GM Diet Plan Customised for the Indian Diet
Everybody loves a good diet plan. Especially if it’s only for a week and promises weight loss of up to six kg! The General Motors diet plan, better-known as the GM diet plan, is mainly a vegetarian fare and can be easily customised for the Indian palate. Read on to know more… No one really knows how it started. The popular myth is that General Motors, the motor-vehicle manufacturer, developed the GM diet in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that its employees are fit and healthy. Apparently, the plan was tested at the Johns Hopkins Research Center before getting its final approval in 1985. The origins may be suspect, but there are no doubts about the effectiveness of the much-lauded GM diet. It can help you knock off four to six kg in a week! And what’s more, the plan can be easily tailored to suit the Indian diet. Wondering how it works? The idea is to consume low-calorie fruits and vegetables, along with certain complex carbohydrates and plenty of water, over a period of seven days. During this process, your body ends up burning more calories than it takes in. This not only guarantees weight loss, but also a complete detoxification of the body. The 7-day project The Indian version of the GM diet is actually quite similar to the original, except for certain vegetarian and meat substitutions. On the first three days, the menu consists of low-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in unlimited quantities. In other words, you can eat as much as you please, but only those items on the menu. The next four days comprise protein-rich foods plus carbohydrates in the form of meat, brown rice, bananas and milk in limited amounts. Let’s look at the day-wise menu of this popular diet plan that is also referred to as ‘the cabbage soup diet’ and ‘the sacred heart diet’: Day 1: You are allowed to eat only fruits through the day. For best results, it’s recommended that you binge on watermelons (high in water content, low in calories). Guavas, apples, pears, oranges, grapefruits, blueberries, kiwis and pomegranates are the other healthy options. Stay away from high-calorie fruits like bananas and mangoes. The best way to ensure that you survive the rigours of the day is to have a wholesome dinner the previous night. It’s also extremely important to drink 10-12 glasses of water during the day. This will cleanse your system and set the stage for the week ahead. Day 2: The day is earmarked for veggies. Start with a boiled potato for breakfast; you may add a dollop of ghee or olive oil. For the rest of the day, keep munching on your favourite vegetables (no more potatoes, though). Cucumber (low in calories and non-starchy), cabbage (high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants), broccoli (low in calories and a good source of fibre and calcium) and spinach (known to promote lean muscle mass) are good choices. In case you don’t like the idea of eating raw salads (without fancy dressings), try baking, grilling or blanching the vegetables. Frying them is simply not an option. The GM wonder soup can be a lifesaver. All you need to do is wash, peel and chop all the vegetables (cabbage, celery, onion, bell peppers and tomatoes) and cook them in a pressure cooker with enough water and some salt. Non-vegetarians can use chicken stock instead of water. Before serving, add a pinch of black pepper and lemon juice. Voila, you have a nutritious, tasty soup to slurp on! Day 3: Pick and choose from your favourite fruits (no banana) and vegetables, and add them to the day’s menu. You can have the best of the first two days. As you binge on the healthy mix through the day, don’t forget to drink 10-12 glasses of water. By the end of the day, you’ll feel the difference in your body as the toxins get flushed out of your system. Day 4: Finally, you can have bananas! In fact, you are allowed to eat nothing but six bananas and four glasses of skimmed milk the whole day. To break the monotony of potassium and sodium, you may include the GM wonder soup either for lunch or dinner. Not a fan of bananas? Fret not! You can have dates, apricots or figs instead; but remember to eat only a handful. You can also substitute skimmed milk with yoghurt if you like. The day can be rather challenging, so it’s best to keep yourself busy and away from temptations. Day 5: The original GM diet plan recommends 500gm beef (for iron and proteins) along with six tomatoes (to aid digestion) for the day. You can replace beef with chicken, or if you prefer eggs, simply split six egg whites into three meals. Fish can also be a great alternative to meat. For vegetarians, kidney beans, chickpeas, brown rice, legumes, tofu, cottage cheese or soy chunks are worthy substitutes. The idea is to look for alternatives with some good fat; you can also add a little olive oil, ghee, coconut oil or butter to your meal. It’s extremely important to consume 12-15 glasses of water during the day to eliminate the excess uric acid produced in your body. Day 6: The day’s menu has unlimited beef/chicken and vegetables (except potatoes and tomatoes). Instead of meat, you can have a bowl of brown/white rice, if you so prefer. But don’t forget to include cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu among the veggies, for that all-important dose of proteins. By the end of this day, the results of the diet should be there for all to see! Day 7: The best is indeed saved for the last. It is the only day when fruit juice is on the menu. Better not to go in for the store-bought ones loaded with preservatives and sugar; instead make it fresh at home without adding any sugar. For the main course, you can indulge in a feast of brown/white rice and unlimited servings of vegetables and fruits. If you have religiously followed the GM diet plan, the weighing scales should please you this evening. Things to remember 1. While following the GM diet plan, make it a point to avoid the consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol. If you must, you can have black tea, black coffee or lime water, without sugar. All through the week, you need to drink lots of water (10-12 glasses daily) to ensure that there is no dehydration and that the detoxification process is successful. 2. Stay away from refined foods of all kinds. Opt for table salt instead of refined salt. And if you simply can’t do without sugar, it’s best to go in for natural sweeteners like honey, albeit in limited quantities. 3. Given that you are on a low-calorie diet, it’s not a good idea to engage in any strenuous physical activities during the week. However, 10 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise – walking, running, yoga, dancing every day can help improve the body’s metabolism and thus, better the weight loss results. 4. Before you start the diet plan, it’s important to consider its side effects. While the GM diet plan definitely helps one lose weight fast, the diet may also lead to muscle loss, low energy levels, poor concentration and compromised immunity. 5. Many people tend to overdo the diet because of its quick results. However, your body cannot sustain it over a prolonged period. It’s best to follow the diet plan once every quarter, or perhaps twice a year to cleanse your system. In case you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight over a period of time, you can follow the GM diet once a month. Whatever your weight loss goal, remember to consult with your physician before trying the diet plan. 6. People suffering from certain medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart problems, are advised not to follow the GM diet. Similarly, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are recommended not to compromise on their nutritional needs, even if it’s only for a week. 7. In case you are following the GM diet during menstruation, ensure that you are consuming fruits and vegetables rich in iron. You may also take iron supplements, after consulting with your doctor. 8. Not sure whether you can do it? Get a weight loss buddy (parent, spouse, sibling, friend) on board. That’s the best way to ensure accountability and motivation through the week-long diet plan. 9. It’s imperative to remember that diet is only one of the factors – although a vital one - that determines one’s weight loss. Factors such as age, body metabolism, lifestyle, medical history, genes, etc also play an important role in deciding how much weight one is able to shed. In other words, even with an identical diet, two people may have varying weight loss results. 10. The only thing harder than losing weight is, perhaps, maintaining the newly-toned body. Once you have successfully completed the GM diet plan, slowly reintroduce regular foods into your daily fare. It is okay to eat everything but in moderation. Make regular physical activity – doesn’t always have to be at the gym – a way of life. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.
- Tags: Health