grams of carbon in it, and EXHALE breaths which also contain 182 grams of carbon in it, and our body weight remains relatively constant.

But IF you eat extra food, where you ingest 200 grams of carbon in a given day (instead of 182, which is quite easy to do!) and you do not really do any extra exercise which causes you to breathe deeper or faster and still exhale the normal 182 grams, then on that day, you WILL gain around 20 grams of new carbon atoms as permanent material. In hundreds of millions of years, living creatures have learned to STORE this unused energy as BODYFAT, for possible use at a later time when food may be difficult to find. In this specific case of probably not even realizing of having gained 20 grams of carbon on that one day, say we repeated that for twenty days. In those twenty days, we would therefore have necessarily have gained around 400 grams or ONE POUND of additional bodyfat.

Unfortunately, that very slight increase of food intake has become unnoticed in response to massive advertising which encourages us to all WANT massive amounts of food! And MOST people have been affected by this. If body weight rises by one pound in every twenty days, in a year, we are talking about an increase of over 18 additional pounds of bodyfat! Do you NOW see why you have a problem?

This effect has SEEMED invisible to us, and so LOSING that weight seems extremely difficult. Thousands of companies spend millions of dollars in advertising every imaginable claim that they think the public might believe, where they get rich. But their claims rarely have any actual effect, because none of them actually address the core issue discussed above.

Each person must be aware of a BALANCE between how much carbon can be LOST through exhaled breath, as well as how much carbon is in the foods which are eaten.

It might seem amazing but the human body has NO significant method of removing carbon atoms from the body except by exhaled breath!

Defecation removes materials that the digestion system did not want in the first place, so those materials were never actually in the actual body, but essentially just passed through it! Urination primarily eliminates water, but it is true that it also gets rid of excess dissolved materials that the body no longer needs, such as urea. Remarkably little of those dissolved materials contain much carbon in them. We also sweat, which gets rid of water and salt, but no carbon. Exhaled breath is pretty much the ONLY way we have of getting rid of carbon!

None of those 'experts' have ever told you that bodyfat is commonly around 77% carbon atoms. To get rid of bodyfat, you primarily have to get rid of a lot of carbon atoms. And exhaled breath is the ONLY game in town to do that! Isn't that something?

There are many related issues related to this subject, which are thoroughly discussed in other linked pages in this Domain. Different sorts of Diets are analyzed. Different approaches to exercise are discussed (where the primary weight-loss effect happens to just be that you breathe deeper and faster during exercise, and therefore can lose actual bodyfat and weight, but at a surprisingly slow rate). Even highly advertised weight-loss schemes which are based on tablets or foods which include diuretics (materials which cause you to urinate more often than normal, to get rid of WATER weight in your body and cause your bathroom scale to impress you for a while).

Sadly, actual weight loss, or more correctly, bodyfat loss, is entirely dependent on only two things, your breathing patterns and how much carbon is in the food that you eat (and digest). This last phrase was added because you CAN eat a lot of 'Fiber', which happens to be types of organic materials which our bodies cannot digest, and NO carbon then enters your actual body. (It all passes right through!) Unfortunately, since Fiber is not digested at all, there is NO nutritional value in it. It might make you FEEL full, but your body gets none of the needed minerals and proteins that it needs for good health. But that approach DOES force your body to consume bodyfat in order to survive, so you CAN lose weight, although potentially in a dangerous manner.

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This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 2010.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago