Tag: fat loss

Where Does Burned Body Fat Go?

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When you are losing weight through diet and exercise, do you know what is actually happening within your body?

Do you know what becomes of all these fat cells as your body leans out?

At David’s Way, we believe for one to be successful at weight loss and management, it is imperative that you know and understand what is happening within your body. Knowledge is the key simply because just going through actions is truly not enough. If you do not understand the physiology of your body, you are more likely to put your undesired weight back on after losing it.

Of course, most all people understand that when we  consume more calories than our body can burn, fat cells increase in both size and number. But what becomes of these cells when we diet and exercise?

When you lose fat, your fat cells actually shrink in size, while their number remains roughly the same.  The primary reason for changes in body shape is a reduced size of your fat cells,  not the number of them. When you lose weight, these fat cells remain and if you do not remain vigilant and steadfast in managing your weight, these fat cells are going to enlarge themselves once again. This is one of many reasons why maintaining weight loss is so difficult for most people. This is exactly why healthy nutrition and physical fitness need to become a part of your lifestyle rather than something you just want to get through in order to be ready for the beach in the summer.

How fat loss works.

When we over eat, or consume the wrong foods, the excess calories from fats or carbs is stored in fat cells in the form of triglycerides. This is how your body preserves energy for future needs. Over time, this excess energy results in a fat surplus that can affect your body shape and health. This is why calories consumed versus calories burned is important to weight management even if all we eat is healthy foods. Excess calories are excess calories no matter who you are. You have to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose fat. If you are on a diet and the fat is not coming off, you can be guaranteed that you are still eating more calories than you are burning.

When we maintain a consistent calorie deficit, fats are released from fat cells and transported to the energy-producing machinery of the cells in your body called mitochondria. Here, the fat is broken down through a series of processes to produce energy. This is a process that is occurring within your body 24 hours per day, but for some, the process is hampered when it is still having ten pounds of junk being shoved into a five pound bag. Excess calories overwhelm this process! You must maintain a calorie deficit in order for fat stores in your body to continue to be used as energy, which is the only way to reduce your body fat.

Carbon dioxide and water are the byproducts of fat loss.

 When we consume fewer calories than our body burns, our body composition begins to change. Carbon dioxide and water are released when your body fat is broken down for energy through complex processes within your cells. The carbon dioxide is exhaled during breathing, and the water is disposed of through either urine, sweat, or exhaled air. Disposal of these byproducts is greatly elevated during exercise due to increased breathing and sweating.

The Bottom Line

Of course genetics and medical reasons can make it difficult to lose weight, but they do not make it impossible. Fat loss is a complex process influenced by a number of factors, with diet and physical activity being two of the major ones. With a sufficient calorie deficit and proper exercise regimen, fat cells shrink over time as their contents are used for energy, leading to improved body composition and health.

 

What’s The Difference in Burning Calories and Fat?

In my last article I wrote about what calories are, in this one, I will explain what happens when we burn calories and fat. We hear and use the expression “burning calories” and “burning fat” all the time, but how many of you actually know what this means?

We know that we burn calories when we exert ourselves.

We know if we consume more than we burn, we will get fat.

But, when you ask people what actually happens in your body when you burn calories or fat, you will often be met with a blank stare.

When you lose weight, where does the lost body fat go?

In short, it helps to remember that fat is basically stored energy in your body. During the day when you are moving about, or even at rest, your body converts fat to usable energy for your muscles and other tissues through a series of complex metabolic processes. This causes your fat cells to shrink. These metabolic processes generate heat, which helps maintain your body temperature, and waste products. These waste products are water and carbon dioxide, which are excreted in your urine and sweat or exhaled from your lungs.

Are these two women burning calories or are they burning fat?

Is there a difference between these terms?

This is a simple fact for all of us, to lose weight and get in shape you have to commit yourself to maintaining a good diet coupled with regular exercise in order to burn that unsightly body fat. The first thing you must comprehend about a physical fitness regimen is that just because you are burning through calories, it does not mean you are burning fat. It takes about twenty minutes of moderate exercise for your body to get into the fat burning stage. You will not burn even an ounce of fat until you have exhausted your glycogen stores. If you want your exercise to be meaningful to your overall health, your main focus when you exercise should on burning body fat. You simply can’t lose body fat just from burning calories.

