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Can you really flush the fat away?

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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 www.activate.ie/nutrition.

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Massive increase in numbers using local bus services

Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin. This is the highest […]

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Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin.

This is the highest increase nationally and is due to the investment by the Department of Transport during this government term.

“This service was lacking in former times, especially in rural areas and is a welcome addition to the countryside and villages of Kerry.’ says Green Party Candidate for Killarney,” said Griffin.

“While in the past, a taxi was the only option for those not cycling or driving. Now a service to Killarney is available every Friday morning from my townland of Barleymount. This is just one example of the network of bus routes criss-crossing the county thanks to local link.”

“This project is a notable success as the figures show. Investment in public transport helps alleviate congestion, increases community cohesion and reduces rural isolation. This is all welcome news for the locality,”

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Two weeks to go to Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’There is less than two weeks to show time for the cast of Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’

Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena. The launch was […]

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Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena.

The launch was followed by a full rehearsal and director Oliver Hurley was also there to lend a hand.

“We were delighted to introduce our lead characters to you. We had Abbey Theatre players Brigid Delia and Michael, who are the narrators throughout the musical drama. Eamonn De Valera , Harry Boland, Joe Emmett, Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, volunteers and of course the beautiful Kitty Kieran were in full costume,” said KMS PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

“Mother Ireland and her five graceful dancers were fabulous. Our director and choreographer Oliver, our musical director Michael Young and the full cast of 64 were there. The singing was powerful. The music in ‘Michael Collins – A Musical Drama’ is distinctly Irish. People will definitely enjoy it.”

TICKETS
Get your tickets in the INEC box office, online at universe.com or at the pop-up ticket office in the Laurel’s Pub, Market Cross from 12 pm to 4 pm between February 29 and March 2.

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