The General Motors (GM) Diet is the silver bullet often aimed at eliminating extra body fat by millions of faithful adherents of this plan. Comprising largely of fruits and vegetables, and occasionally allowing you to indulge in rice or chicken, this week-long plan does succeed in helping you shed 4?8 kg. Critics say that while the diet makes you lean in the short run, it may make you ill in the long run.
What is GM Diet?
This diet plan includes the intake of fruits, vegetables and starch. To prepare yourself for the vegetarian GM diet plan, you need to avoid alcohol (we know you don?t drink, still?) for a few days, especially during and before the diet schedule. Alcohol increases the uric acid in the body, which leads to water retention. This blocks the natural detoxifying process from taking place.
It is also very essential that you drink up to 10 glasses of water every day. As you will not be consuming the same amount of carbohydrates which you normally do, water will be your main source of energy for the whole day. It will also boost your metabolism and remove the unwanted kilograms from the body, naturally. In case you have already tried this diet plan, it is better to take a break for 2 to 3 days before you resume the diet again. This will help the body to adjust to the new method of nutritional intake, which will also relieve your body from any kind of anxiety.
GM Diet: The Vegetarian Plan
- Day 1: Being the first day, it is always the hardest. Try to keep yourself away from all kinds of cravings as you will be consuming only fruits. You can consume all the fruits, excluding grapes, bananas, litchi and mangoes (what remains then, we understand).You can have them in any quantity you like. It is suggested that you consume more watermelon, lime, oranges, apples, pomegranates, strawberries and melons. You can eat 20 times a day, but you should eat only fruits. This prepares your body for the upcoming days. The only source of nutrition is from the fruits; they provide you with all that you need for your body. If you prefer to slice them up and eat, it?s great but make sure you aren?t adding anything else to it. It?s just a ?pure fruit? day! If you can limit your fruit intake to only melons, you have a good chance of losing 3 pounds (1.5 kg) on your first day.
- Day 2: This is the ?all veggies day?. You can eat nothing but vegetables and only vegetables. You can eat to your heart?s content, feel your stomach filled up with vegetables if you need to. Boiled or raw vegetables only. You are allowed to begin your day with a boiled potato and a tea spoon of butter. This is done in order to give the body enough energy and carbohydrates for the day. But after that, only raw and boiled (non-potato) vegetables should be consumed. Adding a pinch of oregano or basil seasoning to make the vegetables more edible is perfect. Day 2 is a calorie free day with a good amount of fibre and nutrients. If you make it through day two, you are definitely dedicated. That dedication will be put to greater tests now.
- Day 3: It is a combination of day 1 and 2. You can eat the mentioned fruits and vegetables. Eat any quantity and any amount you like and drink lots of water. You need to avoid that potato (the only vegetable you truly love, we know) you ate on day 2 on day 3 as you are getting enough carbohydrates supply from the fruits. Your system is all set to burn the excess pounds. Your cravings may try to dominate, but think about why you started in the first place (by this time you would start believing in the age-old age of ?beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder?, still?). You will feel light and happy (and really hungry) by this time.
- Day 4: Everything has its perfect time; if you believe in this saying then you?re right. Remember how you were told not to eat bananas on the first three days? Well, on the 4th day of the vegetarian diet, you have the liberty to eat up to 6 bananas for the whole day. You can drink up to 4 glasses of milk. You must have heard that bananas help in weight gain; however, in this diet they act as a source of potassium and sodium for the body. Since the intake of salt is reduced, bananas will do the job.Day 5: This is a festival day for you, as you can have a tasty meal made of a cup of brown rice. You can munch on tomatoes, sprouts and cottage cheese ( paneer ). You can also add soya chunks to you meal. You can use some oil ? just don?t bathe in it. Make a tasty soup. Make sure to increase your water intake on day 5. You can eat up to 6 tomatoes and increase the water intake to 15 glasses. This is done in order to cleanse your body from uric acid. The tomatoes are for the fibre and digestion process. The water will purify your body from all kinds of toxins.
- Day 6: This is a little different from day 5. You will be eating sprouts, cottage cheese and other vegetables but excluding tomatoes. A vegetable soup and lots of water should help you through your day. Vegetables will provide vitamins and fibre to your body. You will already notice change in your body by this time. Continue consuming a good amount of water every day. Resist the temptation to click a selfie.
