Being overweight is a major contributor to heartburn. Overweight individuals are twice as likely to suffer from symptoms of GERD as are people of a healthy weight. Extra weight may increase pressure on the stomach, causing the LES muscle to relax, which allows stomach backflow. Body fat may also release chemicals that interfere with normal digestive functioning. The good news is that research shows losing even a small amount of weight can help relieve symptoms and control heartburn. If you need help getting started, check out my four-step online weight-loss program, which provides daily meal plans, healthy recipes, access to a personal nutrition coach, and handy trackers to help you succeed.