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It is essential for brain function, muscle growth, and so much more. Now before you jump for joy on the way to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts, I have the unenviable task of making it clear that we're talking about healthy fats that can be found in foods such as avocados, eggs, lean meats, organic dairy, nuts, seeds, bananas, and others. OK, so you can't exactly cut fat out of your system, but where does fat go when you lose it? The answer to that may surprise you.

According to a study by Australian physicist Ruben Meerman and University of New South Wales professor Andrew Brown, the majority of the "lost" mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. The research, published in the British Medical Journal , suggests that many doctors and dieticians still harbour the misconception that fat is converted to energy, heat, or muscle. In reality, as Mr. Meerman points out in a news release , it simply "goes into thin air.

To Burn Fat, You Could Exercise … or Shiver

So the fat doesn't leave your body in the form of urine or feces well, not completely. If you lose 20 pounds, just over 80 percent of that is going to be exhaled by the lungs, and the remainder will be excreted via urine, feces, sweating, and tears happy ones, we hope. All of this might make you rethink your next workout in favour of some breathing exercises to ramp up your fat loss.


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Unfortunately, you cannot lose weight simply by making yourself breathe faster hyperventilating. It doesn't work that way. It happens through a metabolic process, so don't go making yourself light-headed. Just keep your metabolism in check by moving during the day and eating whole, healthy foods. Also drink plenty of water , because it needs to be replaced as we lose it faster during exercise through sweat and respiration.

Eventually, the weight will come off and it'll mostly be expelled through your breath — but you'll only see real results by working out and eating right. Join the conversation. Weight Loss Fat. From Our Partners. Want more?

What’s The Best Exercise For PCOS Weightloss? The Answer May Surprise You

Customize Select the topics that interest you:. But, it turns out that the differences may not matter that much after all. A recently concluded year-long Stanford University study gave the best effort yet at giving a definitive answer. It closely followed a full year of weight-loss attempts by men and women, all of whom were in good health, with an average BMI of 33 class 1 obesity and an average age of 40 years.

As studies go, it was a huge effort and a well-designed approach. Twelve months later, the two groups had lost a total of more than 6, pounds—though some people lost as much as 60 pounds, while others gained as much as 20 pounds. So, on average, which group lost more?

Low-Carb Vs Low-Fat Diets: The Final Answer

At the start of the study, members of each group were instructed to follow a specific diet for the first two months. People in the low-carb group were told to consume only 20 grams of carbs a day—which is low enough to meet the standard for most interpretations of ketogenic dieting.


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  • The low-fat group, on the other hand, consumed only 20 grams of fat per day. After the two months, people in the low-carb group were told to add more carbs back into their diet until they felt they could maintain the diet at that level. The low-fat group was instructed to do the same thing with their fat intake. Crucially, the researchers never told the participants how many calories they could have every day.

    They just told them to "maximize vegetable intake By the end of the third month, researchers found that fat consumption in the low-fat group had doubled to an average of 42 grams of fat per day, up from the original 20 grams.

    What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?

    Meanwhile, carb consumption in the low-carb group shot up from an average of 20 grams of carbs per day to 96 grams per day. Despite this difference in consumption levels, at the end of the 12 months, results showed that it didn't matter at all whether people were focusing on their fat intake or their carb intake. On average, both groups consumed about the same number of calories each day and, even though some individuals gained or lost more weight than others, both groups lost about the same amount of weight. No matter which group they were in, participants saw about the same improvements in measurements like:.

    There were some differences, though. For instance, the low-fat group saw a bigger drop in "bad" cholesterol LDL. The low-fat group lowered the amount of saturated fats they consumed while increasing the amount of fiber in their diets. The low-carb group consumed slightly less fiber, but saw an overall lower glycemic index of their diets. Both groups lowered their overall glycemic load, but the low-carb group lowered it more than the low-fat group.