What Is the Galveston Diet? Experts Break It Down

Menopause is a time of a lot of changes, including to the way your body looks and feels. That can lead to weight gain in some women—and there’s a diet that specifically aims to combat this. It’s called the Galveston diet, and it’s gaining in popularity.

The diet was founded by a doctor—Mary Claire Haver, M.D.—and it sounds good in theory. Among other things, it promises to “help increase longevity” and create healthy habits for people in perimenopause and menopause.

But is this legitimate? Can a special diet help you combat menopausal weight gain and help keep you healthy during this transition? Here’s what experts think.

What is the Galveston diet?

The Galveston diet is a weight loss program that’s specially designed to fend off and fight menopausal and perimenopausal weight gain. The diet using a combination of anti-inflammatory foods and intermittent fasting, according to its website, although details are scarce.

The diet focuses on whole foods, while encouraging followers to cut back on processed foods, artificial ingredients, and added sugars.

You can choose from two different plans—Gold ($99) and Signature ($59). Signature gives you a Companion Guide and meal plans, while the Gold plan includes those, along with a Move Mini-Course, The Daily Recharge Journal, and a Savor It: The Galveston Diet Recipe Collection.

What can you eat on the Galveston diet?

The diet focuses on anti-inflammatory foods. That means things like fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins are all on the menu.

Highly processed foods, along with foods that have high levels of added sugar are discouraged. Sample menu items include things like a blueberry and spinach collagen smoothie, chicken romaine salad with avocado, shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles, and beef-stuffed portobello mushrooms.

You also have access to some supplements, if you feel you need them. (The diet is careful not to push them.)

Is the Galveston diet healthy?

Yes, but experts have some reservations. “There are aspects of this diet that are very sound because it promotes healthy eating habits—eating whole foods, healthy fats, and vegetables while avoiding processed foods,” says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. But, she adds, the diet is potentially “expensive to keep up with,” given some of the ingredients.

“For the cost of the service you’re given ‘at your own pace’ meal plans and access to supplements, which seems to imply there will be little support beyond this,” says Scott Keatley, R.D. a nutritionist and co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “Otherwise, it appears to be very similar to a Mediterranean-type diet.”

Ultimately, “this diet is a combination of other popular diets without any scientific evidence to support its claims that it will help menopausal women with weight loss,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet.

What else can you do to manage menopausal weight gain?

Hormonal shifts like a drop in estrogen causes “a tendency to have weight gain” during the menopausal period, says Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. As a result, she says, “you need to pay attention to one’s diet and activity level and adjust it to keep that trend of weight gain from occurring.”

But, Dr. Greves points out, “there aren’t any good studies on the Galveston diet” so it’s hard to know if going on this diet actually does anything for you.

The Galveston diet isn’t your only possibility for combating menopausal weight gain. Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an ob-gyn in Texas and founder of Sanctum Med Wellness, recommends the following:

  • Decrease how much sugar you’re having
  • Try HIIT workout routines over long cardio sessions
  • Consider hormone replacement therapy

“What I’ve seen work well is moving more, but not just tons more cardio,” says Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. “It’s incorporating a combination of cardio and weight-bearing activity.” Adding more fiber and protein to your diet and limiting alcohol can also help, she says.

If you’re worried about menopausal weight gain, it’s really a good idea to talk to your doctor about what’s happening with you, Dr. Greves says, and you may want to consider looping in a registered dietitian. They should be able to help offer personalized guidance.

https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/diets/a41395982/what-is-galveston-diet/