GM Diet Plan: Does the 7-Day Weight Loss Plan Really Work?


If you don’t need to lose some excess weight and generally improve your health and fitness, you are part of a lucky minority. The fact is that most people would welcome a quick and easy route to rapid weight loss, even if it’s only to kick start their resolve to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The immensely popular General Motors diet, or GM diet, may be exactly the short-term weight loss solution that thousands of people are looking for every day.

Is the GM Diet really Connected with General Motors?

The GM diet featured image

The internet is full of references to the fact that the General Motors Company, with the assistance of the US Food and Drug Administration, developed the GM diet in the 1980s in order to improve their employees’ health. It sounds plausible and it lends credibility to an otherwise anonymous eating plan, but there are no hard facts to back up the claim.

In fact, a New York Times columnist, a self-confessed fan of the GM diet, went so far as to ask a GM executive to do some research in the company archives. The conclusion? The GM diet has no connection with General Motors, but that doesn’t reduce its effectiveness.

So, Exactly What Is the GM Diet?

The GM diet is a 7-day eating plan designed for those who wish to lose a lot of weight in a relatively short period. Not only does it restrict the kind of foods which can be eaten, it also prescribes the order and combination in which foodstuffs are consumed. It is not intended to be a long-term nutrition strategy, and a return to normal pattern of eating is recommended once the seven days of the diet are completed.

[Read more about Nutrition]

GM Diet Benefits

GM diet plan to lose weight

People undertaking the GM diet have reported losing anything from 4 to 17 lbs (from 2 to 7.5 kg) in just one week. As well as generating fast weight loss and reduced body fat, the GM diet is relatively healthy in that it is a high-fiber, low-fat, gluten-free regimen which eliminates processed foods and excludes any alcohol intake. During the seven days of the diet the body undergoes cleansing and detoxification, outwardly visible in improvements to complexion and skin tone.


Since there is no major restriction on the quantity of food intake, just the range and daily combination of ingredients, some people using the GM diet find that they avoid that most common diet drawback, hunger pangs. And the best part about the GM diet is that it is not complicated to follow. There are no obscure ingredients to shop for, no difficult recipes to concoct, and no complex weighing and measuring.

Other Names for the GM Diet

You may have come across the GM diet, or similar variations, under other names. Perhaps the most common alternative name is ‘The Cabbage Soup Diet’. Cabbage-based soup features extensively in most versions of the GM diet. Other recurrent names are ‘Sacred Heart Hospital Diet’ and, for the grapefruit-based adaptations, ‘TWA Stewardess Diet’ and ‘Mayo Clinic Diet’, although all of these organizations deny any connection with the diets named after them. ‘GM diet’ is the title most often encountered in more recent times.

Read more benefits & risks of GM diet plan.

The Basic 7-day Eating Plan

There are several versions of the GM diet in circulation, but they all have the same essential features: large quantities of fruit (especially bananas on certain days) and vegetables (particularly tomatoes and cabbage at specified times), mainly just water to drink, and very little meat. This is a distillation of the main elements:

Day 1 Preparation – Start from Scratch

Any fruit except bananas. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else. On day 1, you should only focus on eating fruits, but banana is not included in day 1 meal due to its potassium, starch and carbs content. It’s just that on day 1 you can only take fruits and water of around 10 glasses. You are strictly advised to take fruits that will last until morning comes and you will also need a lot of water to stay hydrated.

Example of Day 1 Diet Plan

8:30-9am: breakfast time. You can have a cup of apples and two glasses of water to keep you going all day.

10:30-11am: morning snack time. You can have a bowl of papaya, kiwi and two glasses of water.

12nn- 1:30pm: lunch time. You can have around a bowl of watermelon and two glasses of water.

4pm-4:30pm: mid-noon snack time. You can have a bowl of papaya and oranges too with two glasses of water as well.

Around 6pm: an evening snack time. But this is just light such as a glass of coco water.

At 8pm: dinner time. You can have a bowl of watermelon with 2 glasses of water as well.

