The 7 Day GERD Diet Plan For Acid Reflux + Heartburn Relief

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If you have GERD or acid reflux, following a GERD diet may alleviate your symptoms.

But, what is the GERD diet, or the best diet for acid reflux? In other words, what does a GERD meal plan or GERD friendly recipes entail?

In this guide, we will discuss what foods to eat if you have acid reflux, the types of ingredients to avoid in GERD recipes, ideas for meals for acid reflux, and present a 7 day GERD diet plan to help you choose meals that are good if you need ideas for healthy, low-acid heartburn foods.

We will look at: 

  • What Is GERD?
  • What Is the Best Diet for Acid Reflux?
  • What Foods Can I Eat With GERD?
  • The 7 Day GERD Diet Plan For Relief From Reflux and Heartburn

Let’s get started!

A doctor holding a sign that reads GERD.

What Is GERD?

Before we discuss what you can eat on a 7 day GERD meal plan and what foods are good and bad on an acid reflux diet plan, let’s briefly discuss what GERD is and why it is often recommended that you choose specific GERD foods when you suffer from this condition.

GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic condition of acid reflux (commonly described as “heartburn“) where the gastric juices escape back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest.

Other symptoms of acid reflux or GERD include nausea, burping, a feeling of fullness, bloating or belly distention, a sore throat, a lump in the throat, coughing, or general stomach burning or discomfort.

Unfortunately, GERD is fairly common among adults, with an estimated 20% of adults in the United States suffering from this condition, according to StatPearls.

A person with acid reflux holding their stomach.

What Is the Best Diet for Acid Reflux?

There are various goals that people may have when trying to follow a 7 day meal plan for acid reflux. 

For one, it is important to choose GERD friendly foods that do not trigger acid reflux and help keep the contents of the stomach contained within the stomach rather than working their way up through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus, where symptoms of GERD will be experienced.

For this GERD meal plan goal, not only are the specific food choices important in terms of being compatible with a heartburn diet (such as low acid foods) but also the quantity or portion sizes for your acid reflux meals and heartburn snacks matter.

The more volume you put in your stomach at one time—think large meals—the more likely the food will trigger acid reflux symptoms.

This is because when you stuff the stomach organ with a large volume of food, the pressure within the stomach will increase the likelihood that the acidic contents of the food you have eaten will travel back up through the LES.

This is because your stomach is taut like a full balloon.

A person with heartburn.

Thus, even if you are eating the best heartburn friendly foods, if you are eating too much all at once while trying to follow a GERD-friendly diet, you can still exacerbate GERD symptoms.

The second goal of a 7 day acid reflux diet meal plan is often weight loss.

While this goal of a 7 day GERD diet plan will not pertain to everyone who suffers from acid reflux or GERD (because not everyone with GERD needs to lose weight), a large percentage of people with GERD do suffer from obesity.

Studies have found that when people who have GERD and concurrent obesity lose weight, GERD symptoms improve.

This means that if you follow a 7 day acid reflux diet for weight loss and GERD management, you may be able to attack two simultaneous factors that are triggering your heartburn symptoms:

  1. Your food choices (by choosing good acid reflux foods)
  2. The excess weight that is contributing to having GERD (by following a low-calorie GERD diet plan for weight loss)
A person who has lost weight holding out their jeans.

For this reason, when we created our 7 day GERD diet plan, we tried to make it scalable for different caloric needs.

Those who are trying to lose weight on an acid reflux diet can cut calories to create a caloric deficit.

Those who do not need to lose weight can consume more calories on your 7 day heartburn meal plan to address the dietary composition with good acid reflux meals while meeting your caloric needs and supporting weight management or even weight gain.

In fact, many people who suffer from GERD find that they lose a significant amount of weight early on or when the GERD symptoms flare because many foods trigger GERD symptoms, leaving them unsure of what to eat or uncomfortable eating.

This can lead to unintentional, and sometimes even undesirable, weight loss.

If this is the case for you, make sure that you follow this 7 day acid reflux diet plan with the goal of trying to gain weight or maintain weight by boosting caloric intake while still having GERD safe foods.

A bowl of oats.

What Foods Can I Eat With GERD?

Choosing GERD-friendly foods can be challenging, particularly when you are experiencing a flareup of your GERD symptoms because oftentimes, it can feel like every single thing you eat or drink triggers acid reflux symptoms.

The other challenge of creating acid reflux meals or following a heartburn diet is that while there are some “GERD friendly foods,“ each person who suffers from GERD is an individual, and the foods that work for you may be massive triggers for someone else.

That said, some foods are considered the “best foods for GERD“ or the “best foods for acid reflux“ for most people because they are low in acidity and tend not to trigger relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter or excessive stomach acid production.

