If you are the sort of person who wonders how much time it will take for that carne asada burrito with extra guacamole to pass through your mouth and out the other end, then you are probably wondering just how long does it take to digest food. This is a good question with no easy answers, because human beings as a species are as widely varied as the foods they partake in.
Before tackling the question of how long does it take to digest food, you must think about body types. Active, thin people with high metabolisms can digest foods much faster than obese people who lead sedentary lifestyles. That is why skinny guys who are active can pound just as much (and often more) food as the fat guy who uses a mechanical chair to shop for brownie mix.
Speaking of brownies, what you actually eat plays a huge role in just how long it takes to digest food and make feces. Vegetarians poop a lot because they enjoy a high fiber diet of fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts and mystical Indian curries. But a person that eats a huge, bloody hunk of filet mignon grilled to perfection will definitely take more time to process the cow than a tofu scarfing vegetarian.
The general rule of thumb when wondering how long it will take to digest food is generally one to two days, depending upon the factors discussed above. Basically, it goes down your gullet, and your stomach works it for four to six hours. Then, the broken down paste is transferred to your small intestine where your body absorbs the nutrients and breaks down solids for around two to four hours. After that, the sludge hits the big intestine, and your thrifty genes that allowed your ancestors not to starve to death while eating grass and acorns will work that slice of bacon lover's pesto pizza for all the fat and nutrients it has left. Then it will deposit the toxic bacteria laden crud (or poo) out of you and into the bowl, ending the magical journey.