Day 2 Preparation: All Vegetables Day

Any vegetables, raw or cooked, including at least one baked potato with butter. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else. The baked potato will provide the energy for the body all throughout the day and it can also be followed by other dishes with veggies too for lunch and dinner. You can also have veggie soup, fresh salad without mayo for other meals and snacks throughout the day. Day 2 will enable you to take lots of veggies from green leafy to starchy crops. All these can help in boosting your needed fiber to regulate sugar from the day 1’s food consumption and to also boost your metabolic process.

Allowed foods for day 2

For breakfast, you can start with potatoes to keep your stomach full and to boost your energy throughout the day. Those who are living in tropical countries may also consider eating cassava or sweet potatoes instead. On the other hand, just make sure not to eat sugary meals.

For lunch, you are required to eat lighter meals. You can have a veggie salad instead. Fresh salad with zucchini, fresh lettuce & cabbage will do. You are also allowed to dress the salad with olive oil or other dressings of your choice, but not mayo. This will bring you added fat, which is not good for this diet.

For dinner, it’s up to you if you wish to have broccoli, asparagus, lettuce or zucchini again. You can boil them or stir fry them too with olive oil will do. Beets can also be an option and it will make you feel full as well.

Sample meal to follow

For breakfast, you can have a cup of potato (boiled or baked) and two glasses of water. This may be in between 8-9am. At mid-morning, you are allowed to have a bowl of cabbage soup and 2 glasses of water; this may be around 10-11am.

At lunch time, you can have a piece of tomato, a piece of zucchini and half a serving of boiled beet with two glasses of water still, this may be around 12-1pm.

At mid-noon you can have 2pcs of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and 2 glasses of water. This may be served around 4-5pm.

Your dinner may be around 7pm and you are allowed to boil broccoli or cauliflower, asparagus may also do with 2 glasses of water.

You are not allowed to eat fruits at day 2 of the diet, since you have consumed sugary on day 1. You cannot also add as much oil, but if you want your food to taste, olive oil or 100% natural butter will do. In between meals you can have cabbage soup to satisfy the hunger.

Day 3 Preparation – be Used to the Program

Any vegetables and fruits, except banana. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else.

With different servings at breakfast, lunch and supper, your tummy will not just feel satisfied, but your cravings will also be regulated in a much lower level. When you eat melons for breakfast, it’s essential to sustain them with 2 glasses of water to boost your digestion. Fruits and veggies can be taken the entire day from breakfast to dinner and that includes snacks in the middle of the day.

You have to say goodbye to carbs like potatoes, since you will now get the carbs that you need from fruits and veggies. Your body is now well prepared to shed off those calories from the 3rd day onwards. You will still experience light food cravings on the 3rd day, but that will go away in time as you approach day 4. You may also do some breathing activities in the morning starting from day 3. By doing this, you will be relieved of all the stresses and anxieties brought to you by day 1 & 2 of the GM diet.

Sample meals for day 3

You are now on day 3 of the GM diet program and you are now allowed to eat apples, watermelons and other fruits, but you shouldn’t eat them all at once. You can have one for lunch and then eat it again at snack time. You can still eat the meals you ate on day 2 and then mixed with fruits just to make your taste buds and your tummy fully happy and well satisfied.

At dinner time, you can eat a mixture of boiled veggies like broccoli, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, beets and others. You can also eat some fruits like melons and apples. At snack time, you can eat fruits and veggies along with tomatoes as well. But you shouldn’t miss out at eight to ten glasses of water daily to keep you hydrated and full at the same time.

Be reminded that you are not allowed to drink fruit juices until you are done with the program. They contain sugar and you do not need that at the moment. At day 3, you will feel lighter and you will weigh less than 4 pounds, which is just a natural result of the diet program. Just keep in mind that food consumption should vary to get better results. You can also have cabbage soup or tomato soup every time you feel hungry.

Day 4 Preparation – Banana and Milk Day

Banana milk shake

Bananas and skim milk – make shakes if you like. GM diet cabbage soup (see recipe below). 10 glasses of water. Nothing else.

For breakfast, you can start with bananas with a glass full of milk. You can have low fat or non fat milk for best results.

At lunch time, you can have veggie soup with tomatoes and cabbage. Soups will taste better this time, since you are used to taking soups and fluids.