However, we cannot guarantee that every “GERD safe food“ is indeed workable for you; you will have to experiment.

If you are really struggling to find heartburn recipes and acid reflux meal plans that are not exacerbating your condition, you may need to work one on one with a registered dietitian and a nutritionist who is experienced with GERD management through diet.

Healthy fats.

That said, here are some of the best GERD friendly foods for GERD diet plans:

  • Low-sugar fruits and vegetables (except citrus and acidic fruits)
  • Whole grains like oats
  • Starches like potatoes
  • Healthy fats
  • Plant-based milks
  • Lean proteins

When following this 7 day acid reflux diet plan, make sure that you are implementing other behavioral strategies related to eating with acid reflux, such as:

  • Reducing portion sizes so that you are eating small and frequent meals rather than a couple of large meals throughout the day
  • Trying to lower body weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Cutting out GERD trigger foods entirely 
  • Waiting at least three hours after your last meal before you lie down for bed and not lying down after eating in general
  • Not wearing tight clothes that put pressure on the abdominal cavity
  • Sleeping with your head elevated in the bed
Lean proteins.

Foods to Avoid With GERD

As much as it’s important to eat GERD safe foods, it is equally important to eliminate foods that are bad for heartburn on an acid reflux diet meal plan.

Examples of foods to avoid with GERD include the following:

  • All citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and limes, and acidic fruits like pineapple
  • Tomatoes and all tomato products
  • Soda, caffeine in general, and anything carbonated
  • Alcohol, fatty foods, fried foods, and rich foods
  • Cheese and full-fat dairy, fatty meats, salty meals like American Chinese food, fast food, pizza
  • Spicy foods
  • Garlic and onions
  • Chocolate
  • Mint and peppermint 
Cantelope.

The 7 Day GERD Diet Plan For Relief From Reflux and Heartburn

Monday

Breakfast: Overnight oats made with sliced bananas, rolled oats, flax seeds, walnuts, and almond milk or skim milk.

Snack: Cantelope

Lunch: Brown rice bowl with avocado slices, steamed chicken breast or steamed tofu, and walnuts

Snack: Unsalted almonds and a pear

Dinner: Honey-braised salmon with couscous and kale cooked in coconut oil (or steamed if you are on a GERD diet for weight loss)

Tuesday

Breakfast: Low-fat plain Greek yogurt with sliced banana and blueberries 

Snack: Edamame

Lunch: Chicken soup with white beans, stewed kale, and rice or quinoa

Snack: Unsalted almonds and a pear

Dinner: Sheet pan chicken bake with roasted carrots, potatoes, lean chicken breast, fennel, and asparagus. Brown rice pilaf with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Salmon and herbs.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Puffed rice cereal with almond milk, sliced almonds, a slice of melon

Snack: Edamame

Lunch: Quinoa and baked salmon with slivered almonds and steamed zucchini, and yellow summer squash

Snack: Pear and banana puréed and frozen into “nice cream

Dinner: Ground turkey shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes, carrots, and spinach 

Thursday

Breakfast: Whole wheat toast with unsalted peanut butter and sliced banana with a drizzle of honey

Snack: Cantelope

Lunch: Brown rice bowl with avocado slices, steamed chicken breast or steamed tofu, and walnuts

Snack: Unsalted almonds and a pear

Dinner: Grilled turkey breast or chicken breast with mashed potato

Yogurt and blueberries.

Friday

Breakfast: Smoothie made with banana, low-fat yogurt, macadamia nuts, and aloe vera

Snack: Edamame

Lunch: Chicken soup with white beans, stewed kale, and rice or quinoa

Snack: Unsalted almonds and a pear

Dinner: Quinoa salad bowl with greens, avocado, edamame, and cashew dressing made with ground cashews and tahini

Saturday

Breakfast: Sliced avocado on whole wheat toast

Snack: Cantelope

Lunch: Turkey burger on a butter lettuce wrap (if following a GERD meal plan for weight loss) or whole grain hamburger bun with sliced avocado, zucchini noodles 

Snack: Pear and banana puréed and frozen into “nice cream”

Dinner: Quinoa salad bowl with greens, avocado, edamame, and cashew dressing made with ground cashews and tahini

Banana puree.

Sunday

Breakfast: Cream of rice warm cereal with bananas and walnuts

Snack: Cantelope

Lunch: Honey-braised salmon with couscous and kale cooked in coconut oil (or steamed if you are on a GERD diet for weight loss)

Snack: Pear and banana puréed and frozen into “nice cream”

Dinner: Grilled turkey breast or chicken breast with mashed potato

If you are following a 7 day meal plan for acid reflux, and want to support the acid and alkaline balance in your body, check out our guide to alkaline water and whether it works here.

A person holding out a glass of water.
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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