Where does food go?

Did you just spend a lazy weekend doing nothing? Nothing but lolling in bed, perhaps reading, watching a movie. A weekend in which no power on earth could make you move from your favourite couch or position in bed? Perhaps it was the weather or your mood. Well if you did, you might have included feasting and celebrating alongside. Don’t feel shy to admit it. We have all done it. On such days, you may well ask yourself – where does all the food I consume go? Running a six mile clearly wasn’t on the bucket list this weekend. 

Worry not. Your body needs a considerable amount of energy to function. This is called Basal Metabolic Rate or Resting Rate. The amount of energy you need just to do nothing. I should not say nothing as there is a lot going on. Let us say your resting rate is 1600 calories. This means you need 1600 calories of equivalent energy to function. Just your brain and liver take a good 45% of this chunk of energy. Your heart and kidneys take up another 25-odd percent. It is only the rest that is distributed between your muscles, fat and other organs in your body. This is also a function of how much muscle you have. If its not much, you don’t need much energy. Yes, it really does not a lot of fuel to be sitting there doing nothing but thinking and breathing.

If you now were to add an activity to this mix say walking. I don’t mean your morning walk, just your regular walking up and down the house. To get the beer. It would not add a significant amount of energy requirement at all. Perhaps even as little as 50 calories. All your food went to keep you alive really. Yes, of course so you could go running on Monday morning.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.