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Where does weight go when you lose it?

Where does weight go when you lose it?


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When one loses weight, where does the lost poundage (I assume comprised mainly of fat) go?

Is it urinated out? Defecated out? If a combination of both, does the percentage of each differ depending on how much of what your are losing was pure fat?


You breath it out, for the most part. Fat is "burned" to convert the carbons to CO2, which is breathed out. There's not very much fat-derived carbon in each breath, but you breath a lot, all day long.

At rest, an average 70 kg person consuming a mixed diet (respiratory quotient 0.8) exhales about 200 ml of CO2 in 12 breaths per minute. Each of those breaths therefore excretes 33 mg of CO2, of which 8.9 mg is carbon. In a day spent asleep, at rest, and performing light activities that double the resting metabolic rate, each for 8 hours, this person exhales 0.74 kg of CO2 so that 203 g of carbon are lost from the body… Replacing one hour of rest with exercise that raises the metabolic rate to seven times that of resting by, for example, jogging, removes an additional 39 g of carbon from the body, raising the total by about 20% to 240 g…

Our calculations show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat.

--When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? Ruben Meerman and Andrew Brown, BMJ 2014; 349


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Fats are one of the nutrients that we need to consume in order to survive. Fats have a variety of beneficial functions in our bodies such as providing us with energy, helping with the absorption of certain vitamins, and helping to protect our organs. If we eat excess fat, it gets stored in our adipose or fat tissue as triglycerides (they are named triglycerides because these molecules are made of one glycerol molecule and three fatty acid molecules).

There are several times throughout a person’s life when the number of fat cells increases mainly this process occur during infancy (between the ages of 0 and 2) and during puberty. However, the number of fat cells may also increase during adulthood.

A typical adult has between 10 and 30 billion fat cells. When we gain weight, the size of these fat cells will increase this type of fat growth is more common in adults and is called hypertrophy. Although it is less common in adults, weight gain can also occur through an increase in the number of fat cells. This type of fat growth, called hyperplasia, occurs when the existing fat cells are filled to capacity with existing fat. New cells are required to accommodate the excess fat.

What happens to your body fat when you lose weight?

During weight loss, there is an energy deficit (you are expending more calories than you are taking in). To make up for this deficit, your body goes into its fat-burning mode, called ketosis, and begins to metabolize its energy stores (your fat cells) to get more energy. The triglycerides within the fat cells are then broken down (which causes the fat cells to shrink) and transported to the tissues that need the extra energy. At these tissues, the fatty acids of the triglyceride go through a series of reactions to help create a form of energy that our body can utilize, called ATP. The waste products of these reactions are carbon dioxide and water they are subsequently exhaled from your lungs, lost through sweat, and excreted in urine. About 80 % of fat is turned into carbon dioxide and exhaled through your lungs so most of the fat you lose is lost through breathing! Ultimately, it takes an energy deficiency of about 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat.

If there is a continuous energy deficit, your triglycerides will continue to be broken down and your fat cells will continue to shrink. However, the fat cells will not disappear. While new fat cells can be created through weight gain, fat cells cannot be destroyed through weight loss. Additionally, we cannot choose the specific areas of our body where fat loss will occur. When we lose weight, we lose weight proportionally throughout our body. Specifically, this means that we cannot change our body shape we can only reduce our body size.


Where Does All The Fat Go When You Lose Weight?

Wobbly and out of breath, you jab at the button on the treadmill that makes the machine come to a stop. Finally, it's over. You completed your workout and can now retreat home to grab a shower and complete the ritual of stepping onto the bathroom scale - your fate all but sealed in the buckets of sweat released over the last hour.

The read-out confirms your hopeful anticipation: You lost 3 pounds. But being your curious self, you begin to wonder where those 3 pounds went. There's no way you lost 3 pounds of water weight, you think, so how else could it have escaped? Where did the weight go?

As we try to settle in to the complicated and mind-numbing cycle of eating well and exercising regularly, it's easy to forget the simple fact that our bodies are fuel-burning machines. Like cars that thirst for gasoline, they run on the energy and nutrients in the food we eat. A series of complex chemical reactions turns an entire pizza (you monster) into various forms of energy that get released and burned off, depending on the food's nutritional make up and how much of a demand you put on your body.