For dinner, you can have veggie soup again with milk share. If you think that soup is enough to sustain your hunger, you can save the shake for another meal.

Foods required for day 4

Two bananas and a cup of milk with mushroom soup

For breakfast, you can start with bananas with a glass full of milk. You can have low fat or non fat milk for best results.

At lunch time, you can have veggie soup with tomatoes and cabbage. Soups will taste better this time, since you are used to taking soups and fluids.

For dinner, you can have veggie soup again with milk share. If you think that soup is enough to sustain your hunger, you can save the shake for another meal.

Sample meal for day 4

For breakfast, which is around 8am, you can have a big banana with a glass of warm milk. Around 10am, you can have a banana shake instead, but this should be composed of at least 2 big bananas.

At lunch time, which is around 12nn, you can have a big bowl of veggie soup. It will be best to consider that with cabbage and tomatoes.

At midafternoon, around 4pm you can have a banana shake.

For dinner, which is around 7pm you can have veggie soup and banana plus water.

Cravings will not leave you, so you can have bananas or milk or banana shake instead to fill the hunger.

Bananas and milk will be your best friend from day 4 of the GM diet.

Day 5 Preparations – the Feast Day

Beef (ground, roast, braised or grilled), tomatoes, GM diet cabbage soup. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else.

Beef have lots of proteins and iron, while tomatoes are rich in fibers and lycopene, so having these 2 can help you in regaining the lost proteins required by the body. If you are not into eating beef, you can replace it with 500 grams of chicken or 6 pieces of eggs within the day.

By this time, you have lost pounds and appetite at the same time, but you are still advised to eat in small servings only of beef throughout the day. It is due to the fact that big servings will make your appetite poorer. This is primarily the reason why you are asked to eat beef with tomatoes to fill your taste buds.

Foods to eat on GM diet day 5

At breakfast, you should eat braised beef with tomatoes. To make things easier for you, braised beef with tomato soup or tomato dip will do. The meat will provide you with enough iron, fiber and proteins, while the soup will provide you with energy throughout the day.

At lunch time, you can eat beef hamburger. You can bake it or fry it, but make sure not to add too much oil in it, since it already have fats. At this time, your body will be a great source of uric acid; this is the reason why you are advised to drink lots of fluids, so that the uric acid will be flushed by the body as usual.

At dinner time, you can still eat beef burger; on the other hand, you can also have a beef soup instead with tomatoes to help in keeping the body energized. With soup your body will be sustained with the water loss within the day.

For snacks, you are still not allowed to eat the usual snacks or fruit juices too. You only need to have is water from day 5. You should at least drink fourteen glasses of water, so your body will be detoxified and you can also flush all unwanted nutrients taken from the beef.

If you are not a beef eater, you can also change that with chicken, since not a lot of people are into eating red meat even if they are not vegetarians. There are still those who prefer to eat chicken and turkey instead of beef. Just make sure not to eat the chicken skin, since it also contains a lot of fat. You will go through it just like day 1-4.

Day 6 Preparation – the Best Day of All

GM diet day 6

Beef, plus any raw or cooked vegetables. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else.

Because the body is now in its automatic mode of losing excess fat with raised metabolic processes, your body will need enough amount of protein and fiber in the next days to come. You can get all the proteins from the beef while the fiber can be taken from the veggies you eat. Aside from this, you should also let your body go through different types of activities or exercises, since this is truly a precise point where you need to assess if the diet brought improvements to your health particularly to your immunity or not.

This is your chance to eat and help the body regain its appetite, but instead of eating sugary and fatty foods, fresh greens are recommended this time. You can eat fresh green leafy veggies along with other drinks aside from water like lemon and lime water, black coffee without cream, black tea, and others but no fruit juices at this time yet.

Foods required for GM diet day 6

For breakfast, you can have 1 bowl of veggie soup with beef cubes or just plain veggies if you don’t want to have beef in the morning. This will provide you with all the fiber that you need and proteins all throughout the day.

At lunch time, you can have some foods like Asian dishes, since most of the Asian foods have veggies and beef ingredients. But be sure not to incorporate your soup with potatoes or bread yet.

