All kinds of fitness methods, diets and health tips seem to offer us the fastest way to success. Where does so-called ‘burnt’ fat go when leaving the body and members?
Most theories have no answer to that. A new Australian study thinks it is important to know.
The biggest misconception that exists among scientists, doctors, and dietitians is that when we lose fat, that mass is converted into heat and energy. “It is surprising how ignorant we are when it comes to the metabolic process of fat burning,” said Andrew Brown, head of the UNSW of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.
The fat mass we lose is not converted according to the study into heat, nor into energy, but in carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, or carbon dioxide, is an inorganic compound that is colorless, odorless, and naturally occurring in the atmosphere. “When we burn fat, we simply breathe it out in the form of thin air”, says Ruben Meerman, Australian physicist and principal investigator of the project.
Meerman’s interest in the subject came from personal experience. “In 2013 I lost 15 kilograms, and I wanted to know where those pounds went. In a time such as today, where obesity crisis and greed alternate, it seemed important to me that we know and understand the underlying biological mechanisms behind weight loss.
Exactly what exactly happens with weight loss can best be explained on the basis of a concrete case, says Meerman. “When you follow the path of the atoms involved with a weight loss of 10 kilos, you see that 8.4 kilos of the fat mass converts into carbon dioxide and leaves the body through the lungs. The remaining 1.6 kilos are converted into water. That can then be separated by urine, sweat, tears, breath or other body fluids.
The reason why this has been kept such a well-kept secret until now is probably that the carbon dioxide gas is not visible, and so we do not notice that we losing it’.
A large-scale survey conducted by Meerman and co with 150 doctors and dietitians showed that more than fifty percent of the participants thought fat was converted into energy when burned. Some respondents turned out to believe that fat converts into muscle mass during exercise. According to the researchers, these misconceptions reveal a surprising ignorance when it comes to the basic biological effect of the human body.
A question that scientists often heard during the research was whether you could burn fat by simply breathe more?
The answer to that is of course no. Also wanted some test persons to know or breathe too much then no harm for ‘global warming?
The answer to that question is also negative. “The carbon dioxide molecules that are exhaled by humans, after a few months or years, have been too stuck in the earth, in food or in human fat mass, just back to their natural environment: the atmosphere,” says Meerman.