So… Where Do Calories Actually Go?

Health, Nutrition Add comments

What happened to the last thing you ate?

Did it just wind up in your stomach and that was that?

Actually, your body spends those calories on running/repairing your organs, taking care of your muscles, and storing up fat for later use (ugh!).

The Mayo Clinic came up with this breakdown of how your body processes the food you eat:

Heart: 5-10%

Your heart gets most of its energy from fat, which provides a longer-term energy source than fast-burning glucose.

Brain: 10%

Thinking actually requires energy!  Your brain burns as many calories as your heart.

Kidneys: 10%

Your kidneys are vital to your health.  They make sure your blood has the correct balance of water and nutrients.

Muscles: 25%

Lean muscle tissue burn calories constantly, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn (instead of store!).

Here are two articles that talk more about your muscles affect your weight loss and health:

Get Some Firmness On Your Frame!

Want To Lose Fat? Don’t Ignore Your Muscles!

Liver, Pancreas, Spleen, Adrenal Glands: 23%

All of these systems are essential for your health, and everything they do requires energy.

Fat Storage: 2-3%

Your body WANTS to store fat, but until you start overfeeding, it doesn’t spend many calories on fat storage.

Digestion/Thermogenesis: 10%

Breaking down and transporting energy through your body burns calories.  Of course, some foods have a higher thermogenic cost than others.  Broccoli, for instance, burns twice as many calories through thermogensis than a peach does.

Mystery!: 10%

Yep, science can’t figure out where the last 10% goes.  Which I think is pretty cool.

The big take home lesson is this: If you don’t overeat, you won’t store fat.  You’ll use the energy to keep your body running instead.  Surprise!

Want to know some of the best foods to eat?  Check out this list:

Seven Foods For Lean Muscle

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