Where Does Fat Go When We Lose Weight?

Our blogs are inspired by the questions we are asked by our clients. Someone recently asked me –

“Where does fat go? What happens to our fat cells when we lose weight?”

Since, I am more of an expert at getting people moving and improving their durability, not at fat loss I thought I would ask this to my colleague and North Vancouver fat loss expert, Martin Bolduc, Personal Trainer. Please read the first in a series of guest expert interviews.

Where Does Fat Go When We Lose Weight?

MB:

As you go about your fat loss journey, if you often find yourself wondering just where the fat goes, you aren’t alone. Many people often pose the question of what happens as you burn off body fat. Do fat cells release their stored fat as you burn them off and remain empty or do the cells themselves actually disappear? Let’s take a closer look at what happens as you burn fat so that you can gain a full understanding of the fat loss process.

When we lose weight, do fat cells shrink?

MB:

When fat loss begins to take place, which is due to fewer calories being consumed than being burned off throughout the course of the day, the body is going to be releasing stored triglycerides from the fat cells for use as energy, causing the fat cells to shrink down, as mentioned in the Human Fat Cell Lipolysis journal article. As this fat loss takes place, you may notice your fat cells becoming squishier to
the touch as they are emptied of their contents. These cells will never disappear so the chance of them expanding again if you consume too much food will always still be there.

Do we have the capacity for more fat cells?

MB:

Yes, fat cell hyperplasia is a very real thing, as noted in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The body can start to produce new fat cells as excess food is consumed and periods of inactivity are undertaken,which then means staying lean in the future may become much more difficult.This is a big reason why maintaining a regular exercise program and watching what you eat is critical to long-term weight control. While you can diet down and lose the contents of your fat cells, once those fatcells are created, they can never be destroyed without resorting to surgical measures.

References

Arner, P. (2005). Human fat cell lipolysis: Biochemistry, regulation, and clinical role. Best Practice Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vol. 19, Issue 4.
Roberts, C. (2006). Inactivity and fat cell hyperplasia: fat chance? Journal of Applied Physiology. Vol102. No. 4.

About Martin Bolduc

He is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Express Fat Loss and the winner of the Lean Body Challenge 2008. Martin is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer ACE and BCRPA, and a natural bodybuilder. Martin continues to help hundreds of clients reach their fat loss goals their goals. Get more fat loss tips by reading Martin’s blog at Bolduc Health and Fitness

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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Nadeem - September 10, 2013 Reply

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions….

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