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Heartburn: Changing Your Eating Habits


Developing healthier eating habits, losing weight if you need to, and avoiding foods that increase symptoms of GERD may make heartburn less likely to occur.

Here are some changes you can try.

  • Stay at a weight that's healthy for you.

    Extra weight puts more pressure on your stomach and makes you more likely to have heartburn. Losing even a few pounds can help. Talk to your doctor if you need help losing weight.

  • Try to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals.
  • Avoid foods that can make your symptoms worse.

    These may include chocolate, mint, alcohol, pepper, spicy foods, high-fat foods, or drinks with caffeine in them, such as tea, coffee, colas, or energy drinks.

    If your symptoms are worse after you eat a certain food, you may want to stop eating it to see if your symptoms get better.

  • Don't lie down after you eat.

    After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Snacking close to bedtime can make your symptoms worse.


Current as of: October 19, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.