What Happens To Your Bodyfat When You Lean Out?


OK, so you are training to get cut. Have you ever wondered what happens to your body fat when you lean out? 5% Nutrition has the answer. Let’s check it out!

What Is Fat?

Also known as adipose tissue, body fat consists of various cells including fat storage cells (adipocytes), connective tissue (non-active material), immune cells, nerve tissue, and stromal vascular cells. Historically, body fat was believed to be a type of energy storage. Recently, it’s been suggested that fat has roles in endocrine function and metabolism.(1)

The Different Types Of Fat

Fat is complicated because there are different types. These include:

White Fat

Also called visceral fat, which consists of white cells stored under the skin, around the belly, arms, thighs, and butt. It’s also stored around your organs. This type of fat is the body’s way of storing energy for future use.

White fat also plays a role in the functions of several hormones, such as:

  • estrogen
  • leptin 
  • insulin
  • cortisol 
  • growth hormone

Some white fat is needed for good health, but an excessive amount of white fat is harmful. A high percentage of body fat puts you at risk for numerous health problems. According to the American Council on Exercise, non-athletic men should have a total body fat percentage in the 14 to 24% range. Non-athletic women should be in the 21 to 31% range. As a lifter, you will no doubt want to get that much lower.(2)

Brown Fat

This is a type of fat typically found in babies. As adults, we have a small amount of brown fat. This type of fat burns fatty acids to help keep you warm (thermogenesis).(3)

Subcutaneous Fat

A combination of white and brown fat that’s stored directly under the skin is called subcutaneous fat. This is the fat you can pinch and makes up most of our body fat.(4)

Essential Fat

This kind of fat is necessary for life and health. This type of fat is found in your:

  • Nerves
  • Membranes that protect your organs
  • Brain
  • Bone Marrow

Essential fat has a role in hormone regulation. This includes the hormones that regulate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and temperature regulation. 

Energy And Your Body

In the absence of carbohydrates, the body will use stored fat for energy. If you’re leaning out, no doubt you’re following a calorie-restricted eating plan. To effectively use body fat for energy, you’ll need to ingest around 50g of carbs a day. 

Of course, there are multiple nutritional concepts to lower your carb intake. You can focus on a keto diet, which keeps you low carb all the time but allows carbs before and after your workout. Or, you can cycle carbs, going low on off days and a little higher on training days. 

It also goes without saying that cardio plays a major role in losing excess body fat.

You’ve Leaned Out, So Where Does The Fat Go?

Ok, so where does it end up going? Ultimately, it’s used for energy by the body. There are a couple of fat byproducts that the body eliminates - water and carbon dioxide. You breathe out carbon dioxide and water is excreted through sweat and urine. It’s impossible for fat to turn into muscle, just in case you were wondering. 

Don’t Forget 5% Nutrition!

5% Nutrition supports your quest for fat loss with several exceptional fat loss supplements. Start with Shred Time, our powerful thermogenic fat burner. How about a fat burner that helps preserve your hard-earned muscle mass? All Day You Shred featuring our legendary 10:1:1 BCAA matrix - the best of both worlds! Then there is Liquid L-Carnitine 3150 to help use stored body fat for energy - add it to any 5% Stack! 


Many 5%ers are getting lean for summer. If you’ve ever wondered where the fat goes, well, now you know - don’t forget to help it get there with 5% Nutrition!


  1. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1096
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24147-visceral-fat
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/brown-fat#purpose
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/subcutaneous-fat
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