This is a question that I never really thought about until someone recently reached out to me to ask about it. When you lose body fat, where does it go?
It is a question that I find very interesting because after doing just a little bit of research online, I found an absurd amount of misinformation about it.
I have heard that fat just disappears. Another one of my favorites is that your body absorbs it. How about that it turns into muscle? These are all false teachings, and they shouldn’t be given any validity.
In this article, we are going to discuss where fat goes when you lose body fat, and how you can make it happen quicker.
Before we get started, I urge you to download our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). If you want to accelerate fat loss or muscle gain, our FREE workout plans are a great place to start.
When you lose body fat where does it go?
Losing body fat is the main goal of anyone who is overweight. And the fact that almost 80% of the US population is overweight tells us that a lot of people can benefit from losing fat.
But where does it go when you are trying to get rid of it? Your body does everything it can to get rid of excess fat when you are putting your body in a position to shed fat. How you put your body in that position, we will discuss in the next section.
Let’s talk about the main ways that fat is removed from your body.
- Your urine and feces
- Through sweat
How does this work? Well, when you workout and eat healthy, your body will burn more calories than you are consuming. This means that your body needs to make up for those extra calories in some way. So it uses your extra fat stores and gets rid of what it doesn’t use.
As a side effect, it needs to get rid of that extra fat somehow. The first and most obvious one is through urine and feces. The extra fat makes its way through your digestive system, and is excreted through your urine and feces.
Through sweat, it is the same thing, just in a different form.
I find that the most interesting way that fat escapes your body is through exhaling. Fat is converted to carbon dioxide and water, and escapes through your breath.
Of course, there are microscopic amounts of fat. But over time, it is a way that your body gets rid of fat.
How to ensure that you lose fat
Now you understand how fat escapes your body. But there is a problem. Fat isn’t going to just escape your body unless you put your body in a state that allows for this magic to take place.
How are you going to do that? For starters, you need to learn how to calculate your maintenance calorie number. If you have read any of my other articles, you know that I live by promoting maintenance calories.
But why is it so important? Because without this number, you will never know if you are in a caloric deficit or surplus.
A caloric deficit is necessary in order to lose fat. And your maintenance calorie number is there to make sure that you are in a caloric deficit.
Here is an example. If you eat 500 calories per day UNDER your maintenance number, you are going to find that you will lose fat. This is the only way to guarantee fat loss.
I have heard so many people tell me that they can’t lose weight. The first thing I ask them is if they are eating at a caloric deficit. They always tell me that they don’t know if they are.
And there is the problem. We need to hold ourselves accountable and make sure that we are truly staying in a caloric deficit every single day.
Here is a simple rule. If you are overweight and you aren’t losing at least a pound per week, your caloric deficit is not large enough. Change your caloric intake to 250 calories below what you were previously at. Do this for a week and see if you lost a pound.
If you did lose a pound, you are at the correct deficit. If not, drop another 250 calories for the next week.
Workout for maximum results
The number one way to guarantee fat loss is by eating at a caloric deficit. The number 2 way is by working out. Let’s go back to our question, when you lose body fat where does it go? Do you remember our list? One of them was through sweat, and one was through exhaling.
When you workout, you are accelerating both of these ways to get rid of fat. And if you are eating at a caloric deficit, working out is going to really ramp up your results.
But what type of workouts should you do? There are different workout ideas based on your goals.
For example, if you want to lose fat, it is recommended that you do high intensity interval training at least 3 times per week. If you want to build muscle, you probably want to avoid the HIIT workouts and stick to weight training.
While eating at a caloric deficit will get the job done, if you really want to maximize your results, make sure that you find a way to workout through this journey. You will not regret it.
Main Point: When you lose body fat where does it go?
Losing body fat is something that is going to need to happen if you are overweight. But when you lose body fat, where does it go? In this article, we broke down where it goes and how it gets to the point where it can escape.
We learned that fat escapes through your urine, feces, sweat, and breath. But only under optimal conditions. If you are eating at a caloric surplus everyday, you aren’t going to be losing fat.
What happens in a caloric surplus is that your body takes those extra calories and needs to put them somewhere. If you are not consistently working out, those extra calories are going straight to fat stores.
This is how people become obese. They don’t realize that they are consistently eating in a caloric surplus. And after years and years of this, the pounds keep adding up and next thing you know, they are obese.
All you have to do is switch around the cycle and eat at a caloric deficit and next thing you know, you will reverse the process.
Don’t underestimate the need for a solid workout plan. When you combine a caloric deficit with working out, you are going to be unstoppable.
There is no magic formula to losing fat. But knowing where it goes when you lose it is a great start. Don’t be fooled by the plethora of misinformation online. Check out more of our blog posts to see what else you can learn about fitness.