- Discover “The Galveston Diet” by Mary Claire Haver, a doctor-developed plan to burn fat and manage hormonal symptoms, offering a unique approach to women’s health and weight loss.
- To gain a deeper understanding of how “The Galveston Diet” can transform your health and well-being, continue reading the rest of the book and explore the actionable steps it offers to improve your life.
The Galveston Diet (2023) is a science-backed diet program for women experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms. With a focus on science-backed approaches, this diet program includes a special meal plan designed for six weeks and a variety of healthy, delicious recipes. It is designed to help women in midlife improve their overall health and wellness while managing the challenges that come with this stage of life.
Introduction: Shed excess fat and combat midlife health issues.
Table of Contents
You’ve hit the big 4-0, and you’re ready to prove to the world that life really does begin at 40. Unfortunately, your body says otherwise. You suddenly start seeing wrinkles, the scale is inching up despite your usual diet, and you’re getting hot flashes at the most inconvenient of times.
You can blame all that on perimenopause, the stage right before your period takes a permanent vacation. The good news is that it’s a completely normal part of life. But the bad news is that the symptoms won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Enter the Galveston Diet. Formulated by Dr. Mary Claire Haver and named after the town she lives in, this diet is meant to get you over your midlife health crisis and prepare you to tackle the next phase of your life. In this summary, we’ll break down the three main components of the Galveston Diet and explain why this method is so effective.
If you’re ready to start living your best life, let’s dive right in.
Component #1: Adopt an intermittent fasting regimen.
If you’ve been following trends in the fitness world, chances are you’ve already heard a lot about intermittent fasting. And although it might just sound like another fad diet at first, it’s actually a hot topic for a very good reason: it works.
At its core, intermittent fasting involves sticking to a specific schedule of eating and fasting. Incorporating it into your weight loss journey is a beneficial practice due to its numerous health benefits. This is particularly true for women experiencing hormonal changes during midlife.
A 2014 study showed that individuals who follow an intermittent fasting plan for three to 24 weeks can expect to see a three to eight percent reduction in weight and a four to seven percent decrease in waist circumference. Another study conducted in 2018 revealed that individuals with type 2 diabetes were able to stop taking their diabetes medication after practicing intermittent fasting for a year. In addition, intermittent fasting has been shown to have other beneficial effects, such as reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of cancer and dementia, and improving mood and cognitive function.
The Galveston Diet recommends incorporating the 16:8 intermittent fasting method. You’ll fast for 16 hours straight and eat for the remaining eight hours. Typically, the eating window starts at noon when you have lunch and ends at 8 p.m. when you finish dinner.
This is the easiest schedule to maintain for two reasons. One, it closely resembles most people’s regular eating schedules, so you won’t feel a dramatic change. And two, you’ll be sleeping for a good chunk of your fasting period, preventing you from feeling hungry and grabbing an unhealthy snack.
If the noon to 8 p.m. eating window isn’t your cup of tea, that’s completely okay. The Galveston Diet is all about finding what works for you. You can adjust your eating and fasting hours to suit your schedule, whether that means starting your eating window earlier in the morning or ending it later at night. If the 16:8 pattern feels too restrictive, you can always experiment with the 14:10 method or other variations until you find your sweet spot.
It’s also important to ease into intermittent fasting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Instead of diving right into it and skipping breakfast entirely, try dipping your toes in first by gradually pushing back your eating time by half an hour. For instance, if you usually have breakfast at 8, start eating at 8:30. Slowly extend this until you reach your target start time.
Component #2: Consume more anti-inflammatory foods.
Have you ever felt like something just isn’t right with your body, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is? Well, it turns out that there’s a possibility you may be experiencing chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious health problems down the line. What’s more is that it contributes to some of the most common and life-threatening diseases in the United States, such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.
For women in their midlife, an increase in chronic inflammation is linked to a drop in estrogen levels. Such hormonal fluctuations can also lead to weight gain, which further worsens inflammation. When you combine these two factors with the typical American diet, which is high in pro-inflammatory foods, a range of health problems may be on the horizon.
The second component of the Galveston Diet aims to tackle this very issue. The plan is pretty simple: avoid high-inflammatory foods and incorporate more anti-inflammatory options into your daily meals.
Some of the most obvious foods to steer clear of are processed snacks, fast food, vegetable oils, and fried food. These all contain omega-6 fats that trigger inflammation and raise bad cholesterol. Anything with added sugar and artificial preservatives is also a no-go. Added sugar refers to sweeteners that are added to foods, such as table sugar, sucrose, and corn syrup. It’s also a good idea to remove foods with saturated fats from your shopping list. This includes fatty beef, cheese, and butter.
By now you’re probably wondering what you are allowed to eat. Don’t worry, you still have a lot of options on your plate. The first on the list is healthy fats. Yes, that’s right: FATS. Contrary to popular belief, they are actually good for you as they enhance brain and blood vessel health, regulate blood sugar, and lessen the likelihood of heart attacks. You can find healthy fats in avocados, walnuts, olives, coconut flour, and sesame oil.
