Science of Fat Loss – Lipolysis

To achieve Fat Loss it helps if one understands how and why our bodies burn fat.

It is therefore helpful to understand the process of lipolysis, that is how the body burns fat, it will help you realise how important eating right is the key to improving your Fat loss Results.

        Adipose Cells – Fat Cells

Many people make lifestyle choices and develop poor eating habits that end up locking their extra stored fat in their fat cells, making their fat storage unaccessible for the body to convert and to be used for energy as it should be.  


Lipolysis is the breakdown of fat stored in fat cells. During this process, free fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body to be used by the body for energy.

Lipolysis can be defined as the process in the body of breaking down of stored triglycerides in the fat cells or in the blood, into two main components, glycerol and fatty acids, to be used as fuel for the Muscle & Brain Cells. 


Every time you eat Carbohydrates your pancreas releases a hormone Insulin to assist with the absorption of the Glucose from the foods. Once your body digests the food the Insulin assists with the collection of the Glucose to transport it to the Muscle Cell & Brain Cells as fuel for these cells, and also to the Liver where it gets stored for later use. Once these muscle, brain cells & heart cells and the liver are full to there max storage levels, if there is any excess amount of Glucose from Sugar and Carbohydrates in the blood, this excess Glucose gets stored in your Fat Cells as fat.

While Insulin is a key contributor of muscle tissue growth and development, when insulin is in high quantity due to high levels of glucose in the blood because too many carbohydrates were consumed at a meal. This high amount of insulin will cause the body to store excess glycogen in the fat cells.

Fat burning will only occur when Insulin levels are low in the blood, or when no insulin is present. When Insulin levels are depleted then our fat burning hormones are activated and the body then goes to the Fat Cells to convert the stored fat into free Fatty Acids and releases the Fatty acids (fat) from the fat cells to be used by the body, for our Muscle Cells, Brain Cells & Heart Cells for fuel.

All aspects of Fat Metabolism are greatly enhanced in the absence of Insulin in the blood, it is then when our Fat Burning Hormones are activated.

Therefore it is important to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and to control your food intake to the correct portions and timing of carbohydrates per meal and per day, so that you have lower amounts of Insulin released throughout the day, because then your body will go to your Fat Cells for Fuel.



Along with the role that insulin plays, there are other hormones that will also come into the picture during lipolysis. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, glucagon (which is antagonistic to insulin), and adrenocorticotropic hormone will all work to induce the lipolysis process to take place.

Reducing size of Fat Cells

reduced empty fat cells

This photo shows the breaking down of stored triglycerides (fats) in the fat cells, the small brown cells are the empty fat cells that have gone through lipolysis. The round yellow cells are the remaining fat cells containing stored fat (triglycerides).

Diagrams below shows Fat cells reduced in size as Lipolysis occurs and the Fat Cell Size is reduced, empty Fat cells in this Photo are on the left (smaller elongated cells), the Adipocyte cell on the right is the fat cell which contains the stored fat.

Increasing size of fat cell       

A Fat cell increasing in Size as fat is stored in the cell. The opposite happens to the fat cell as it is reduced in size as it is emptied of Fat.

This is the result shown below in your body shape reducing in size and changing shape – through reducing the fat cell size through the natural lipolysis process, the process of the body burning fat for energy, fat loss happens when you are losing weight through healthy nutrition.

Jeans fat reduction          

Gaining Fat Cells

If you consume more calories in a day than needed to maintain your body weight, the body has to do something with this excess calories – it simply converts it to fat.

Fat is stored as Subcutaneous Fat in the skin & Intra-abdominal fat – in front of & around the organs, putting pressure on your internal organs.

FAT CELLS IN BODY           

Fat gets stored in the Fat Cells and is also present in the blood (veins & arteries), and is stored around the organs (Visceral Fat), which is all dangerous to one’s health and causes Medical Conditions such as Cholesterol & High Blood Pressure which can be life threatening. You need to lose Visceral Fat in order to improve your bodies health, and the only way that you lose visceral fat is if you follow a balanced healthy diet. Many diets work to lose weight, but you don’t lose visceral fat. 

Fat in blood -cross section                     

Narrowing of the Arteries & Photo of Fat in the Blood, and a Healthy Heart & a the Heart of an Overweight Person.

Blood sample from Obese person          Cholesterol-Arteries-Blood-Vessels        

How Food Turns into Body Fat – watch this video and then continue reading about “Getting the Fat Loss Process going” – read on below


So, the key ways to get the fat loss process going can be seen in a series of steps.

