Where Do The Calories Go?

We tend to forget that calories actually do something more than cause weight gain.

Namely, they keep the body’s many systems up and running. After a meal, for example, your body begins to apportion calories to nutrient-hungry organs, growing muscles, and yes, your thighs. Michael Jensen, M.D., a professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the Mayo Clinic, details what goes where:

  • 25 percent to muscles
  • 23 percent to the liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen and adrenal glands
  • 10 percent to the kidneys
  • 10 percent to the brain
  • 10 percent to breaking down the food you just ate
  • 5 to 10 percent to the heart
  • 2 to 3 percent to fat cells
  • 10 percent to . . . who knows where; some calories go unaccounted for.

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