- Day 7: The final day of the diet plan is finally here. This is the most important day. You will be feeling light on your toes and happy inside out. You can have fresh fruit juice, one cup of brown rice or half chapati (bread) and other vegetables you would want to eat. You can complete your day with a celebratory consumption of lots of water.
GM Diet: The Non-Vegetarian version
- 1st to 4th Day and Day 7: The same as the vegetarian diet
- Day 5: Here comes the Non-vegetarian menu in the GM diet 7 day plan. You should eat at least 500gms of chicken/meat and 6 tomatoes today. Water intake should be increased on this day. You can either prepare chicken soup with tomatoes in it or roast the pieces without oil in a pan/oven. All 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) should contain chicken (500gm/3 times). During the morning and evening snack time, you need to drink water (at least 8 to 10 glasses for the day). No others foods should be eaten today. If you are not fond of eating chicken, you can replace the 500gm chicken/meat with 6 eggs divided into 3 meals + 6 tomatoes.
- Day 6: On the sixth day of the General Motors diet plan, you should eat Chicken + all vegetables (except Tomatoes). For breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can eat chicken/eggs/meat (like day 5) and soup (with all vegetables excluding tomatoes) during the mid-morning and evening snack time.
That is the entire diet plan for 7 days. In addition, the following tips are usually provided to reap the best benefits from the plan:
- No fruit juices allowed in the first 6 days. Try to increase water intake to 15 glasses by the fifth day
- Completely avoid tea, coffee or alcohol. You can replace these with black tea, black coffee and lime water (all these are without sugar)
- A 45 minute work out on alternative days will help you get the best results
- In case this weight loss program you are under taking is for a particular occasion, try it 2 months before hand with 2 to 3 days gap after every 7 days.
- Vegetables can be taken in salad form or eaten as a whole. You can dress it with squeezed lemon, herbs, garlic or even white or wine vinegar. Nothing else should be added to this.
- The soup can be consumed in unlimited quantity.
Why does the GM Diet work?
Most people are sceptical about the fruitfulness of this diet plan. Is it really all that effective? And can you really lose loads of weight just by sticking to a GM Diet Chart for one week? To answer that, we must first understand how the GM Diet works.
- Detoxification: The GM diet is the best way to detoxify your body. For that one week, you keep away from eating unhealthy foods like fat, processed proteins, and unhealthy carbohydrate; at least, during the first few days of the week. This is an effective way of getting rid of the accumulated toxins in the body. The fact that dieters have to drink up to 2 litres of water each day is a great way to boost digestion and wash away the accumulated toxins. If you detoxify your body regularly, it will help in faster digestion and regular elimination of toxins in the form of urination and bowel movements, which lead to eventual weight loss.
- Improved digestion: The best way to ensure fast digestion is by consuming high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. Since the GM Diet is all about consuming a humongous amount of fruits and vegetables, it aids in digestion, as the foods are easily assimilated by the body. Foods need an adequate amount of water to dissolve into nutrients. The digestion process is much easier with regular water intake. The water intake aids in the assimilation of nutrients and also utilizes the reserved energies for boosting for metabolism though this weight loss diet.
- Better bowel movement: One of the chief reasons why people are overweight is that they are unable to get rid of the wastes trapped in the body. We eat unhealthy low-fiber foods which remain in our body, causing unmitigated harm. Bowel problems, for instance constipation, can be easily avoided by the help of the fiber-rich and water-surplus GM Diet.
When did this dieting begin?
There are many faithful who ?do a G.M.? a few times a year to stay in shape. The ideal weightwatcher is supposed to lose 4?8 kgs (10?17 pounds) in each GM. But who did it the first time?
The unverified story goes that in 1985 this health program and diet was designed for employees of the General Motors Corporation.
The introduction to the diet ? found on various websites ? says: ?The following diet and health program was developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc., and is intended for their exclusive use. The program was developed in conjunction with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. It was field tested at the Johns Hopkins Research Center and was approved for distribution by the Board of Directors, General Motors Corp., at a general meeting on August 15, 1985.?
Roger Cohen, a New York Times columnist, was asked to go on this diet to shed a few pounds. He did more. He went on a hunt for the origins of this diet. He quips, in a 2009 article, ?Why, I wondered, had G.M. not made more of its diet? Cars have not done wonders for the company of late.?
