ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

So where does the fat go when you lose weight?

By Marcus Santer

I was pondering whilst walking Louis through the woods yesterday morning.

After contemplating the serenity prayer and listing 10 things I’m grateful for pondering whilst wandering is something I like to do on Louis walks.

And yesterday I was pondering where fat goes when you lose weight?

It was a question Ollie had asked me.

Seems like a really simply question right?

I mean if you combine exercise and nutrition to lose excess fat, where does it go?

And as I walked I realised I hadn’t got a clue where fat goes when you lose weight.

In fact I discovered I know surprisingly little about the metabolic (the chemical processes that occur in your body to maintain life) process of weight loss.

So when I got home I fired up the Oracle and practiced some Google Fu.

The answer came quickly.

I found an article published in the British Medical Journal aptly titled: When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go?[1]

So here’s the correct answer:

“… most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. It goes into thin air.” – Ruben Meerman, physicist and Australian TV science presenter.

In the article the researchers show that if you follow what happens to the atoms from 10Kg of fat as you lose them, you discover 8.4Kg are breathed out as carbon dioxide and the rest becomes water which your body gets rid of through the usual sources: urine, sweat, faeces etc.

And before you ask…


I’m sorry to say that breathing more will not help you to lose weight =)

You’re still going to have to use the good old fashioned: Exercise + Nutrition if you want to do that.

So there you go, another mystery of life cleared up for you.

Why don’t you have some fun today and ask your family and friends where they think fat goes when you lose weight?

​I think you’ll find the answers very interesting.

Bye for now


P.S. If you found this Z+D interesting you’re going to love the ZEN+ book:

Here’s what one reader had to say:

“I am enjoying very much the Zen + book. You surely have a way of arranging in a very logical and thought provoking way all the important aspects of life. You also have a way of concisely writing about each topic while putting forth the most important information on that topic.” – Paul Hoderlein

Thanks Paul, that’s very kind of you to say.

Now, if you haven’t got a copy yet, you can get the instantly downloadable PDF version here.

[1] Meerman, Ruben, and Andrew J. Brown. “When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go?.” BMJ 349 (2014): g7257.

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