GM-Diet: The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Popular Fad

Swear by GM diet for weight loss? Think again!

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4 min read
GM-Diet: Should you be really doing it? 
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“Hey! Have you gained weight recently?”, said a friend clinically. “I think you should go on GM-diet”, she followed. Fat shaming accompanied with a dose of random advise. How often do you hear it? GM or General Motors diet has become a part of popular culture since its arrival in 1985. Who wouldn’t want to get on a diet that promises to help you lose up to 5 kgs in just one week!

But does it really work? Let’s take a look.

What is GM-Diet?

GM Diet Menu. 
GM Diet Menu. 
(Photo: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)

Hailed as the 7-day solution to weight loss, GM-diet is a combination diet that requires selective foods – carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, meat and water – to be eaten on seven days of the week. It may lead to a drop of almost 4-5 kgs of weight after a week.

GM-diet doesn’t limit how much can you eat, limiting just what you can eat – fruits, vegetables (raw or cooked), meat and dairy. You are supposed to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated along with a complete cut down of processed sugar. 

GM-Diet prescribes fruits high in water content such as melon and citrus and a variety of veggies such as lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, onions. Water remains a constant on all seven days.

The GM-Diet Soup is on the menu on the fifth day of the diet. The wonder soup is made up of a combination of veggies with some salt, lemon juice, pepper, vinegar and herbs.

White rice, dairy products other than milk are a strict no on all seven days.

The creators of the diet claim this technique stimulates weight loss and helps burn fat faster than other fad diets.

Does the GM-Diet Work?

In the short term, this high-fiber diet does work. After all you are largely consuming low calorie or ‘negative calorie’ food. The food you eat is high in water so it’s supposed to help detoxify your body. But you lose weight to only get it back.

GM-Diet is nothing but crash diet giving short-term results. You don’t eat enough and lose weight. But it isn’t healthy. It eliminates certain essential foods from the diet, rendering the body weak.
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

“GM-Diet is deficient in protein which might lead to loss of muscles, weakness and lethargy. It may even lead to recurrent headaches, hair loss and dull skin”, she adds.

Why So Popular Then?

I find it very effective. I feel energetic on GM-Diet and also lose weight. It’s a win-win situation. Besides, I am not eating junk at the time. Isn’t that healthy? 
Aakansha Mittal, 24, Law student and GM-Diet loyalist

The craze is real and understandably so. For one, the GM-Diet detoxifies the body by putting you on high fibers and loads of water. You stay away from junk which flushes out the toxins from the body. Fruits and vegetables also foster better digestion making you feel light. You can see the flab dropping and it ain’t bad news.

While on GM-Diet, people usually avoid heavy duty exercise and rigorous gymming which makes it look easy. Who doesn’t like shortcuts anyway?

What's the Verdict?

A balanced diet is the only way to a healthy and fit body. 
A balanced diet is the only way to a healthy and fit body. 
(Photo: iStock)

But health practitioners and nutritionists do not prescribe GM-Diet for a reason. One, the diet was allegedly introduced by General Motors for its employees in America and is not very well suited for the Indian palate.

We are used to eating a combination of foods daily – carbohydrates, proteins, dairy, fiber and eliminating all this for just one may lead to serious gastrointestinal issues. The low-protein diet may even lead to hunger pangs, slower metabolism, dark circles and unhealthy loss of muscle mass. 
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

It also overthrows the body’s ability to exercise and hampers any form of physical activity you may be doing. Huda Shaikh says,

After a week of GM-Diet, your body may become weak and find it hard to cope with exercise or gymming. The weight that you lose is also because of the negative caloric effect in the body and comes back stronger and sooner. 

“For health’s sake, even if you are drawn to GM-Diet, do it as a 2-day detox activity and only under the supervision of an expert nutritionist. Remember, nothing can substitute balanced diet and regular exercise”, she adds.

You have to work for a fit body. Short-cuts only take you so far.

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