Q1. Where does fat go?

As we explained in the earlier blog ‘Weight Management Guide – Part 2’ in order to lose weight, we need to increase the amount of calories expended. This is influenced by exercise, dietary habits, gender, muscle mass and basal metabolic rate.


In order to burn more fat, we need to burn more fuel. By burning more fuel we produce more carbon dioxide and water and this is where your fat ‘disappears’ to.


There is a complex mathematical formula for fat burning:


C55H104O6 + 78O2 à 55CO2 + 52H2O + energy


This is a scientific process that involves a number of chemical equations. In a nutshell, when we consume carbohydrate and fat, a whole lot of chemical reactions take place (represented by the arrow) in order to break down that fuel, culminating in the production of carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and energy.  The consumption of O2 (through breathing) and the production of CO2 and H2O continually allow for chemical reactions to occur and we are able to perform more work and produce more heat.


Through exercising and by increasing our breathing rate, we produce more carbon dioxide and water and are therefore able to burn more fuel and thus burn more fat.


 Can I choose how fat is metabolised and where it is distributed? Watch the video for detail.



We cannot choose where fat goes, that is, we cannot ‘spot reduce’. However, we do know that an exercise intervention has a positive outcome on visceral adipose tissue (VAT) rather than subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). VAT is the fat that surrounds your body’s organs as opposed to SAT which is fat located under the skin. VAT is the fat associated with negative long term health complications and disease and so our aim is to reduce this.


As we train harder and get fitter, the body becomes more efficient at creating enough energy required for us to function. Therefore to continue seeing results, we need to keep increasing intensity and progressively overloading the body in order to keep challenging the body to burn more fuel.


That is why here at Longevity we regularly monitor your weight and body composition and perform exercise testing to accurately select the intensity and resistance required to allow for optimal fuel burning.


Next week we will address another common question that is often asked relating to weight management…



Written by Beth Israelson

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