One of the most curious diets that I’ve had the chance to review, the General Motors diet (also known as the GM Diet plan) is a 7 day eating plan which is supposed to help you lose a massive amount of weight.
The diet is said to have been developed by General Motors in the 1980′s to be used by its workers and their families. Rumor has it that the diet was developed with a special grant from the US Department of Agriculture and the FDA and was tested by Johns Hopkins University.
However, it seems that the origin of the GM diet is based more on rumor than on fact as this NY times article showed. When asked about the diet, a spokesperson for GM replied that they had no idea where it came from. However, the name is likely to stick for a long time. After all, it has been this way for over 20 years.
How does the General Motors diet plan Work?
The 7 day GM diet works in the following way:
Rule #1 – You have to abstain from alcohol.
Rule #2 – You need to drink 10-15 glasses of water each and every day.
Rule #3 – You can supplement your 7 day diet with this GM soup: 28 oz, Water, 6 Large Onions, 2 Green Peppers, Whole Tomatoes (fresh or canned), 1 Head Cabbage, 1 Bunch Celery, 4 Envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Herbs and Flavoring as desired. This soup can be eaten as often as you like whenever you like.
Rule #4 – You can have these drinks along with your diet:
- Water (flavoured with lemon/lime if desired).
- Club Soda.
- Plain Black Coffee. No cream or cream substitutes are allowed as are sugar or sweeteners.
- Black Tea. Again, without sugar.
- The fruit juices of day 7. No fruit juices before day 7.
Here is your 7 day eating plan:
Day Two Vegetable day. You can eat as many raw or cooked vegetables as you like. It is best to avoid dressing entirely or stick to lemon juice. For breakfast, you need to eat a large baked potato which may be flavored with one pat of butter.
Day Three Any fruit and veggies that you like except bananas.
Day Four Bananas and milk day. You can eat as many as 8 bananas and have up to 3 tall glasses of milk. You may also have the GM soup. By this day, your sugar cravings should be dramatically reduced.
Day Five is all about beef and tomatoes. Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef in the form of steak or burger. You must eat 6 whole tomatoes and drink one more quart of water. The water will help you purify your body from within
Day Six Eat as much beef and vegetables as you like. According to the diet, by day 6 you should have lost a considerable amount of weight.
Day Seven On this day you can eat brown rice and vegetables, and drink juice fruits.
You may do the diet as many times as you like, but I recommend taking 3-7 days break between each cycle.
General Motors Diet Plan Pros and Cons
- This is a free diet plan.
- The food is cheap and affordable
- Easy to understand and follow
- No exercise included
- Severely restricts your nutrition and may not give you all the nutrients your body needs to function.
- Has no support system whatsoever
- The origin of the diet is unclear as is the reasons why it’s supposed to work
- Unlikely to produce long term weight loss
- May cause metabolic slowdown
To learn more about healthy eating for weight loss check out this video about the 4 Foods You Must NEVER Eat
GM Diet For Vegetarians
I get a lot of questions from vegetarians who want to do the General Motors diet and wonder about the modifications that they need to make to the diet.
You only eat meat on days 5 and 6 while on this diet. These are the only two days which require changing. The modification is simple: switch the beef for brown rice. You can have 1 – 2 cups of rice each day. Otherwise, the menu remains the same.
Questions And Answers About The General Motors Diet
1. How often can I repeat the diet?
There isn’t a limit on the number of cycles that you can do. However, I do recommend that you take 2 weeks off between each cycle. This is a bare minimum. A month would be better.
2. Do I only lose water weight?
As with any new weight loss plan you lose a lot of water weight. The GM Diet is not a long term program. It is more useful as a method to kick-start a long term weight loss.
3. How do I maintain my weight loss or continue to lose weight?
You can continue to lose weight in a more gradual way by incorporating better eating habits and regular exercise into your routine. Check out my guide on how to lose 10 pounds in a month for a good system to follow.
4. Is this a diet for pregnant women/diabetics/(name your condition)?
The answer is simple: I don’t know. You need to consult with your doctor about this.
Is the GM Diet Safe and Recommended?
The General Motors diet may look good on paper but it’s not recommended. This is a diet plan which restricts your food choices dramatically and may cause nutritional deficiencies and metabolic slowdown.
Note: The GM Diet is a variation of the Cabbage Soup Diet
While you may lose a few pounds during your week on the GM diet, this is likely to be mostly water weight. You will probably gain it all back quickly once you go back to eating your regular food.
It’s not a lifestyle change eating plan and so it’s unlikely to be a long term solution. For a better and more sustainable diet plan I recommend the Diet Solution Program. You can read more about this diet here: Diet Solution Program. I believe that this a better way to lose weight and to keep it off for years to come than what the GM diet offers.
You can also join the Facebook page for this diet which I set up at http://www.facebook.com/GMDiet.
Here’s a video which shows you more about the diet:
There are over 500 comments below from people who’ve read this page. I’d love to read your experience with the diet. Add to the discussion.