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You need to exhale all those fat calories away! Image credit

I'm constantly on the hunt for clever ways to encourage my class to focus (a polite way of saying SHUT UP) and work hard. Over the years my best success has come from equating the work we're doing to weight loss. After all, interest in burning calories is universal - doesn't matter who it is (cyclist, club athlete, new mother, etc..) everyone in my class is interested in either reducing or maintaining their body fat percentage.

I've learned a new one today and can't wait to give it a try:

OK - you two talking in the back. Do you realise you're preventing fat from escaping your body?

It might sound crazy, but it's true. Science has shown that when you burn body fat, after giving up it's energy, fat is converted to CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (Water) and leaves your body when you exhale.

We talk a lot about dieting and burning off fat, but we actually have a lot of misconceptions about weight loss. Some people think fat is converted into energy or heat–a violation of the law of conservation of mass–while others think that the fat is somehow excreted or even converted to muscle. I was told early on that you can never lose your fat cells (adipose) once you gain them...they just shrink if you work it off. 

Well, according to Andrew Brown from the University of New South Wales and Australian TV personality (slash former physicist) Ruben Meerman, when you lose weight, you exhale your fat. Their new calculations, based on existing knowledge about biochemistry, were published in the British Medical Journal this week. 

A little research on the subject lead me to this excellent video from that describes the process of converting Fat to energy in a way that you'll be able to share with your class.

So I might be taking some technical liberties here, by saying that talking is preventing fat calories from escaping. I'm willing to distort the science a little if it gets the larger point across... which is:

If you're talking you're not working as hard as you should and not burning the calories you could!

There's no disputing that science!

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