If you’ve ever experienced acid reflux—that uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest and throat—then you know how much of an impact it can have on your life, from the foods you eat to the quality of your sleep. Although it may be tempting to reach for a bottle of antacids to calm your symptoms, making a few lifestyle changes may drastically reduce or even eliminate your acid reflux irritation.1 Keep reading to find out what acid reflux is and ways you can naturally combat your symptoms.
What is Acid Reflux?
Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating a large meal or one that was high in fat? If so, you’ve likely experienced acid reflux, and you’re not alone. Over 15 million Americans report experiencing these types of symptoms daily.2
What causes it? Acid reflux is caused by the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). In other words, when you have too much acidic content in your stomach, your esophagus can become irritated, leading stomach acid to rise. If symptoms persist, they may even lead to other chronic health issues.3
5 Ways to Naturally Reduce Your Symptoms
While reaching for a pack of antacids may be a quick fix to mask the symptoms of acid reflux, there are ways to naturally alleviate your symptoms as well as improve your overall health. Check out these 5 ways that may improve your symptoms:
1. Shed excess body weight
Studies4 have shown that there is a correlation between being overweight and experiencing acid reflux. Specifically, carrying extra weight in your abdominal area, known as visceral fat, may increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms.5 How? When additional weight is held around the belly, it can increase the pressure on internal organs, which can result in the backflow of stomach acid. The good news, however, is that losing just 5-10 percent of overall body weight can significantly reduce symptoms in overweight individuals.6
2. Consider your portion sizes
Larger meals, especially ones with high-fat content, can lead to stomach bloat and increase pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), causing acid reflux.7 By keeping your portions in check you can reduce these symptoms. With Jenny Craig, you don’t have to worry about portion sizes, everything is laid out for you and includes the perfect balance of
carbs, protein and fats.
3. Drop the cigarette habit
For regular smokers, kicking the cigarette habit may not be the easiest item on the list, but it offers an incredible array of health benefits. In addition to easing acid reflux, quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and more.8
4. Avoid eating late at night
Have you ever laid down right after a large meal? It’s not very comfortable – and for a reason: your stomach needs time to digest food. By eating meals or snacks late at night, before going to bed, your likelihood of experiencing acid reflux symptoms increases as it’s easier for the backflow of stomach acid to rise when you’re lying down, rather than standing up. Experts recommend having your last meal 3-4 hours before turning in for the night.9
5. Sync up with your circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm refers to the body’s mental, behavioral and physical changes over a 24-hour cycle.10 In simplest terms, it’s our body’s internal clock. This rhythm dictates the way every cell in the body functions and is typically divided into two, 12-hour periods, roughly daytime and nighttime. In today’s modern world, full of electronics and late-night snacks, it’s easy to get out of sync with your natural rhythm. Unfortunately, this can lead to weight gain and other health problems, such as acid reflux.11 But by eating in alignment with your circadian rhythm and allowing your body to rejuvenate for 12-hours, you may experience a host of other health benefits, including optimizing your metabolism, while also reducing symptoms associated with acid reflux.12 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, was created to work in sync with your natural circadian rhythm.
If you’re looking to improve your eating habits to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle or want to try our newest Rapid Results program to get in sync with your circadian rhythm, contact Jenny Craig for your free appointment and get started today.
 Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/.