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They already told us in the physics and chemistry classes of the school: energy is not destroyed, it is transformed. So, when we lose weight, where does that energy go in the form of fat?
That was the question they sent to 150 health professionals – including doctors, dieticians and nutritionists – Professor Andrew J Brown and researcher Ruben Meerman, of the University of South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.
And the answer they received surprised them in an unsatisfactory way.
98% of respondents gave the wrong answer. That is, only three of the 150 experts were able to answer correctly.
Most were inclined to say that the kilos we lose are transformed into another type of energy: heat. This is physically impossible, the researchers explain, because it violates the laws of conservation of matter .
Others answered that fat becomes muscle , something also impossible to ensure, and some said that we eliminate it in the form of faeces when we go to the bathroom.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Given the “surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss “, both scientists specialized in biomolecular processes and biotechnology made public the anecdote and the true answer in the British Medical Journal .
This is because the fat eliminate becomes carbon dioxide and in water . The CO2 is exhaled and the water passes to the circulatory system until we eliminate it in the form of urine and sweat.
In fact, almost everything we eat comes out through our lungs. Experts say that all carbohydrates and almost all the fat we consume are converted into CO2 and H2O. Also alcohol.
The same thing happens with proteins, although some are converted into urea and other solids that we eliminate through urine and sweat.
The only type of food that reaches our colon intact and is eliminated when we go to the bathroom is the dietary fiber that contains edibles such as corn, wheat and other types of grains.
Exhale a lot, solution to the extra kilos?
If the fat is eliminated through the lungs, will we then be able to get rid of those extra kilos by increasing our breathing?
No, warn doctors Meerman and Brown who remember that hyperventilation can cause dizziness and even make us unconscious.
So the only healthy way to lose the fat that is left over is, on the one hand, reducing the calories we eat and, on the other, consciously increasing the amount of carbon dioxide by moving the muscles, increasing our physical activity.
So there is not an easy way to breathe to lose weight, but rather the traditional recipe: create a caloric deficiency spending more calories than you eat.