Many women suffer, hormonal changes during menopause, lifestyle factors and aging can result in frustrating weight gain. Dr. Mary Claire Haver, an obstetrician-gynecologist found that you don’t need to exercise more and eat less during this period. Instead, be smart!
To help middle-aged women in losing fat and in combating menopausal effects, Haver developed the Galveston Diet. Keep reading if you are suffering from menopausal transitions and want to know what you can eat and what you cannot to avoid weight gain.
What is the Galveston Diet?
Galveston diet is a weight loss program that helps in reversing menopausal weight gain through a self-paced diet plan, which consists of intermittent fasting and a combination of a variety of anti-inflammatory foods. According to OB-Gyn Dr. Mary, combining anti-inflammatory foods in your diet instead of narrowing down your caloric intake helps hormones to work fast in burning fat from the body.
The crux of the Galveston diet is to minimize inflammation by restraining yourself by eating frequently and eliminating foods that can activate inflammation like sugar and gluten.
This diet focuses on whole foods and on restricting added sugar, processed foods, and artificial flavors. The diet suggests 25-30 grams of fiber to take in a day. More fiber is beneficial for your gut bacteria. Fiber also helps in lowering the inflammation levels in your body.
According to Galveston diet instructions, you must take 20% protein, 10% carbs, and 70% healthy fats while following the diet.
Foods that you are allowed to eat in the Galveston Diet
The Galveston diet emphasizes taking anti-inflammatory whole foods like vegetables, healthy fats, legumes, lean proteins, whole grains, and full-fat dairy. Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Salad is one of the good choices for a Galveston diet.
Processed foods with artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrups, colors, flavors, added sugar are highly discouraged in the diet. Foods that contain nitrates/nitrites, inflammatory vegetable or canola oils, grains, fried foods, and refined flours have showcased the effects that increase inflammation in the body.
However, how much you’re eating is as important as what you are eating. Intermittent fasting is mandatory in the Galveston diet. It burns calories fast due to the caloric restriction. Haver added that any type of calorie limitation will lead your body to weight loss.
Research stated that intermittent fasting or anything similar may not be as much of a help for weight loss as calorie limitation, which helps you overall.
Haver, however, highlighted the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of intermittent fasting that helps in the Galveston diet. She recommended the patients to have a 16:8 method of fasting while adhering to the diet, which includes 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. Alternatively, a 5:2 diet method may lead to having similar results as well i.e. eating 500 calories in any two days of the week and looking for the calories count for the other days. While most people find it easier to adhere to the 16:8 diet method.
Food to eat in Galveston Diet
Here’s a list of foods that you can add to your Galveston diet and maintain your weight loss:
To avoid saturated fat in large quantities by eating ham, chicken, and beef, which are the main cause of weight gain, you are allowed to eat only lean protein in Galveston diets which include:
- Lean chicken and turkey
- Lean grass-fed beef
Vegetables that are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and are short in starch are encouraged. For example:
Fruits that are rich in antioxidants and low in sugar are recommended.
In the Galveston diet, you are allowed to have unsaturated fats mainly – which is one of the healthiest options for anyone who wants to lose weight.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin
- Nuts and Seeds
The only dairy product that is allowed in the Galveston diet is Greek yogurt due to its protein-rich properties in contrast to other yogurt varieties. Likewise, the only grain which is allowed in the diet is quinoa, due to the high carbohydrate level it provides along with protein.
Foods that you should avoid in the Galveston Diet
Similar to any diet that promotes anti-inflammation and weight loss, the Galveston diet restricts eating foods with artificial flavors, added sugar, and processed foods. The diet prohibits the consumption of the middle aisle of the superstore, which is loaded with packaged food and snacks.
When to eat in the Galveston diet?
The Galveston diet is one of the diets that restrict not only what to eat but also when to eat. While adhering to the diet you are suggested to follow a regular version of 16:8 intermittent fasting. To stick to the diet, you may have to restrict eating up to sixteen hours and you can eat (mentioned) foods for 8 hours that is recommended to keep them in between 10 am to 6 pm and continue fasting for the rest of the day.
Intermittent fasting in the Galveston diet is recommended to help in the fat-burning process and to reduce inflammation from the body. To benefit from the details of the diet, you need to pay a one-time charge of $59 which will provide you with the complete guidance and curriculum that covers hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and other health topics. With this, you would be able to access a wide range of recipes, diet plans, and shopping lists that will help you in keeping on the right track.
Is the Galveston Diet good for you?
There is no research on the Galveston diet yet that proves whether you should follow the diet or not. But the diet prioritizes the use of healthy fats, nutrition and limits the intake of sweets and processed foods, which can be taken as the foundation of healthy living.
But researches do prove a link between obesity and inflammation, so in cases where you are struggling to lose weight, you must inculcate nutritious and anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, omega-3 fatty fish in your diet and minimize the consumption of processed foods with increase inflammation in your body.
Furthermore, intermittent fasting can also be taken as an effective weight-loss tool, but more research is needed to comprehend its long-term effects and to understand its efficacy. Moreover, intermittent fasting can be dangerous for people having diabetes, or for those who are on certain medications, and for people with eating disorders.
And as mentioned earlier, there is no need to adhere to intermittent fasting for losing extra weight. You can attain your weight loss goal by maintaining your calorie count for the week. Plus, no research supports intermittent fasting helps in losing weight than calorie control overall.
Pros and Cons of the Galveston Diet
To make your diet more sustainable in shedding your weight, you don’t need to eat less. As the Galveston diet suggests, add anti-inflammatory foods to your daily eating habits like fatty fish, colorful vegetables and fruits, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and whole grains to help your body in maintaining a good weight. The diet encourages you to plan your healthy meals and teaches you to help your hormones to balance your fat.
Aforementioned, not everyone’s needs could be the same and the diet may backfire on people having diabetes or other health complications. So people who are obese and are on certain medications should not try the Galveston diet before asking their dietitian.
Besides, people who may want to follow the diet have to pay a price before accessing the full diet plan, while others may have to face limitations.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a diet that can help you in reversing your menopausal weight gain, the Galveston diet can guide you in shedding some pounds by the combination of intermittent fasting and a whole foods diet. Having said that, research especially for the Galveston diet is nowhere supporting and it is not a magic bullet that will overnight.