Let’s make one thing unequivocally clear: body fat cannot melt away. Nor can you sweat it out. It is a physiological and biological impossibility for fat to pass through the dermal layers of the skin. The ONLY weight-related substance that you can sweat out of your body is water. Running around in bin liners or ‘sweat suits’ only causes dehydration – and the possibility of heat-stroke or heart attack.
However, for the sake of being Devil’s Advocate, let’s follow this magic melting or sweating trick to its logical conclusion.
What a pong!
Your sebaceous glands do put oil on the skin for protection, but relative to your fat stores, this is a tiny amount. If your body could either pump out or sweat out enough fat to make a significant difference to weight loss, then you would look like you’ve been dipped in chip-fat. (Think of a 19th century English Channel swimmer who’s covered in butter to protect against the cold water. Could you imagine the smell of warm body fat oozing out of your skin on a hot day? The stench would be unbearable and no deodorant in the world would cover it. Not to mention the effect of bacteria attacking that much fat and you’d end up re-visiting your youthfull, spotty pubescent period again with a vengeance.
What about simply melting the fat inside the body – where would it go? Sorry, but your intestines only work one way: bringing stuff in, not taking it out. But again, for argument’s sake, let’s consider the effect if it wasn’t.
Let’s play underwear Russian roulette!
Your poo is mainly bits of indigestible fibre and other waste products, which by volume is mainly water – necessary to soften the poo and ease its passing. If you mix fat with water you end up with an emulsion – a soapy, viscous flu
id that would make going to the toilet a very unpleasant experience, not just for you but also for anyone using the bathroom afterwards. You would never trust a ‘fart’ again, as flatulence becomes an unsettling game of Russian-Roulette’ in your underwear! (Note: We’re not making this up; this is a known side-effect from the type of supplements that block the absorption of fat).
Yes, it’s true that some fats are converted to forms of cholesterol – in particular, bile salts used by the liver to aid digestion. But 85% of bile salts are reabsorbed from the gut, so that’s another insignificant amount.
Finally, if fat just melted, it would end up either in the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. If this didn’t create enough blood pressure to make your eyeballs pop out, it would drain down into the feet, making your ankles as big as your thighs!
The only way to get rid of body fat
Sadly, but most ‘fat melting’, ‘shrinking’ and other similar useless ‘cellulite busting’ wraps, creams etc., don’t work. They simply remove the build-up of excess water trapped between fat cells. This only offers the temporary impression of tightness (or shrinkage), because the water soon comes back.
Sorry, but if you want to permanently get rid of your unwanted wobbly-bits, then it’s back to the old-fashioned way: lots of activity and a good diet.
Keep up the fight and win the inch war.
Paul & Ann, Get Physical personal training
We (Paul and Ann, Get Physical Ltd) are not doctors, nor are we licensed medical professionals. This website and blog is not here to diagnose any medical condition or replace your health care provider.