- Cohen called Tom Wilkinson, a G.M spokesman. Wilkinson confessed he had never heard of the diet, but was kind enough to do some research, going through all the board meetings from the 1980s.
- ?We?ve concluded it?s an urban myth,? he told Cohen. ?It?s a fairly unconventional diet, and in the 1980s G.M. was the most conventional of companies.?
- ?Nobody here recalls anything about such a diet, and we have no idea how it got attached to G.M,? Wilkinson said. He noted that the number of G.M. employees in the United States had gone from 583,000 in 1986 to about 64,000 in 2009. ?That?s the real G.M. diet, an almost 90 percent loss.? ?
General Motors filed for a US government-assisted Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 1, 2009, with a plan to re-emerge as a less debt-burdened organization. Many lay-offs followed. It is possible that those laid off employees were not left with enough money to feed their families, and ? logically again ? they would have lost a lot of weight. But this is not the story of the origin of GM diet because the diet has existed for at least 25 years now.
Anyway, Cohen concludes that he lost 11 pounds in a week. The diet did work, though the story of its origin was fake.
Science or fad?
Is this diet backed by science? This is the question most of the new dieters ask. The fiber filled diet ensures that you keep your hunger pangs at bay, for a longer period than is possible in other diets. Vegetables and fruits are chock-a-block with all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals, and meet the nutritional requirements of the body.
- The diet is rich in complex carbohydrates like brown rice, which is high in essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber, while still having a paltry amount of fat.
- In the non-veg GM diet, you can only have chicken, which is low in fat. What the right amount of protein does is that it increases the metabolic rate and burns fat.
- Another thing that works for the diet is that you do not have to limit the amount of food you eat, just the kind of foods you eat. That works fine for most of us, as we do not have to feel deprived. It is only when we feel deprived that we go on a binging spree. Also, having frequent small meals and increasing water intake boosts metabolism and aids in fat loss.
It is not what you will call a science-based weight loss diet. But then again, very few science-based diets have enjoyed the unprecedented success that the GM Diet has. Though not designed by General Motors, the GM diet is to the world of dieting what General Motors is to the world of cars.
Where does the magic come from?
Like every other diet program, even the GM diet has got both side effects and health benefits. Each individual needs a regimen that suits their body requirements, which may be for weight loss or weight gain. Whatever the goal, a diet has to provide all the nutrients and proteins required for a human body.
While many people maintain empty stomachs, millions are trying to skip eating to lose weight. Dieting is a great way to get rid of extra pounds and help us stay fit and active. But, improper dieting can lead to several disorders. There are many diet plans such as the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet and the like.
But there?s none like the GM. Because it works, and works in quick time.
- GM Diet is proven to reduce almost 4 to 8 kgs in a week. Unlike the other diets which require at least 2 weeks to 3 months, you enjoy the benefits of the GM diet in just seven days.
- It builds a healthy digestive system since the diet is strictly limited to fruits and vegetables on the first 3 days.
- It provides the required energy even as it attacks your fat.
- It helps in managing your weight when required. Your cousin?s marriage for example. (Really? Who does that?)
- It is claimed that the diet provides a natural glow to skin (so you won?t have to edit your selfies before posting them on Facebook).
- The elimination of toxins makes you feel light and energetic ? ready for life, so to speak.
You can lose up to 2 pounds (0.9 kg) daily but nutritionists emphasize that it depends on which fruits and vegetables you choose. Water-rich fruits and vegetables are always a good idea.
Just to make sure that you are healthy enough to practice this diet, it is suggested that you consult your doctor before you begin.
Hold on. Isn?t the diet supposed to be healthy and make us healthier? Why consult a doctor then?
Who should avoid GM Diet?
Though the GM diet does yield favourable results in the form of fitness and weight loss, it also poses certain risks that might outweigh its benefits. Like every other diet, there are several side effects to the GM diet.
- Restrictions on food: This diet works on several limitations and restrictions. Such a diet is not suitable in the long run and has far reaching consequences as well.
- Not suitable for everyone: This diet is not suitable for children and pregnant women as well as those suffering from ailments.
- Causes several health risks: Many adherents of this diet plan have complained of several problems like persistent or sudden hair loss, coupled with headache and dry skin for the first few days of this diet. That is why it is recommended to drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration during the week. Anaemia, fatigue and general weakness are other health risks.
