You’ve Lost Weight. But Where Did All That Fat Go?


Congratulations! You’ve done it. After eating well and getting off your butt to do more exercise, you’ve finally lost some weight. But do you actually know what happened to the fat that was in your body? It is a common misconception that the fat in our bodies, when we “lose it,” is used as energy or eliminated form the body somehow.

A new study published in the British Medical Journal by Andrew Brown and Ruben Meerman, shows that weight is actually exhaled. The science behind it goes something like this: the human body turns extra carbs and proteins into triglycerides (made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) and stores them as fat. When you lose weight, the body metabolizes or processes those cells, which essentially means unlocking the carbon in the fat cells. When those fat cells are broken apart, they are converted to carbon dioxide and exhaled through the lungs, and hydrogen and oxygen, in the form of water – released in bodily waste like tears or urine. “Most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide,” said Meerman. “It goes into thin air.”