This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms

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There are hundreds of diets targeting women going through the menopause and it can be hard to find one that really works. But an expert tried a new method, one she swears by helped ease her symptoms.

Dr Mary Claire Haver found herself unable to shift the stubborn pounds around her waist.

After her hormones started to fluctuate in midlife, she created a new eating plan, which is now being marketed as the Galveston diet.

But it’s not a diet as such: “It’s a lifetime eating plan,” Dr Haver insisted.

While she found weight loss was a significant factor for her, she revealed the Galveston diet is also a way to feel better overall and to improve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and brain fog.

“I was not counting calories, and the pounds started coming off,” she said.

“I was also sleeping better, and my hot flashes were better.”

With a goal of wanting to drop an extra 20lb, she found she hit her target quickly by changing her eating habits.

Before starting her diet, she had adopted the well-known weight loss approach of reducing her intake of calories and burning more with exercise.

“Calories in, calories out. That’s what we were taught in medical school,” she recalled.

But even though she lowered her intake to less than 1,200 calories a day and religiously hit the gym every morning, the pounds wouldn’t budge.

While still incorporating her knowledge don weight loss, she began ti learn more about the quality of the nutrition in her food.

This, accompanied with the importance of eating within certain time windows saw a drop in her weight.

So, what does the Galveston diet entail?

1. Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Dr Haver’s diet recommend avoiding foods that contain sugars, processed grains, saturated fats and other unhealthy fats.

Fried foods, processed lunch meats and diet sodas are also restricted on the plan because research has linked them with inflammation in the body.

“The diet emphasises whole foods with lots of non-starchy vegetables and fruits,” said Dr Haver.

These include foods specifically believed to reduce inflammation, such as fatty fish, berries, garlic, nuts, tomatoes, and olive oil.

2. Practice Intermittent Fasting

His dieting technique has been around a while and has proven to be very successful in some cases.

It works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.

The Galveston diet’s fasting technique is known as 16/8, which means fasting for 16 hours and eating during a window of 8 hours every day.

That generally means delaying the first meal of the day until around noon.

“Adopting this regimen slowly, such as by pushing breakfast back a half hour every few days, to give your body time to adjust,” she said.

“I myself took six weeks before my first meal was at noon, so I never felt very hungry.”

3. Up Your Fat Intake

The Galveston diet slashes cabers significantly, but ups the intake of healthy fats.

The bulk of calories come from healthy fats, in order to encourage fat burning.

For example, in the first week, the daily calorie intake is 70 percent fats, with 21 percent proteins and nine percent carbs.

“After you’ve been on the diet for a while and you get used to eating fewer carbs and sugars,” Dr Haver said, before revealing additional complex carbs will eventually be added.

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