Burning fat: it’s something we do every day, whether sleeping or powering through a high-intensity workout. But few of us ever sit back and think what’s actually happening when we burn fat—and where it goes.

It turns out that most doctors, dietitians, and trainers even get it wrong. They tend to think that fat gets turned into energy and released as heat, but a recent study confirms that we exhale the fat we’ve burned as carbon dioxide When+somebody+loses+weight,+where+does+the+fat+go?+Meerman+R,+Brown+AJ.+British+Medical+Journey.+2014+Dec+16;349:g7257.. A smaller percentage of fat leaves our body as water—sweat, urine, tears. Wild, right? (It’s not exactly as simple as it sounds—unfortunately hyperventilating won’t help you shed those few extra pounds.) Lucky for us, our friends at the SciShow break down all of the chemistry to help us wrap our heads around this mind boggling information.

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