Does farting burn calories? Busting myths

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In the world of health and fitness, where the pursuit of calorie-burning activities is relentless, an intriguing question bubbles up – does farting burn calories?

You’re probably chuckling at the absurdity, or maybe you’ve seriously pondered this in a quest to shed those extra pounds. But is there any scientific merit to this claim, or is it just another internet myth gaining traction?

You’ll be surprised at the truths and misconceptions that surface when we peel back the layers of this unconventional calorie-burning theory. Stay tuned as we debunk the myth and uncover the science behind flatulence.

Understanding human digestion

To get a grip on whether farting can indeed burn calories, let’s first delve into the intricacies of human digestion. Your body, a marvel of biological engineering, is designed to extract nutrients from the food you eat. The process starts in your mouth, where enzymes in your saliva start breaking down the food. It then travels down your esophagus and into your stomach, where acids continue the breakdown process.

Next, it’s onto your small intestine, where the majority of nutrient absorption happens. Here, your body extracts carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which it then converts into energy. What’s left—a mix of water, indigestible fiber, and other waste products—moves into your large intestine, or colon.

In the colon, your body absorbs most of the remaining water and the leftover waste forms into stool. However, not everything gets absorbed. Some gases produced during digestion are expelled from your body in the form of flatulence, or farts. Now, you might wonder if this expulsion process burns calories. Well, that’s a topic we’ll explore in the next section. Remember, understanding human digestion is key to busting any myths about farting and calorie burn.

The science behind farting

Now that you’ve got a handle on human digestion, let’s unravel the science behind farting. It’s a natural process, and everyone does it. But what’s really happening in your body?

In simple terms, farting, or flatulence, is the release of trapped air from your body. This air can come from the food you eat, the air you swallow, and the gas produced by bacteria in your gut.

When you eat, your body breaks down food in the stomach and intestines. During this process, gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and in some cases, methane, are produced. These gases build up and need to be expelled. That’s where farting comes in. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of these gases.

But here’s something you mightn’t know: the smell of your farts is also science! It comes from small amounts of sulfur-containing compounds. These are produced when your gut bacteria break down certain foods, especially those high in sulfur like eggs and beans.

Energy expenditure 101

Understanding energy expenditure is key to debunking the myth about farting and calorie burn. It’s important for you to grasp this concept to comprehend the body’s caloric usage. When you consume food, your body breaks it down into energy. This energy powers everything from your heartbeat to your brain function.

Energy expenditure refers to the sum of energy your body uses to perform all these functions. It’s calculated in calories, which are units of energy. There are three main factors to energy expenditure: basal metabolic rate (BMR), physical activity, and the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Your BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to maintain vital functions like breathing and regulating body temperature. Physical activity includes all movements, from intensive workouts to simple tasks like standing or walking. TEF refers to the energy required to digest, absorb, and metabolize nutrients in your food.

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This creates a calorie deficit, which forces your body to use stored fat for energy. So, understanding energy expenditure can help you make informed decisions about your diet and exercise routine.

Debunking the farting-calorie myth

Let’s shatter the popular myth: farting doesn’t burn a significant amount of calories. You might’ve heard rumors, jokes, or even serious claims that a good flatulence session could help you lose weight. The reality, however, is far from this.

Here’s the scientific bit you need to grasp. The act of farting is a natural bodily function that doesn’t require a hefty amount of energy. Just like blinking or swallowing, it’s an automatic process controlled by your nervous system. It doesn’t demand an intense workout from your muscles, hence it doesn’t burn many calories.

It’s true that your body burns calories even when you’re at rest, but the number of calories burned by farting is negligible. You can’t compare it to activities like walking, running, or weight lifting. Those activities require physical effort and thus, burn a significant number of calories.

Truths and misconceptions about flatulence

Moving on from the calorie-burning myth, it’s important for you to know some realities and common misconceptions about flatulence. Contrary to popular belief, it’s healthy and normal to pass gas approximately 10 to 20 times a day. This shows that your body is properly digesting food.

A common misconception is that all farts smell bad. In reality, not all farts are smelly. The foul odor often associated with flatulence is usually due to sulfur gases, which only constitute a tiny fraction of the gas you expel.

Another misconception is that holding in your farts is harmless. Actually, it’s not recommended to hold in your gas. Doing so can lead to discomfort and bloating. In some extreme cases, it may even lead to health issues.

Lastly, you might’ve heard that only junk food causes gas. This is far from the truth. Many healthy foods like broccoli, beans, and whole grains can cause flatulence due to their high fiber content.


So, you’ve been curious if farting burns calories. Well, it’s time to bust that myth.

Farting doesn’t torch those calories as you might’ve hoped. It’s a natural process, but it doesn’t require significant energy or effort, hence no noteworthy calorie burning.

Sure, it can feel like a mini workout, but don’t cancel your gym membership just yet. Remember, the key to losing weight is a balanced diet and regular exercise, not your flatulence frequency.

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