100 lb. Club - Does fat leave?

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04-30-2008, 09:26 PM
Ok...I have an interesting question for the group today.

I was wondering how exactly the fat leaves our bodies? I have asked a few people in real life just to see what they thought. Some say our bodies just burn it and it disappears. Wouldn't there be some remnant left to get rid of? Some think we get rid of it when we go to the bathroom.

Does anyone know for sure? If not, how do you think it happens??

04-30-2008, 09:41 PM
That is a very interesting question. Now I am wondering the same thing myself. I wonder if it shrinks? I think I remember hearing that you always still have the same amount of fat cells (as you had at your fattest weight), but they shrink. I could be wrong though.

04-30-2008, 09:47 PM
That is a very interesting question. Now I am wondering the same thing myself. I wonder if it shrinks? I think I remember hearing that you always still have the same amount of fat cells (as you had at your fattest weight), but they shrink. I could be wrong though.

I heard the same thing.

Get n healthy
04-30-2008, 09:57 PM
Yeah, you always have the same number of fat cells, just smaller cells. Unfortunately, when we are gaining weight those cells swell and then divide/multiple...too bad when we lose weight they dont disappear. I am getting a ton of mine lopped off with a tummy tuck when i lose it all...take that belly fat cells. ha ha

04-30-2008, 09:58 PM
I studied this in college, but it's pretty complicated and hard for me to explain simply (because I don't understand it all that well), but there are many chemical reactions that take place in the body.

In a nutshell, the body is a giant chemical processing plant that can take some substances and turn them into other substances that the body can use either as energy or to repair or rebuild organ structures. Think of it as body organs are always in a constant state of being damaged and rebuilt. For example skin cells slough off every day, and your body uses components in our food, water and air to make new skin cells. This is true for your whole body. We make new cells and get rid of old ones every day. Food, water, air are used to keep everything working - anything that is left over (the dead cells, the undigested bits of food, anything the body can't use) is excreted - in urine, feces, sweat, saliva, exhaled breath...

Fat molecules may not be fat molecules when they're excreted - they might have been broken down into smaller components that aren't really fat anymore, or some of it may leave undigested (for example if you're taking Alli or Orlistat, some of the fat will not be digested - with potentially yucky consequences).

Your body can create fat cells, but doesn't destroy them. So you can think of the fat cell as a grease-filled balloon. You can empty the balloons of the grease, but you'll still have the balloons.

04-30-2008, 10:05 PM

04-30-2008, 10:14 PM
Really good info! Thanks for asking this question. I've often wondered the same thing.

math puppy
04-30-2008, 10:27 PM
good job kalods! that was an excellent explination!

04-30-2008, 10:50 PM
Here is an explanation that I actually learned a couple days ago from a book that my friend's younger sister has that answers life's puzzling questions. Basically, muscles look for 2 sources for energy, sugar and fat. The more active we are the more energy the muscles burn from fat. So after fat is burned there are 3 components left. That is carbon dioxide ( which we breath out), water ( sweat, urine, etc.) and something called ketones, which are fragments or partially burned fat. The ketones or processed by the liver and either get burned in the muscles or brain for energy, and some get broken down in the kidney. But for the most part burned fat becomes either energy, water, or carbon dioxide. Hope that helps!

04-30-2008, 11:09 PM
yup and the only way to get a fat cell to actually completely leave your body is with some LIPO where they suck that puppy right outta ya LOL

04-30-2008, 11:35 PM
Oprah says that you pee it out. Not fat cells, which you cannot get rid of without surgery!


05-01-2008, 01:32 AM
yup and the only way to get a fat cell to actually completely leave your body is with some LIPO where they suck that puppy right outta ya LOL

:lol: Trazey, you crack me up!
Thanks everyone for the great responses!

05-01-2008, 11:52 AM
This is a little depressing....you're telling me that my body created tons and tons of fat cells when I got fat and now I can never get rid of them? So in theory a fat person can never really be thin?

But you see it all the time, people who have lost tons of weight and are now in incredible shape and look great. Can our fat cells shrink to minuscule size and almost disappear?

05-01-2008, 11:57 AM
Wisher, as I understand vaguely we did not create new fat cells when we gained weight. We simply 'filled' them as kaplods explains. I was always under the understanding that we've always had the same rough amount of fat cells throughout life, we just inflated them.

