How to Stop Stomach from Growling While Fasting?

Photo of author

By Faiq

Fasting, whether for religious reasons, weight management, or cellular repair (autophagy), can be a powerful tool. However, the  accompanying stomach growls can be disruptive and downright embarrassing. 

Fear not, fellow faster! This article explores various strategies to minimize those untimely serenades from your stomach.

Why Does Your Stomach Growl During Fasting?

Even during a fast, your gut isn’t taking a vacation! Peristalsis, the technical term for the muscle contractions that move food through your digestive system, keeps on happening.  

These contractions can churn your stomach contents, causing the borborygmi (better known as stomach growls) you might hear. Fasting doesn’t eliminate these contractions, and with an empty stomach, there’s less to muffle the sounds, making them potentially increased during your fasted state.  

So, those growls are just your digestive system working diligently, even when it doesn’t have a constant stream of food to process.

Digestion of Existing Material: 

Even without a fresh meal, your body is constantly breaking down any leftover nutrients from your last absorption session. These muscle contractions, technically called peristalsis, keep things moving along and can sometimes create audible rumbling noises.

While this might be your body’s way of reminding you it’s ready for more fuel, it’s also a natural part of the digestive process, even during fasting.

Hunger Pangs:

Ever experience a symphony of rumbling emanating from your belly during a fast? Those hunger pangs are your body’s way of signaling it wants some food. 

Even in the absence of incoming nutrients, your digestive system keeps busy with housekeeping tasks.

Muscle contractions called peristalsis churn and mix, and these movements, along with gas bubbles trapped inside, can create the audible growls we associate with hunger.

Illustration of Why Does Your Stomach Growl During Fasting
Why Does Your Stomach Growl During Fasting

Effective Strategies to Stop Stomach from Growling While Fasting

While you can’t completely silence your stomach,  several strategies can significantly reduce the growls:

1. Hydration is Key:

While your stomach might protest with an empty hollowness, reducing those growls doesn’t have to mean breaking your fast. Hydration is key. Aim for eight glasses of water a day, but adjust based on your activity level. Water fills your stomach, creating a fullness sensation that can silence hunger pangs. 

Consider incorporating herbal teas like ginger or peppermint throughout the day. These can aid digestion and soothe any bloating, further minimizing stomach noises.  Remember, even during a fast, your body craves fluids to function optimally.

By prioritizing water and strategic beverages, you can effectively tame those growls and experience a peaceful fast.

2. Dietary Adjustments Before Your Fast:

In the days leading up to your fast, strategically Incorporate plenty of Fiber-Rich Foods into your diet. Fiber acts like a natural break in your digestive system, Slowing Digestion and potentially helping you feel Fuller for Longer during your fast. 

Reduce your intake of Processed Foods and Sugar, which can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to increased hunger pangs. By Focusing on a high-fiber diet in the days before your fast, you can set yourself up for a more Peaceful experience.

3. Distraction is Your Friend:

While hunger pangs might be inevitable during a fast, they don’t have to rule your experience. Enter distraction, your unlikely but powerful ally. The key is to keep yourself busy with engaging activities. 

When those familiar stomach growls start to distract you, dive into a work project, tackle a challenging exercise routine, or lose yourself in the rhythm of music.  Socialize with friends and family (just be mindful of food triggers!).

By actively listening to your body’s needs and strategically distracting your mind from hunger cues, you can transform your fast into a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

4. Listen to Your Body (Sometimes):

While fasting boasts numerous health benefits, prioritizing body awareness is crucial for a successful and safe experience. Short-term hunger pangs are to be expected, but persistent, intense stomach pain can be a sign to carefully consider breaking your fast. 

Don’t let the desire for complete adherence hinder your daily activities. Clear broths or low-calorie soups can provide temporary satiety without technically breaking your fast.

Always consult a healthcare professional before attempting a specific fasting regimen, especially if you experience unbearable pain. This is an important note to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

image illustrating the Effective Strategies to Stop Stomach from Growling While Fasting

Long-Term Solutions: Building a Fasting Routine

Start Slow: 

Building a sustainable fasting routine is much like building muscle – it requires progressive overload. Don’t overwhelm your body by jumping into extended fasts. Instead, gradually increase your fasting window. Start with a shorter duration, perhaps 12 hours, and allow your body to adjust to this new eating pattern. 

