The fall season tends to bring on cravings for comfort foods, and while all of those comfort foods might make us feel great while we’re eating them, it’s not long before you can see all those extra calories appearing on your waistline. Additionally, if you end up mixing a lot of your favorite comfort food eating with even more holiday binging, you’re sure to start noticing those pounds piling on much quicker than you’d like them to.
Getting your weight back on track can be a huge pain because many crash diets that were designed to help you lose a lot of weight at one time end up leaving you feeling hungry a lot (if not all) of the time. The General Motors diet, however, was designed a little differently.
Looking at the diet’s name, you might think it was created by General Motors to guide their employees toward better health. However, I can assure you that’s not the case. At least according to official statements from General Motors who consider this “an urban myth”.
Although it has an anonymous creator, the GM diet helped plenty of people lose weight – and it’s not one of those diets in which you’re hungry and cranky all the time.
How It Works
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of diets, but this is definitely an eating plan that I could get behind. It makes complete sense, allows you a ton of freedom as far as what you eat goes, and shouldn’t have you feeling all that hungry once the initial shock to your body is over. There are very few rules that you need to follow for it to work, so follow them like gospel for maximum results.
1. If you drink alcohol, you’ll have to stop while you’re on this diet because when you drink alcohol, your body retains water(weight). This is probably the most important of all the rules, because if you ignore this suggestion, you could actually sabotage the entire diet and end up losing very little to no weight at all. Sorry, but wine doesn’t count as a fruit in this case – To make sure you shed the pounds, you’ll have to skip the after dinner drinks.
2. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to ditch your favourite hot beverage all together, just the cream and sugar you use to flavour it with – that’s where you end up compiling a ton of extra caloric intake throughout the day. If you absolutely cannot get rid of the flavourings and you don’t want to have to give up caffeine altogether, try using stevia as a sweetener.
3. If you’re a gym rat, you’ll have to calm down the amount of time you’re spending there. This actually works out to be the perfect diet plan for anyone that hates exercising – All you need to get is ten minutes a day of brisk walking (or a quick yoga set). That ten minutes is enough to boost your metabolism and increase your weight loss but not so much that your body will be exhausted. Doing much more will leave your muscles fatigued and sore – There’s simply not enough carbohydrates to help you recover post workout.
4. The last and final concrete rule (and my personal favorite by far) is that you need to remember to drink plenty of water. Drinking water will not only keep you hydrated, but it’ll help you stay feeling full, as well as flush out and detox your system.
By following these rules along with the general guideline of this magical seven day eating plan, you could lose as much as 10-17lbs per week.
Seven Days to a Slimmer You
So what is this magical eating plan, anyway? It’s actually quite reminiscent of the Cabbage Soup Diet. If you’re someone that has terrible eating habits high in processed foods and sugar, not only will this diet help you lose weight, but you’ll also cleanse and detoxify your system, leaving you looking amazing inside and out. I’ve compiled a rough diet outline below, but if you’d like a more detailed description (one with measurements and meal outlines), feel free to click on the day.
Like I mentioned before, there’s a lot of freedom in this diet. By eating whole, fresh foods you’ll feel fuller longer and probably eat less anyway, just remember to take the time to eat slowly, actually take the time to taste your food, and listen to your body – It’ll let you know when you’ve had enough.
The Day Before You Start The Diet: Eat whatever you want. Seriously, take a day to enjoy all of the foods that you usually crave – Not only are you not going to get to eat them for the next seven days, but you’ll want to get all the carbohydrates and protein in you before your cleanse starts to help get your body through the first day or so.
Day One: Aside from bananas, you’ll only be eating fresh, raw fruits today. Remember to drink a ton of water to help you feel full. Feel free to eat as much as you’d like (within reason). You can drink 2 glasses of orange juice as well as some coconut water if you’re not a big water drinker and are having trouble getting enough liquid.
Day Two: Start your day out with a boiled potato for energy. You’ll get to eat as many raw or steamed vegetables as you’d like for the rest of the day. If you’re someone that spends a lot of time at the gym and you’re having a hard time detoxing from your time there, you could probably get away with a little bit of cardio or a short HIIT routine if you’d like.
Day Three: All of the cravings you’ve been experiencing should be largely subsided by day three, and those that haven’t will be gone by day four. On this day you’ll get to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you’d like in any combination (staying away from bananas and potatoes). By now, you may also notice that you’re 2- 4 lbs lighter.
Day Four: If you’ve been missing those bananas, you’ll love today – The day of bananas and milk. All day you’ll be drinking banana milkshakes and eating soup, nothing else. There are two different soups you can make, but we’ll talk more about them later. The bananas and milk will help replenish your body of the potassium and sodium it’s been missing for the last three days.
Day Five: Finally, you’ll get to eat protein again! By now, you’ll probably notice that you’re not able to eat as much as you used to, so consider that when you’re preparing your meals. The original GM diet uses beef as the protein today, but you could substitute chicken or turkey if you don’t like/don’t eat beef. Additionally, if you’re a vegetarian you could use beans or paneer. The other main food of the day is tomatoes. Eat your protein and tomatoes in small servings a bunch of times over the day and remember to keep drinking tons of water.
Day Six: By now, you’ll have probably lost about ten pounds and you’ll start to notice that your skin is clearer and that you seem to have a ton of natural energy. Today is considered the feast day of the diet – You’ll get to enjoy the protein of your choice and as many vegetables as you’d like (raw or steamed).
Day Seven: Today is the final day of the diet – You’ll probably notice a weight loss of at least ten pounds as well as increased sleep quality, better skin aspect, improved digestion and mood, as well as an increase in natural energy and activity. On this day you’ll eat some brown rice and vegetables, and you can eat as much fruit as you want.
It’s said that you can repeat the diet as many times as you’d like as long as you take a three to five day break in between each round, but I’d stick to doing it maybe once as a cleanse and then maintaining the weight that you’ve shed (and/or continuing to strive towards a healthy weight) by sticking to an eating plan that’s rich in whole, unprocessed foods and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day (even if it’s just a walk down the street and back).
Two different kinds of soup can be made and consumed on this diet to help you feel fuller longer – The Wonder Soup and the Power Soup. These soups can help you get through the cold autumn nights when you’re missing the comfort of home cooked warmth without compromising your weight loss goals.
Are There Risks?
Because you’ll probably be completely changing your eating habits (specifically if you’re someone that eats high sugar, high-fat foods on a regular basis), your body will,, of course,, go through a transition period. This period generally only lasts a couple of days and could such small side effects as nausea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, and hunger pangs.
This diet isn’t recommended for anyone that’s pregnant or breastfeeding either, as it doesn’t have the caloric content required to get mother and child through the day. If you’re hesitant about starting this diet, you could definitely consult your family doctor before doing so.
All in all I think that this diet could work really well as a short term weight loss solution or detox program, but I just couldn’t see using it long term – Like any crash diet, the effects would reverse as soon as you resumed your regular eating habits. However, I do have a wedding to attend in the next couple of weeks and think that this could be exactly what I need to give myself that photo worthy inside glow.