"So, if we are riding a bike, we are essentially transferring some of 'our' energy to the bike, which is what propels the pedals around against a resistance," explains Dr. Beau Greer, director of the Exercise Science and Nutrition M.S. Program at Sacred Heart University. "However, the majority of energy used in a biking session - or any exercise session - is lost as heat."

More specifically, you can thank the citric acid cycle, or, the Krebs cycle (as my inner biology student somehow remembers it), for this energy expenditure. As you take in food, the various fats and carbohydrates composed in the food sliding down your gullet get digested and turned into a form of chemical energy called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP does lots of different things. It helps cellular metabolism, respiration, and locomotion. It's also what lets your muscles, both the internal and external ones, contract. (It's so versatile and essential that scientists call it the "molecular unit of currency.")

At the tail end of this energy burn are certain forms of waste, similar to the exhaust spewed out by your car. Only, your body isn't giving off pollutant gas, but steady emissions of urine, feces, and, to a lesser extent, sweat. But there's something else going on there, too. In addition to the tangible act of breathing - a sure sign of a well-oiled Krebs cycle - your body is giving off heat. That, Greer says, is where the weight goes.

"We expend energy at all times," he says. "Rest, exercise, and all times in between - the difference is solely the rate of expenditure." When you get your heart pumping like mad during aerobic exercise, very little of the energy you produce gets directed toward the specific activity. "For reference, if you burn 100 calories in a biking session, only about 20 calories of energy was needed to actually move the pedals. The remaining 80 calories expended went to heat production."

Heat isn't the only factor, however. As you exercise, you are constantly taking in air to bring oxygen to your muscles. The end result of this is the equal and opposite act of expelling carbon dioxide. With every lumbering stride on the treadmill, you exhale a plume of carbon dioxide whose molecules are heavier than the oxygen molecules your body consumed during energy production. So, at the same time you're burning the energy, you're literally also exhaling your weight.

2. Clean Eating For Calorie Burns

This should make sense if we reverse-engineer common health advice. We do cardio because it "burns fat." But the reason it burns more fat than doing nothing is that our bodies undergo aerobic respiration to produce more ATP for energy, rather than something else, like sulfate or nitrate.

In this sense, metabolic functions don't really need exercise at all. Most of the energy we burn throughout the day is done while we're at rest anyway, Greer says. "This is why I love the Men's Health-type snippets that show some 500-calorie junk food and then say how many minutes of stair-climbing you would have to do to burn it off. &nbspIt's true, but you could just lie on the couch for seven and a half hours and achieve the same effect!" It all depends on how quickly you'd like to burn off those 500 calories.

Gaining or losing weight is the difference between how many calories you take in versus how many you use. Partially influencing this second number is a person's (http://www.researchgate.net/publication/7488665_Factors_influencing_variation_in_basal_metabolic_rate_include_fat-free_mass_fat_mass_age_and_circulating_thyroxine_but_not_sex_circulating_leptin_or_triiodothyronine) basal metabolic rate , or BMR. It refers to the number of calories someone will burn over a given period without any special energy expenditure. Some people, like the string beans who can eat all day and not gain a single pound, have very high BMRs. As machines, their bodies burn through their fuel a lot faster than everyone else's, meaning that to maintain a certain weight, they have greater caloric demands.

For most people, or at least the&nbsp(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm) 69 percent of the U.S. who are obese or overweight, the goal is to increase their BMR. Exercise is one option, and anaerobic exercises like weightlifting in particular because they build lean muscle mass. When we are at rest, most of our energy comes from fat-burning, rather than the carbohydrate stores we recruit during aerobic exercise. The more we can build lean muscle, in other words, the greater our BMR will be.

Eating cleaner also helps, says Marissa Lippert, a New York-based dietitian. "If you're eating whole fresh foods versus more processed foods, your body works more efficiently and it's going to burn calories the right type of way, meaning it can burn energy consistently at a slower, steadier pace." With a more refined diet, calories get used up much more quickly and your blood sugar drops, sending your metabolism, as Lippert says, "out of whack."

This is why both diet and exercise are important. You can't just kill yourself on the treadmill. Without the right food to power the machine that is your body, the whole system runs worse and you won't have to wonder where the weight went, because it never left.


What happens to fat cells after you lose weight?

