How does fat leave the body?

 Q: How does fat leave the body?

A:  *Actually, your fat cells stay right where they are. What is happening is the contents of the fat cells are released, in the form of free fatty acids (ffas). These ffas are then converted and used for energy by your body.

The energy that goes into the biological system known as “the body” is measured in calories that are derived from macro-nutrients that make up food.  This “chemical” energy derived from food is then utilized to be transferred into other required forms of energy to accomplish physiological processes in the body, as well as produce body movement (mechanical energy) and give off “heat energy” as a by-product etc.

In other words, the energy that “goes out” from the body consists of calories that are expended due to 1) human metabolism (a sum of all of the chemical reactions that take place in the body) and 2) physical activity or human movement.

So think of your fat cells as balloons that inflate and deflate. Inflating when you eat too many calories and then the excess get stored. Deflating when you don’t have enough immediate calories available and the stored energy (in the form of ffas) get released.

*(Super simplified example)




This question came up recently on one of the forums I frequent. I thought it was a good one, so I decided to add my answer here.

If I had to pick just one (part two)

In part one of this article I gave my views on picking one exercise out of the many that exist and what I thought about that. If you want to read part one then go here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Today I am talking about a much simpler choice. If I had to choose just one form of exercise to be the most important one for the promotion of long term health and functional capacity, which one would I choose?

In 1991, William Evans, PhD, and Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, professors of nutrition and medicine, respectively, at Tufts University published a book titled Biomarkers: The 10 Keys to Prolonging Vitality”. In this book they discuss 10 key factors that affect the way our bodies appear to decline over time along with simple strategies we may use to enhance our health and well being and prolong our functional capacity as we age.

Many things are discussed in the book but it turns out that there is one form of exercise that is better then all the rest. And the winner is (drum roll please) Strength Training.

It turns out that Strength training has a positive impact on each of the ten biomarkers mentioned in this book.

  1. Bone density: Strength training may improve bone density and aid in warding off osteoporosis.
  2. Body temperature regulation: By gaining or maintaining lean muscle mass the body may more easily maintain an optimal internal temperature.
  3. Basal metabolic rate: The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to ward off the gradual decline in BMR that can manifest as we age.
  4. Blood sugar tolerance: The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to ward off the onset of type two diabetes through its positive impact on the body’s ability to use glucose in the bloodstream.
  5. A decline in muscle strength: The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to ward off the gradual deterioration of muscles and motor nerves which can begin as early as the age of thirty in sedentary folks.
  6. Body Composition: The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to ward off the common increase in fat to muscle ratio which often occurs as we age and is exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle.
  7. Aerobic capacity: Counter intuitively for some, the addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to enhance aerobic capacity both directly through well structured training and indirectly by enhancing the muscles ability to use oxygen efficiently, which may decline by up to 40 percent by the age of 65.
  8. Cholesterol and HDL ratio: The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to improve HDL / LDL ratios.
  9. A decline in lean muscle mass: The average sedentary American may lose up to 6.6 lbs of muscle mass with each decade after young adulthood, and the rate of loss tends to increase after age 45 (but only if one doesn’t do anything to replace it). So…Strength train.
  10. The addition or maintenance of lean muscle mass may help to ward off a steady increase in blood pressure often seen in Americans as we age.

So there you have it, 10 reasons why you should be including a simple strength training program in your life. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get to it! If you need any help visit us at for tons of great information.

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How to stimulate your metabolic rate

Diet and Exercise Changes Can Affect How Your Body Uses Energy

People who participate in fitness related activities strive to build, shape and tone their bodies to achieve their goals. The primary factor affecting this change is the body’s metabolic rate.

What Is Metabolic Rate?

Your metabolic rate is the energy expended to sustain your body’s functionality. This includes the internal organs such as the heart, kidney, and stomach and all of the small cellular reactions taking place in your blood that keep your cells working so that your body can keep you alive.


The most significant effect on metabolic rate is achieved through exercise. During moderate to vigorous activity you elevate your metabolic rate expending hundreds of additional calories. This can be accomplished by aerobic activities. The more vigorously you exercise the more calories you use per minute. Regular resistive training (weights, body weight, and medicine balls) can also help. The benefits are lower blood pressure, better endurance, stronger muscles, joints and bones. The more muscle mass you create, the more calories you burn. Every pound of muscle that you build burns an extra 50 calories of stored energy. (One pound of human fat equals 3500 calories.)


We all know we need sleep. Apparently, good sleep helps us lose weight. Interrupted sleep increases a hormone in our bodies called “ghrelin” that increases appetite. So try and get your 6-8 hours a night. Read a book before you sleep. Practice meditation and gentle stretching before you go to bed. It can help relax you and you’ll enjoy a deep and restorative night’s sleep.


Eat small regular meals.

Eating small meals or snacks at regularly timed intervals seems to result in a slightly higher metabolism. The reasoning is that if someone eats small meals consisting of a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats their metabolism burns energy more evenly over the course of a day. Skipping meals or making the wrong food choices can alter your metabolism making it erratic and confusing your body as to how it is to process energy. If you are changing your eating habits to eat more frequently please make sure you are not adding calories to the change.

Consume protein

It takes more calories to digest protein. A high protein diet intake may also reduce hunger. Why? Sugars in the diet (carbohydrates) stimulate the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is the chemical hormone that your body produces to facilitate the uptake of sugar into our bodies. Replace high carbohydrates and empty calorie foods with proteins such eggs, fish, nonfat diary products and lean meats. The correct balance of non-meat sources such as whole grains, minimally processed, soy based foods as well as rice and beans may also create complete proteins.

Avoid restrictive dieting

Limiting caloric intake too severely can decrease your resting metabolic rate. A reaction known as the “somatic response” your body goes into energy conservation mode. In other words, it slows down to cope with the food decrease. This response creates a yo-yo response to your metabolism speeding it up and down and making it difficult for your body to kick start your energy burning center (i.e. Muscles). As illustrated before, eat small regular meals throughout the day and you’ll be more likely to burn stored energy more effectively.


Enjoy flavorful foods and small portions of food. Increase your exercise intensity aerobically and participate in regular strength training 3-4 x week, Practice these things consistently and you’ll soon see your body the way you want it to be.

Abu Pigott D.C.