- Strength Training
- Aerobic Exercises
- Balancing Exercises
Many women gain weight during middle age, particularly around the time of menopause. The Galveston diet, which was invented by Mary Claire Haver, MD, an OBGYN, aims to reverse this trend, using a diet plan consisting of lean proteins and low carbs.
The Galveston diet is designed to help menopausal women lose weight by fighting inflammation rather than cutting calories. Despite many personal stories of success on the diet’s website, there are no scientific studies that prove this diet is any better at helping you lose weight than other healthy, balanced diets. Here’s what you need to know before trying the Galveston diet.
The Galveston diet is primarily designed to help you combat weight loss during menopause. However, it also offers advice on how to relieve other menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes.
The crux of the diet is to reduce inflammation by limiting the hours in which you eat and cutting out foods that can trigger inflammation like gluten and sugar.
Here’s what you can eat while following the Galveston diet:
Meats: Only lean proteins are allowed in order to avoid excessive saturated fat, which has been linked to weight gain.
Vegetables: Veggies that are low in starch and high in inflammatory-fighting antioxidants are encouraged.
Fruits: Fruits that are lower in sugar and high in antioxidants are advised.
Fats: The diet allows mainly unsaturated fats, which are a healthier choice for anyone trying to lose weight.
The only dairy product recommended is Greek yogurt because it has more protein than other yogurt varieties. Similarly, the only grain the diet includes is quinoa, again because it provides protein in addition to carbohydrates.
While following the Galveston diet, you should avoid processed foods and food with added sugars. The website recommends entirely avoiding the middle aisles of the supermarket, where snacks and packaged foods are found.
The diet not only places strict limits on what you eat, but also when you eat. While following the diet, you are advised to do a daily version of intermittent fasting in which you restrict your eating to an 8-hour period, such as between 10 am and 6 pm, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
The intermittent fasting aspect of the diet is meant to help reduce inflammation and burn fat. In order to get all the details of the Galveston diet, you need to pay a one time fee of $59, which gives you access to a curriculum covering inflammation, hormones, and other health topics. There are also meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists available.
It’s important to make lifestyle changes when you hit menopause, says Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health. “Women need to be aware that if they don’t change something at menopause — eat less and exercise more — they will gain weight.”
Though the diet has somewhat rigid restrictions, Faubion says that it does not seem to be harmful. However, she adds that paying a fee may not be worth it. “There are many diets that focus on lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and are low in saturated fat that women can follow, the Mediterranean being one.”
The guidelines for what menopausal women should eat are not much different than for other women, Faubion says. However, “midlife women tend to gain a pound or two per year, and avoiding that weight gain is very important to avoid increased cardiovascular risk over time.”
If you want to avoid rigid restrictions or paying for dietary guidelines, you may want to try a similar option like the Mediterranean diet.