It’s important to note that the carbon dioxide you’re breathing out when you’re running isn’t made up of the fat cells themselves. It may be a bit of a bummer to learn that the proper response to the question, “What happens to fat cells when you lose weight?” is not that you lose them but rather that they shrink in size.

From the moment you were born, the number of fat cells in your body increases until you hit your 20s, at which point they plateau. When fat cells die, they’re quickly replaced by more, so the number of fat cells in your body stays relatively even throughout the rest of your life. As for how many fat cells a person has, that figure varies from person to person. You can’t look at someone who is obese and a person who is skinny and say, “The overweight person has more fat cells in his or her body.” It’s what’s inside those fat cells that determines what you see on the outside.

The sad news here is that a person can never “lose” fat cells — they can only increase their fat cell count, according to Kirsty L. Spalding, PhD, a researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. This fact could explain the body’s urge to gain more weight after you lose it. (No, you’re not wrong in thinking that your body is essentially working to undo all the weight you just lost.) In order to maintain your weight loss, you need to continue to exercise and watch what you eat so that your fat cells stay small.


The Weight You Want to Lose

Now that you have lost the water weight, next comes the “Fat” you want to burn. And as you learned above – When your body starts burning the fat, it expels excess fat in form of Carbon Dioxide. Hence you burn fat simply by existing. You exhale out the Carbon Dioxide while you are living (breathing). And the fat cells shrink.

Is Counting Calories the Answer?

The question now becomes how can you accelerate the fat burning. An average man needs 1500 calories per day to live, and a woman needs 1200 calories. However counting the calories itself for simplicity’s sake is alright, but what is even more important than that is where your calories are coming from?

You can get those 1200 (or 1500) calories from the unhealthiest white bread made out of all-purpose wheat flour or processed foods (which literally gives you no nourishment and lots of chemicals for your digestive system to process.)

Or you can get those calories from Healthy and Nutrition Dense foods, herbs, spices. These foods not only give you nourishment in many different ways, but they also give you a long and healthy lifespan.

Every one is getting older. You might as well age as healthy as you are able to.


Where Does Fat Go When You Lose Weight

Fat loss is a common goal for many individuals who enter our quarterly transformation challenges, and many have experienced life-changing results.

But, a common question on the minds of many folks is “where does fat go when you lose weight?”

When you consume too many calories, your body stores the excess energy in fat cells in the form of triglycerides.

To burn off this excess energy, you need to force your body to use the extra stored calories. This is most efficiently accomplished by creating an energy deficit whereby you burn more calories per day than you consume.[1]

Typically, an individual needs to consume between 10-15% fewer calories below their maintenance calories to force their body to turn to its fat stores and promote weight loss.

By consistently staying in this negative energy balance (i.e. calorie deficit), the body will continue to release stored fatty acids from its fat cells into the bloodstream, where they can be picked up by L-Carnitine and then transported into the mitochondria where they’ll be broken down and used to produce ATP (energy).

Essentially, when you lose weight, the fat is used to produce energy that you’re not consuming through the diet. So, in a sense, the fat is quite literally “burned off.”

More on Where Fat Goes When You Lose Weight

As we mentioned, when you are in a calorie deficit, you are not consuming enough calories during the day to meet the energy requirements of your body. To make up for this deficit, the body turns to its energy stores (body fat).

But, fat cells aren’t just made of triglycerides. They contain other substances as well, including water.

Now, when your body initiates lipolysis (the process by which fatty acids are mobilized and released into the bloodstream to be oxidized -- burned -- for energy), there are two major byproducts released besides triglycerides, namely carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).

The carbon dioxide is exhaled during respiration (breathing), and the water is eliminated through sweat, urine, or exhaled air.

It’s also worth mentioning that removal of excess carbon dioxide and water is considerably ramped up during intense exercise due to the increased breathing and sweating.[2,3]

Where Do I Lose Fat First?

In an ideal world, we’d lose fat from the quintessential “trouble areas” -- thighs, hips, love handles, lower abs.

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with elite genetics, hence the term “stubborn body fat.”

Fat loss is a global process, and genetics do play a fairly prominent role in regards to where your own body will lose fat first.[4]

All of this is to say that we don’t have much of a say which area of our bodies start to lose fat first.

