Weight loss is a hugely popular topic amongst men and women. Everyone wishes to look like the models on the billboards and we put our mind and bodies through a lot in order to achieve it. However, most of us are interested in the secret methods to get there and don’t focus on the metabolic process of weight loss, for example, when you lose 20kgs, where the hell does all of that go? What does it mean to burn fat?
According to an article by researcher Ruben Meerman and Professor Andrew John Brown, Head of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, the weight we lose “goes into thin air.” Their study has been published in the British Medical Journal.
“There is surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss,” Professor Andrew Brown says in the UNSW article. “The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide,” Ruben Meerman continues.
After losing 15 kgs back in 2013, Meerman was curious as to what this mass transformed into.
The above figure from Meerman and Brown’s report shows that when someone loses 10kg of fat(excess carbs or protein in the diet that is converted to triglyceride and stored as lipid or adipocytes), 8.4kg of this is exhaled as Carbon Dioxide. The remaining 1.6kg becomes water.
“Our calculations show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat. Losing weight requires unlocking the carbon stored in fat cells, thus reinforcing that often heard refrain of “eat less, move more,”” Meerman and Brown writes. For example, when you replace one hour of “rest” with jogging, will raise the metabolic rate of your body by around 7 times compared to resting. This is 39 g of carbon being removed from your body for an average 70 kg person. However, if you ingest a 100g muffin, this is the same amount of carbon being returned to your body. So in a nutshell, the consumption of even a small amount of excess food will set your weightloss back dramatically. You’ve got to do a s**t tonne of physical activity in order to balance out the excess naughty foods you consume. This is why Meerman and Brown suggest that you go for a diet that embraces the mantra of “eat less, move more.”