The GM diet is said to be a product of GM, a 7-day plan that the company came up with in the 1980s to help its staff members get into shape. Even though the diet is over 30 years old today, it still gets people all excited. (According to New York Times, it is a myth that the GM company is behind this diet.)
Who wouldn’t want to lose weight in 7 days without compromising their health?
Just like any diet that requires you to alter your eating regimen in a short span, this plan has side effects. In principle, the GM diet is designed to increase your ability to burn fat – through the consumption of selected food items – and rejuvenate your digestive system.
However, will this type of diet bring you only benefits or are there some side-effects and dangers you should know about? (Click on the box below to make it expand).
IS THE GM DIET SAFE?
The GM diet is not sustainable over a longer period of time, seeing as it restricts the intake of many crucial nutrients. It is especially not suitable for those trying to gain muscle as the food proportions and types are not ideal for proper bone formation.
1. WEAKNESS & MUSCLE LOSS
One of the primary shortcomings of this diet is the minimal amounts of protein allowed per day. The first few days of the diet restrict the intake of protein, and so you can expect muscle loss, and even the meals that follow the first 72 hours are not enough to sustain muscle content.
Your body needs at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight, a provision that is sadly not met in the GM diet. Proteins are not only the building blocks of your muscles, but they are involved in almost every part of the body. Failing to consume enough of them is setting yourself up for failure, starting from weak and drastically reduced muscle mass.
2. DIZZINESS & HEADACHES
The first three days may be characterized by incessant thirst, even after drinking enough water, and dizziness due to the reduced portions of food.
Your body will crave for more food and will, therefore, use the water consumed to carry out digestive functions. The body may be near dehydration if you don’t drink enough water. Naturally, hunger pangs will strike before the body gets used to the reduced food portions.
3. LOWER LEVELS OF ENERGY
Some guides say you can work out while on this diet, but that is not practical. You will be weak from not eating enough food, and so your body cannot perform optimally. You could do a few workouts that do not strain you too much.
However, weightlifting and intensive cardio could have you reeling and feeling too dizzy for a comfortable weight loss. One more thing about working out.
A standard recovery meal should include carbohydrates for strength and protein for muscle nourishment. Those two are missing in a GM diet, so your body breaks down muscle in search of protein to nourish it. In the end, you are better off not working out at all while following this meal plan.
4. SLOWER METABOLISM
Even though vegetables and fiber are drivers of the metabolic system, lack of protein causes muscle degradation. Your muscle plays a vital role in metabolism, so you want to keep the levels up to par.
Protein is also the building block of hair follicles, and less of it means dull hair and skin. When your metabolism slows down, you will have a hard time losing weight, and more-so after resuming regular eating.
5. EVENTUAL WEIGHT GAIN
You won’t be on this diet forever, and so the resumption of regular eating could lead to weight gain. The GM diet is best regarded as a detox that helps get rid of toxins, but it is not sustainable in the long run.
You can use it as a way of jumpstarting weight loss too, but resuming regular eating will lead to all that weight coming back. The body will hoard what you eat in anticipation of starvation, and all that food will later be converted into fat.
6. REQUIRES STRONG WILLPOWER
I won’t lie to you. Dieting is hard, strict dieting is even harder. Restricting carbs and eating a low amount of foods and calories is one of the hardest things that require strong discipline.
You have to stick to a plan you usually do not like. That is why you need to be highly motivated and maintain strong willpower to follow strict rules. Otherwise, you won’t see results and that could turn into lack of motivation in your future dieting efforts as well as self-doubt.
7. THERE IS LITTLE TO NO EXERCISES
There is little to no exercise allowed during this diet as you will feel fatigued and drained. A minimal amount of “sweating” might lead to slower weight loss. If you want to speed up a fat loss on GM diet, you should walk throughout your day, as this will no doubt burn calories and won’t leave you extremely tired or exhausted.
Other forms of light physical activities you could try include light jogging, playing with kids, light aerobics, or light jumping. However, for a successful long-term weight loss, you should also incorporate some form of workouts and exercises. That is why GM diet is good only from a short-term perspective.
8. RESTRICTION OF SEVERAL NUTRIENTS
Another downside of restriction based diets is the fact that you are missing some of the important nutrients your body needs to function properly. As mentioned in the points above, because you will eat only a limited types of food your body will miss protein (among other nutrients).
That is why this diet is not recommended as a long-term solution to your weight loss goals but only as a kick-start on your journey to a healthier, skinnier you. If you want to prevent nutritional deficiencies, you shouldn’t follow this plan for extended periods of time.
9. THIS DIET MAY CAUSE DEHYDRATION
While dieting, you might lose lots of water weight as you will stay away from sugary candies and salty junk food. You will feel thirsty because your body should get into fat burning and detox phase.
To flush out toxins stored in fat, your body will need to use more and more water. As you can see, this is an easy way to get dehydrated. There is only one way to counter this – you have to drink a lot of clean water. Even more than the optimal recommended amount of half a gallon (2 liters) per day.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
If you have to use this diet to jumpstart weight loss, there are things you can do to avoid the negative backlash.
1. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
The recommended amount of water a day is at least 2 liters. Drink as much as possible to prevent dehydration and to make up for the loss of nutrients in your body. That should take care of dizzy spells and headache. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes which leave you energized.
2. LIGHT EXERCISES
Reducing your food intake drastically will have a negative psychological effect on you, and you can change that by performing light exercises. Walk from work or do a bit of light yoga to stretch and release endorphins.
The special GM soup that you are required to incorporate into your meal plan helps with hunger pangs as long as you distribute it properly throughout the day, say during lunchtime and dinner.
3. WATCH YOUR RE-ENTRY
There is no much you can do about lost muscle as long as you are on the GM diet, but you can make the process count by watching what you eat once the seven days lapse. How you resume your regular meals determines whether or not you will gain the lost weight back.
That is why you need to avoid processed and junk food and you want to carry on with the vegetables and fruits. Also increase your intake of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. The best part? Your body can take it now, so hit the gym.