The Risks of the GM Diet and What You Should Do Instead

The Risks of the GM Diet and What You Should Do Instead

The GM Diet is a 7 Day Meal Plan that was field tested at the John Hopkins Research Centre and approved by the General Motors Board of Directors in 1985 to help improve employees’ and their families’ overall health. It has since become a highly popular diet for weight loss promising to help you lose anywhere from 10-17lb. (5 to 8 kg.) in just 7 days.

The Plan

The plan basically requires that you consume fruits on the 1st day; vegetables with an olive oil based dressing on the 2nd day; fruits and vegetables on day 3; bananas, milk and vegetable soup on day 4; beef and tomatoes on the 5th day; vegetables and beef on day 6; and rice (preferably brown) and vegetables on the last day. This is of course supplemented with lots of water.


Limitations of the GM Diet

In actuality the GM Diet is what is now called a Detox Plan that is meant to cleanse your system. For this reason it is not meant to, nor should be, followed for a long period of time. Another problem is that it does not give you any suggestions on how to continue losing weight or eating healthy once you’ve completed the plan.

Should you follow the GM Diet?

This Diet is definitely NOT meant for everyone – in particular women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are strongly advised to avoid detoxing. Furthermore the fact that the plan requires a severe restriction on both calories and food choices means that anyone with a medical condition, especially diabetics, should consult with their doctor before under-taking this plan.

That being said, detoxifying through fasting has been around for centuries and been practiced by many who seek to not only purify their system but to also find inner peace and clarity. But not everyone will benefit from a detox nor should weight loss be the main reason for following this plan. In fact the main goal of detoxification from a holistic perspective is to help get your GI system back on track. For this reason, detox plans are mainly beneficial for those suffering from symptoms like gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, and bowel irregularity among other things.

The Risks of the GM Diet and What You Should Do Instead

Reported Side Effects of the GM Diet

While weight loss may seem like a great bonus when it comes to the GM Diet, there are side effects that you should be prepared for. Like many detox plans, side effects like hunger, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and low energy are common. However there have also been reports of sudden hair loss, dry skin, and persistent cramps when following this plan.

Don’t Expect Permanent Weight Loss

While you may OR MAY NOT lose a significant amount of weight during the time you’re on this plan, it is really what you do after you finish it that will actually impact your weight. That’s because the weight loss that is achieved when following a detox, in actuality is a side effect of your body flushing out water as it uses up its glycogen stores. And generally speaking, you will and should gain some of this weight back once you start eating more regularly.

Better than the GM Diet

While people have completed water fasts for much longer than 7 days, for most of us, we can reap the main benefits of a strict detox like the GM Diet in 3 days. It is best to complete a detox when you have time off (e.g. over the weekend) and expect not to do much work as more than likely you will feel tired and not have much energy.

However, if you are really after weight loss, you are much better off sticking to a healthy eating plan that is balanced and not overly restrictive.

Sample Meal Plan

If you still want to try the GM Diet, I’d recommend that you only follow it for the first 3 days – most people who try it, aren’t able to follow it for longer than 3-4 days anyways.

Once you’ve completed your 3-Day Detox, here’s a sample Meal Plan that will help you continue losing weight:

Also Check out A heart healthy weight loss diet to follow this fall


2 egg omelet loaded with veggies (like mushrooms, spinach, peppers, tomatoes)
1 slice of whole grain bread
1 cup coffee with milk

Snack 1

½ cup of fruit like watermelon, apple or grapes
with ½ cup cottage cheese


1 cup whole grain pasta in a tomato or pesto sauce
with a cup of green salad with beans or a cup of vegetable and bean soup

Snack 2

3 tbsp. hummus with veggie sticks


3 oz. (90g) grilled chicken or fish
with 3 cups of salad or sautéed veggies

For a more balanced and not overly restrictive diet plan check out this Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Plan in 7 days, created by one of our Watchfit experts.