Farts are intestinal gas sometimes called flatulence. You might fart when you swallow a lot of air when chewing and swallowing. You may also fart because of the bacteria in your colon constantly working to break down food. If gas forms in your intestines and you don’t burp, it will travel through your intestines and out of your body.
The average person passes about 200 milliliters of gas per day through 10 or 20 farts. With all that activity, you might wonder: Does farting burn calories?
A popular Internet claim from 2015 said that one fart burned 67 calories, and that farting 52 times a day would burn 1 pound of fat. That claim has since been proved false. But is there any merit to the question?
Experts say farting is a passive activity — so it probably doesn’t burn any calories at all.
When you fart, your muscles relax and the pressure in your gut pushes the gas out without effort. You burn calories when your muscles work, not relax.
The only way you’d burn a few calories when farting is if you strained to do so — and that’s not healthy or normal. If you strain when you fart, the calorie burn is negligible, maybe one or two calories. It’s not enough to make any difference in your health.
You certainly should not rely on farting to lose weight. It should not be used to replace eating healthy and exercising regularly, experts say.
The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. That means eating and drinking fewer calories, exercising more to burn more calories, or a combination of both.
When eating for weight loss, you should choose foods that are lower in calories but still big on nutrition. This includes:
- fresh produce
- whole grains
- lean protein
Avoid calorie-dense foods that don’t fill you up or provide you with nutrients, such as sugary desserts and white bread.
High-fiber foods are often very filling and healthy but be aware that they can cause a lot of gas, especially if you’re not used to eating them. Introduce fiber slowly to your diet.
When it comes to exercise, you should get 30 minutes to 1 hour of moderate physical activity daily. This could involve:
- weight lifting
Staying active by gardening or cleaning often can also help you burn calories so you lose more weight.
If we don’t burn calories when we fart, then why do we sometimes feel slimmer after we fart? Experts say that’s probably because farting is a great way to reduce bloating.
Bloating can be caused by many factors, including:
- eating fatty foods, which slow stomach emptying and can make you feel uncomfortably full
- drinking carbonated beverages, which release gas bubbles in your stomach
- eating gassy foods like beans, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, which causes bacteria in the stomach to expel gas
- eating food too quickly, drinking through a straw, or chewing gum, all of which can make you swallow air
- stress or anxiety, which can lead to gas buildup in the digestive tract
- smoking, which may cause you to swallow excess air
- gastrointestinal infections or blockages, which can cause bacteria to release gas
- irritable bowel syndrome which can cause abdominal pain, cramping, bowel problems and gas
- Celiac disease or lactose intolerance, which can both cause digestive problems and lead to gas buildup
Some tips for reducing gas buildup include:
- Eat and drink slowly so you swallow less air.
- Avoid carbonated drinks and beer.
- Refrain from gum or candies so you swallow less air.
- Ensure your dentures fit, because ill-fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air during eating and drinking.
- Stop smoking so you swallow less air.
- Eat smaller portions of food to ease digestion and prevent gas.
- Exercise to move gas through your digestive tract.
Passing gas is normal. It can make you feel less bloated if you’re experiencing a gas buildup in your gut.
There’s one thing you can’t do by farting: lose weight. It’s not an activity that burns many calories. Farting is quite passive.
If you’re looking to lose weight, stick to a healthy diet and regular exercise plan so you burn more calories than you eat.