Besides, spot-reduction has largely been debunked and shown to not be very effective.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you diet for long enough, even those stubborn areas will go away. It’s just a matter of consistency and, even more so, patience.

That being said, certain supplements may help promote the elimination of stubborn body fat. One of the most well-known weight loss supplements for stubborn fat is yohimbineand its chemical cousin alpha-yohimbine (rauwolscine), which can be found in our top-of-the-line men’s and women’s fat burners Pro Ripped Max and Make Her Lean Max , respectively.

Why Is It So Hard to Maintain Fat Loss Results?

Dive into the weight loss literature and you’ll see that thousands (more likely, millions) of individuals are able to lose weight. And, there’s not just one way to lose weight either.

It’s possible to lose weight following low-carb diets, higher carb diets, omnivorous diets, or plant-based diets.

The real challenge isn’t in losing weight. It’s in keeping it off over the long term.

Researchers have identified some common traits among those individuals who are the most successful at losing weight and maintaining their weight loss results. Namely, they maintain high levels of physical activity, track their nutrition, and consistently weigh themselves during the week.

How Long Will It Take Me to Lose Weight?

The answer to this question will vary from one person to another.

One of the biggest (and most important) variables in this equation is how much fat you have to lose. An individual who only has to lose 10 pounds will reach their end goal quicker (typically) than someone who has to lose 25 or 30 pounds.

Another key consideration is how consistent are you with your diet and exercise plan, meaning how strict are you with following your nutrition plan. If you are cheating on your diet frequently, you’re delaying your results.

Still another factor is how large of a deficit you adopt during your transformation challenge. The larger energy deficit you create, the quicker you will lose fat (to a certain extent). Using too large of a calorie deficit can lead to feelings of extreme hunger (increasing the likelihood you’ll ditch your diet and binge) as well as muscle loss.

Other notable side effects of being too aggressive with calorie cutting are headaches, dizziness, irritability, micronutrient deficiency, and menstruation irregularities.[5]

This is why the preferred course of weight loss is to take the slow and steady approach. You’ll find being more moderate with your energy deficit (10-20% below maintenance) is more sustainable and you’ll greatly limit the potential for muscle loss.

You might be surprised to find out that not all body fat is the same. In fact, there are two (three) different types of body fat.

White fat constitutes the majority of fat on our bodies. Its primary purpose is to serve as a repository for excess energy that can be accessed during times of low calorie intake (i.e. dieting).

White fat can be further subdivided into two categories:

As the name implies, subcutaneous fat lies just beneath the skin. It’s the kind of fat you can pinch, and it’s the type of fat most of us focus on losing -- muffin tops, love handles, etc.

Excessive subcutaneous fat can put stress on the joints, low back, and cardiovascular system.

Visceral fat is the other type of white fat, but it’s not the kind you can pinch. Visceral fat is the type of fat that is found deep within the abdominal cavity and surrounds organs like the liver, pancreas, and kidneys.

Accumulation of visceral fat is known to impair organ function and lead to a host of health complications, including inflammation, insulin resistance, and the increased risk of several chronic diseases.

Brown fat is more metabolically active than white fat.

Whereas white fat serves as a placeholder for excess energy, brown fat serves as a type of “good fat” that breaks down blood sugar (glucose) and fat molecules to generate heat and help maintain body temperature.[6]

Infants and newborns typically have more brown fat stores than full-grown adults, but research has shown that exposure to cold temperatures as well as certain supplements (such as Paradoxine, which is found in 1UP men’s and women’s fat burners Pro Ripped Max and Make Her Lean Max ) can increase brown fat activation in the body.[7,8]

Losing weight requires consistency, diligence, and patience.

Using a combination of diet, exercise and proper supplementation will help shrink fat cells over time as the fatty acids stored within them will be used for energy, ultimately leading to better body composition and health.

Howell S, Kones R. "Calories in, calories out" and macronutrient intake: the hope, hype, and science of calories. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Nov 1313(5):E608-E612. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00156.2017. Epub 2017 Aug 1. PMID: 28765272.