- Rigid diet: This diet is often criticized for its rigidity. Due to excessive restrictions on food, people often find it difficult to follow and experience giddiness and hunger cravings by day 3 or 4.
- May cause metabolic slowdown: One of the problems associated with GM diet is that it may cause metabolic slowdown as it restricts your food choices dramatically.
- Weight loss is only superficial: In the course of the diet you might feel that you have lost weight but it is more likely that you have lost water weight which is gained back easily once you start eating regular food. So, this is where the magic comes from?
- Severely restricts your nutrition: By placing restrictions on food choices, it cuts off valuable nutrients that are needed daily and causes nutritional deficiencies. GM diet is extremely low in protein. Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein.
- No exercise included: This diet hardly focuses on exercise which is an important component of weight management. The effectiveness of this diet can be enhanced by supplementing it with regular exercise.
- Incessant thirst and dehydration: The followers of this diet usually suffer from incessant thirst and dehydration as the body uses fluids to foster metabolism. Therefore, it is advisable to drink plenty of water to keep yourself rejuvenated.
- Leads to sudden muscle weakness: During the initial days of the plan, the muscle tissues are deprived of adequate amounts of proteins resulting in muscle weakness. When most people lose weight, they lose some muscle along with stored fat. Bodybuilders, stay away.
- General Weakness: It may lead to body weakness as a GM diet plan (vegetarian/non-vegetarian) will use up the stored glycogen (simple carbs) to sustain the bodily functions.
- Headache: Your body starts using all the stored carbs while following a GM diet, and then it starts entering the hunger mode where protein present in the muscles is used by the body to sustain itself. This leads to the generation of toxic substances that cause headaches.
The GM diet is called a ?fad diet? as it includes a strict diet which guarantees a rapid weight loss. Often with diets like the GM diet, once you go off the diet you tend to put on all the weight you lost by dieting. These diets are also not ideal for people who have existing health problems or for women who are pregnant.
Most fad diets cause nutritional deficiencies and the GM diet is no exception. A short nutritional deficiency can lead to many long term problems.
How must you lose weight, if at all?
Dieting is not easy. Here is a list of circumstances that can make weight loss difficult.
- Zero support: It?s not easy when you have nobody supporting you. If you have no support, try to find a diet buddy or someone to share in your journey. It will be incredibly difficult to sit with a bucket of boiled vegetables as your room mate devours her third burger. Throw her out, or you get out.
- Underlying Health Issues: Thyroid problems, high cortisol and hormone imbalances can make it more difficult to lose weight. Find a great functional medicine doctor and get checked out if you seem to have unexplained weight gain or have trouble losing weight.
- Wheat/Gluten/Sugar: Going gluten and sugar free for 30 days can do wonders. A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids.
- Poor Sleeping Habits: If you are not in bed by 10:30pm, this can seriously affect your chances to lose weight by throwing off circadian rhythms. And don?t take this literally. You don?t just have to be in bed by 10:30pm, you also have to sleep by then.
- Eating Right before bed: If you want a great way to gain weight, eat before going to bed. If you want to lose weight, eat as light as you can at least 2.5 hours before bed time.
- Too many snacks: If you are overweight, then you are metabolically broken. Limit snacks for they can cause weight again. Three balanced healthy meals a day should be enough.
- Poor lifestyle: Diet cannot do the entire job; after a diet you must make a lifestyle change and change your eating habits. Without it, you will not succeed in the long term.
- Processed foods: Let?s face it, they are garbage. Bad oils, preservatives, chemicals and additives are the perfect recipes to ruin your health and make you gain weight.
- Carbs, Carbs, Carbs: Stop over doing carbs. People tend to count calories yet overdo the carbs. A perfect meal should be the perfect blend of good fats, protein, some unprocessed, good carbs and lots of healthy veg.
- Not enough fat: People fear fat (and still eat it). While you should avoid bad fats, including all vegetable oils, you need healthy fat. Good fats are animal fats from farm animals, coconut oil, palm oil, avocado, olive oil, MCT oil, ghee, etc.
- Wrong fats: Stop choosing bad fats such as canola oil, vegetable oils, peanut oils, and hydrogenated oil. They have excessive levels of omega-6 fatty acids relative to certain (healthy) omega-3 fatty acids, and increase the probability of a number of diseases.
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