If you think about it, losing weight is actually kind of a mind-boggling thing. One minute you're carrying the extra pounds, but after a stint of healthy eating and regular exercise, you're physically smaller. So where does all the fat go?
You might imagine the globules of fat just sort of burst and cease to exist, but POPSUGAR looked into it and it turns out that's very much not the case. I mean, there's clearly a reason I don't have a degree in anything scientific.
"The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. It goes into thin air," physicist Ruben Meerman, MD told POPSUGAR. Yeah, you read that correctly: you breathe out fat. This is unbelievable.
*Starts breathing quicker in an attempt to get rid of more*
Apparently, it's a rough 80/20 split between fat predominantly being expelled from your body via your lungs, with the remainder being evacuated via your urine, feces, sweating, and tears.
If you're feeling a bit dim now for never having known this life-altering information, don't worry, you're not the only one. According to the head of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Professor Andrew Brown, there are plenty of doctors and dietitians who were convinced fat was converted into muscle, or that it turned into either energy or heat and was 'burnt' in that way.
Sadly, if you're now thinking that instead of your next workout at the gym you'll just cry buckets while breathing quickly—If that's how fat exits the body, why not give it more opportunity to go, right?—you'll be disappointed. Fat has to go through a metabolic process before it's actually lost - but having said that, there are plenty of ways to boost your metabolism, and that will speed up your rate of fat loss.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.