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When you lose weight where does the fat go?

Discussion in 'Weight Loss and Dieting' started by Lupf, May 19, 2021.

  1. Lupf

    Lupf Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This seems like a such a simple question, when considering the current rates of being overweight or obese and the strong interest in losing weight. However, there is surprising ignorance and confusion about the process of weight loss among the general public and health professionals alike. A research paper found lots of misconceptions (wrong answers for you and me) about how we lose weight. I will show the results of the paper in a later post, but I am curious to know if diabetics will do better on this question than our GPs and dietary nurses.

    So please give your answers without explanations. It would be great if we get a good sample.

    My promise is that I will then (try to) explain the process. Looking forward to your answers
     
  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    OK - we 'burn' it - it is fuel for our 'engine' and it ends up as work done, as it moves our muscles, producing heat and exhaust gasses which we breathe out.
    How's that?
     
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  3. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Fat enters the bloodstream as triglycerides and is oxidised by the muscles. The resulting CO2 and water are lost through breathing and bodily fluids. During oxidation energy is released by the breaking of chemical bonds. The atoms of the fat do not become energy, this would produce vast amounts of heat like an atomic explosion.
     
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  4. Fenn

    Fenn Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Is this a I’m more clever than you exercise? Because ok you win, assuming you want the suspense before the reveal... cya!
     
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  5. Lupf

    Lupf Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No I am honestly curious about what diabetics do or don't understand about how our weight is regulated. I was suprised how little GPs, dieticians and personal trainers knew. Especially the latter two categories worry about weight (loss) for a living, but seem not to understand the basics of weight loss. So by participating in this quiz you are already a winner. If you don't know the answer, this is just as fine, everyone will be able to look it up afterwards

    PS: I am not more clever than anyone here, at the opposite, I've learned a lot on this forum,
     
    #5 Lupf, May 19, 2021 at 9:27 PM
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    It's converted into carbon dioxide (excreted during exhalation) and water (lost through urination, sweating and breathing).
     
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  7. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Fat stored in fat cells is broken down to release energy, the byproducts (mainly water) are peed, sweated and breathed out.
     
  8. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    That's a very different question to the one you first asked though...
     
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  9. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Everyone else’s fat loss is finding its way to my hips!
     
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  10. Lupf

    Lupf Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else willing to answer this question
    When you lose weight where does the fat go?
     
  11. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

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    Perhaps you could
     
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  12. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Global warming obviously..
     
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  13. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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  14. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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  15. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    I await your answer.
     
  16. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    I think that the methane example would be better from the other video I saw recommending eating a vegan diet to lose weight!
     
  17. Beating-My-Betes

    Beating-My-Betes · Well-Known Member

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    While we sleep, lipid angels enter our bodies via our dreams. They summon the fat-cells with their angelic songs, then secret it away in their little angelic satchels.

    It’s a working theory, but it’s the best I’ve got.
     
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  18. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    It goes off my scales. Where it ends up after that, I neither know, nor care. :D

    But I'm willing to go with the lipid angels theory if I have to choose one.
    Although @bulkbiker 's global warming theory makes me feel better about not losing weight :)
     
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  19. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Moderator
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    It’s been a while since I lost any weight. My current theory is that I must be around someone losing weight and my body is finding it. I need someone else in my life needing to put on weight and hopefully some of my weight can be found by them. My theory only but if anyone needs some weight let’s organize a catch up.

    on the same idea I’ve also found some grey hair. Is anyone missing theirs?
     
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  20. Lupf

    Lupf Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your replies.

    What does actually happen when you lose weight? An article based on a Christmas lecture explains this, you cand download it from https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7257. Congrats to @Pipp who had found it already.
    You burn calories when exercising, but this is not where the weight goes, despite 60% of doctors and health professionals getting this wrong as well and claiming the weight is converted into energy and heat, I have attached the plot from the paper here.
    [​IMG]

    Let me try to explain what actually happens in lay terms. Fat is stored as something called “triglyceride” in your fatty parts. When you are breathing your lungs convert oxygen atoms from the air and carbon atoms from trygliceride into carbon dioxide and water and it is through this process that you burn calories. Air contains about 21% oxygen (O2) and with each breath about one fourth to one fifth of the oxygen will be converted in your lungs to carbon dioxide (CO2). The exhaled air contains about 4% to 5% of CO2 by volume.

    This is written as a chemical process:
    (C55 H104 O6) + 78 O2→55 CO2 + 52 H2O + energy,
    but you can ignore this formula. The correct proportions of trygliceride (C55 H104 O6), oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) are however relevant and required if you want to make the following calculation yourself.

    The results are the following: To lose 10 kg of fat - which is roughly what I did - I - needed to breath in about 120 kg of oxygen or about 600 kg (half a million litres) of air, which took me a while, each breath is about 0.5 litres and we do 12 of these per minute. Of the oxygen most of it (75% to 80%) is exhaled without interacting, only a total 29 kg of oxygen is used. Of this 84% and 8.4 kg of my body fat was converted in my lungs into 28 kg of carbon dioxide which I breathed out. The remaining 16% of the 29 kg of oxygen and 1.6 kg of fat was converted into 11 kg of water which I excreted as urine, … Such a 10kg weight loss is illustrated in this figure from the paper.
    [​IMG]

    The paper also illustrates how each day you convert about 200 g of carbon into carbon dioxide which in steady state you replace by eating 2000 calories.

    Of course you burn calories while exercising, but this has two problems. First it is not very effective. You need to exercise quite strenuously to say burn 400 calories or an additional 40 g of carbon from your body. This corresponds to an increase of 20%. Second, physical activity makes you hungry, and you reward your self easily with food replacing the full 400 calories, e.g. a single 100 g muffin represents about 20% of an average person’s total daily energy requirement. Physical activity as a weight loss strategy is, therefore, easily foiled by relatively small quantities of excess food.

    Summary: during weight loss most of the fat is converted by breathing into carbon dioxide.
    Several of your answers mentioned breathing, which confirms that people on this forum are often better informed than healthcare professionals.

    Let me know if you have questions.
     
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    #20 Lupf, May 22, 2021 at 4:43 PM
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
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