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It’s kind of a funny question, “Where does fat go when you lose weight?”
Almost like you’ve misplaced that fat and it’s up and disappeared on you.
The wording is funny, but the struggle to see that fat and weight loss is incredibly serious and real for countless millions of people around the world.
To help you understand the answer to the question, “Where does fat go when you lose weight?” we’re going to take a deep dive into where the fat comes from in the first place, and how you can burn it once it’s stored in your body.
By the time you get to the end of this page, you’ll have a much better idea about how to achieve the fat loss you want—and we’ve got a special program that will get you there!
Where Does Fat Go When You Lose Weight?
Before we answer this question, we need to take a step back and look at what the fat you’re talking about really is.
There are basically two forms of fat that account for the “body fat” most people are thinking of:
Triglycerides. These are free-floating fat cells in your bloodstream, intended to be available for your body should you need a quick burst of energy. Fats are high in energy (9 calories per gram of fat, versus 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates or proteins), so they’re quickly available should you need to engage in some high-intensity exercise that demands a lot of energy.
Stored fat. These are triglycerides (and glucose) that have been stored in the adipose tissue around your body. This fat is typically inert, and has to be activated from the adipose tissue in order to be utilized.
As you can imagine, the second type of fat is much harder to burn than the first. While triglycerides are always available in your bloodstream, the activation of stored fat requires an abnormally high energy expenditure that burns through all your available energy (stored in your bloodstream and liver), which forces your body to tap into its “reserves” to keep up with energy demands. Typically, this happens when you exercise, though a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn) can also lead to the activation of stored fat.
That stored fat is the stuff that you see forming around your waistline, hips, belly, thighs, the backs of your arms, and so on. You are genetically programmed to accumulate fat as a means of protecting your body against times of starvation and limited energy supply. Unfortunately, thanks to our modern diet and the high availability of food, we rarely draw on the stored fats, but often end up adding more and more and more—which is reflected in fat and weight gain.
The good news is that shifting your body into a caloric deficit—either through diet or exercise or a combination of both—can activate the stored fats. That is where the weight gets “lost”, as you force your body to tap into its reserves in order to keep up with energy demands.
Now, you may be thinking, “Well, if I just keep my body at a huge caloric deficit, I can lose the weight really quickly!”
The answer is sort of yes, and definitely no.
Let me explain…
In the short-term, a huge caloric deficit (upwards of 500 calories per day) can lead to drastic weight loss. First your body will get rid of all the stored water, then it will burn through the energy in your liver and bloodstream, and finally it will activate stored fats. You’ll find that being at a 1,000-calorie deficit every day can lead to some pretty noticeable weight loss—IN THE SHORT TERM (capitalized for extra emphasis).
In the long-term, however, a huge caloric deficit will backfire. Your body is designed to adapt to both energy supply and demand. If you’re burning hundreds of additional calories every day, your body produces more energy (from the food you eat and stored fat) to keep up with those demands. If you’re consuming very little energy, your body begins to shut down or reduce functionality in order to keep up with the supply.
Healthy, manageable, and (this is the real key) sustainable weight loss isn’t fast, nor does it happen by putting your body at a huge daily caloric deficit. Between your exercise and your diet, you should be at a deficit of no more than 500 calories per day.
Let’s say you’re an average male who burns around 2,000 calories per day at your basal metabolic rate. Now, add in 300 calories burned via exercise—putting you at 2,300 calories per day.
If you were to cut 500 calories from your base 2,000-per-day rate, you’d end up at a deficit of 800 calories (2,300 – 500 of reduced eating + 300 of exercise). Your body would treat that deficit as “too large”, and it would begin shutting down in order to keep up with the reduced energy supply.
To be healthy, you’d have to first account for your daily energy needs (2,000 + 300), then subtract 500 calories from that final number—giving you 1,800 calories per day. That is the amount that you’d have to eat to lose weight without putting your body into “Starvation Shutdown Mode”.
Where Does Fat Go When You Lose Weight? Find Out More With Get Yoga Lean
If you want to find out more about how to live a healthy life—combining exercise, diet, and a balanced lifestyle to improve your fitness—then you need Yoga Lean.
This program is created for people like you, those who want to know more about their bodies so they can take back control of their health, diet, and weight loss. With Get Yoga Lean, you’ll never have to wonder “Where does fat go when you lose weight?” because you’ll know exactly what’s causing your weight loss and how you’re making your fitness goals a reality today!
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