You’ve probably noticed that your new healthy lifestyle means that you’re having to make more trips to the bathroom.
And this is probably something that you’ve never experienced before.
So, is this a cause for concern or completely normal?
Allow me to explain exactly what you need to know.
The main reason you pee more when losing weight is due to increased waste production. This is typically caused by an increased metabolic rate through fewer calories consumed and more calories burned through exercise. Additionally, your liver will need to metabolize your existing stores of glycogen, as your reduced calorie intake may mean that you’re not producing as much glycogen.
Increased Metabolism Equals Increased Waste Production
Firstly, you can relax, as in the vast majority of cases peeing more while losing weight is perfectly normal.
In fact, you could almost view your excessive need to pee as a good thing.
Basically, urination is one of the ways that waste products can leave the body.
And if you’re trying to lose weight then stored and broken down fat will leave your body when you pee.
So, in effect, you could almost say that the more you pee, the more potential fat you are removing from the body.
That being said, there is more to “excreting” body fat than this, which I cover in more detail in the FAQ section below.
I would hazard a guess that your weight loss journey typically includes a healthier diet and more exercise.
In other words, you are consuming fewer calories through the foods you eat, while you’re also burning more calories through being more active.
The knock-on effect from this is an increased metabolic rate.
Furthermore, an increased metabolic rate is probably what will have the greatest impact on your weight loss.
The higher your metabolism, the more calories you will burn on a daily basis.
Plus, your increased metabolism also means that you’re burning more calories while at rest, and even while you sleep.
However, what you may not be aware of is that an increased metabolic rate leads to an increased level of waste production in the body.
And remember, this is a good thing.
You’ll generally produce waste from water cells, ketones from burning fat for energy use, and also urea from protein metabolism.
So, in essence, the more waste product your body produces, the more you’ll need to pee.
Increased Liver Function
There is a huge connection between losing weight and liver function.
Basically, every single thing you put into your body needs to be filtered through your liver.
One particular function of the liver is glycogen storage.
Glycogen is a form of glucose, which happens to be a form of energy storage in the body.
So, whenever you eat anything, especially carbohydrates, your liver will store any excess calories as glycogen.
And it is these glycogen stores that typically fuel your workouts.
This is also why you often fatigue much quicker when exercising without eating first.
It does take a good few hours for your glycogen stores to deplete.
So, in truth, if you ate a hearty meal the night before you should have more than enough energy for a “fasted” workout the following morning.
With that being said, you’ll usually only have enough glycogen stores for 45 minutes of very intense exercise, and 2-3 hours of moderate-intensity exercise.
However, you’ll usually reduce your calorie intake when you want to lose weight and body fat.
And this reduction in calories means that you won’t be producing as much glycogen.
So, your liver needs to compensate by metabolizing whatever glycogen the body already has stored.
And increased glycogen metabolizing increases the need to pee.
Therefore, your excessive need to pee is once more a good sign, as you now know that your liver is doing its job.
A Healthy Lifestyle Means More Fluids
Something else to consider is that your new healthy lifestyle means you’re taking on more fluids.
And often you’ll be taking on more fluids without even realising it.
Firstly, increasing your water intake is extremely important when it comes to losing weight.
In fact, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, you should ensure that you’re drinking plenty of water on a daily basis.
This actually helps with many of the things I’ve already mentioned.
And this is especially true when it comes to an increased metabolic rate and increased liver function.
So, if you’re drinking more water you’ll quite clearly be peeing more often.
However, something you may not be aware of is the water content of some of the healthiest foods that you’re probably eating.
One of the first dietary changes that most of us make when looking to lose weight is to increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables.
But, as an example, broccoli contains 90% water, cabbage has 92% water, and cucumber has 95% water.
So, in effect, many of these healthy foods are also increasing your fluid intake.
The exact same can be said for fruits, which most of us typically eat more of when trying to lose weight.
Blackberries contain 88% water, peaches have 89%, grapefruit and strawberries have 91%, and tomatoes have 94%.
