GM Diet : Is it Worth a Shot?

The General Motors Diet, or the popularly known GM Diet, was introduced way back in 1985. Although the diet has been around for 35 years, it has always been a subject of debate. It was designed by the General Motors Company with the intent of improving the fitness and wellness of its employees. It proposed a specific one-week diet plan following which the company’s employees would be able to lose weight fast. The diet shot up in popularity as most of the people who followed the plan swore that it gave them the claimed results. But then why does the GM Diet always find itself in the midst of arguments? Why do people question if it is worth giving a shot? Let’s find out if you should follow the GM Diet or simply give it a skip. 

What is the GM Diet? 

The General Motors Diet is a seven-day dietary plan that primarily includes low-calorie fruits and vegetables. It further propounds that these foods should be eaten in specific quantities and forms on the specified days. Unlike other diets, the GM Diet does not exclude or replace any of the food groups. It simply focuses on certain food groups to be eaten on dedicated days. It claims that by the end of one week, the person who follows this diet to the T will be 10-17 pounds lighter, that is, the follower will lose approximately 4.5 kg to 7.5 kg of weight. If someone wishes to lose more weight, they need to repeat the process. The GM Diet works on the basic principle of energy balance. According to this principle, your bodyweight stays the same when the number of consumed calories equal to the number of burnt calories.  Following this principle, the GM Diet claims that when you eat fewer calories, it will result in weight loss.

What Does the GM Diet Chart Look Like?

The General Motors Diet combines highly fibrous foods along with complex carbohydrates. These high-fiber food items help in digestion and absorption of nutrients. At the same time, the diet also cuts down the intake of fat, added sugar, and sodium which in turn aide weight loss and help in the process of detoxification. 

An ideal one-week GM Diet plan would be as shown below.

Day 1 – Fruits high in water content such as watermelons and citrus fruits. Strictly no bananas. 8-12 glasses of water.

Day 2 – Raw or cooked vegetables/ boiled potato. 8-10 glasses of water.

Day 3 – Raw or cooked vegetables and fruits. Strictly no bananas and potatoes. 8-10 glasses of water.

Day 4 – 4 large or 6 small bananas. 750 ml of milk. 8-10 glasses of water. 

Day 5 – Lean Meat (Skinless) OR brown rice and tomatoes. 10-12 glasses of water.

Day 6 – Lean Meat (Skinless) OR brown rice and all vegetables. Strictly no potatoes. 10-12 glasses of water. 

Day 7 – Brown rice and vegetables. 1-2 glasses of any fruit juice. 8-10 glasses of water.

What do Experts Say about the GM Diet?

There is a split expert opinion about the GM Diet. There are many experts who stand against the diet as they do not believe it to be based on our natural lifestyle and eating habits. Fitness and nutrition professionals are also of the opinion that long-term compliance with the diet is quite difficult, and once the followers go back to their older eating habits, it might lead to weight gain all over again.

As against this opinion, there are others who vouch for the GM Diet. According to them, the General Motors Diet does emphasize on the inclusion of all the essential nutrients required by the body in the one-week dietary plan. They argue that with the increased consumption of fresh fruits and nutrients, there is enough supply of nutrients to the body. The diet also introduces poultry, fish, dairy, lentils, and meat on selected days which further take care of the body’s protein needs. 

Is the GM Diet Worth Giving a Shot?

With the experts’ divided opinion in place, let’s analyze through studies if the GM Diet is really worth giving a shot or a skip.

  • In order to maintain healthy body weight, the daily calorie intake of a woman should be 2,000 kcal and that of a man should be 2,500 kcal. The GM Diet stands at odds with this recommendation. Being a very low-energy diet, you will be consuming only 800 to 1200 kcal per day. Such hypocaloric diets are associated with higher metabolic adaptations which result in slowing down of metabolism and attenuation of muscle loss. 
  • Furthermore, low-energy diets are also associated with increased hunger, decreased adherence, and reduced overall quality of life. 
  • As mentioned earlier, the GM Diet primarily includes low-calorie fruits and vegetables. Although fruits and vegetables fall under healthier options, a low-calorie diet increases fatigue and negatively affects sports performance. This makes the GM Diet not an ideal option for the athletic population.

Conclusion

The General Motors Diet might seem to be a great option to kickstart your weight loss journey. The dietary plan might help serve a really short-term weight-loss goal and might offer a great quick fix. But, you will have to adopt the GM Diet at the cost of affecting your overall health.

About the Authors : Akshita Arora, INFS Faculty

 Ketki H is a wandering soul who loves travelling solo, and firmly believes in enjoying the journey rather than hurrying to the destination. Although a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, she took to writing for reaching the masses.

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