Disappearing into Fat Air? Myths About Fat Burning Busted

As obesity becomes more of an epidemic, there is also a push for healthier living. This can include everything from new fad diets to advanced exercises; anything to shed some weight and become a more fit and healthier version of the self. However, while people are more invested in their health, there is still a lot of mystery involved when it comes to exercise and fat burning. Put simply, when you’re putting in serious time at the gym, where does the fat go once it has left your body? Have you ever pondered that? If so, you might be in the minority; but that being said, you’re right at home with the staggering percentage of the population that doesn’t know.

For the record, the lack of this particular bit of medical knowledge is not relegated strictly to patients and health gurus, but also medical and fitness personnel, such as doctors, dietitians, and personal trainers. Ultimately, the belief that fat turns into energy was the most common; however, while this describes the end result (losing fat and gaining energy), fat does not convert into energy itself. Perhaps more embarrassingly, some indicated that fat turns into muscle (it doesn’t and it can’t). Believe it or not, it also isn’t passed out of the body as feces.

The Truth About Fat Burning

Burns Fat

In actuality, when your body burns fat, it is converted into carbon dioxide. As you are likely aware, we exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Essentially, that means for every 10 pounds of fat that you burn off, 8.4 of it ends up coming out as CO2, while the remaining 1.6 becomes water, and therefore, sweat or urine. Given the way that we go to the bathroom to expel waste, it’s quite a surprise that we remove more than air when we exhale.

However, this result is not unique to fat. The same thing happens to digested carbohydrates, including alcohol. The same is true of protein as well, though some of it does end up in the urine. Pretty much, the only thing that makes it into the colon is dietary fiber, as you might expect.

While one might think it is upsetting that this information is not well known, it’s not surprising. Ultimately, the digestive process is not generally explained with an in-depth link to how the body makes energy from what it consumes. As such, even for specialists with higher levels of education in health fields, it can be a difficult question. The answer, as with many things, involves zooming out to see the big picture, how everything is connected. In this case, it’s not just about keeping track of kilojoules or calories, the measures of energy, but also kilograms and pounds as well.

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