First, you must consume fewer calories than needed to maintain your body weight. Regardless of the types of macronutrients (Proteins, Carbohydrates & Fats) that you eat and the percentage they make up in your diet, if you are eating more than you are burning, you’re not going to be losing fat.

Second to that is working to control insulin so that it works with you rather than against you. How do you do that? – by timing your food and timing of your intake of carbohydrates correctly.

Insulin is both good and bad:  it’s good in the fact that its presence is going to help the glucose you eat from carbohydrates get into the muscle cell, replenishing muscle glycogen & liver glycogen so that you can recover faster when you exercise.

It’s bad on the other hand because if it’s in high concentrations during the rest of the time, it’s going to promote fat gain, assuming excess carbohydrates have been eaten.

By ensuring you are in a calorie deficit, while still eating healthy foods, you’ll really get ahead of the game in making sure additional body fat is not added.

Carbohydrates are important for body & brain functions. It is not carbs that makes you gain body fat – it’s the high intake of carbohydrates continuously through the day in the presence of excess calories. It is important that you eat Low GI Carbohydrates, slow release carbohydrates, to assist with controlling your Insulin levels.

The reason that it is so easy to eat too many carbohydrates in a day is because so many foods that we eat are Carbohydrates, such as Fruit, Bread, Cereals, Honey, Sugar, Crackers, Biscuits, Rusks, Sweets and Chocolates, Popcorn, Fruit Juices, Pasta’s, Rice & All Vegetables including Potatoes, Lentils & Chickpeas, and all Alcohol is a Carbohydrate. Yes even wine is a Carbohydrate- well it is made from Grapes – and grapes are a fruit and fruit is a Carbohydrate ! As you can clearly see that many people don’t realise that their diets are too high in Carbohydrates, by what they eat and also by what they drink in a day.

They also don’t realise that all Carbohydrates get converted to Glucose (sugar) in the body during the digestion process (nutrient breakdown process) and they thereby cause excess Insulin to be released into the body, high levels of Insulin puts the body into a process of Fat Gain and not Fat Loss. 


So, there are a variety of factors at play when it comes to fat loss. This is just a very brief overview of what occurs, in reality, there is a much more intensive cellular process that is occurring. Eating Healthy and enjoying your food and still staying slim is possible, once you have the knowledge of how to eat for your body type & lifestyle. 

Our Body Sculpt Doc Nutritional Meal Plan will help you to lose weight through Healthy Nutrition, our Meal Plans include 5 -6 Regular Meals in a day, with an even distribution of Carbohydrates and Proteins, and Healthy Fats to Stabilise blood sugar levels, and to increase Metabolism. Plans are personalised to each Clients specific kilojoule requirements & Goals, we make the Fat loss process simple, and we provide you with an enjoyable Healthy Lifestyle way of Eating that allows you to maintain your goal weight for life.  

  Choose which body you get to Live in !!

Not only is getting to Goal Weight a big achievement but the personal growth on this journey to empowering and it strengthens oneself. The knowledge learned during the process is sometimes more valuable than the weight loss (fat loss) achieved itself.

If you would like us to assist you with a Meal Plan or with Nutrition advice through our Nutrition Consultations (Zoom Consultations), please contact Kevin on or 0826644108. 

Body Sculpt Doc – “Sculpting Healthy Bodies through Intelligent Nutrition !”

These are photographs of fat to give you an idea of what an amount of fat looks like, so when you lose just a small amount of weight on the scale this is actually what the amount of fat looks like – be Inspired to lose bodyfat.


0.454gr of Bodyfat  (half a Kilogram or 1 Pound)


5 Pounds Bodyfat (2.27kg) to 1 Pound Bodyfat (0.454gr)


5 Pounds Bodyfat (2.27kg) = weight of a brick


Size of 100 Pounds Bodyfat  (45.5kg)

Visualisation – Next time you are in a Store – pick up a 1kg Margarine (any brand) and feel how heavy 1kg of Fat is. While you are holding the 1kg tub now imagine how heavy 5 of these tubs would be and how much fat it is, just to think that is the amount of bodyfat that you would have lost if you lose 5kg, it is really alot (or even pick 5 tubs up stacked). Every kilogram lost counts toward reaching your Goal weight. 

1kg Margarine tub = 1kg Bodyfat 

500gr Margarine= 500gr Bodyfat  (half a kilogram)

We hope that we have inspired you, through this page about the Science of Fat Loss – Lipolysis, to reduce your bodyfat.