So, once more, your healthy eating is simply increasing your fluid intake.
A Reason to Worry About Excessive Peeing & Weight Loss
Now, I’m sure this all sounds wonderful so far.
And as I’ve mentioned, in the vast majority of cases your increased need to pee is actually a good thing.
But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
If you find that you’re suddenly peeing excessively, as well as losing weight, this could be a cause for concern.
And this is especially true if you’re not actually trying to lose weight through controlled calorie consumption and increased activity.
Unexplained weight loss and an increased need to pee are both symptoms of diabetes.
Okay, I don’t want to unduly worry you, but this is something you need to consider.
If you haven’t significantly changed your lifestyle and you’re not trying to lose weight then clearly you shouldn’t be dropping pounds or needing to pee every 10 minutes.
So, I would suggest that you book an appointment with your GP, even if it’s just to rule out the possibility of diabetes.
Furthermore, excessive peeing can cause an electrolyte imbalance, as well as low potassium levels.
This could eventually lead to your body not properly absorbing essential vitamins and minerals.
So, if you have unexplained weight loss and excessive peeing then make sure you visit your Doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Pee Out Fat When Losing Weight?
When you lose weight, the process of eliminating fat from your body is a bit more complex than simply “peeing it out.”
Here’s a breakdown of how fat loss occurs in the body.
Fat Cells and Energy Storage: The body stores excess energy in fat cells as triglycerides. These cells can expand or shrink, depending on how much fat they are storing.
Metabolism and Fat Burning: When you create an energy deficit in your body, either by consuming fewer calories than you burn, increasing physical activity, or both, your body turns to these stored triglycerides for energy. Enzymes in your body break down the triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids, which can then be used for energy.
Conversion to Energy: Once released from fat cells, these components enter the bloodstream and are used by various tissues in the body, such as muscles, to produce energy. During this metabolic process, the body uses oxygen to convert the components into carbon dioxide and water.
Elimination from the Body: The carbon dioxide produced is exhaled through the lungs, and the water is eliminated as urine or sweat. Therefore, while you do excrete some byproducts of fat metabolism through urine, the majority of weight loss is actually breathed out as carbon dioxide.
Not Just Fat: It’s important to note that when you lose weight, not all of it comes from fat. Some of it can come from the loss of water weight or muscle mass, especially if you’re not getting enough protein or not engaging in strength training.
So, while you do excrete some products of fat metabolism in your urine, the primary way your body disposes of fat after it’s been metabolized is through exhalation as carbon dioxide.
The process of losing weight and burning fat is primarily about creating and maintaining an energy deficit and ensuring your body metabolizes stored fat for energy.
What Are The Signs You’re Losing Weight?
Most of us will set specific goals when trying to lose weight, e.g. “I want to lose 20lbs in 3 months”.
However, weight loss can be a long, arduous journey, and one where you’re not entirely sure things are “working”.
That being said, there are certain signs you should look out for along the way.
Plus, recognising the signs of weight loss can be both motivating and affirming.
Here are some key indicators that you’re losing weight.
Clothes Fit Differently: One of the most noticeable signs is a change in how your clothes fit. You might find your jeans feeling looser around the waist or shirts draping more comfortably over your body.
Physical Changes: You might notice visible changes in your body shape. Areas like the face, belly, and arms often show weight loss more prominently. You might see more defined cheekbones, a flatter stomach, or less arm flab.
Weight Measurements: Regularly checking your weight on a scale can show numerical evidence of weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that weight can fluctuate due to various factors like water retention, so don’t rely solely on the scale.
Improved Mobility and Energy Levels: Weight loss often leads to increased energy and easier mobility. You might find yourself moving more comfortably, experiencing less joint pain, and feeling less tired during physical activities.
Body Measurements: Taking body measurements can provide concrete evidence of weight loss. Measure areas like your waist, hips, and thighs periodically to track changes.