When we exercise, for it to have much benefit we must get our heart rate into the fat burning zone for a minimum of twenty minutes before we start burning body fat for energy.  Of course our bodies will start burning calories from the start, however the calories we burn are from the carbohydrates in our system.

For weight loss, it is not enough to just burn through calories alone!

In order to burn calories from your body fat stores, your body requires the presence of oxygen. There is a certain amount of oxygen that your body needs in order to start burning fat and the only way for you to measure the amount needed for your own body is to keep up with your target heart rate during exercise. We have seen on more than a couple of weight loss sites where they allow their clients to figure into their caloric needs the calories burned through activities such as cleaning house. Unless you are huffing and puffing when pushing your vacuum cleaner around your house, these calories burned are pretty insignificant towards losing body fat. It irritates me to no end that these businesses who promote this actually do know, or damn well should know, this kind of calorie burn is next to meaningless. If pushing a vacuum cleaner did not help their clients to never gain weight, this activity is not going to help them lose that weight either.

Understand this, if you only burn calories from carbohydrates, you will lose almost exclusively “water weight”, this actually leads to a decrease in your metabolism instead of an increase.

When you begin an exercise regimen of any type your diet and exercise become a balancing act. The calories burned from carbohydrates are your energy calories. You must manage your caloric intake when you are on an exercise program to replace your burned energy calories. A common mistake that people make is when they reduce their caloric intake too far. They manage to slow down their metabolism when they actually need to increase it. This is why we advise to adjust your daily intake of calories for only a one to two pound maximum of weight loss per week. If you need to lose faster than this, you really should consider doing so only under the supervision of a doctor.

Burning Fat Calories during Exercise

When we exercise, our body goes through a few stages before it reaches the point where we are actually burning body fat. For the most part, you are only burning sugar (carbohydrates) and little to no fat during about the first 20 minutes of exercise.  You have to get your heart rate into the fat burning zone  past the 20 minute mark if you want to burn fat. And, you must increase your intake of oxygen in order to burn that fat. If you are not working out hard enough for your body to want more oxygen, or conversely, if you are working out too hard, you can”t supply your body with enough oxygen for fat burning.

When you do cardio exercise, you must move at a steady pace so your body will utilize your stored fat as its energy source. You must also bear in mind that once you have reached the fat burning stage, it does not necessarily  mean you will stay there. Remaining in the fat burning zone depends on you moving at a pace that is right for your body. Make sure that you are within your target heart rate range.

If you can speak easy, your heart rate needs to increase.

If you can carry on a labored conversation, you are in the fat burning zone.

If you cannot speak, you have gone anaerobic and need to slow down your pace as you are no longer burning fat because of a lack of oxygen to your muscles.

Burning Fat Calories at Rest

Could burning fat while at rest be any better of an option?

Sounds like a  fantastic idea for the lazy among us I would guess. However, in order to burn fat while at rest comes from paying your dues to the resistance exercise, weight training either with weights or your body weight.

The way for you to continue to burn fat calories at rest takes effort beforehand. This is possible through the anaerobic exercise of weight training.

Weight training is the key to burning fat at rest.

Weight training is an anaerobic activity that will cause you to burn more calories than aerobic exercise.

The calories that you are burning during a weight training session are mostly calories from carbohydrates. However, the calories you burn at rest afterwards are mostly from fat. The scientific and biological reason you are burning fat at rest after weight training is because it increases your metabolism which uses your stored fat as energy.  When you boost your metabolism at rest,  you will be more efficient at burning fat calories.

How is this possible?

Muscles grow through protein synthesis, which is one of the most energy consuming processes in the cell . If you’re building muscles, it is not just the workout itself but also the growth of muscles that consumes energy and burns calories. Additionally, muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue. The more muscles you have, the bigger your resting energy expenditure, which means that your body burns more calories and fat “while doing nothing”.

Live well, Be Well!

Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!