Have you ever wondered where the fat goes when leaving your body?
For some of us, weight loss comes on over an accumulation of hours spent watching our caloric intake and exercising effectively. But then, suddenly, our pants become pretty loose, and we realise that our belly is slightly less prominent than it used to be. This is wonderful, but have you ever wondered where that fat goes after it disappears out of your body? That’s a great question, and Professor Andrew Brown, head of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, want’s to give us the scientific lowdown of how this occurs. In a paper published in the British Medical Journal today, the authors show that losing 10 kilograms of fat requires 29 kilograms of oxygen to be inhaled. This metabolic process produces 28kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water. The leading author of this study Ruben Meerman became interested in the process due to his weight loss success. Meerman lost 15 kilograms in 2013 and wanted to know just where those KG’s went. So, he hacked into some courses on biochemistry and came upon some results. “With a worldwide obesity crisis occurring, we should all know the answer to the simple question of where the fat goes. Almost nobody could answer. It surprised me, but only when I showed Andrew my calculations that we both realised how poorly this topic is being taught.”Says Meerman. Meerman interviewed professor Andrew Brown in a story about the science of weight loss for the Catalyst science program on the ABC. What a surprise to hear that 50 per cent of 150 doctors, dieticians and personal trainers surveyed think that fat was converted to energy or heat. It’s suspected this theory correlates the misconception of the calories in/calories out a concept for weight loss. If weight loss has to do with the amount of air you breathe, can you breathe a lot more to lose weight? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. Breathing more leads to hyperventilation, which exhibits dizziness, loss of consciousness and vibrations. Another strange question questioned if weight loss caused global warming? Carbon atoms that humans exhale are returned to the atmosphere after just a few months or years trapped in food that a plant made. This link has an embedded interactive clip and explains the process
When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? The image featured in The BMJ Research paper.
Key take away
To solidify this concept: If you lose 10 kilograms, this is what happens to it: 8.4 kg is exhaled as carbon dioxide via the lungs 1.6 kilograms becomes water that can be eliminated through urine, poo, sweat, breath, tears or other bodily fluids. You cannot take a breath more frequently to lose fat — it’s a process of eating nourishing foods and exercising. That’s the overall key to weight loss, and the method above is that it happens daily to see that your weight loss goal becomes a reality. If you would like to read more articles like this or start writing your own, please sign up via my link. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription. I get a portion of your monthly fee at no extra cost to you, and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer.