How Does Your Body Burn Fat?

Most functions of the human body work via a series of chemical processes. This is true for fat metabolism as well. The exact mechanism the body uses to remove fat is biochemical and complex. There is a difference between fat products that you eat and fat that is stored for energy. Fat you eat is immediately broken down. Stored fat is your body's way of storing calories it has not yet used. Ultimately, the application of thermogenics produces energy from food and fat.

Creating Fat

Simply defined, metabolism as the process that coverts food into energy. Metabolism is a balancing act. To understand how the body gets rid of fat, you should understand how it is created. Your body needs a certain level of energy to thrive. We measure this energy as calories. Even when you rest, your body is still utilizing energy for autonomic functions, such as your heartbeat. In other words, it is still burning calories. When you eat more calories than your body needs, it stores the excess as fat to be utilized later if necessary.

Fat Cells

Think of fat cells as little storage compartments for excess calories. Your body has fat cells whether you are overweight or not. Fat cells are a bank that holds the energy until you burn it off. When fat cells fill up, they expand. This is actually what most people consider fat. Fat cells are what sit on your body under the skin. If you have excess fat, the cells have fully expanded.

Burning Off Fat

To lose fat, you must reverse the process of creating it. Fat is stored energy that your body did not use. To burn it, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. This forces the body to dip into the fat reserve. You can amp up the number of daily calories you burn with exercise. This increases the need for energy and burns off the storage faster.

Breaking Down Fat

To remove the fat to use as energy, the body empties the fat cell. Technically, the “fat” in the cells are triglycerides. Once removed, enzymes break down the triglycerides into two components, glycerol and fatty acids. The liver, kidneys and muscles absorb the glycerol and fatty acids to produce energy and heat. Waste products from the breakdown are excreted by the body through urine, expiration and sweat. The usable portion of fat is transferred to energy and the unusable portion leaves the body as waste.