If you're following the keto diet, you're undoubtedly well aware that it's a great way to lose weight and lose fat. However, you have probably wondered 🤔 how the body converts stored fat to energy 🔋. What happens to the fat once it's been consumed? And, how can I get my body to burn fat so I can lose weight? Don't worry – if you asked yourself these questions, we've got the answers 👏🏻🤓
It's a lot easier to control our body fat levels if we understand how fat is stored and burned by the body.
Of course, it's a complicated process, and we don't expect you to have a human biology degree 🔬. But that's fine – you don't need to grasp every detail… just the fundamentals will be enough.
If you're carrying a few extra pounds, it simply implies that you're consuming more energy (calories) than you're using 📈. Adipose tissue, all across your body, stores the extra energy.
One of the reasons why so many people are gaining weight nowadays is that today's processed foods 🍟 are so high in energy that it has become very easy to consume more energy than our bodies utilize, resulting in excess 🆘.
How does your body use energy? 🤔
Well, surprisingly, it is used in more ways than you’d think...
- When you're sleeping/resting 🛌🏻 . Your heart requires energy to pump, your lungs require energy to breathe, and your brain requires energy to think. This is referred to as basal metabolism.
- When you're on the move 🚶🏻.Whether you're getting out of a chair, walking a few kilometers, or running a marathon, your muscles require energy.
- When you're eating 🍽️ .To break down food, your digestive system requires energy.
What happens to body fat when you diet? 🥦
When you follow a diet, you consume fewer calories 📉 than your body requires. This is referred to as a calorie deficit. As a result of the energy deficit, your body taps into fat reserves for fuel ⛽.
However, it's vital to remember that your body will use the energy stored in your bloodstream and muscles first, before turning to the energy stored in fat. Fat is your body's store of energy, similar to the money in your bank account. Glycogen ✨(the energy stored in your bloodstream and muscles) is energy that can be used right away, like a credit card 💳.
Before traveling to "the bank," aka fat stores, to withdraw saved energy, the body will use up the "credit card" glycogen.
So where does used fat go? 🤷🏻
The science behind this process is a bit complex. But, keep in mind that the fat stored in your cells will eventually be broken down into two byproducts: carbon dioxide 💨 and water 💧.
The byproducts of fat metabolism leave your body:
- Through your skin (when you sweat) and by your kidneys as water (when you urinate).
-Through your lungs, similar to carbon dioxide (when you breathe out).
Where do you lose fat first? 😦
Let's be honest, we all desire to lose weight in certain areas such as the belly, hips, thighs, and butt.
However, the bad news is that spot reduction, or losing weight in a particular area is not possible 😔, and where we lose fat first will depend on our genes 🧬.
Humans are complex animals, but in most circumstances, the first place you put on fat is also the last place you take it off.
Losing weight is primarily an interior effort. You will lose "hard fat" that surrounds your organs 🫀, such as the liver and kidneys, before moving on to "soft fat", such as the waistline and thighs 🦵🏻. You get leaner and stronger as fat around your organs is lost.
Fat reduction is a complicated process regulated by a variety of factors, including food and physical exercise.
Fat cells shrink over time as their contents are consumed for energy, leading to improved body composition and health, with a significant calorie deficit and an appropriate exercise program.