For dinner, you may have another serving of veggies soup and beef burger as well. You can have chicken burger instead if you want to.

When it comes to snacks & drinks, you can go on with meat and veggies at snack time too. On the other hand, you are advised to eat leafy greens in the morning snacks and beef at midafternoon. This is because your appetite level should be at its normal, so that your cravings will be lessened for other foods. Aside from water, you can also have coco water now at mid-afternoon snack, though there is a higher chance that it may ruin your appetite for dinner.

Day 7 Congrats, Welcome to the Last Step!

Fruit, vegetables, brown rice. 10 glasses of water. Nothing else.

On the 7th day, you need to have enough fresh fruits in the fridge. You can eat them anytime you want for breakfast to dinner without limiting yourself. Aside from fruits, you can now eat brown rice with stewed veggies. But since a lot of people are not into brown rice, you have no choice but to eat it. This will provide you with enough fiber that you need throughout the day.

Required food on day 7

Brown rice and some vegetables

For breakfast, you are required to eat a cup of brown rice for energy and carb boost for the entire day. On the other hand, you can skip the rice and eat fruits like papaya or melon with two glasses of water.

For lunch, you can have brown rice that you have skipped for breakfast. You can eat it with veggies like broccoli, asparagus, cabbage and others. You can also feast on a slice of mango and melon to boost your appetite. If you have eaten brown rice for breakfast, you can have 2 variants of fruits for lunch with two glasses of water.

For dinner, you can have brown rice once again, plus green veggies of your option. You need to drink at least two glasses of water before you go to sleep.

For snacks and drinks, you can have berries, raisins and others at snack time, but this time you will be allowed to have fruit juices, but they are good for middays only and not for main meals.

[Read more about GM Diet]

Things to Keep in Mind

On day 7, you need to drink more water than days 1-6. You also need to do more exercise, since you have regained the energy that you need to go through the day with heavier activities. Exercises can help in boosting your metabolism; it can also help you burn a lot of calories than the usual one. By doing this, you can also maintain your weight or go on with your diet.

Delicious Mexican brown rice


Note that the diet is very specific about avoiding bananas and milk except on Day 4, which is a banana and milk bonanza day. If you can’t face the idea of eating whole bananas or drinking unadulterated skim milk, just blast them together in a blender for a delicious, easily-digested shake.

The addition of tomatoes on Day 5 means plenty of tomatoes, not just one.

Beef serving sizes should be moderate.

Brown rice means just that. It’s not OK to substitute processed white rice, from which most of the fiber and nutrients have been stripped.

10 glasses of water is about 5 pints (2.25 L), and the best way to keep track of your consumption is to fill a large pitcher with this amount at the beginning of the day and fill your glass from it whenever you feel thirsty.

GM Diet Cabbage Soup

The GM cabbage soup is a very important component of the diet. It’s a cabbage-based vegetarian soup, sometimes called ‘Wonder Soup’ or ‘ Miracle Soup’ because of its central position in the GM diet plan. Here’s how to make it.

GM Diet Soup Ingredients

GM diet soup

  • 6 large onions
  • 2 green peepers
  • 3 large fresh tomatoes or 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 22 oz (600ml) of water
  • salt, pepper and herbs to taste

GM Diet Soup Cooking Method

  • Chop the onions and peppers and toss them in a small quantity of olive oil until they are softened and slightly browned.
  • Chop the celery, tomatoes and cabbage, and put them in a large pot together with the cooked onions and peppers, and the water.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour.
  • Season with salt, pepper and herbs towards the end of the cooking time.

This will make enough healthy, tasty, hunger-satisfying soup to see you through Day 4 and Day 5 of the GM diet plan, with some extra soup to share with your family. If you have any left over at the end of the week, it will freeze readily, to make your life easier the next time you choose to follow the GM diet.

The GM Diet and Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol while following the GM diet is not allowed. Drink plenty of water, plus skim milk on Day 4. If you absolutely can’t do without tea or coffee, take them without sugar, sweeteners or milk. Why not try a health-giving herbal tea instead?