Protein is also a must. It plays a role in bone health and keeps you full and satisfied after meals. Anchovies and wild-caught salmon are great options for seafood lovers, while chicken, eggs, and lean cuts of beef are good choices for meat eaters. There’s also protein in legumes, tofu, almond milk, edamame, and cottage cheese.
Apart from healthy fats and protein, carbohydrates should definitely be a staple in your diet. They nourish your body with fiber and antioxidants and eliminate unwanted estrogen. The good kind of carbohydrates, known as complex carbs, are found in leafy green veggies and various fruits like apples and bananas.
You might also want to add supplements for fiber, vitamin D, and omega-3 to your list. Although some foods contain these nutrients, you will often have a hard time meeting the required daily amount from your meals alone. Nutritional supplements can bridge that gap and provide you with the necessary quantity you need.
And of course, let’s not forget water. As recommended by all health professionals, make sure to get at least eight cups of water daily. It doesn’t have to be plain water all the time. You can spice it up with organic herbs, fruits, or veggies of your choice.
Component #3: Watch the ratio of your macronutrients.
Let’s take a moment to recap what we’ve covered so far. You’ve learned about the first two components of the Galveston Diet: intermittent fasting and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your meals. Now, it’s time to delve into the third and final component, which is macronutrient counting.
Macronutrients, or macros for short, refer to the three primary nutrients you need in your diet: healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. You’ll be tracking these macros instead of calories as you would normally do with other weight loss programs. This is an important step in the Galveston Diet because this is how you shift your body’s energy usage from glucose to fat.
To understand this better, let’s discuss the science of metabolism. When you eat, your body searches the food for carbohydrates and burns them for energy. After those are gone, your body automatically turns to body fat for fuel.
Unfortunately, excess carb consumption can be problematic because it prevents your body from using body fat as an energy source. Additionally, the excess carbs can lead to the storage of body fat. You already know the harmful effects of excess weight.
This is where tracking your macros comes in handy. Instead of eating a carb-heavy diet, your goal is to get your carb intake down to only 10 percent. The remainder of your daily meals then becomes 70 percent healthy fats and 20 percent protein.
Naturally, your body will take time to adjust to this shift. Don’t expect to see massive changes within days, as most people take three to four weeks to adapt to this new macronutrient ratio. You might also experience side effects like nausea, fatigue, and headaches in the early stages. These are symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal, and they’re normal for people who have been carb-dependent for a long time. Drinking plenty of water and consuming electrolyte-rich foods like avocados, nuts, and green vegetables will help mitigate some of the side effects.
Implementing the Three Components Together.
Dr. Haver has designed a six-week meal plan that integrates all three components of the Galveston Diet. Essentially, it involves to two main meals and two snacks per day, all of which should be consumed during your eight-hour eating window. When combined, the daily meals come close to the recommended 70/20/10 macro ratio. Most of the ingredients used in the plan are also carefully selected for their anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in nutrients that help regulate your hormones.
One of the recipes in the meal plan is Mary Claire’s Smoothie. You’ll need the following ingredients: full-fat Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, blueberries, and chopped walnuts. Add to that ground flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and unsweetened coconut flakes. And don’t forget ice cubes and water. To make it, mix everything in a blender and pour small amounts of water until you get to your consistency of choice.
If you’re looking for something even easier, Dr. Haver’s Hard-Boiled Egg with Avocado recipe is as simple as it gets. It’s a two-ingredient wonder, only needing a hard-boiled egg that’s packed in protein, iron, and vitamin D and half an avocado that’s high in magnesium and potassium. Split the egg into two, plate it with avocado slices on the side, and voila! You have a hearty snack you can even take to go.
For something a bit more meaty, give the Chicken and BLT Wrap recipe a go. It requires a few romaine lettuce leaves, a sliced avocado, a cup of shredded rotisserie-cooked chicken breast, half a cup of chopped tomato, and two slices of turkey bacon. Add to that four tablespoons of homemade ranch dressing, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, and a 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese. Once you have all that prepared, it’s time to get wrapping! Start by flattening the lettuce leaves and evenly distributing the avocado, chicken, tomato, and turkey bacon onto each leaf. Then, give it an extra kick of flavor by adding the dressing, pepper, and cheese on top. With all the ingredients in place, fold the sides of the lettuce leaf to create the perfect wrap. Enjoy!
Alternatively, you can opt out of the specific meals in the meal plan and make a new menu from scratch. Just make sure to keep an eye on your macros.
What Comes Next?
You’ve made it through the six-week Galveston Diet meal plan. Congratulations! But now what? Do you go back to scoffing down burgers and fries every day? Or do you have to start the diet all over again and continue eating the same meals until you’re tired of them? Let’s face it, many diet programs leave you with such questions. They entice you with a tempting meal plan for a few weeks, only to abandon you once the program is over.
