Question: Do fat cells go away with weight loss?

Question and AnswerQuestion and Answer

Fat loss and fat cells: The real truth!

Obesity - Fat Belly
Obesity – Fat Belly

A lot of dieters have no idea what fat is and why many of us have to much of it. To them, fat is the bane of their existence and they failed to understand the purpose behind fat. Fat has a purpose and without fat, the human race would have failed many years ago.

So what is fat? Fat quite simply is a macronutrient nutrient that we use for energy. Fat tissue is a group of cells that we use to store excess fat and calories for future use. Fat tissue is made up of adipose cells or fat cells. These cells are where the fat is stored in large vacuoles within the cell itself. If you did not have fat cells, you would wither away and die whenever food was sparse or a draught occurred.

So what happens to fat when we lose weight? When we lose weight, we create a calorie deficit and we burn the fat in place of the food that we do not eat. Quite simply, we use it for energy to maintain the normal order of our body. As the fat is depleted within the fat cells, the cells shrink, but they never go away. You can make more fat cells but rarely do you reduce the number of fat cells once they are created.

Pound of Fat
Pound of Fat

Fat is burned to create energy. The burning does not produce a flame. The fat, like any energy source such as coal or oil, is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. As we use fat for energy, it is converted into carbon dioxide and water and these elements are excreted in your breath or urine. Fat does not magically melt away. It is a gradual process created by a caloric deificit.

The bottom line: Weight loss does not destroy or eliminate fat cells. Weight loss reduces the size of fat cells. Excess calories are stored as fat and when you have a deficit in calories, fat is used is energy in the fat cells shrink. Good luck with creating a deficit and remember that a flat belly is made in the kitchen and not the gym.

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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