The GM Diet and Exercise

The effectiveness of any diet is boosted by exercise, so try to include at least 15 minutes of moderate exercise each day. High-intensity exercises such as cardio workouts and strength training are not recommended during the diet week, however. This sort of exercise needs a higher carbohydrate intake than that provided by the GM diet, so try gentler exercises like walking or yoga instead.

[Read more about Exercise]

Side Effects of the GM Diet

GM diet to lose weight

Although you are less likely to feel ravenously hungry than on some other diets which severely restrict food quantities, it is inevitable that you will notice yourself reacting in other ways than merely losing weight. Some people experience headaches and nausea for the first three days, but most find that these feelings reduce as the week progresses before disappearing altogether.

If you have been accustomed to eating large quantities of high-fat, sugary and salty processed foods, your body and mind are going to have some trouble adjusting to this new regime of fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, with only a moderate amount of protein. Just keep reminding yourself of the benefits to come in the form of reduced weight, a trimmer figure and better health.

The GM diet is definitely not suitable for pregnant women, and anyone else with health concerns should consult their doctor before undertaking any kind of restrictive diet.

Vegetarian Version of the GM Diet

Vegetarians wishing to follow the GM diet plan need not be put off by the references to beef and skim milk. Simply replace the beef with high-protein vegetarian options like lentils, beans and brown rice, and substitute soy milk for skim milk.

Read the Vegetarian Recipes

Indian Version of the GM Diet

The GM diet is popular in India, and once again the beef on Days 5 and 6 can be replaced with other, non-meat protein sources. Try additional brown rice, soybean curd, tofu, cottage cheese, beans and bean sprouts. All of these are protein-rich substitutes for the beef component, and non-vegans can even eat fish instead.

Chicken Version of the GM Diet

If you are a non-vegetarian who prefers chicken to beef, you can follow the same substitution method. Just make sure you remove the chicken skin, choose a cooking method that does not rely on additional fat such as oil or butter, and most definitely do not coat the chicken in breadcrumbs.

Ring the Changes with Unusual Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy fruits and vegetables to lose weight

You are going to be bored out of your mind if you try to get through the GM diet on a bland program of apples, carrots and celery sticks. Why not make a list of your favorite fruits and vegetables and treat yourself to a little variety? Most people like berry fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and  raspberries. Peaches, plums and apricots are available for many months of the year. Tropical fruits like mango and papaya will tempt the taste buds, while watermelon and cantaloupe are sweet and juicy and packed with vitamin C.

Now for the vegetables. Your GM diet plan meals can be something to anticipate with pleasure if you introduce artichoke and eggplant, asparagus and bok choy, zucchini, broccoli and bamboo shoots. Turn the GM diet into your opportunity to explore new taste and texture sensations in the vegetable world. Once you really get into the enjoyment that can be derived form loading your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables, the healthier your regular diet will become.

Helpful Tips for GM Dieters

You are what you eat

Whichever version of the GM diet you decide to follow, here are some useful tips to help you stay on track.

  • Be prepared for feelings of weakness and nausea in the first three days. It will pass.
  • Once you reach Day 4, it gets easier. You’re on the home stretch.
  • Try to avoid getting weighed until the 7 days are over. Success tastes sweeter if you save your reward until the end.
  • Don’t be tempted to stop halfway. The GM diet only works properly if you stick to what is, after all, only a short period of discipline.
  • Do your shopping for all the ingredients you need before you start. If you have to visit the grocery store in the middle of  your diet, you may be tempted by the diet-wrecking treats on display.
  • Packaged fruit juices often contain added sugar and other undesirables. It’s best to make your own, and they taste better anyway.
  • Avoid trying to do the GM diet in a particularly stressful week, such as when a major work deadline is looming.
  • Moderate exercise and plenty of sleep will help you stay focused.

Give It a Try and Be Prepared for Success

If you stick to the GM diet for just one short stint of 7 days, there is almost no way you can avoid losing weight. Many people who try it once become converts for life, recharging and refreshing their body with this vitamin-rich eating plan once, twice, three times a year, or even more often. Why not look at your calendar right now and circle the week that is going to lead to a slimmer, healthier you? Your friends will be clamoring to know your secret, and you can send them here for all the information they need to get them started on the road to GM diet success.


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