As you feel comfortable, slowly increase the fasting duration by 30 minutes to an hour each week. This gradual approach ensures a smoother transition and helps you develop a sustainable long-term fasting habit.

Listen to Your Body: 

While establishing a set fasting schedule provides a framework, incorporating body awareness is crucial for long-term success. Don’t ignore those hunger cues –  growling stomachs or unbearable pangs are signs your body needs nourishment.  Fasting shouldn’t negatively affect your overall well-being. 

Pay close attention to your body’s signals. If you experience excessive fatigue or difficulty concentrating, it might be a sign to shorten your fast or adjust your eating window. Building a sustainable fasting routine is about creating a harmonious rhythm with your body, not pushing it to its limits.

Focus on Healthy Refeeds: 

By understanding the causes of stomach growls and implementing these strategies, you can navigate your fasting journey with greater comfort and confidence. Remember, consistency is key. As your body  adapts to the fasting routine, the growls will likely become less  frequent and intense. Happy fasting!

Prioritizing nutritious whole foods during your refeed window is crucial.This provides your body with the essential nutrients it needs to replenish after a break from eating.  Focusing on easily digestible options can further minimize digestive discomfort.


While fasting boasts numerous health benefits, the persistent stomach growls can be disruptive and overshadow your peaceful fasting journey. However, there are effective strategies to manage these grumbles and keep your experience smoother. 

Staying hydrated is paramount, as an empty stomach can mimic hunger pangs. Sipping water or unsweetened tea throughout the day can create a gentle fullness and reduce rumbling. 

If the growls persist, try distracting yourself with engaging activities. A brisk walk, reading a captivating book, or tackling a creative project can effectively shift your focus away from your stomach. 

You can also adjust your diet in the days leading up to your fast. Minimizing processed foods and sugary drinks can lead to a smoother transition and reduce the intensity of stomach growls.

Remember, your body is an intelligent machine. Listen to its cues, and if the growls become unbearable, it might be a sign to adjust your fasting approach.

Check also: Is Egg Drop Soup Good for an Upset Stomach?

Frequently asked Questions

Is it normal for my stomach to growl during a fast?

Absolutely! Stomach growls, medically termed borborygmi, are caused by muscle contractions in your digestive system even when there’s no food to process. These growls might seem louder during a fast due to the increased space in your stomach.

How can I stay hydrated while fasting?

Water is your best friend during a fast. Aim for eight glasses per day, or more depending on your activity level. Herbal teas like ginger or peppermint can also be helpful, promoting digestion and potentially reducing bloating that contributes to stomach noises.

What foods should I eat before a fast to minimize growling?

In the days leading up to your fast, focus on fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fiber slows down digestion, keeping you feeling fuller for longer during the fast. Conversely, avoid processed foods and sugary drinks that can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, triggering hunger pangs and stomach activity.

Won’t I lose muscle mass while fasting?

While some muscle loss can occur during extended fasts, it’s usually minimal.  Your body prioritizes using stored fat for energy before breaking down muscle tissue.  To minimize muscle loss, consider incorporating strength training exercises before or after your fast (depending on your fasting window).

Is fasting safe for everyone?

Fasting is generally safe for healthy adults, but it’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a history of eating disorders.

How long should I fast for?

Fasting duration depends on your goals and experience level. Beginners can start with shorter fasts (12-16 hours) and gradually increase the window as their body adjusts. Listen to your body and adjust the fasting duration based on how you feel.

Can I drink coffee or black tea during my fast?

Black coffee and unsweetened tea are generally acceptable during some fasting regimens as they contain minimal calories. However, certain fasting practices might advise against them.  It’s always best to check if these beverages break your specific fast.

What should I eat when I break my fast?

Focus on easily digestible, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and yogurt. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive fatty or heavy meals that can cause digestive discomfort.

How often can I fast?

The frequency of fasting depends on your individual needs and goals. Popular options include intermittent fasting (fasting for specific windows within the day), alternate-day fasting (fasting every other day), or weekly extended fasts (fasting for 24-72 hours once a week). Always ensure you’re refeeding properly after each fast.

What if the stomach growls become unbearable?

If the growls become a significant hindrance to your daily activities, consider shortening your fasting window or incorporating a small amount of low-calorie broth or clear vegetable soup into your fast. Remember, consult your doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms during your fast.

Leave a Comment