We live in a society obsessed with fad diets and weight loss. You may even be trying to shed some body fat. Have you ever wondered where fat goes when you lose it?
There are misconceptions about fat loss among doctors, dietitians, and fitness professionals according to physicist Ruben Meerman. His fat metabolism research was published in the British Medical Journal and suggests that most health professionals don’t know how weight loss works at the molecular level.
The following are common myths about fat metabolism, according to Meerman:
- Fat turns into muscle
- Fat converts into energy
- Fat escapes through your colon
Energy and Fat Metabolism
Most of us believe that fat turns into energy and is burned off during exercise or when calories are reduced. Meerman suggests that this belief violates the law of conservation of mass. He believes that the “energy in/energy out” theory stems from university science courses focusing only on energy production. What has been overlooked, according to Meerman, is the respiratory component necessary to completely metabolize human fat.
The research sheds new light on common myths about fat metabolism. It makes sense that fat doesn’t magically turn into muscle or exit your body when you poop. Also, what you have believed about energy and fat loss is not entirely wrong considering fat is your secondary energy source.
What Is Fat?
The clinical term for body fat is adipose tissue. There are two different types in the human body. The white adipose tissue is primarily responsible for energy storage and releasing fatty acids when fuel is low. Your body contains mostly this type of fat. It is stored beneath the skin and surrounding organs. This is the kind of fat that most of us are trying to lose.
Brown adipose tissue is considered good fat that helps regulate body temperature. It’s derived from muscle tissue and burns calories to keep you warm. Brown fat also contains more capillaries than white fat and shuttles valuable nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Fat is made up of individual cells called adipocytes (cells that contain fat). The human body contains billions of fat cells ranging in different sizes. White fat cells are filled with one large fat droplet surrounded by water, salts, and protein. The fat droplet is comprised mostly of triglycerides(glycerol and three fatty acids). High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been shown to increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Brown fat cells contain multiple fat droplets and considerably more water, salt, and protein. These cells are also filled with lots of mitochondria responsible for the chemical energy that burns calories to produce heat in your body.
What Does Fat Do?
During Fat Burning
Before explaining what happens during the fat burning process, it will help to understand where all the weight within the fat cell comes from.
Where Fat Goes
Most of us really don’t think about where fat goes when we lose it. We’re just happy the scale says it’s gone. You may be curious to know fat doesn’t magically disappear after going through the fat burning process.
|148 ounces in||148 ounces out|
|23oz. oxygen||metabolized into||27oz. carbon dioxide|
|15oz. food||1oz. urine solids|
|10oz. metabolic water|
|110oz. water||unchanged||110oz. water|
What You Eat and Where it Goes
Ways to Improve Fat Loss
Since fat leaves the body by exhaling carbon dioxide, you may be wondering if breathing faster will help you lose weight. Unfortunately, this isn’t an effective method. You will only cause hyperventilation, feel dizzy, and possibly faint.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator.
- Park your car far away and walk more.
- Engage in active play time with your kids.
- Stand at your computer vs. sitting.
- Take walk and stretch breaks at work.
- Stay active over the weekend and avoid being a couch potato.
Your body is also at work removing CO2 while you sleep. In fact, you exhale approximately seven ounces of carbon dioxide which is 25 percent of the daily amount you need to get rid of. This means you are waking up starting your day ahead of the game.