'The best thing for health is to eliminate': the interview

Daily / Interview - 04 January 2021 05:00

Mary Claire Haver is the gynecologist who created the Galveston Diet.

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The Galveston Diet is dedicated to helping women reach their health and wellness goals.  It was invented by Mary Claire Haver, MD and  OBGYN. The Galveston diet is designed to help menopausal women lose weight by fighting inflammation rather than cutting calories.

How was the idea of the Galveston Diet born?

Struggling to balance the work being a full time OBGYN physician, teaching residents and raising my two daughters, when I turned 40 it became increasingly difficult to keep my weight in check. I could do it by adding more cardio to my workout routine and keeping tighter tabs on my diet but as I entered my late 40’s, the minor struggle started turning into a battle.

Then two things happened in my life, I started undergoing the changes associated with menopause, and my brother died. Through my grief process, I gained about 15 pounds. During my grief, I stopped working out and paying any attention to what I was eating. I was filling myself with processed carbohydrates and nightly glasses of wine for months.

Once I felt better and realized what I had done to myself, I decided to get back into shape. I did what I counseled everyone at my age – I ate less, and exercised more, and ate less, and exercised more, and ate less and exercised more, and I would lose a pound or two... and that was it. I was angry and frustrated and starving myself and not seeing any long-term results.

I felt terrible for myself and for the thousands of women I had counseled about weight gain in this stage of life. Years of telling my over 40 patients to exercise more and eat less was not working for them–and it certainly was not working for me either!

I was determined that I was not going to let this beat me. As a scientist, I knew the answers were out there; I just had to find them. So I hit the books and began researching nutrition articles and medical journals looking for studies done on women at the end of their reproductive years. It shocked me to see how little research was done specifically on this special group of women.

I did discover some incredible information that looked specifically at using nutrition to lower inflammation levels, and how weight loss seemed to be a “side effect” of this technique. I also discovered fascinating research done on intermittent fasting and its far-reaching health benefits, including improvements in neurodegenerative diseases, better cognitive function and, yes, weight loss. I finally looked into research done on enhancing our bodies ability to burn fat through better nutrition.

That’s when I started to get excited! Caloric restriction was not the only answer. Maybe what we are putting in our bodies and when we do it was as or even more important than strict calorie counting. Maybe if I put all three of these concepts together, they could work synergistically for better health and maintaining the optimal weight.

With myself as guinea pig, I started experimenting and was shocked at how the pounds I had struggled with for months simply melted off, and I wasn’t starving at all! In fact, I had never felt so satisfied while trying to lose weight. I was sleeping like a baby, my brain fog disappeared and best of all, I felt like a million bucks!

I told my girlfriends about my lifestyle and dietary changes, and a few jumped on board. They had similar results and some of them even began to notice a decrease in hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. I started sharing the plan on Facebook with even more friends and developed private groups with women who continued to test the program with me. I listened to their feedback, implemented changes, and refined my program. A little over a year later and with thousands of people in private groups, I developed the program into what it is today.

I took a huge leap of faith – resigned from my “traditional” OBGYN position so I could focus on helping women utilizing The Galveston Diet.

To date, The Galveston Diet Signature Program has helped over 45,000 participants, mostly women, but a few good men, too, lead healthier happier lives!

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