When we lose weight, where does it go?

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The world is obsessed with fad diets and weight loss, yet few of us know how a kilogram of fat actually vanishes off the scales.

Even the 150 doctors, dietitians and personal trainers we surveyed shared this surprising gap in their health literacy. The most common misconception by far was that fat is converted to energy. The problem with this theory is that it violates the law of conservation of matter, which all chemical reactions obey.

Some respondents thought fat turns into muscle, which is impossible, and others assumed it escapes via the colon. Only three of our respondents gave the right answer, which means 98% of the health professionals in our survey could not explain how weight loss worked.

Answer

43 Comments on When we lose weight, where does it go?

  1. “The enlightening facts about fat metabolism”

    That is a very simplistic view on “FAT” metabolism. The body can burn two things to function. Fat and Sugar. Carbs turn into sugar. Unless your eating a super low carb diet your bodies running on sugar. So as far as metabolizing FAT most diets rely on Caloric intake, but your body is still primarily burning sugar. Not the way the human body was designed.




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  2. Carbondioxide & water is the short answer, Study Ketosis if you want the complete answer to that question would be my answer




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  3. When I was young and mean, when people told me they lost weight I would tell them, “I found it, look behind you!” I don’t have a lot of old friends.




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  4. Serious question; If fat is only turned into CO2 and water, why do animals “fatten” up before winter? I always thought it was to store energy for the lean days ahead.




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  5. This means you can never trust a skinny enviroweenie.

    Not that you could trust them before, but now you can mock them.




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  6. @F4U, the metabolic processes that convert fat into CO2 and water release energy, so yes stored fat is stored energy.




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  7. What happens is that blood sugar levels (glucose) cause fat cells (adipose tissue) to enlarge by retaining more fluid. You basically have the same amount of fat cells in your body your whole life (exceptions are lipo suction or other fat removal procedures). So, the trick to weight/fat loss is avoid sugar and carbs like the plague and you will lose weight. Keeping blood glucose in check will help prevent type II diabetes and losing weight will improved your blood pressure. Its really this simple. You CAN’T burn fat, you can only shrink it!!!




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  8. What I described above is Ketosis. I think this article is a little off target. If you increase you respiration during exercise you do increase your metabolic rate. Then I can see more global warming taking place. But just sitting around eating Jennie Craig is not going to increase C02 output.




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  9. On the hibernation angle. Animals that hibernate don’t eat pizzas. Unless they’re a black bear living in the Tahoe Basin.




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  10. The tricky question was “where does it go”. All our calories are supposed to be used by the body as a source of energy or cellular repair. Duh, right?

    Reading Joe Mercola’s book “Fat for Fuel” right now. Recommend if you want to get down to the mitochondrial (and smaller) cell function.

    And what is this business of fat cells “shrinking?” This is the reason people have lipo, apparently. I’ve never understood this.




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  11. I always thought fat went to a liberal’s head. Now I know it goes to DWS’s thighs and Loretta Lynch’s undercarriage.




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  12. Orca Wrenfrew’s ass and Joy Beljar’s head.

    or mebbe thas visa versa ……………….. Joy Beljar’s head and Orca’s ass ….

    I dunno – they look’n the same’n




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  13. “When we LOSE weight” is the part of the question many aren’t focusing on.

    It’s similar to the question, when a tire wears out, where did it go?

    If someone was 400 pounds, and now they are 200 pounds, where did the 200 pounds go?

    They exhaled it and peed it out.




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  14. You may lose weight but it is not gone. Follows you around until one day when you eat a doughnut then it jumps back aboard!




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  15. Every time I lose “weight” all I gotta do is look behind me to find it.

    Fuck the weight – lose the fat.

    izlamo delenda est …




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  16. Read a short horror story many years ago about a fanatical woman who is always trying to lose weight (today she’d be one of those round the clock Reebok and yoga pants types). Something happened and one day ALL of the weight she had lost over her life returned, instantly and all at once. And she had once been very very obese.

    Disturbing story.




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  17. Can’t easily burn fats and glucose at the same time. The body will burn the one that’s easiest to chemically break down, and that’s the glucose. The fat will get stored.




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  18. The mathematics of weight loss | Ruben Meerman | TEDxQUT (edited version)
    About 22 minutes. Wait for the FAQs at the end.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuIlsN32WaE .

    Eating less and moving more as Ruben recommended doesn’t work to permanently lose weight. I disagree with him about that. Eating less often and moving more will work, but the most important part is eating less frequently. It’s what Dr. Jason Fung calls the two compartment problem. That is body energy is stored in two places. He illustrates as a refrigerator ( easy access glycogen in your liver from your last meal) and a freezer ( not easy access, your fat. And the door to the freezer doesn’t open till the refrigerator / liver is empty or nearly so). Eat less frequently to burn your fat. See Dr Fung or Dr Bert Herrings mystery of fast five and d. i. e. t. Ted x talk.




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  19. “When we lose weight, where does it go?”

    how the hell do I know? that’s why it’s ‘lost’!




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  20. Well, after watching Hillary stumble down the stairs in India, I’d say it goes to Hillary’s hips. Yes, to Hillary’s hips. My God she’s gotten fat…er…fatter.




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  21. The mystery of where does the fat go reminds of joke a friend in high school liked to tell. Well it was more like pull on the guy who hadn’t been trapped before.

    He would hold out his hand, palm up, & ask, “What’s in my hand ?”
    The usual answer, “Nothing”

    He would then rub his palms together before again extending his open palm then say,
    “Look. There’s nothing there now. Where did it go?”




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  22. For 30 years, I’ve been telling an obese sister to stop dieting and weighing herself all the time. You can tell how you’re doing by how your clothes fit and by your energy level. Diets don’t work. Change your lifestyle, i.e., your habits. And whatever you do, keep moving – or gravity wins!




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  23. I disagree. I can weigh myself before I poop and I always weigh 2 lbs less after I take my dump.




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  24. All science aside, I wish I could ask a former coworker (from a business that attracted a lot of weirdos) this question. She claimed to me that the reason a lot of psycho (she said psychic) people are so heavy is because they’re just “so spiritual” and needed the weight to keep them grounded. I kid you not. So. They turned into atheist? Engineers?




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  25. @Bad_Brad (at 1:47 pm): I find your comment very intriguing, and since it’s not going to increase C02 output, I was just wondering: Who is this “Jennie Craig” you speak of, and
    where can I meet her?

    😉




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  26. What a frigging mess of an article. Good G-d.

    It’s like saying the oil distillate (like fat) that powers your car doesn’t turn into energy, it gets exhaled out the exhaust!

    Is this the effect of common core already?? More grant money please!




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