The Galveston Diet’s intermittent fasting, anti-inflammatory approach may help menopausal people lose weight more effectively than just reducing calorie intake, according to evidence on its methods. However, no specific research into this diet exists and no one diet can work for everyone.
Dr. Mary Claire Haver, an OBGYN physician, created the Galveston Diet to help people with menopause lose weight. The basis of the Galveston Diet is an anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition and intermittent fasting.
According to the official website, the Galveston Diet is an “evidence-based program that actually works.” Haver claims that not only do women lose weight and gain muscle mass on the Galveston Diet, they also sleep better, have fewer hot flashes, and avoid brain fog.
This article explores the Galveston Diet, how it works, and what to eat and avoid. In addition, it discusses the research behind some of the diet’s approaches and the potential downsides of trying it.
Though numerous Galveston Diet recipe books are available by many authors, the official Galveston Diet program designed by Haver offers clients an online program via a subscription service.
The programs focus on three main areas to help balance hormones and lose weight during menopause:
- Intermittent fasting: In a 24-hour period, people may eat only within a time window of 8 hours and need to fast for the remaining 16 hours.
- Anti-inflammatory nutrition: The diet encourages foods that have natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory abilities. This may support the gut and help the body work more effectively.
- Fuel refocus: The programs emphasize breaking what it calls the “addiction to sugar and processed carbohydrates” and refocusing on more nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates.
Before a person begins the diet, Haver recommends that they educate themselves about these concepts, as well as prepare to change their mindset and attitude toward eating.
In addition, she encourages people to begin emptying their pantries of foods that the diet does not permit.
The Galveston Diet focuses on eating natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods and avoiding foods that contain added sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Foods to enjoy on the diet include:
- Greek yogurt
- lean chicken
- lean turkey
- lean grass-fed beef
- nitrate-free deli meats
Fruits and vegetables
- zucchini squash
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- pine nuts
The diet also suggests avoiding the following foods:
- processed or refined-carbohydrate foods, such as pizza, chips, and white pasta
- refined flours and grains
- foods high in added sugar, such as cookies, pastries, candy, and desserts
- sugary drinks and sodas
- sugar or artificial sweeteners added to hot drinks
- oils that may be considered inflammatory, such as canola and vegetable
- foods with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup
- processed meats with nitrates, such as sausages, burgers, and salami
- fried foods
The Galveston Diet applies a different strategy to weight loss than counting calories, a focus of many weight loss diets.
While specific studies on the Galveston Diet itself do not exist, researchers have done a substantial amount of research into some of the eating plan’s core concepts. These include intermittent fasting and the importance of foods that promote feelings of satiety, or fullness.
For example, a
The review reflects the Galveston Diet’s approach, which emphasizes food’s effects on shifting hormones and inflammation and how they contribute to weight gain in menopause.
Another key characteristic of the Galveston Diet is intermittent fasting, which research suggests can have benefits for weight loss.
In addition, studies of 2-12 weeks’ duration showed a decrease in body mass index of 4.3%, and hunger symptoms remained stable or decreased.
Considering the studies above, there seems to be convincing evidence that the Galveston Diet’s approach may be effective for weight loss.
Along with reducing body weight, the Galveston Diet may have other health benefits, due to its anti-inflammatory approach and intermittent fasting methods.
May reduce inflammation
According to a
The same study also indicates that intermittent fasting may work to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
May reduce risk of certain diseases
Intermittent fasting may also counteract the damaging effects of oxidative stress, which generates free radicals that cause disease and aging.
A 2019 review concluded that intermittent fasting might help prevent high blood pressure and conditions such as cancer as well as prolong lifespan.
May improve motivation
The extra support and activity elements of some Galveston Diet program subscriptions may mean that people trying the diet feel more motivated to stick with it. Plus, they may lead individuals to engage in more physical activity than they usually do. Both of these things may benefit weight loss and general health.
The main potential downside of the Galveston Diet is that people may find it challenging to follow and fit into their lifestyle in several ways.
People attempting to lose weight on a budget may find the official diet website’s subscription programs too expensive. Some of the foods that the program recommends, such as grass-fed beef, may also cost too much. Plus, individuals may find it hard to obtain certain foods, depending on where they live.
Hunger while fasting
People who do subscribe to the official programs may find fasting for 16 hours difficult, especially at first.
Having a time-restricted eating window of 8 hours means that if someone has their evening meal at 7 p.m., they cannot eat until 11 a.m. the following day. This would mean skipping breakfast or eating breakfast much later than usual, which some may find challenging.
However, there is flexibility in when the 16-hour fasting window occurs, so a person could eat their evening meal at 5 p.m. and breakfast at 9 a.m., which may work better for some. Someone could also eat their breakfast and lunch at the usual time and skip their evening meal if they prefer.
Restricting certain foods and alcohol may also make it more challenging for someone to socialize and dine out. For this reason, a person trying the diet may wish to plan ahead and give social events some prior consideration.
Some evidence supports the idea that intermittent fasting and an anti-inflammatory diet are effective for weight loss. Using this approach may mean that the Galveston Diet is more effective than traditional calorie-reducing diets for some menopausal women.
However, the Galveston Diet itself has not been the subject of sufficient specific research.
The diet may also be beneficial for preventing chronic conditions, such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
A potential downside is that individuals may find the diet difficult to maintain due to restricted foods and window of time that eating is allowed.