ETA~ Looking over kaplods post again I see I may have misunderstood what I've been told. I guess bodies do create new fat cells. Hmph.

05-01-2008, 12:59 PM
Don't worry about fat on a molecular level, if you have 100 or a million fat cells who cares as long as your a$$ looks nice in jeans :D

05-01-2008, 01:02 PM
Wisher.. it is kid of depressing to think that we will always have those fat cells. This wasn't something that was on my mind not too long ago when it occured to me no matter how much weight I lose I will always be a fat person. I will always have to watch what I eat, no matter how thin I get! I will eventually be a fat person in disguise... I guess this whole fat cell thing just reconfirms it for me.

05-01-2008, 01:53 PM
ahahaahahaha :lol: TRAZEY! You kill me!!! Your sense of humor is soooo much like mine!

Seriously--- I was talking to my mom (who is starting out right around the same place you did, Trazey--- probably around the same ages too--- so I use you as an example that it CAN be done and there's none of these "I'm older than you, it's been too long, etc etc" excuses)

She was SHOCKED about the idea of loose skin--- she had never thought about it before. I go, "Seriously-- mom-- you think that big body of yours will just disappear? The filling goes away, not the shell" It was enough to make her quit... HOWEVER... I told her "seriously--- who's gonna KNOW you have loose skin on yoru belly? Your husband and you... and I'm sure your husband would MUCH prefer some skin moving around than MOUNDS OF FAT moving around, right??" Put some clothes on, buy some spanx, and no one will ever know the "old you" ever existed. It's your personal secret. ::shrug:: That's my take on it. The skins there, whether it's loose or filled with FAT. You choose how you prefer it to look. If you get nice and thin, you certainly always have the option to fill that skin back up (and easily, too). I don't think anyone would CHOOSE to do that once they got thin!

traci in training
05-01-2008, 02:23 PM
The scientific part is yes - you never lose the fat cells, you just shrink them.

The IMPORTANT part is that yes - you lose that fat when you lose pounds. The better you lose the pounds, the less trouble you have with the other issues - eat right, exercise, lose it slowly, lose it for life, and your skin problems will be much less than if you try to lose it quick, use a bunch of pills, or use surgery.

That said - I know some people have to use the pills or the surgery or whatever and I'm not knocking that. You have to do what you have to do. I just think your body works with you better if you don't have to resort to those things. I've lost quite a lot of weight and I'm more wrinkly - especially my hands and face - but the only "skin" issues I have so far is on my stomach. I'm too old for bikinis anyway, so I can live with that.

05-01-2008, 02:43 PM
Not everyone has the same degree of loose skin. Skin can be very elastic. Post-menopause skin is likely to be less elastic, so extra skin may be more likely, but how much extra skin and where it is located varies alot from person to person (even if their starting and ending weights are the same).

Again, I think a balloon analogy works very well. If you blow up a balloon and then let the air out, some balloons go right back to the shape they started at, some will be a bit stretched out. There's really no way to tell ahead of time which kind of balloon you will be.

I'm not too worried about the number of fat cells, because once the fat balloons are emptied, the balloon itself takes up very little room. It's like my last boss's 40th birthday. Someone brought in several bags of party balloons (that would have probably fit in a lunch sack) and blew them up to completely fill his small office (not top to bottom, but several feet thick).

05-01-2008, 04:05 PM
I did a little more research and have read about the fat cells. Apparently, not only do you want to lose weight at a reasonable rate (1-3lbs/week) for the loose skin but also because of the fat cells. They don't go away...but if you lose your weight slowly, it gives the cells more time to shrink. It is said that people who lose weight fast will be more likely to put it back on ( as we all know) because their fat cells didn't have enough time to shrink. Doesn't sound too bad...they won't go away...but will shrink with time. :p

05-01-2008, 04:41 PM
This probably explains why some people can seem to balloon up (no pun intended) to incredibly large sizes in body weight while others hit a certain plateau and never gain beyond that. It could also explain why we have the same problem when we are losing weight. Some of us can get down to a size 0-2-4 (take your pick) while others seem to "settle" in around a 10-12-14.

I too heard that the only way to truly get rid of fat cells is to have liposuction done. I always had a "swelling" right above my bikini line even when I was skinny and I hated it! I think that is where a lot of my fat cells will remain so when the time comes, I am going to have those "pups" sucked out too. Good riddance!;)