What Happens To Fat When You Lose Weight?


Where Does The Body Fat Go When I Lose Weight?

On the way to a flat stomach and 6 pack abs, you go on a diet to shed the unwanted belly fat. Have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to the love handles, spare tire and excess fat as your abs begin to emerge?

What Happens To Burned Body Fat?

Fat comes and goes. It’s a shame, but the stubborn stuff seems to do a lot more coming than going.

When we pack on those pounds we have a pretty good idea as to what’s going on. Excess calories get stored as fat. Though some would like you to believe sugar, wheat, or some other evil food is the sole culprit. (We’ll have to save that fight for another day.)

For the most part, how we get fat is pretty cut and dry. But what happens when we burn it has many scratching their head.

Ask a doctor or trainer and there’s a good chance they won’t know. So I’m going to answer the question.

But before I do, there are a few things in need of discussion.


Stored Body Fat

To understand what’s happening it’s important to understand what body fat is.

The technical term for body fat is adipose tissue. This adipose tissue is made up of smaller cells called adipocytes. (adipo = fat ; cyte = cell)

There are two primary types:

  1. white adipose tissue (WAT)
  2. brown adipose tissue (BAT)

There are billions of these tinny cells located all over our body. They expand and contract depending on the amount of fat we carry.

When we continue to gain weight and the fat cells get filled to the brim, new ones pop up. But the opposite doesn’t hold true. Once you get a fat cell it never goes away. It just shrinks waiting to be filled again. Kind of like a suitcase you throw under the bed after a trip. It maybe empty, but it’s still there waiting for your next trip.

Rolls of fat may not look sexy, but it does have a purpose. The main one being energy storage. When we take in more calories than we need some of those calories are stored on the hips, and belly for later use.

Turns out fat is a good storage medium. One pound of fat is equivalent to 454 grams. About 90% of it is lipid. The rest of the cell is made up of water and a few other elements.

If we get out our calculators we know that 90% of 454 is about 400g of stored fat. We know that burning 1g of fat provides 9 calories. So 400 x 9 = 3600.

Now you know why “they” say you need to be in a 3500 calorie deficit to burn a pound of belly fat.


The bottom line…

body fat is stored energy.

Knowing what body fat is gets us one step closer to knowing where it goes when burned off.


This May Sound Like Magic

Believe it or not fat disappears into thin air.

I know this may sound like some kind of voodoo magic. But it does vanish into thin air.

With every breath you take out comes what was once fat.

I know it sounds far fetched but let me explain.


The Law Of Conservation Of Mass

It begins with the law of conservation of mass.

According to Wikipedia, the law of conservation of mass, or principle of mass conservation, states…

that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy (both of which have mass), the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as system mass cannot change quantity if it is not added or removed.

What this basically means is energy is neither created or destroyed. It mealy changes form.

To trace the flow of energy, imagine this…

A farmer plants a wheat seed. As the sun beats down, the rain falls, and the ground provides nourishment, the seed grows. Eventually it gets harvested. Ground into flour. And made into a doughnut.

Smelling the fresh baked doughnut is too much temptation. We scarf down two of them.

Apparently we had 2 too many. We took in more calories than needed. Since we’re in a caloric surplus the doughnut is digested and transformed into potential energy in the form of a fat belly and love handles.

After we see our reflection in the mirror it’s evident we need to do something about those love handles. So we download an awesome Fitness Doctrine routine and hit the gym. (I want to download one for free)

It’s a tough training session. We’re hard at work changing our bodies. The demand for energy is high. So signals are sent out for more energy. Our bodies pull fat from the love handles, stomach, and other trouble areas. This  releases fat into the blood stream.

Once the fat enters the blood stream it becomes accessible to our hard working muscles.

Like fuel for a car, our muscles break down the fat to power us through the rest of the workout.

The fat is gone. It has disappeared into thin air.

Without getting too geeky on you here’s what happens.

Fat starts out like this…

fat starts out as carbon and hydrogen

According to the Law of Conservation of Mass, matter is neither created nor destroyed. It only gets transformed. So the fat is broken down into:

  • Carbon (C)
  • Hydrogen (H)
  • Oxygen (O)

From there about 20% of it comes out as water (H2O) and the other 80% is released as carbon dioxide (CO2).

If you’re up on your chemistry you’ll see the math doesn’t work. There isn’t enough oxygen (O) to make water and carbon dioxide.

In order to burn fat the body needs oxygen. That’s one of the reasons wee breath harder when we do more work.


Quick Video Answers The Question: Where Does My Fat Go


The Mathematics Of Weight Loss

From The Ted Stage…

So for every 10 pounds of fat you burn off…
2 pounds is shed as water in sweat and other bodily functions. The other 8 pounds is breathed out as carbon dioxide.

That’s one reason why the techniques I talk about in the Fitness Doctrine Newsletter have you spending more time huffing an puffing than lying on your back doing sit-ups.

The more you huff and puff, the more fat you burn. And the more you’re doing to reveal your abs. Mix in the right exercises like you can find in the Newsletter and you have the perfect storm to shred your abs and get your perfect physique.

If you want the love handles to disappear into thin air grab hop onto the Fitness Doctrine email list. To do to get free instant access is click the link below…

Stay strong and keep on huffing and puffing,
Coach Jason

Jason, CSCS



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