Where Does Body Fat Go When We Lose Weight?

Today’s “Ask the Nutrition Consultant” question comes from Charlize!

Q: Where does body fat go when you lose weight?

A: Fantastic question Charlize! Most people assume we poop out body fat when we lose weight but it is actually released as carbon dioxide and water. 

When stored adipose tissue or body fat is broken down (a process called fat oxidation) it is converted to carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide is released when you exhale, and the fat that becomes water mixes into your circulation until it’s lost as urine, tears, sweat or other bodily fluids. The majority is lost as carbon dioxide. For an example: if you lose 10 kilograms of body fat, 8.4 kilograms comes out through your lungs, and 1.6 kilograms turns into water. 

Image shared from: 

Meerman R, Brown A J. When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? BMJ 2014; 349 :g7257 doi:10.1136/bmj.g7257

* indicates required