You would assume that something must be worth it, if it is being practiced for years? Not necessarily! The GM diet has been in existence for over three decades now. It was propounded by General Motors to increase the productivity and efficiency of its employees and help them maintain healthy body weight. Those who follow the plan swear by it. The diet encourages a person to eat selective foods for seven days which translates into a drop in weight which could be as much as 10 pounds in a week! Let’s analyse if you should give it a shot or skip it.
How Does it Work?
Unlike the Atkins’ or the Keto diet, the GM diet does not call for the exclusion or replacement of any food group in its totality. It works by eating specific foods items on dedicated days for a week.
You are on a complete fruit diet, however, bananas are excluded. The diet recommends consuming fruits that are high in water content such as melons and citrus fruits. You must have lots of water, at least 8-12 glasses in a day. You can add cucumber to your diet.
Watermelons are great for hydration
The second day calls for vegetables on the menu. You can cook them or choose to have them raw. The diet also recommends having a large boiled potato on the second day of your diet along with lots of water. Avoid all fruits and dairy items today. You must not have eggs, lentils and mushrooms. Cook with items like cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, beets, carrots, onions, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes and low fat butter or oil (one teaspoon).
The third day combines the first two days of your diet. You will have more variety to gorge on today. The rule remains the same – all veggies, cooked or uncooked + fruits except bananas and potatoes. Never forget to load up on water. Also, you’re not allowed dairy, grains, meats, or lentils.
You’re halfway down the drill. On your fourth day, you are on a meager diet of bananas, milk and soup. You can have close to 8 bananas and up to four glasses of milk along with lots of water throughout the day. All this and nothing more!
You’re almost there! Today, you can have some grains in the form of brown rice. You can also add tomatoes to your diet along with lean red meat, chicken, fish, cottage cheese, curd and cucumbers. The diet recommends having the GM Diet Soup during dinner which combines onions, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers and celery with some salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and herbs.
You’ll feel like going ‘yay’ today! Day 6 has options galore. Today, you can plan your meals around brown rice, lean meat, cooked or uncooked veggies, kidney beans, Bengal gram, chicken, fish, mushrooms and lentils. However, you must totally avoid all forms of dairy, beef, pork, white rice, tubers like potatoes and fruits like mangoes, bananas and cherries.
And you’re about to touch the finish line. Seal the day by consuming fruit juices, brown rice and vegetables. Avoid potato and sweet potatoes, bananas, mangoes and pears, dairy, poultry and non-vegetarian items as well as beans, lentils and mushrooms.
Things to Keep in Mind
– You must stick to the plan as religiously as possible.
– On days when you are supposed to be on fruit juices, steer clear of whole fruits.
– If the day calls for milk consumption, don’t assume that you can have other dairy products as well.
– You should not consume fats and oils, processed foods and packaged food items.
– You can add lemon juice, vinegar and herbs to your meals.
– No salad dressings, condiments, pickles or sauces.
– No cheese.
– No meats and dairy except on the days that permit the same.
– You can have black coffee and green tea.
– Try avoiding sugar
– The best way to cook your meals is to steam or pressure cook.
– You can add quinoa in place of brown rice.
The GM diet is a combination of high fibre food items along with complex carbohydrates. The diet is low in fat, sugar and sodium and therefore, helps in weight loss and detoxification. Fibre will aid in digestion and better absorption of nutrients. Experts who are in support of the diet vouch for the fact that the diet plan packs all essential nutrients for the body in a week-long routine. There is a great emphasis on an increased intake of fruits and veggies which ensures a smooth supply of nutrients that are essential for the body. The need for protein is taken care of with the help of dairy, lentils, beans, poultry, fish and meat introduced on select days.
What health experts have to say
“GM diet works well to kick-start weight loss, however it is not sustainable. Your body needs the essential macro and micro nutrients daily. All food groups are essential and eliminating them even for short intervals can adversely affect your health. I always recommend professional guidance before starting a vigorous diet plan. Also, the moment you go back to your old eating habits the weight lost will come back. It is better to switch to a healthy sustainable eating plan that you can follow for a lifetime,” Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach.
“GM Diet is not based on our natural lifestyle and hence, it can’t be followed for a long period of time. After the diet is over, a person feels confused about planning their regular diet. It may, therefore, lead to weight gain all over again. The diet triggers unwanted cravings. It may also put your body on starvation mode, especially on days when you are restricted to fruits. One may feel lethargic, dizzy and weak due to the sudden change that the body has undergone. This is not only unhealthy but also unrealistic for the long term weight management,” Dr. Gargi Sharma, a leading weight loss, therapeutic nutrition and obesity management expert.
“To get your GM diet to work well you must eat! For example, on the fruit day, eat lots of fruits. Fill up and don’t starve. Load up on lots of fluids especially cabbage soup, it works wonders. In my opinion, you can try the diet once in a while between long intervals. Doing it frequently may be detrimental to your health,” Dr. Rupali Datta, Former Chief Clinical Nutritionist at Fortis-Escorts Hospital, Delhi.
“GM diet does not meet the daily nutritional requirements. If done repeatedly, it can lead to health concerns and deficiencies,” noted Anshul Jaibharat, a Delhi-based nutritionist and weight-loss expert.
Eat a balanced diet and team it with regular physical activity. Eliminating a food group completely, even for a day is not the answer. “For an average Indian, 55% of daily energy requirements should be met by carbs, 30% by fat and 15% by protein,” concludes Dr. Ritika Sammadar, Nutritionist at Max Health Care, New Delhi.