The Galveston Diet, however, is different. After the six-week meal plan, you’ll transition into the maintenance program called the Galveston Diet for Life, designed to keep you thriving long after the six weeks are up.
It’s made up of essentially the same three components but with some small changes.
First off, you have to commit to intermittent fasting like it’s your full-time job. It shouldn’t be a temporary fix but a complete lifestyle change. You need this to avoid gaining weight again and keep inflammation at bay.
Secondly, anti-inflammatory foods need to remain the focus of your meals. This time, though, you don’t have to limit yourself to Dr. Haver’s recommended meal plan. Spice things up and add some pizzazz like new fruits and veggies to your pantry.
Finally, let’s talk macros. You still need to pay attention to them but are allowed to shake things up a bit. Change your ratio to 60 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 20 percent carbs for about a week or so, then gradually transition to 50/20/30 for a few more weeks, and finally settle at a sweet spot at 40/20/40.
If you notice a modest uptick in weight – usually around five pounds – it’s completely normal. Just make sure to keep track of your body measurements. However, if the weight gain continues, it’s time to temporarily go back to the 70/20/10 ratio.
Your journey to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t end with eating the right foods at the right time. It’s important to make conscious changes in other aspects of your health, too.
For instance, prioritize sleep and get six to eight hours every night. Evidence suggests that skimping on sleep can amp up the levels of your hunger hormone, so it is essential to give your body the proper rest it needs.
Staying active is also beneficial for your health. It doesn’t have to mean a full-on gym workout. Walking for 20 minutes, doing yoga for half an hour, or lifting light weights a couple days a week is already enough to keep you looking and feeling good.
Finally, don’t forget to start journaling. This involves taking the time to reflect on your past achievements and future aspirations. It can help you stay motivated to keep pushing towards your goals and be excited about what’s in store for you in the years to come.
Just because you’ve reached the midlife mark doesn’t mean you have to slow down and let chronic ailments and diseases dictate the rest of your life. With the Galveston Diet at your disposal, you’ll still have a lot of good things to look forward to.
By sticking to the diet, you can revitalize and transform your health long beyond its six-week duration. And the best part is it’s not really a diet at all – it’s a lifestyle overhaul that can have profound effects on your overall well-being. Try it and see what happens. You might be surprised at the changes it can make.
“The Galveston Diet” by Mary Claire Haver is a comprehensive guide to a dietary approach designed to help women manage their hormonal symptoms, particularly those related to menopause and perimenopause. Dr. Haver, a gynecologist, developed this plan based on her clinical experience and research in the field of women’s health.
The book starts by explaining the hormonal changes that women go through during various stages of life and how these changes can impact weight gain, mood, energy levels, and overall health. Dr. Haver introduces the Galveston Diet as a way to address these issues by focusing on the types and timing of food consumption.
The Galveston Diet emphasizes a low-carbohydrate, high-healthy-fat, and moderate-protein approach. It includes specific meal plans, recipes, and guidelines for incorporating intermittent fasting to help regulate hormones and support weight loss. Dr. Haver also provides advice on exercise and stress management as complementary strategies.
- Hormone Health: The book highlights the importance of hormonal balance, particularly for women approaching or experiencing menopause, and how diet can play a crucial role in managing symptoms.
- Low-Carb, High-Fat: The Galveston Diet centers around a low-carb, high-healthy-fat dietary approach, which is intended to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.
- Intermittent Fasting: Dr. Haver introduces intermittent fasting as a key component of the diet plan to enhance hormonal regulation and promote fat burning.
- Recipes and Meal Plans: The book offers a variety of recipes and meal plans to help readers implement the Galveston Diet effectively.
- Holistic Approach: In addition to diet, the book addresses the importance of exercise and stress management in achieving optimal health and hormone balance.
“The Galveston Diet” by Mary Claire Haver is a well-structured and informative book that provides valuable insights into the relationship between diet, hormonal health, and overall well-being, particularly for women in midlife. Dr. Haver’s medical expertise is evident throughout the book, and her approach is grounded in scientific principles.
One of the strengths of the book is its practicality. Dr. Haver offers clear guidelines, meal plans, and recipes to help readers implement the Galveston Diet effectively. The emphasis on a low-carb, high-healthy-fat diet aligns with many current dietary trends that prioritize whole foods and reduced sugar intake.
However, it’s important to note that the Galveston Diet may not be suitable for everyone, and readers should consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes, especially if they have underlying health conditions. Additionally, the book is primarily targeted at women dealing with hormonal symptoms, so its relevance may be limited for other audiences.
In conclusion, “The Galveston Diet” is a valuable resource for women seeking to address hormonal symptoms and improve their overall health through dietary changes. Dr. Mary Claire Haver’s approach is well-researched and accessible, making it a useful guide for those looking to adopt a hormone-balancing diet.