Does farting burn calories? We’re sorry to burst your bubble (so to speak), but simple common sense says that farting cannot possibly burn calories—especially not a whopping 67 calories per fart (as claimed by some — more on that later), which is around the number of calories you’d lose going for a 15-minute walk.
If you’re wondering why we’d even ask such a question, in November 2015, the internet erupted (pun intended) when Google returned an affirmative search result to those who asked, “Does farting burn calories?”
The search engine responded with the claim that a single fart burns approximately 67 calories, and that farting 52 times in one day can burn a whole pound of fat. In evidence, Google cited a Facebook page called “FACT,” which—contrary to their name—didn’t offer much evidence for the claim. In fact, it turned out to be hot air at best.
While Snopes (one of the first news organisations to look into the topic) wasn’t able to uncover any solid scientific research into the matter, a post on Fat Loss School (which is no longer available) thoroughly explained why farting can’t burn calories.
First, they explained that when you fart, your muscles relax—it’s the gas pressure building up in your bowels that actually does the work of expelling the fumes. Since your muscles aren’t doing any of the work, the only way you’d burn a significant number of calories is if you were to strain yourself to the limit (which, really, is more likely to result in a shart). And their conclusion to the matter was as follows:
“It seems that even if you experienced the most violent fart imaginable, it would be difficult to burn any excess calories unless you started doing squats and lunges to assist the expulsion of air. So it is not worth considering flatulence as an unorthodox method of weight loss.”
So to answer the “Can farting burn calories” question once and for all: Unfortunately, no. And to all those who typed, “Does farting burn calories?” into Google during November 2015, we’re sorry you were fooled, and we’re even more sorry about all the relationships you probably ruined while attempting to fart yourself thin.
Dang, you might need to join the gym after all.