Have you ever wondered what happens to the excess fat when you lose weight?
Some people think the pounds “melt away,” while others believe they are physically sweating the fat out or converting fat into muscle. Doctors, dietitians, and even personal trainers have incorrectly stated that fat is converted into energy when you lose weight.
Finally, science has the answer.
Where Does The Fat Go?
The biochemistry of weight loss intrigued researchers in Australia, and the results of their study may surprise you. As it turns out, when you lose weight, the fat is breathed out as carbon dioxide.
“It goes into thin air,” says Ruben Meerman, a physicist who became interested in finding the answer to this question after his own success at weight loss.
As much as 84 per cent of the lost fat is exhaled out the lungs as carbon dioxide and the remaining 16 per cent becomes water. This water then leaves the body as sweat, tears and other bodily fluids. The assumption that you are “sweating away” the pounds actually has a bit of truth to it, but mostly you are breathing away your lost fat.
Does That Mean Losing Weight Bad For CO2 Levels?
According to Gallup’s Health and Healthcare survey, 51 per cent of Americans want to lose weight, and 60 per cent of adults described themselves as over their ideal weight. If all of these people were able to succeed in their fat loss efforts, what would that mean in terms of excess carbon dioxide in the air?
It may seem silly, but Meerman is happy to address this misconception.
“Global warming … is caused by unlocking the ancient carbon atoms trapped underground in fossilized organisms,” he said. “The carbon atoms human beings exhale are returning to the atmosphere after just a few months or years trapped in food that was made by a plant.”
In other words, lose all of the fat you want without worrying about negative effects. (Losing weight does not contribute to global warming.)
So… Can Breathing Help With Fat Loss?
Although fat is exhaled into the air as it is lost, that doesn’t mean that breathing more will cause more fat loss. Deep breathing has many benefits, such as relaxing and destressing the mind and body, and sending more oxygen to your muscles. Breathing can even help minimize muscle fatigue during a run.
But breathing deeper, more often, or more rhythmically will not have an impact on the amount of fat that you lose — it just doesn’t work that way. (Sorry, guys).
Fat loss occurs as a result of physical activity, avoiding overeating, and adhering to a nutritious, low-fat diet. Changing your current lifestyle habits to reflect these actions will help you to not only lose the fat, but to keep it off.
Are you hoping to lose weight this year? Get moving. Even something as simple as adding a daily walk to your routine can help you begin the journey towards fat loss.
Of course, exercise alone will not help you lose weight; a healthy diet that replaces processed foods with whole foods like lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates is essential to losing excess weight and keeping it off.
So there you have it. Next time you’re warming up at your Zumba class or trying to make friends at a party, go ahead and spread the word! There is no better way to start a conversation with someone than asking them, “Where does the fat go?”