Where Does Weight Go When You Lose It?

The mirror suggests weight loss and the scales confirm it, but where does it actually go? Do we digest it? Poop it out? We need to know!

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Just like the gas in your car, food you’re putting into your body is used as fuel, says nutritionist Sean Salazar. Unlike cars, though, people consume way more food than they need — anything extra gets stored in the body as fat . To get rid of this excess fuel, you have to be in a “deficit,” consuming less calories than you’re burning off.

Adding exercise on top of the calorie reduction helps burn off more calories, meaning you’ll lose more weight. Just like that car engine burns off fuel, your body heats up and burns off the stored fat as energy in a process known as ketosis. 

Once the fat has been burned, there are a handful of waste products left over. One of these is carbon dioxide, which, according to Salazar, “exits the body through the lungs so that the body doesn’t become too acidic.” In other words, you’re basically breathing out your fat. Ketosis also creates heat, which is dissipated through your skin (either through the evaporation of sweat or the usual radiation of heat outwards from the body), and water, expelled through sweat and urine.

The CO2 goes into the air to be breathed in by trees, and the urine, after processing, eventually makes its way back into the rivers and streams. It’s the circle of, er, fat.

What to Eat When You’re Hungover as Hell on a Diet

Registered dietician and nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein insists, “It’s important to go right back into a healthy routine and not let last night’s overindulgence spiral into a week of them. Start the day fresh with a smart and filling breakfast.” Easier said than done, obviously, but fear not—she’s got some suggestions.

“A good choice would be my cheesy eggs and toast recipe,” says Muhlstein. “When you include dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, you benefit from their chlorophyll and magnesium, which can ease stress and improve mood. Chlorophyll is also very alkalising to the body—it helps detoxify itself from harmful acids caused by alcohol (and the junk foods that one might have eaten while drinking). These dark greens also are high in iron, which promotes oxygen circulation and blood flow to the brain that can help alleviate headaches and an achy body.” Here’s how it’s done:

Ingredients
1 large egg; 1 large egg white (2 tbsp.); non-stick cooking spray; 3 cups fresh spinach; 1 slice low-sodium sprouted whole-grain toast; ½ oz lower-sodium bacon, warm; 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Combine egg and egg white in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
  2. Heat medium nonstick pan, lightly coated with spray, over medium heat.
  3. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add eggs to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Top toast with bacon, spinach, eggs, and cheese.

Just try and avoid having too many shandies while washing it down.