Better Fitness Levels: If you notice an improvement in your physical capabilities, like being able to walk farther, run faster, or engage in physical activity for longer periods, it could be a sign of weight loss and improved fitness.
Positive Changes in Health Metrics: Weight loss can lead to improvements in various health metrics such as lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, and better blood sugar control, especially for those with conditions like hypertension or diabetes.
Increased Muscle Definition: If you’re combining weight loss with exercise, especially strength training, you might notice increased muscle definition as body fat decreases.
Compliments from Others: Sometimes others notice your weight loss before you do. If friends, family, or colleagues comment on changes in your appearance, it’s likely a sign that your efforts are paying off.
Enhanced Mood and Self-Esteem: Weight loss can lead to improvements in mood, self-confidence, and overall well-being. You might feel more positive about your appearance and achievements.
Changes in Appetite and Eating Habits: As you lose weight, you might experience changes in your appetite or a natural inclination towards healthier food choices.
Remember, weight loss is something that’s personal to you and will therefore vary from person to person.
While these signs can indicate progress, focusing on overall health and well-being is more important than just the numbers on the scale.
Does Burning Fat Give You Diarrhea?
The process of burning fat in itself does not typically cause diarrhea.
When you’re losing fat, your body is breaking down fat stores into energy, a process which doesn’t directly affect your digestive system.
However, there are certain circumstances related to weight loss or fat-burning efforts that can lead to diarrhea or changes in bowel habits.
Changes in Diet: Often, when people try to lose weight or burn fat, they make significant changes to their diet. This might include eating more fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which can initially cause changes in bowel movements, including diarrhea. Your body might need time to adjust to these changes.
Fat Substitutes and Artificial Sweeteners: Some low-calorie or reduced-fat foods contain artificial sweeteners or fat substitutes that can cause gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, in some people. For instance, sugar alcohols (like xylitol, sorbitol) and fat substitutes (like Olestra) are known to cause such problems.
Fat Burners and Weight Loss Supplements: Some over-the-counter fat burners, and weight loss supplements contain ingredients that can lead to diarrhea. These might include high levels of caffeine, certain herbs, and other compounds that stimulate the gut.
Increased Coffee or Tea Consumption: If your fat-burning plan includes drinking more caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea for their metabolism-boosting effects, be aware that excessive caffeine can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea.
Gallbladder Issues: Rapid weight loss can sometimes lead to the formation of gallstones, which can, in turn, affect digestion and promote diarrhea. This is more common in cases of extreme or very fast weight loss.
Detox Diets or Cleanses: Some people resort to detox diets or cleanses to lose weight quickly. These often involve consuming certain juices or liquids and can disrupt normal digestion, leading to diarrhea.
Exercise-Induced GI Issues: Intense exercise can sometimes cause gastrointestinal disturbances, including diarrhea. This is often due to the redirection of blood flow away from the intestines during intense physical activity.
Underlying Medical Conditions: If you experience persistent diarrhea while trying to lose weight or burn fat, it’s important to consider other underlying medical conditions. Conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), food intolerances, or sensitivities (like lactose intolerance or celiac disease) can be exacerbated by changes in diet.
So, while burning fat itself doesn’t cause diarrhea, certain factors associated with weight loss efforts can lead to changes in bowel habits.
If you experience persistent or severe diarrhea, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying conditions and to ensure your approach to weight loss is healthy and balanced.
Key Learning Points
- Losing weight will typically involve an increased metabolic rate, which in turn increases waste production.
- Your need to pee more often is usually directly related to the need to remove “waste products” from the body, e.g. body fat.
- Your new and healthier diet may involve lots of fruits and vegetables, which are made up of a high percentage of water, i.e. you have increased your fluid intake and therefore need to pee more often.
- If you’re losing weight and peeing more than usual without doing anything specific, e.g. dieting and exercising, you should visit your GP to rule out anything untoward.
So, that’s peeing and weight loss sorted, but check out what I have to say about your ribs hurting while losing weight.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.