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What Is the Galveston Diet, and Should You Try It?

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD October 28, 2022

Are you worried about how menopause will change your body?

Going through menopause may be challenging for some. It comes with many physical changes, like unwanted weight around your face, stomach, or thighs. This is a normal occurrence for menopausal women, but there might be a special diet that can prevent it.

The Galveston diet was designed to reverse weight gain through intermittent fasting and eating certain foods. People typically have meals that contain plenty of nutrients for fat loss. Now, you might be thinking – how do I start this new dietary plan?

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What Is the Galveston Diet, and How Does It Work?

The Galveston diet is a customizable weight loss program designed to prevent menopausal weight gain. You would eat anti-inflammatory foods while intermittent fasting. This combination is supposed to boost the fat-burning hormones in your body.

The Galveston diet encourages you to mainly focus on food quality and not calorie restriction. Anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables may balance chemicals that contribute to weight loss. Leptin is one hormone that regulates blood sugar and stops the fat storage from expanding.

Intermittent fasting helps menopausal women lose weight through extended fasting windows. Not eating for a certain amount of time can encourage your body to burn fat for energy. This leads to weight loss that also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Three main cornerstones of the diet

Every diet will have unique benefits to improve your overall health. The Galveston diet focuses on three main areas that balance hormones and help people lose weight.

These three main areas comprise:

  • Intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting is a personalized eating pattern that goes between fasting and eating windows. You can choose what time you prefer to eat throughout the day. Beginners might eat for 8 hours and then fast outside of that time to encourage fat loss.

This weight loss method was designed to promote the “fat-burning” state. Your body taps into the fat storage and uses that for energy. Other benefits include stronger heart health, reduced inflammation, hormonal balance, and normal blood sugar levels.

You can try the DoFasting app to make the transition to the Galveston diet more manageable. This app pushes you to form strong and healthier habits. It will help you track your eating windows and provide you with tons of tasty recipes. Eating healthy meals at the right times will boost your weight loss progress.

  • Anti-inflammatory nutrition:

Anti-inflammatory foods contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and zinc that help fight and reduce chronic diseases. They are especially great for minimizing menopause symptoms, including sugar cravings that might lead to future weight gain.

Following a healthy diet ensures you don’t get stressed and binge eat during menopausal stages. Cutting out processed meats, excessive saturated fat, and fried foods, is another way to avoid those uncomfortable hot flashes.

  • Fuel refocus:

An average person’s calorie intake consists of 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 35% fat. We get our energy from carbs, and store the excess as fat. Fuel refocus changes how much food your body consumes for energy. The recommendation for Galveston diet is 70% healthy fat, 20% lean protein, and 10% carbohydrate. Once your body can’t burn any carbohydrates, it turns for your fat storage and burns those stubborn fat cells.

Eating the wrong foods can disrupt your weight loss journey. The Galveston diet is all about nutrition that reduces those horrible menopause symptoms. Healthy fats are specifically important for stopping any hunger cravings throughout the day.

Foods To Eat on the Galveston Diet

Since the Galveston diet focuses on specific foods that help prevent weight gain, it’s super important to follow the right eating plan. It’s what you eat that matters, and it will keep you strong and healthy. A Galveston diet will help you improve your lifestyle and reduce menopausal symptoms.

Let’s take a look at what foods you can eat on the Galveston diet:

  • Lean proteins: Chicken, eggs, lean pork, salmon, lean ground beef, low-fat cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, turkey, whole grains, and tuna.
  • Healthy fats: Avocado, butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, ghee, olive oil, and nuts.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, lettuce, kale, cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, mustard greens, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, and collards.
  • Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, apples, blueberries, peaches, grapes, apricots, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and pomegranates.
  • Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and raw sesame seeds.
  • Dairy: Nut milk, heavy cream, sour cream, plain soya yogurt, and hemp milk.
  • Fresh herbs: Thyme, basil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, and cinnamon.

Foods To Avoid Completely

Eating the wrong foods may trigger chronic inflammation. This can lead to a slower metabolism that stops you from losing menopausal weight. Processed foods are especially bad for your health, but there are other products that will increase fat stores.

Here are foods you should avoid completely:

  • Processed foods: Breakfast cereals, refined grains, bread, cakes, biscuits, sausages, ham, bacon, canned vegetables, ready meals, potato chips, white bread, and pizza.
  • Alcohol: Spirits, beer, wine, cocktails, and liquors.
  • Sugary beverages: Fruit juices, milkshakes, sweetened waters, sports drinks, energy drinks, soda, and tea or coffee with added sugars.

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How Does the Galveston Diet Work for Weight Loss?

Removing unhealthy foods from your diet can prevent extra fat being stored on your face, stomach, arms, or thighs. Even though you’re not following a calorie deficit, the body still focuses on burning visceral fat rather than carbohydrates for energy.

The Galveston diet can boost weight loss progress by reducing any stubborn inflammation. You’ll eat more anti-inflammatory whole foods that not only improve your metabolism, but prevent menopause symptoms from getting worse.

