Updated 18 March 2016

Is the General Motors diet a good way to lose weight?

The GM diet, developed by General Motors to help slim down their workers, promises to help you lose between 4 and 7kg's in no time, without any risks to your health. Would you try it?


Wouldn't it be great if you could drop a dress size in a week?

Most of you are rolling your eyes right about now. “It's difficult to lose 5 kgs over a couple of months, over a week it's next to impossible.” 

That's exactly what the GM diet claims to do. 

The GM diet was developed in 1985 by General Motors in conjunction with the FDA.

The purpose was to increase productivity in their workers and improve overall health. The diet was hugely successful, people who tried it lost between 5 and 7 kgs and reported higher energy levels, increased productivity and being happier. 

It's not much different to other popular week-long diets such as the cabbage soup diet and the Sacred Heart diet. 

By now you must be wondering how much you have to starve yourself to pull off such a drastic weight loss.

You'd be surprised to know that the diet actively warns you against starving yourself.

While there are restrictions on what you can and can't eat, there is virtually no limit on the quantity. You read that right, you can avoid starvation and still lose 4 1/2  a week on the GM diet.

Seems too good to be true?

The diet is designed to detoxify the body.

Over seven days, you are restricted to fruits, vegetables, brown rice and a lean protein source.

On most days there is no restriction on the amount of food you can consume. If you feel hungry, the diet advises eating.

As you can see, the diet is simple and can be followed by just about anyone. But the big question is, does it work? In one word, Yes. 

The GM diet allows you to drop 4 - 5 kgs in no time, without any serious health risks.

Because you consume a lot of fruits and vegetables, you are still getting essential nutrients, and your body doesn't go into starvation mode.

You're also consuming a lot of water, which keeps your body hydrated.

Read: Juice diets: do they work?

Unlike other diets, there are no severe restrictions on the amount of food you can eat.

The diet also has a soup designed specifically to be substituted for any vegetable meal. This helps break the monotony and means you are more likely to stick to it. 

Warning: The diet, while being a motivator to eat healthier once you've dropped some weight, it is not a permanent weight loss solution. If you return to eating junk food and don't exercise, the weight you lost will soon return. It's certainly no substitute for common-sense healthy dieting and exercise

Under no circumstances should you embark on this diet if you have an underlying health condition, or if you are under 18. Always discuss your diet with a dietitian or your GP. 

Watch: How to make the GM soup

Read more:

DietDoc warns against 'starvation diets'

10 rules for a balanced diet

Detox diets – healthy or harmful?

About the author: 

Vineetha Reddy is a health, fitness & nutrition writer. Follow her on Twitter


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