Weight Loss
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So, I was thinking about all the fat on our bodies that has been going away.  So, where does it go?

I've always heard conflicting answers.  Does fat turn to muscle?That seems impossible to me.  The body, I've  heard has a certain number of fat cells.  I've heard they shrink when you lose weight.

So what is happening?  If the cells are shrinking then what was in them and where did it go?  Does it come out when you sweat or go to the bathroom? 

This question is more amazing to me the more pounds someone loses.  Because when you see someone down over 100 lbs from before you ask yourself where it all went.
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fat cells don't go away (unless surgery is involved) or magically turn into muscle.  They simply shrink as the 'fat' stored in the cells is gradually used by your body.
Yes, it gets used, which means it either comes out of your body as waste, or it leaves your body as heat - through your breath or off of your skin

It's like in chemistry/physics class

energy can be neither created nor destroyed

you just pass it along, one way or another

The fat is broken down and used as energy.  You might compare it to gas in a car.  Where does the gas go when you run your car?   Most if it gets used.  What isn't used will likely leave the body as sweat or urine. 
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It allllll oozes out our pores and that's why we have to shower! Gross, oily.

:-D jk lol (though some of it actually does, some can leave through your skin...but you won't get fat oozing out of your pores. Thank goodness. Ew.)

Echo what the others said. It doesn't turn into muscle, since fat tissue and muscle fibers are different.

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So does that mean that if enough of us lose  weight, we'll be contributing to global warming?

Now I feel like I need to do my part for the environment, where did I put that candy bar... :)
thanks for the answers.  I was figuring it was something along those lines.

Wow, if they whole country did CC we'd really be polluting the environment.  The sanitary sewer systems would be overwhelmed, LOL.

Ha! if it did come oozing out of our skin I bet we'd eat a loss less junk.
lol Padlock... I could imagine you walking around with a t shirt or a board saying "Save the Earth and eat a Snickers bar!" haha Love it.
This is what happens.

(Hey, you asked.)
Oh my word trust I think that might be a bit more scientific than most of us wanted to know but thanks for finding that.  It's kind of nice to know the clinical process.

padlock & tenderheart - I started dying laughing at both your comments and if eating a candy bar would help with global warming I would totally be on that band wagon!  Thanks for the giggle, I needed it today.
I'll summarize the page a bit, if that might help. :)

- fat cells contain stored triacylglycerols. (How the food you eat becomes these molecules is another story!) When stimulated by metabolic demands, the TAGs degrade and release three fatty acids (each) into the circulating blood, where they bind to albumin (a blood protein) and are transported to the cells that need energy.

- fatty acids, once inside the energy-requiring cells, are further modified and brought into the mitochondria, where they are oxidized (this is why you need to breathe oxygen, to make this process happen). The oxidization of the fatty acids produces chemicals that the cell uses in its energy-producing pathway called "cell respiration".

So basically your fat cells shrink; the fatty acids released into the blood by those fat cells are transported to energy-requiring cells; and they are broken down to basic chemical components and used to keep your body functioning. The final products of cell respiration are water and other chemicals which are also used by the body.

No sludge, no grease. Biology is amazing. :)

Oh, and for what it's worth, muscle that is repairing itself (aka growing), like after a workout, is one of the most energy-requiring tissues of all. So in a way, fat does "become" muscle - the energy required to build the muscle can come from the mobilization of fat! (Of course, fatty acids and other fuel sources for immediate use can also come from the diet, in yet another amazing process).

So basically all the previous posters were correct, except for robyneg, who was joking. ;)
Most of the fat cells are still there after you lose the weight, they're just empty and flat, and once you start overeating again the fat comes back with a vengeance :)
dkn is right. ^^

However, there is some good news out there - it seems that drained fat cells can die by apoptosis/degradation after a while...


Trustwomen ~

You have passed on some very valuable information. Thank you so much for breaking it down for better understanding. Very Helpful!

Thank you for all your time and effort.


you're welcome :)
Wow, that is pretty amazing.  I hope some of my fat cells will die off one day after much deprivation. 

I'm totally motivated for tonights workout now. Watch out mother earth, I have some fat cells to deplete, LOL.
Hmmm....have you ever noticed that when you gain weight, someone has lost weight or if you lose weight...someone's gained?  So in my humble opinion that's where the fat goes...searches for the next available innocent bystander (usually a female family member or friend).  So if you notice someone losing weight...keep your distance....lol
I was pondering this same thing last night! 

Trustwomen, that was exactly the answer I was looking for. 

I was bio major :) 
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Thought i'd post this for those interested...it was a yahoo feature yesterday, and it fits right in here...

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/joybauernutri tion/16926/can-you-turn-fat-into-muscle


Aug 16 2007 17:15
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That's really interesting! The part where she recommends to build muscles you need to eat in grams 50% of your body weight in pounds (so for me who's 140lbs, I should be eating at least 70g protein a day) was a real eye opener!

 I looked back at my logs since I joined the site at the beginning of this month, and only ONCE have I exceeded 70gs protein - I need to start eating more protein, people...help!

Apart from the usual meat, fish and eggs, what other foods are rich in protein? (and how on earth to vegetarians and vegans get enough?!)

Thanks for your help!


Beans, nuts, soy, dairy...
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