People can expect to lose around 0.8%-13% of their average body weight while using intermittent fasting methods paired with the Galveston diet.

Additional Benefits of the Galveston Diet

The Galveston diet comes with amazing health benefits. Research suggests that intermittent fasting strengthens most natural functions in your body. Following this diet might help you build healthy habits, leading to consistent weight loss results.

Let’s evaluate three additional benefits of the Galveston diet:

Helps reduce inflammation

Foods that contain nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and lean proteins often reduce inflammation. This is due to the minerals reacting with histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins – chemicals that cause swelling in your body.

Intermittent fasting also repairs intestinal cells and cures inflammation. Not eating for timed periods prevents the release of pro-inflammatory signals. These are called “monocytes” that enter your bloodstream and worsen swollen areas.

May protect against various lifestyle diseases

Removing processed foods from your diet can stop any lifestyle diseases from attacking the body. Products containing saturated fats usually increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiomyopathy, and high blood pressure.

The Galveston diet only contains healthy fats that lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and boost your immune system responses. Pairing this eating lifestyle with intermittent fasting methods will further protect your heart from any chronic inflammation.

May improve blood sugar control

Anti-inflammatory foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and strengthen insulin sensitivity. Too much swelling causes insulin resistance in the cells, leading to elevated blood sugar that triggers symptoms like tiredness, dry mouth, and vision problems.

Intermittent fasting also limits meals that cause a spike in blood sugar. For example, processed meats or sugary beverages encourage your digestive system to transfer sugar into the bloodstream. This is due to the excess carbohydrates that can’t be broken down.

Downsides and Risks To Consider

The Galveston diet might have a few potential risks.

Some of the risks might be a potential fiber deficiency or side effects for those who have high cholesterol levels. This can depend on how much you’re eating and whether you strictly follow the diet. It’s always important to evaluate these risks before starting.

Most recommended foods don’t contain enough fiber. Not getting enough fiber leads to a deficiency that makes you feel weak, constipated, bloated, nauseous, and very hungry. However, taking a fiber-based supplement might prevent that risk.

The Essential Fiber Complex is a powder supplement designed to reduce hunger pangs and boost weight loss results. One packet of this product has glucomannan and cellulose – dietary fibers that keep your gut feeling healthy and strong.

People who experience high cholesterol may need to be cautious with this diet, since it contains lots of fats. Any low-carb, high-fat diet tends to raise cholesterol levels. Therefore, you might not be able to use the Galveston diet for any long-term weight loss goals.

To prevent your cholesterol levels from getting too high, try to limit your fat-intake for each day. Moreover, it might be best to avoid the Galveston diet completely, as it’s not worth increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Should You Try the Galveston Diet To Improve Your Health?

The Galveston diet advocates for eating nutritious whole foods containing anti-inflammatory properties. These foods could be whole grains, vegetables, citrus fruits, unsaturated fat, or lean protein that help you reach a healthy weight during menopause.

Here are reasons why you should try this Galveston diet:

  • It emphasizes healthy eating habits: Losing weight is all about eating nutritious foods and avoiding refined products. This particular low-carb diet encourages plenty of protein and healthy fats that fuel your weight loss journey.
  • It addresses changes in metabolism: Foods rich in nutrients tend to strengthen your fat metabolism. A stronger fat-burning process means you’ll lose that menopause weight and gain muscle mass through energized workouts.
  • It is anti-inflammatory: The main benefit of the Galveston diet plan is that each food has anti-inflammatory properties. This will help you fight inflammation and prevent chronic diseases, leading to better gut health overall.

Here are reasons to consider before trying the diet:

  • It currently lacks proof of success: There aren’t many case studies or personal user experiences proving that the Galveston diet helps menopausal women lose weight. Some people might not feel comfortable with the lack of proof, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective.
  • It can be expensive: Certain foods can be expensive in the grocery store. Organic products usually cost more due to the production and transportation. However, natural foods are much better for your health than refined or processed goods.
  • Hunger during fasting: Intermittent fasting is bound to cause hunger pangs. Your body has to adjust to the new way of eating, so it’s not too much of a problem. Drinking plenty of water may combat that fasting side effect.

There are enough reasons to suggest the diet is healthy and supports your health. It contains plenty of nutritious foods that fuel the body when losing weight. Middle-aged women during menopause may benefit from trying this anti-inflammatory diet.

Nevertheless, you must weigh all the disadvantages before starting it. If you are pregnant or have high cholesterol – you should avoid the Galveston diet meal plan, and opt for other healthy alternatives. Always speak to a doctor before trying something new in your fitness journey.

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Conclusion

So, is it worth trying the Galveston diet?

This diet can be great for those who are going through menopause. Simple foods like Greek yogurt or apple slices may reduce those uncomfortable symptoms. You can review the nutritious food list to make your own meals and feel healthy again.

Just be aware that this diet is only suitable for menopausal weight management. Eating low-carb meals might not be beneficial for long-term purposes. It has certain dietary restrictions that can lead to deficiencies over a period of weeks or months.

Author

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

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