Baker LB. Sweating Rate and Sweat Sodium Concentration in Athletes: A Review of Methodology and Intra/Interindividual Variability. Sports Med. 201747(Suppl 1):111-128. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0691-5

Aliverti A. The respiratory muscles during exercise. Breathe (Sheff). 201612(2):165-168. doi:10.1183/20734735.008116

Singh P, Somers VK, Romero-Corral A, et al. Effects of weight gain and weight loss on regional fat distribution. Am J Clin Nutr. 201296(2):229-233. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.033829

Christensen P, Bliddal H, Riecke BF, Leeds AR, Astrup A, Christensen R. Comparison of a low-energy diet and a very low-energy diet in sedentary obese individuals: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Clin Obes. 2011 Feb1(1):31-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-8111.2011.00006.x. PMID: 25586973.


Okay, so you can't exactly cut fat out of your system, but where does fat go when you lose it?

The answer to that may surprise you.

According to a 2014 study by Australian physicist Ruben Meerman, and University of New South Wales professor Andrew Brown, the majority of the "lost" mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, suggested that many doctors and dieticians still harbor the misconception that fat is converted to energy, heat, or muscle. In reality, as Mr. Meerman points out in a news release, it simply "goes into thin air."

So, the fat doesn't leave your body in the form of urine or feces (well, not completely). If you lose 20 pounds, just over 80 percent of that is going to be exhaled by the lungs, and the remainder will be excreted via urine, feces, sweating, and tears (happy ones, we hope).

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All of this might make you rethink your next workout in favor of some breathing exercises to ramp up your fat loss. Unfortunately, you cannot lose weight simply by making yourself breathe faster (hyperventilating). It doesn't work that way.

It happens through a metabolic process, so don't go making yourself light-headed. Just keep your metabolism in check by moving during the day and eating whole, healthy foods.

Also, drink plenty of water, because it needs to be replaced as we lose it faster during exercise through sweat and respiration.

Eventually, the weight will come off and it'll mostly be expelled through your breath — but you'll only see real results by working out and eating right.

Michael De Medeiros has been editor in chief of several men's lifestyle magazines, including Men's Fitness. He has authored 15 books, and has been nominated and shortlisted for several awards, including best book and best book in a series.


Where Does the Fat Go When You Lose Weight?

We all love staring at those before and after pictures on the Internet. Look! You could fit two of her in those old pants! We're so eager to banish, beat or burn fat that we haven't thought much about the process that goes into it. Sure, calories in should be less than calories out to "burn" fat, but where does the fat go when you lose weight?

Our ignorance on the subject might be easily chalked up to willful ignorance. After all, who cares where it goes as long as it's gone? But the misconceptions on this process go well beyond the public, into the ranks of the professionals. A new study published in the British Medical Journal surveyed general practitioners, dietitians and personal trainers and found that even they had a shaky grasp on the truth.

The "eat less, move more" suggestion is sound, according to the study the goal in fat loss is to "unlock the carbon stored in fat cells" so they can be excreted by the lungs.

Yes, you read that right: When we lose weight, 80 percent of the fat we lose we simply breathe out as carbon dioxide (CO2). The other 20 percent leaves our bodies in ways that might sound a bit more familiar: sweat, tears, urine and other bodily fluids.

So while you may already spend some quality time working up a sweat in the gym, make some time during the holiday season to simply breathe deep and let it go. Stress and fat, that is.


How Does Body Work?

Our body is known to convert the molecules in our fat cells into usable forms of energy. This is responsible for shrinking the cells. Getting this to happen, however, is an intrinsic procedure that requires some explaining.

Weight loss occurs when you burn calories , this we are all aware of. Calories measure the energy in the food you eat in the form of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Energy is needed to keep everything running in our body and basically, more work means more energy.

Calories are used to digest food. Once the food is broken down into carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the body uses the remaining energy or converts it into fat to be stored in the fat cells. In order to lose weight, a person needs to burn more calories than they consume to start using up the reserve. When you don’t ingest enough calories to fuel your additional work, your body starts to pull from the fat stores.


Move more to lose more fat

Breathing more while at rest does not accelerate fat loss, but movement can increase the amount of carbon lost. According to Meerman and Brown, just standing and getting dressed doubles your metabolic rate.

A person can increase their metabolic rate sevenfold just by substituting one hour of rest for one hour of moderate movement such as jogging, walking and cleaning. This increase in movement can remove an additional 39 g (1.4 ounces) of carbon from the body, increasing the daily total to 240 g (8.4 ounces), a 20% increase.

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