How does excess body fat actually burn?

How does it actually leave our body?

We are frequently asked by both men and women, how do I lean out? How can I lose “x” pounds? How can I lose “this”? (points to an area of the body that they feel has excess fat such as neck, under-arm, belly, etc).

Our common answer to most of these questions is: mindful nutritional habits, caloric deficit/eating to support activity and composition goals, effective workouts and two very important pieces, patience & consistency.

But how does your body actually burn fat?

No, sweat is not “fat crying”. If getting sweaty was all we had to do, we could just sit in a sauna. You also can’t spot reduce a specific area. The only way that’s possible is through surgery.

We are going to over simplify a very complex system as best as we can.

Our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. We need that energy for simple yet very important bodily functions that keep us alive. Throughout the day we are using energy by walking, folding laundry, etc. And then the obvious, we use a lot of energy when we workout (depending on your workout).

When we eat, the glucose and sugars from carbohydrates are the first fuel sources. The liver stores the glucose in the form of glycogen and releases it into the bloodstream as necessary to keep our body functioning. Once that glucose runs out, fat takes over.

Hormones in our body release an enzyme called lipase, which calls fat cells to release their contents into the bloodstream. This content is called triglycerides. This is what makes fat cells fat. The content will then travel to the muscle tissues where it’s needed to be used as energy.

As the fat cells get smaller, it provides us with a leaner composition.

If we consume too much food/energy (example: 2,000 calories) then what we actually burn (example: 1,600 calories), then that unused energy will be stored as fat. This doesn’t happen over the course of a day either. It happens over weeks, months, years of overeating.

Again, this is an over-simplification of a complex process.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. Eat nutrient dense foods, eat balanced meals that support activity levels, workout at least 3-4 days, drink plenty of water, and sleep. And then the two magic words, patience and consistency.

As always, if you feel like you need help and would like some guidance, schedule a free virtual consultation. We’ll listen to your needs and create a plan together.