How Many Calories Do You Burn When You Fart?

The internet asks some interesting questions. Some are amusing, some are absurd, and some are actually quite thought-provoking. "Does farting burn calories?" is one question the internet (Reddit and Facebook in particular) asked in 2012. 

According to a widely shared social media post, the average person could burn up to 67 calories by farting just once (via Women's Health). That's an impressive number, but is this claim accurate? Do you really burn calories while indulging in this normal, albeit smelly, bodily function? And if yes, how much? Unfortunately, there is no truth behind this social media "fact", say the experts. 

According to Tanya B. Freirich, a New York-based nutritionist and registered dietitian for Sweet Nova, tooting, which she defined as expelling excess gas in your digestive system through your anus, is an activity that occurs when your muscles relax (per Health). In order for someone to burn calories, there has to be muscle activation, not inaction. So no, letting it rip is not one of those strange things you didn't know helped you burn calories

Loud and strong farts don't burn calories, either

As for really loud toots, the same answer applies, per medical director of the weight management and bariatric surgery program at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, Dr. Matthew R. Pittman (via Women's Health). "Even if you experienced the most violent, explosive fart you can imagine, it would be pretty difficult to burn calories during it," explained the doctor. 

But what about if you strain to fart? Would you burn any calories then? According to Healthline, there's a chance you might in this case, but the amount would be pretty insignificant — we're talking one or two calories at most. "You cannot fart yourself thin. No, farting is not a practical weight-loss tool. And no, it can not be used in place of regular exercise," stressed Dr. Pittman. 

With that said, passing gas can sometimes make you feel instantly lighter and less bloated. Some of the things we eat and drink — like cruciferous vegetables, carbonated beverages, and lactose — can cause us to feel bloated. Farting is typically one way to make ourselves feel better (and lighter) in situations like these. Still, it's important to know what your farts can tell you about your health. Here's when passing excess gas might be a cause for concern. 

If you're straining to fart or farting excessively, see a doctor

Typically, a person farts anywhere between 10 and 20 times a day, per Healthline. If you feel like you're farting more than average, you could try changing up your diet to see if that makes a difference. Go easy on the lactose, beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, fatty foods, fizzy drinks, etc. Also pay attention to whether you're eating mindfully. Swallowing excess air while eating too quickly and even smoking can increase your chances of tooting. 

If you think you're experiencing persistent farting (or strained farting) and if you notice other symptoms like loose stools, constipation, vomiting, weight loss, chest pain or heart burn, or bloody poop, you should be seeing your doctor about it, per Mayo Clinic.

And if you're thinking of innovative ways to burn calories without working out, you're better off fidgeting, according to Harvard Health. Also, try picking up the pace in your usual walk to work or taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator every time. Even laughing and chewing gum burns some calories. But at the end of the day, significant calorie loss comes from combining a balanced and nutritious diet with regular exercise.