Most of the time, a little grumbling and gurgling in your belly are totally normal, but that doesn't make it any less awkward when the growling interrupts a romantic date or an important presentation at work. You may think the obvious answer is just to eat something, but we've got a few tips that'll help quiet your rumbling tummy and maybe even stop it before it starts.
1. Slow Down When You Eat
Katherine Mounce, a Cincinnati-based registered dietitian, passed along some helpful advice so you can put a stop to stomach growling. Her top tip: "Eat more slowly." When you eat in a rested, relaxed state (instead of absentmindedly scarfing down your dinner in the middle of your latest Netflix binge), your body has time to properly digest your food, which may help to quiet some of the noises that take place while your food is passing through the digestive system.
2. Take in Less Air
An added benefit to chewing your food slowly is to avoid swallowing air. Mounce said, "Also, avoid talking and eating at the same time, chewing with your mouth open, and chewing gum." Excess air in your stomach and intestines can contribute to the rumblings you hear, and following these practices on a regular basis can help to minimize the noise.
3. Eat the Right Things at the Right Time
When it comes to stomach growling, the biggest culprit is probably hunger. "If you find that you are becoming hungry (and noisy!) at a particular time of day on a regular basis, you might not be eating enough or eating the right balance of foods at the prior meal." If your stomach is causing an uproar due to hunger, Mounce advises that you "consider eating some source of protein and/or fat at that meal, as these components promote satiety (a fancy word for fullness)."
4. Just Say No to Certain Foods
This one may seem obvious, but if there are particular foods that always tend to make you feel gassy or bloated after you eat them, then it's probably time to say goodbye to those foods for good (or at least cut way back).
Mounce warns that common culprits are "high-fat foods, foods with alternative or artificial sweeteners, dairy, caffeine, and even alcohol." It depends on the reason for your digestive distress (anything from IBS to celiac disease to lactose intolerance), which is why there isn't one certain list of foods to stay away from.
What causes your stomach to grumble and growl may be different from what affects someone else, so you have to take the time to pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. If you are experiencing other symptoms that make you feel your condition may be more serious than just a little stomach noise, be sure to see your doctor so they can help you determine which foods to eliminate, as well as any other healing protocols.