Unhealthy weight gain and, ultimately, obesity has become a worldwide health problem that obesity is now even considered a serious public health crisis in some countries, where it affects not just adults but children as well. According to experts, this “obesity epidemic” will eventually have a crippling impact on the current health system because along with the rise in obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer, is the increase in the costs of treating these diseases.
But beyond the cost, what’s really terrifying is its contribution to human’s diminishing quality of life. Human civilization has advanced in leaps and bounds in the field of medicine, and yet the number of people dying from preventable diseases are still increasing.
This is why many forms of diet plans are emerging today as a result of people trying to reclaim their bodies and live healthier lives. One such diet is the GM diet. It’s gained a number of followers over the years particularly because it claims to help you lose weight fast—in 7 days. And it might be true considering what the menu looks like.
Preparing for a GM Diet
GM diet is primarily consuming large servings of fruits and vegetables, some starch, some protein, and multiple glasses of water per day. During the entire 7 days, water will be your constant source of energy since you won’t be consuming the same amount of food that you usually do on other days, so you have to drink a lot of water. Increasing your water intake will also improve your metabolic processes and serve to detoxify your body. The amount of water needed depends on your body weight, age, and overall health, but it is recommended to have 2 to 3 glasses of water with each meal.
When you go on a GM diet, you also have to refrain from drinking coffee (unless it’s black), tea, and especially alcohol days before, during and after the diet. Alcohol causes uric acid to build up in your body, leading to water retention. This is counterproductive if you want to detoxify since uric acid impedes the natural flow of toxins out of your body.
Once you complete the 7-day plan, it’s best to take a break for 5 days up to a week before you go on a diet again so as not to overwhelm your system and cause inadvertent health concerns.
How It Works
While there are people who find it hard to believe that this diet could really make you lose about 4 to 8 kilograms in just a week, there are those who vouch for this diet plan’s effectivity. There are key body processes that are targeted by GM diet, which makes it effective in losing weight.
● Digestion and metabolism
The GM diet is high in fruits, vegetables, and water intake. Consuming fibre-rich foods like vegetables and fruits is one of the best ways of stimulating faster digestion, while water is crucial for faster absorption of nutrients in the body. When there is fast digestion of food and efficient absorption of nutrients, the body can easily metabolize carbohydrates, converting them into sugar, which is then used by the cells to produce energy. If this process is faulty, instead of becoming a good source of energy, sugar will be stored as fat in the body. The GM diet helps manage the metabolic processes so sugar can be utilized properly in the body.
● Detoxification and bowel movement
Given the food items found in a GM diet meal plan, this diet is a great way to detoxify your body. For 7 days, you are only allowed to eat mostly fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water and avoid all kinds of processed food items and those with added sugars. This is a great way of flushing out all the toxins that have accumulated in your body over the years. If you make detoxification a regular part of your health regimen, you will see significant improvement in your overall health since it can strengthen your immune system to fight infections and certain diseases. The GM diet also promotes regular bowel movements, which helps rid the colon of trapped waste and toxins.
The GM Menu
GM diet’s secret perhaps lies primarily in the kind of food eaten in each of the 7 days and the timing. Here is how your GM meals will look like.
● Day 1
On the first day, you can only eat fruits, and that’s it. Eating watermelons is highly recommended, while bananas and mangoes are to be avoided. If it’s your first time trying GM diet, this part is very challenging since you really have to pay attention to every bit of food that you put in your mouth. However, while there’s a little restriction on what fruits you can eat, there is no limit to how much you can consume. And don’t forget your water.
● Day 2
If day 1 is all fruits, day 2 is all vegetables. For breakfast, you are only allowed to eat potatoes, and breakfast is also the only time you can eat potatoes. The rest of the day, you can eat any kind of vegetables, cooked, raw, seasoned with spices, whatever—as long as it’s not potatoes. The potato-only breakfast is intended to give you a good store of carbohydrates for your energy needs throughout the day.
● Day 3
If you made it to day 3, congratulations. It’s a cause for celebration, so this day you get to enjoy a combination of your day 1 and day 2 meals. Watermelon and steamed broccoli for lunch, and cantaloupes and boiled string beans for dinner. However, while you were able to enjoy potatoes for breakfast in day 2, potatoes are not allowed in day 3. Bananas too. Day 3 will be a test of perseverance as by this time you will be feeling really hungry.
