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Today is June 8

Where does lost weight go?

Obesity is a significant threat to public health. The World Health Organization says global obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1975. There are now more than one billion overweight adults across the globe, and at least 300 million people are classified as clinically obese.

Many people want to lose weight and unhealthy fat for personal reasons or at the suggestions of their doctors. Weight loss often involves a combination of increasing exercise and decreasing calorie consumption. As excess weight starts being shed, it becomes evident that a biological process is taking place. Many people refer to it as burning calories. But fat loss is a complicated process that’s spawned various misconceptions.

Breathing to lose weight?

Many people may not know that a lot of the fat lost during weight loss efforts occurs through simple breathing. According to Live Science and a 2014 study from researchers at the University of New South Wales, the body stores excess protein or carbohydrates in a person’s diet in the form of fat, specifically triglycerides, which consist elementally of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. When people lose weight, triglycerides are breaking up into these building block elements through oxidation.

The researchers found that, during oxidation, triglycerides are used up in a process that consumes many molecules of oxygen while producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products. The study found that, during weight loss, 84 percent of the triglyceride fat that is lost turns into carbon dioxide and leaves the body through the lungs. The remaining water may be excreted as sweat, breath or tears, or come out in urine – water excretion is the lesser-known component of the biological process.

Researchers who authored the University of New South Wales study determined that, when 22 pounds of fat are oxidized, 18.5 pounds of it leaves the body as exhaled carbon. The amount of carbon that is lost can be increased through exercise, according to Medical News Today. By substituting one hour of moderate exercise (like jogging) for one hour of rest, a person can increase his or her metabolic rate of triglyceride usage sevenfold.

Carbon excretion also occurs during sleep, while sitting and doing daily activities. However, the amount excreted during these activities is minimal and can be offset by eating too much food. Simply breathing more and faster during regular activities is not recommended, either, as doing so increases the risk for hyperventilation.

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The benefits of backyard koi ponds

Koi ponds can make for beautiful additions to landscaped backyards or home gardens. While many people are drawn to koi ponds because of their aesthetic appeal, there are many additional reasons for homeowners to consider installing koi ponds in their backyards.

Ponds and water gardens can transform yards rather quickly. Ponds can add appeal to otherwise mundane yards and provide eye-catching, relaxing spots to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Koi ponds have recently fallen into a favor with homeowners in North America, but these popular water features date back several centuries to Asia. Centuries ago, Chinese rice farmers began keeping carp in their rice paddies, and that practice eventually caught on in Japan. The fish started to breed and form slight color variations. Koi, often referred to as “Nishikigoi,” are actually descendants of the common carp, though the koi of today are more brightly hued and ornamental fish than carp.

Koi can become a low-maintenance family pet. These fish tend to grow accustomed to having people around, and will often interact with visitors at the surface of the water. It’s not unusual to have koi beg for food or take food from a person’s hand. They also may tolerate some light handling.

Another benefit of koi ponds is that they create a miniature ecosystem within the yard. When stocked with aquatic plants and other fish that can help keep mosquito larvae and other parasites at bay, they can sustain themselves quite nicely. Ponds also can attract birds and beneficial insects, such as butterflies and dragonflies. By implementing straight vertical walls on the perimeter of the pond and setting up some natural barriers, homeowners can avoid unwanted predators from disturbing their koi ponds.

Koi ponds also provide some psychological benefits. The sound of the water can be soothing and relaxing. Sitting by the pond may help alleviate stress, as unwinding next to a pond and watching the fish swim by can help individuals decompress.

Homeowners who have koi ponds may also benefit socially from these eye-catching additions to their landscapes. Homeowners may connect with others who share their passion for koi and water features. This opens up the opportunity to share the landscape and pond with others, building new friends and relationships in the process.