Through previous research I have learned that the amount of acid that is secreted into the stomach after eating food is based on the gastrin levels in your body. Taking any sort of antacid, H2 blocker, or PPI will increase your gastrin levels as your body tries to counter the effect of those by thinking it needs to produce more acid for breaking down the food. As we know, this is what causes acid rebound when coming off of H2 blocker and PPI medications.
After thinking on this for awhile I was wondering if through long term eating habits, you can get the same effect without taking medications which in turn can cause some of the same problems so I did a little research on the effect of gastrin levels based on different foods. In doing this I found an interesting study (http://gut.bmj.com/content/12/8/619.full.pdf
). The study proves that the theory I have is correct in that different types of foods will promote your body to produce more acid to break it down. The longer you eat those foods the more gastrin your body builds up in order to keep up with your eating habits. When making a change in your diet, your body needs to adjust and in doing so, you may get a little acid rebound without thinking that you have acid rebound because you weren't taking any medications.
Keeping this in mind, it becomes very important to follow strict eating habits to try and maintain the same gastrin levels. The overall idea here is to maintain a healthy life style without any drastic changes that effect the overall ecosystem of the body.
So in conclusion, by eating what your body needs (equal sized meals throughout the day, every day), you can maintain proper gastrin levels. I'm not sure how long one would need to eat large meals (days, months?) to experience a rebound effect when going back to smaller meals. But it is something to think about. A major key to help with heartburn is to understand the science behind how our body works so we can understand and know how to get it to function the way we want it to based on our actions.