What Happens to Your Fat When You Lose Weight?

From the Show: HER
Summary: If fat doesn't turn into heat or energy (which is what scientists and doctors previously thought happened), what does happen to it?
Air Date: 1/29/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Ruben Meerman, PhD
Ruben MeermanRuben Meerman, PhD, studied physics at the Queensland University of Technology. He graduated in 1993 and worked at Laserdyne Technologies Pty Ltd on the Gold Coast designing and manufacturing thin film, multilayer optical coatings and using physical vapour deposition (evaporative and electron beam) techniques for gas and solid state laser applications.

Ruben completed a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication at the Australian National University in 1995. As part of the coursework, Ruben and fourteen other science graduates toured with the Shell Questacon Science Circus performing science shows in primary and high schools as part of a graduate diploma in science communication.

Ruben launched the "surfing scientist" school program on the Gold Coast in 1997 with support from Griffith University's School of Environmental Science where he enrolled for a PhD. He has been visiting schools as the "surfing scientist" ever since.

Ruben's PhDtopic was an "assessment of the impact of shark meshing on the risk of shark attack" but, sadly, he got extremely distracted by a grand idea and never completed the study (Christopher Ness is now working on the question at the University of Sydney).
What Happens to Your Fat When You Lose Weight?
If you've made a weight-loss goal and you've been making progress along the way to your goal weight, you might often wonder, "where does the fat that I've lost go?"

Ruben Meerman, PhD, thought about this frequently during his own weight loss transformation. Dr. Meerman became intrigued with the biochemistry of weight loss after he lost 15 kilograms/33 pounds.

Many doctors, personal trainers, researchers, and dieticians believe that the fat you lose is converted into energy or heat in your body. However, this is far from true.

Dr. Meerman and Dr. Brown, a professor at UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, had a paper published in the British Medical Journal that examined where fat really goes.

According to their paper, if you follow the atoms in 10 kilograms/22 pounds of fat, 8.4 of these kilograms/pounds are exhaled from carbon dioxide through your lungs. The remaining kilograms/pounds become water, which can be excreted from sweat, breath, tears, or bodily fluids.

Dr. Meerman shares his personal experience with weight loss, as well as why he decided to look into the puzzling question, 'When you lose weight, where does your fat go?"