A few years ago I went surfing in Oahu, Hawaii and one of my friends took me some photos, which was really great. Except that I couldn’t help but notice my big belly. Somehow I’ve managed to become 15 kg overweight and I couldn’t believe my eyes. So I did what I tell you to do: eat less and move more. And within just 3 months I discovered I’ve lost 8 kg.
Then I figured out how many grams I’ve lost every day and the average value was around 90 g per day. This got me very curious about a question that I’ve discovered most people have no clue about. In fact, they’ve never thought about this. When somebody loses weight, where does it go? What is it become? How is it get out of your body? Well, I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to find out that many people’s answer was: “fat becomes energy”. Oh, so you thought this too? No, it’s wrong!
Weight Loss Is Chemistry
The chemical formula for the average fat molecule in the human body is C55H104O6. Some of the molecules might have a few more carbon or hydrogen atoms and some have less, but they all have 6 oxygen atoms. Let’s be very clear about this. The difference between a fat body and a fit body it’s not just a single letter, it’s this molecule: C55H104O6.
So how does this stuff get out of the human body? Well below is the general equation of how losing weight works. When you wanna lose weight, you wanna lose kilograms. But energy has different units, kiloJoules, or you might use calories. And you can’t transform kilograms in calories, you just can’t! So that’s not where the fat goes, it doesn’t become energy.
People seem to not understand that when you lose weight, you lose mass, you lose atoms. You can’t just turn atoms into nothing, into pure energy. It’s called the conservation of mass before the chemical reaction and after reaction. So if there is a mass of fat on your belly, there should be a mass of something that get out of your body. And that something is carbon dioxide and water, as you can see below.
10 kg Of Burned Fat = ?
Here is my question: If I have 10 kg of fat to lose, then how much carbon dioxide does that become and how much water? And it turns out that that was really simple too. All I need to do is to calculate the ratio of water and carbon dioxide which come out from a single fat molecule. After I did the math, I got 16% of water and 84% of CO2.
So here is the answer to my question:
- 84% of the fat is exhaled as carbon dioxide;
- 16% of fat is excreted as water.
This means that 10 kg of fat becomes 8.4 kg of invisible gas that you breath out, and that is amazing! Every time you’re doing some exercises your breathing rate goes up and you’re losing more weight than when you’re sitting down and not breathing as rapidly. And 1.6 kg of fat comes out as water and it can come out with your urine, sweat or poop.
Now I’ve got a weird questions that I need to answer: “Can I just breath more to lose weight?” No. You can get the fat out of your body by either moving more or eating less. You need to starve yourself of energy so that your body starts breaking these big molecules of fat.
Did you know that the food (and fat at the same time) you eat now was made by plants, which took the sunlights and glued water to carbon dioxide? If you think about it, the energy you eat is actually sunlight. You eat sunlight, that’s the energy you get.
All you have to do to lose weight is to turn it into carbon dioxide and water, and to do that all you have to do is to eat less, move more and keep breathing. I hope you understood the basic mathematics of weight loss and eventually will share these things with your friends. Stay fit!