Galveston Diet Review: Rules, Meal Plan, and Foods List

Medically Reviewed on 7/28/2022
Galveston Diet Review: Rules, Meal Plan, and Foods List
Learn about how the Galveston diet works and what foods are allowed in the eating plan

The Galveston diet is a weight loss program designed to help middle-aged and older women combat weight gain during perimenopause and menopause. It was developed by Dr. Mary Claire Haver, a board-certified OB-GYN physician.

The diet is based on the idea that your weight is affected by hormones, which are also affected by the types of foods you eat. 

Learn about how the Galveston diet works and what foods are allowed in the eating plan.

How does the Galveston diet work?

The Galveston diet is made up of two diet programs:

  • Signature program: Primarily intended for middle-aged women menopausal women to help with weight loss.
  • Prime program: Primarily intended for young adults as a nutrition-based wellness program.

With an additional cost, both the diet programs offer dietary supplements and an exercise regimen that involves personalized online diet coaching. 

The diet has three components that include:

1. Intermittent fasting

The Galveston diet puts a strong emphasis on 16/8 intermittent fasting, in which you spend 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating. During the fasting window, zero-calorie beverages such as plain water, unsweetened tea, and unsweetened coffee are allowed.

This eating pattern can result in a calorie deficit that promotes weight loss.

2. Anti-inflammatory foods

The Galveston diet also focuses on eating anti-inflammatory foods rich in plant compounds and eliminating all processed foods and added sugars. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, lentils, complex carbs, and lean meats are part of the Galveston diet plan. 

3. High in fat, low in carbs

The Galveston diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that closely resembles the standard keto diet in its macronutrient distribution because the majority of daily calories come from fat instead of carbs.

What foods to eat and avoid on the Galveston diet

The Galveston diet recommends eating foods that are high-fat and low-carb with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Foods to eat

  • Protein:
    • Eggs
    • Lean chicken
    • Lean grass-fed beef
    • Lean turkey
    • Lean pork
    • Quinoa
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Tuna
    • Shellfish
  • Fruits:
    • Blueberries
    • Raspberries
    • Strawberries
    • Avocado
  • Vegetables:
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery
    • Cucumbers
    • Cabbage
    • Tomatoes
    • Bell peppers
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Zucchini squash
  • Leafy green vegetables:
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Lettuce
    • Dill
    • Mustard greens
  • Fats:
    • Avocado/avocado oil
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Sesame oil
    • Butter 
    • Ghee
  • Dairy products:
    • Greek yogurt
    • Heavy cream
    • Sour cream
    • Cheese
  • Legumes:
    • All types of legumes
  • Nuts:
    • Cashews
    • Pistachios
    • Almonds
    • Peanuts
    • Pine nuts
    • Walnuts
  • Seeds:
    • Pumpkin
    • Sesame
    • Sunflower
    • Flaxseed
    • Chia 
  • Beverages:
  • Fresh herbs:

Foods to avoid

  • Sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods
    • Processed meats with nitrates
    • Refined grains and flours
    • White pasta
  • Junk food
    • Pastries
    • Candy
    • Chips
    • Cookies
    • Pizza
  • Vegetable oils
    • Soybean
    • Sunflower
    • Safflower
    • Corn oil
    • Canola oil
  • Foods with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Alcohol/beer/wine


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

What are the potential benefits of the Galveston diet?

  • May aid weight loss: May be effective in helping menopausal women shed abdominal weight.
  • Promotes healthy eating: Promotes healthy eating by focusing on whole foods, non-starchy veggies, and healthy unsaturated fats.
  • No calorie counting: Does not require you to count your calories as long as you follow the general guidelines of the diet.
  • Helps fight inflammation: May help reduce inflammation that leads to diseases due to the focus on antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Decreases the risk of lifestyle diseases: May protect against lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Regulates blood sugar: May help reduce visceral fat, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance, thus helping prevent or manage type II diabetes.

What are the potential downsides of the Galveston diet?

  • Low in fiber: Low-carb diets tend to be low in dietary fiber, which is necessary for regular bowel movements and gut health.
  • High in fat: High-fat diets may be unsuitable for people who already have high cholesterol levels.
  • Restrictive: Because the diet restricts carbohydrates and fiber, many people may find it difficult to follow long-term.
  • Not backed by scientific evidence: Although the diet is gaining popularity, no scientific evidence has proven that it is effective for weight loss.
  • Cost: The cost of maintaining the Galveston diet is high, which can be a factor to consider if you are on a budget.

2-day sample Galveston diet meal plan

2-day sample Galveston diet meal plan
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Day 1 Spinach omelet cooked in avocado oil, with a side of strawberries Power greens with chicken, avocado, and grilled asparagus Grilled chicken breast (12 ounces), chopped romaine lettuce (5 cups), and 1 avocado Walnut cocoa collagen balls
Day 2 Sweet plums and low-fat yogurt Roasted fish with vegetables Grilled chicken with mixed greens, red onions, feta cheese, cashews, cranberries,, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh lemon juice Avocado Greek yogurt dip with carrots and cucumbers


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Medically Reviewed on 7/28/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Mary Claire Haver. THE GALVESTON DIET:

Tinsley Robinson. The Galveston Diet: