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Can you really flush the fat away?




By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

I had a client talk to me last week about something they had seen online about 'Fat Burning' and how they had been told it can be 'flushed' out with the right teas and other potions.

Never in all of the science classes I’ve taken and in all of the years I’ve been studying human metabolism and health, have I ever heard of a ‘flush’. Turns out, the person who posted the picture - a ‘health coach’ - said that’s what happens to fat cells when we lose weight. Of course, she was selling a product.

Another person on the Internet floated the claim that the ‘flush’ happens when we lose weight.

This person said that after the cells release fat, they temporarily fill with water, making you feel ‘squishy’. She said that this water retention occurs because ‘the fat cells are hoping to fill up again with fat’.

Apparently, this person doesn’t understand science because, despite her compelling description, she’s absolutely wrong.

Our fat cells don’t fill with water after they release triglycerides during weight loss. They just sort of…wait there, like when the train takes half an hour reversing into Killarney Station and it’s baltic outside!

The question is where does it go? And maybe there isn’t a ‘flush,’ but do fat cells disappear or leave the body when they’re empty?

All very good questions, and all about to be answered in this week’s and next week's article.

Warning: People who use words like 'flush' and 'burn' about the complex human metabolic process should be ignored. But you knew that already.

What are fat cells?

Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t born with all of our fat cells. We accumulate them – at least what’s determined to be our baseline number – until well into our teens.

Most of the fat in our bodies is what we refer to as white fat, or WAT (White Adipose Tissue). White fat stores triglycerides for energy, cushions our organs, keeps us warm, and produces hormones.

When we eat fat, it gets broken down and metabolised by the liver into triglycerides. These are stored in the fat cells, liver, and to a small extent, in muscle. When your body needs energy, it releases the triglycerides into the bloodstream in a process called lipolysis.

The body tries to maintain a balance of ‘lipid turnover’, which is the name given for the process of storing and removing triglycerides in fat cells for energy. Of course, if you go into calorie deficit, this balance tips, and you lose weight.

Recent research measuring lipid turnover rates showed that lipid removal slows as we age – basically, our cells continue to take up fat, without losing as much of it. That may make it harder to lose weight as we get older.

In Part 2 next week, we'll look at macronutrients and what happens to fat when we lose weight.

In the meantime, if you would like some free advice from qualified professionals, visit

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New  bio-energy therapy clinic open on Beech Road

Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily? Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which […]




Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily?

Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which must adapt to this emergency mode.

Muscles tense up, heart beats faster, vessels get compressed, blood pressure rises, body retains water etc. Most of us subject our bodies to this emergency mode without being aware of it.

Irina Sharapova MH has just opened a new Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy clinic at Horan’s Health Store on Beech Road by appointment each Friday.

Both Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy, support the body’s natural ability to heal.

During a herbal consultation the therapist suggests necessary corrections to the client’s diet and lifestyle aiming at reducing the elements that contribute to inflammation, stiffness and pain, and increasing the elements that aid healing.

Then they prepare herbal remedies specific to the client. Client’s medications are also examined to ensure that there are no conflicts with the herbal treatment.

Herbs support healing by relaxing the body and improving sleep; they are used to treat various ailments from digestive and reproductive issues to insomnia and migraines.

Bio-Energy therapy is a complementary non-contact treatment that helps to release tension from the body caused by injuries, traumas or stress.

During a Bio-Energy session the therapist scans the client’s body for signals that indicate that the energy is not flowing smoothly – these are the areas that have reacted to the Client’s emotions of fear, worry, hurt, anger, sadness etc.

The therapist “clears out” these areas until the energy flow feels smooth. Bio-Energy is helpful in the treatment of physical and emotional pain and other ailments.

It is suitable for people who do not like massages and other treatments that are performed directly on the body.

Disclaimer: Alternative therapies are not substitutes for medical advice.
For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact Irina at 086 9878941 or via email at Website:


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Spotted an otter lately?

Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals. The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching […]



Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching a new National Otter Survey and has teamed up with researchers in Queen’s University Belfast and the National Biodiversity Data Centre to collect and collate otter records from right across the country.

The new survey will map otters and compare results to the last survey, carried out in 2010-11.

NPWS teams will be looking for characteristic signs of otters at over 900 sites throughout the country, including rivers, lakes and the coast.

Members of the public are asked to keep their eyes peeled for otters and to get involved in this national survey by adding their sightings to the survey results.

Otters are mostly active at night and most typically seen at dawn or dusk. They may be spotted from bridges swimming in rivers or along the rocky seashore.
Otters are brown, about 80 cm (30 inches) long and can be seen gliding along the water surface before diving to show their distinctive long pointed tail which is almost as long again as their body.

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“The otter is one of Ireland’s most elusive animals so getting as many people involved in the survey as possible will be important if we are to get good coverage. Otters are rarely seen, so instead, over the coming months, NPWS staff will be searching for otter tracks and signs.”

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“Otters have large, webbed feet and leave distinctive footprints, but these can be hard to find. Fortunately, otters mark their territory using droppings known as spraints. Otters deposit spraints conspicuously on boulders along riverbanks, logs on lake shores or the rocky high tide line. Spraints can be up to 10 cm or 3 inches long, black through to white but commonly brown, tarry to powdery in consistency and straight or curved making them tricky to identify. Luckily, they commonly contain fish bones and crayfish shells which are the otters favoured diet making them easy to tell apart from the droppings of birds and other mammals.”

The otter and its habitat are protected under the EU Habitats Directive which requires that Ireland reports on the status of the species every six years. The next report is due in 2025.

The otter suffered significant declines across much of continental Europe during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s but remained widespread in Ireland. The most recent Irish survey (2010-2011) found signs of otter from all counties of Ireland and from sea-shore to mountain streams.

The otter hunts in water, but spends much of its time on land, and as a result is vulnerable to river corridor management such as culverting, dredging and the clearance of bankside vegetation, as well as pollution, pesticides, oil spillages, coastal developments and road traffic.

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