● Day 4
Remember the off-limits bananas? On day 4, you will finally be able to eat up to 6 or 8 pieces of bananas for the entire day. Unfortunately, bananas and up to 4 glasses of milk, preferably skim, are the only food you can eat on day 4, although you can squeeze in a bowl of wonder soup for lunch and dinner. Wonder soup is simply vegetable soup with cabbage, tomatoes, celery, onions, and some seasoning. To add variety, you can turn the banana and milk into a smoothie for your afternoon snack. Eating bananas this far into the diet is actually beneficial since bananas are a great source of potassium and sodium, which your body ultimately needs at this time.
● Day 5
Day 5 is a feast since you will be able to eat meat this time. The recommended amount is around 20 ounces of beef, chicken, or fish. You can portion it so you’ll have meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tomatoes are also an important element of your day 5 meal. You can eat up to 6 whole tomatoes for the entire day. For your snacks, you can have a bowl of wonder soup. Water intake is also to be increased by 2 glasses on the fifth day to wash out extra uric acid from the meat.
● Day 6
You’re one day away from day 7. Will you complete the diet? To give you an added boost, you can eat 20 ounces of meat, which again you can portion, and unlimited servings of vegetables, except potatoes and tomatoes. You can again have a bowl of wonder soup (without tomatoes) for your midmorning and afternoon snacks.
● Day 7
You made it to the final day. Hooray! For your meals today, while you can’t enjoy meat, you can treat yourself to unlimited servings of fruits and vegetables and up to 3 cups of brown rice. Sugar-free fruit juice is also allowed for this day.
If you’re trying to avoid meat entirely, you can substitute the meat in days 5 and 6 with cottage cheese or brown rice.
While exercise is not recommended during the first 3 days of the diet, you can start doing light exercise on the fourth day until the seventh, and continue with the workout on days when you’re not on a diet.
Considerations and Precautions
Many followers of GM diet attest to its effectiveness in facilitating weight loss. However, because of its strict meal plan, this diet might not be suitable for everyone. There are considerations and precautions before trying this kind of diet. Particularly, you have to consider the possible side effects and risk factors associated with the diet.
● Restricted nutrition
The food items in the GM diet are very limited, and this very restricted diet can bring with it serious nutritional deficiencies, especially protein deficiency. Protein is our cell’s basic building block. If the protein level in your body is low, it can inevitably lead to serious health problems.
The most common complaint of people trying the GM diet is having headaches. When the body no longer has enough stored glucose to produce energy, it breaks down the proteins in the muscle to sustain its vital processes. This can lead to the production of hormones and chemicals that can trigger headaches. Usually, headaches are accompanied by hair loss and dry skin.
A very serious condition that can result if you don’t increase your water intake while going on any diet is dehydration. Experts say that the recommended amount of water depends on your age, weight, the type of physical activities you do, and your body’s overall needs. Doubling your usual consumption of water is a must during a GM diet. As a rule of thumb, don’t let your body reach the point where you feel thirsty since this is already a sign of dehydration.
● Muscle weakness and fatigue
Muscle breakdown, or wasting, is a direct result of the reduced amount of glucose and protein absorbed in the body due to dieting. During a GM diet, the breakdown of proteins in the muscle cells is faster than your body’s ability to replenish your reservoir. If left unchecked, this could lead to muscle weakness and fatigue.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, talk to a medical practitioner first before trying out the GM diet.
GM Diet Origin: Fact or Fiction
The GM diet is quite an interesting meal plan considering that it offers quick results in just 7 days, compared to other diets where you have to wait for months to see any obvious change, but how did the GM diet really come about?
Many online sources provide an interesting backdrop to the origins of the GM diet. Some websites provide that the GM diet was a health program designed for General Motors employees and dependents in 1985 and is said to be solely for their use. It was said to be developed from a grant from the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. However, this story is unverified. Even the heads at General Motors couldn’t verify this origin.
In 2009, a New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen, who was doing the GM diet, was curious about the origin of the diet and decided to write about it. He reached out to Tom Wilkinson, then spokesperson of General Motors. Surprisingly, Wilkinson said he had never heard of such a diet before, but went ahead and searched through documents of board meetings in the 1980s to look for clues. But his search returned no results.
“We’ve concluded it’s an urban myth… It’s a fairly unconventional diet, and in the 1980s GM was the most conventional of companies,” Cohen quotes Wilkinson in his article.
Ten years after Cohen wrote that article, there’s still no lead as to where the GM diet really came from. However, while the widely used origin seems to be a work of fiction, many people have confirmed that the diet plan can really deliver actual results. As to Cohen, he lost 11 pounds in exactly 7 days. Are you willing to try and see for yourself?
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