When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

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AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

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AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

February 12, 2015 | 2 minute read

When You Lose Weight, Where Does it Go?

If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you probably know that losing weight will lower your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. When you lose weight, y, When You Lose Weight, Where Does it Go?our fat doesn’t just disappear. But do you know where it goes?

If you’re stumped, don’t feel bad—the authors of a recently published paper asked 150 family doctors, dietitians, and personal trainers the same question and found that most of them got the answer wrong.

The most common answer given was that fat is converted to energy, but the authors point out that this violates the law of conservation of mass, one of the fundamental laws of chemistry.  Other misconceptions were that fat is converted to muscle or broken down and excreted in the feces.

Before going further, it may be helpful to review how we convert excess food to fat in the first place. When we eat more protein or carbohydrates than we need, we convert them to fat molecules called triglycerides and store them in fat cells. The fat in food is already in the form of triglycerides, so if we eat too much, no conversion is necessary before it is stored.

So what happens when we lose weight? During weight loss, we break down the triglycerides stored in our fat cells in a process called oxidation, aptly named since it requires oxygen. When we oxidize triglycerides, we convert them to carbon dioxide and water, generating energy in the process. We use the energy for our daily activities, exhale the carbon dioxide, and get rid of the excess water in our bodily fluids such as urine, feces, sweat, breath, and tears.

, When You Lose Weight, Where Does it Go?The authors of this study were curious about how much carbon dioxide vs. water we produce when we break down the triglycerides in our fat cells during weight loss. They came up with a new calculation showing that when fat is broken down, 84% of the atoms are converted to carbon dioxide and 16% are converted to water. This means that we exhale most of the atoms that were originally stored in our fat cells through our lungs.

But that doesn’t make breathing faster a weight loss strategy—the body won’t oxidize triglycerides stored in our fat cells unless it needs energy, and this only happens when we eat less food than we need. So the weight loss prescription is the same as it’s always been: eat less and move more.

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