Where Does Fat Go When You Lose It?

It’s time to get nerdy, 8fitters! We talk a lot about losing weight and burning fat around here, but where does all that fat go when you lose it exactly?

  • Does fat turn into muscle? No. That’s impossible.
  • Does fat escape out your backside? No. But, and if it does, we have a serious health issue on our hands.
  • Do we sweat it out? Not really. Sweat is not “your fat crying,” and it’s also not the primary way your body gets rid of fat stores.

So, where does fat go when you lose weight? Coach Amé is here to answer that question and what she’s about to explain might surprise you.

How does fat leave the body?

When you lose body fat and inches around your waist, your body has converted it to energy and expelled it via… the breath! That’s right, fat is actually converted into carbon dioxide and water.

Basically, when we ingest fat, it makes its way into the digestive tract where it is absorbed by the gut. From there it enters the bloodstream and organs to be stored. When the body needs the fat for energy, it converts it, then we exhale it.

That said, fat isn’t the only thing that exits via our lungs. In fact, most of the carbs, protein and alcohol we consume is transformed into CO2 and H₂O as well, and the only thing that makes it through the digestive tract and out the other end is fiber.

To put this into context, let’s say that after committing to 8fit for one year, you lost 22 pounds (10 kg) of body fat. Research shows that to get that fat out of the body, you expelled more than 17 pounds (8 kg) of CO2. Any leftover fat leaves your body as water in the form of sweat, tears, urine and other bodily fluids — so, yes, you do sweat a small amount of fat out.

beach outdoor workout

How do I breathe out more fat?

We figured this might be your next question. Low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diets are trending. These diets are typically associated with smelly breath (keto breath) — a phenomenon that should make a little more sense now. Because these diets limit carbohydrates, your body is forced to burn more fat as fuel, meaning more fat is exiting through that mouth of yours.

To breath more fat out, we have to activate our muscles so they ask for more oxygen and switch to using fat to create muscle contractions. To clarify: Initially, during aerobic exercise or short workouts, glycogen is broken down to produce glucose so you have the energy to move. But, in its absence, and when your workout is long or when your body is well-trained, fat metabolism is initiated. Generally, a workout performed at a moderately high level of intensity over a long period of time will use fat for energy, but recent studies also reveal that short HIIT, like 8fit’s, will also.

Take a deep breath

Go ahead, take a deep breath, but know that your body will release the same amount of CO2 regardless of what bizarre yoga breathing techniques you try. 😉 Rest assured that if you’re exercising regularly and following a healthy meal plan, your body is doing exactly what it needs to do. Though an effective way to breathe out more fat is by being very strict about your food choices, we personally don’t recommend doing this as it’s not sustainable. Another way is by doing long, intense workouts or HIIT.

To lose weight, get fitter, gain muscle, or breath out more fat, sign up for 8fit. We’re here to help you reach your goals — whatever they may be.