Lady in red jumper holds a glass of red wine up

5 Ways to Manage Date Night When Your Gut Won't Play Ball

We asked dietitian Imogen Wolsey to share her top tips for negotiating the dating scene with gut issues, which will hopefully boost confidence and help you relax before heading out. 

Stay mindful

Firstly, you can help yourself get off to a good start by staying mindful of what you’re eating in the days before the main event. High fibre options might not be the safest, and foods containing FODMAPs (a group of carbohydrates that ferment at different rates in the gut) can be particularly symptom triggering for some people. Saying this, be wary not to fall into the trap of thinking no food = no symptoms. This is not the case! Restricting yourself in the lead up to your big night may cause more bloating. Go for easy to digest, well cooked foods that you are familiar with and trust your body to digest.  

Indulge in some chill time

Following this, we know that gut symptoms are directly impacted by stress levels so try and chill out as much as possible in the hours before (easier said than done, we know!). Perhaps a walk in the fresh air if you can or a bubble bath? If you’re heading out to a restaurant and choosing meals induces anxiety, then you can feel more prepared by checking the menu in advance… Save yourself from the last-minute panic order!

Dress confidently and comfortably

When it comes to outfit choices, there’s no doubt you want to feel good. Find something that lets your stomach breathe as this will help your digestive system get the blood it needs to work efficiently.

Eat mindfully

Remember to take your time eating, chew thoroughly to enhance digestive enzyme production, and don’t bloat yourself with too many sugary or fizzy drinks.

If in doubt, own it

And if the worst does occur? Own it. If you’re really struggling then you don’t need to hide it. Try to find some humour in the situation and bring it up in a casual way, then accept how you’re feeling and do your best to carry on. Take comfort from the fact that you can always hide at home in your onesie tomorrow, call your friends and laugh about the whole thing.

Good luck.