Dr. Haver’s Secret To Limiting Holiday Weight Gain

By: Dr. Mary Claire Haver


YES!  It is absolutely possible to maintain your weight during the holiday season!  Despite multiple holiday parties and good cheer, with a few simple tips and tricks you can put an end to those extra holiday pounds.  

What’s my secret weapon?  FASTING.

I know what you are thinking……. It is just NOT practical to fast during the holidays!!  But I promise, this can work. If you are new to fasting, it is easier than you think. Fasting is simply defined as taking periodic breaks from eating.  

You absolutely can reap the benefits of fasting, without depriving yourself.  There are many methods of fasting, but my favorite, and one of the most popular, is the 16/8.  In a 24 hour period, you fast for 16 hours and eat during 8 hours. In my world, that means skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner.  

During my research for The Galveston Diet, I was fascinated by the research on intermittent fasting.  I learned that this practice is extremely important in preventing obesity, lowering cardiovascular risk factors, improving insulin resistance, decreasing inflammation, and preserving learning and memory.  

With all of the treats that magically pop up around every corner during the holiday season, fasting helps you to calorically restrict yourself.  Allowing yourself to eat in blocks of time, gives you the opportunity to walk into a food filled gathering with the mentality of abundance (I can eat and not worry) rather than restriction (I’m on a diet and can’t eat much)!  You will gift yourself with the ability to enjoy yourself during the event without the guilt. A great study demonstrated that intermittent fasting was just as effective as continuous caloric restriction in women – and improved their biomarkers for disease!  

The holidays are also a time of high stress and burnout.  We often find ourselves in situations out of our routine, staying out later and sacrificing “me time” for “we time.”  Fasting can help keep your energy up during the holidays and other chaotic times of the year, when your schedule is packed and you’d rather stay in bed. When we fast for more than 12 hours, our bodies are burn through all of our available sugars for energy, then are forced to burn fat.  The ketone bodies produced by this process actually help us think clearer, problem solve better, and have more energy!

Too often during the holidays we may find ourselves eating lots of heavy, high-sugar or processed foods.  This is actually stressful for the body! But fasting can improve your ability to adapt to stress by changing the way certain cells and hormones work, meaning you’ll be able to better cope with the with sleep, exercise and dietary changes that often happen during the holidays. Fasting has even been shown to increase resistance against disease and to support the central nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

How Do I Get Started With Intermittent Fasting?

First, make a decision that you are going to give this a real try!  The majority of Galveston Dieters say that intermittent fasting was the component of the program they worried about the most, but was actually the easiest to master and stick to!  This video expains more about the science of intermittent fasting and why it is such a key component of The Galveston Diet.  

Second, choose the type of fast that’s best for you. As I mentioned, there are several approaches to intermittent fasting, such as limiting your “eating window” to about 8 hours per day and fasting for up to 16 hours. You can also limit calorie intake every other day to just about 500 calories.

Third, makes sure that fasting is right for you.  Don’t start without talking to YOUR physician (I don’t count 🙂 if you have any of the following conditions:  diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, liver disease, an eating disorder, you’re already underweight, or you’re pregnant or nursing.  

With an anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition, Dr. Haver has cracked the code and found an innovative solution that actually works at this time in our lives. The Galveston Diet can help women in menopause lose weight, burn fat, and feel more confident in their skin.

This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency room immediately.

The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.

While the information on the site was prepared to provide accurate information regarding topics related to general and specific health issues, the information contained in the site is made available with the express understanding that neither Dr. Mary Claire Haver, galvestondiet.com, nor the other experts on the site, nor the site itself, nor members of the Site are dispensing medical advice and do not intend any of this information to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.


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