Should You Try the Indian GM Diet Plan ? All You Need to Know

Last modified on October 2020
With inputs from Parvathy Menon - Dietitian and Nutritionist

Whether you’re young or old, a food-fanatic or workout enthusiast, chances are you’ve read about popular diets like the Indian GM diet plan to shed off some extra weight and ‘tone’ up.

While dieting as a concept has gained significant traction over the years, recent research paints a negative picture of the overall health of the Indian population:

  • India ranks number 2 among countries with most deaths caused by poor food choices. In a country with rampant starvation and malnutrition, this is hardly surprising
  • According to a recent study, Indian diets on the nutrition front were found to be below optimal levels.

Despite this, no one can deny the rising popularity of diet plans today. The real question then becomes:

“Why do people diet and what are the
popular diets people follow nowadays?”

Truth be told, there are hundreds of diets available in India today, each of which has a specific goal and may or may not suit everyone. While some diets encourage people to lower their calorie intake, other diets focus on eliminating certain food groups from the diet such as fat, carbohydrates, etc. Some of the popular diets followed in India are the keto diet, Intermittent fasting, Atkins diet, and the 7 day GM diet plan for weight loss. 

There’s no one diet that can be considered as the ‘best diet’. Different diets help different people depending on their body type, lifestyle, and tastes. As long as you continue to stick to one diet for a more extended period of time, you’ll see visible results.

If you are planning to follow the Indian GM diet plan, which was launched by the General Motors company in 1985 for its employees, here’s everything you should know before trying it out including a complete GM diet chart for weight loss, risks and other important guidelines.

Consult top dietitians on MFine to know more about the Indian GM diet

Chapter 1: What Is the Indian GM Diet Plan and How Does It Work?

Let’s start by looking at the evolution of the Indian GM diet plan. The General Motors diet plan was launched as part of a ‘Health Program’ in 1985 for employees of the General Motors Corporation. The primary aim of the diet was to enhance the overall quality of the workforce, in addition to improving the health of the employees and their families.

“The GM diet plan is based on the principle that the foods you consume will burn a greater number of calories than they provide for your body. This negative caloric effect aids in losing weight naturally, that too, without any exercise.”

The GM diet plan comprises a 7-day schedule to aid weight loss of about 4-7 kg for each participant. It was designed with the help of the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, with extensive testing being conducted at the Johns Hopkins Research Center.

Expert Speak: What Is the Popular Perception of the Diet?

There’s no doubt that the Indian GM diet plan gained instant recognition among the masses due to the fact that the program could help people lose huge amounts of weight in a span of just 7 days.

However, the GM diet is not free from controversies. Let’s see what some experts think about the Indian GM diet plan.

To start with, health experts claim that if you are on the GM diet, you should:

  • Not follow it continuously as it can lower your immunity and make your muscles and bones weak
  • Know it has an adverse effect on your metabolism
  • Not self-prescribe this diet randomly
  • Always consult a dietitian before trying it

Leading Australian Dietitian, Susie Burrell claims that the approach is neither new nor sustainable. She also says that this diet may fail because it requires eating the same food in one day, making it difficult for those who prefer variety in their meals.

An Indian health expert, Dr Priyanka Marakini from Healthify, talks about the side-effects of the 7 day Indian GM diet plan. She is more concerned with the diet’s disregard for balance in nutrition. According to her, those who want to pursue an Indian GM diet chart for weight loss will notice quick results but are likely to suffer from long-term effects. Chances are, they will also gain as much or more weight after going back to their regular diet.

The 7 day Indian GM diet plan came to be known by many names in India – ‘GM Wonder Soup,’ ‘The GM Diet’, ‘The General Motors Diet’, ‘The Cabbage Soup Diet’, and ‘The Sacred Heart Diet’. During the eighties, this diet plan was wildly popular. In fact, according to Google, it was one of the most-searched-for diets on the search engine in 2017.

Studies Conducted by Organizations on the GM Diet: Separating the ‘Fad’ from the Facts

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Indian GM diet plan is that it goes overboard with meat consumption, which can be detrimental to your health. According to the American Heart Association, you should opt for fish, beans, and chicken over red meat due to the lower amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in the former options.

In contrast, the Indian GM diet instructs participants to consume 40 ounces (or approximately 13 servings) of red meat in just two days. This is alarmingly unhealthy as the general recommended serving of meat should be around 3 ounces. This will also be a problem in India as the number of vegetarians is very high. Vegetarians in India are advised to replace red meat with paneer in the Indian GM diet plan.

– With contradictory diet plans flooding our social media feeds every day, it is difficult to choose a diet plan that actually works.
– Most health experts believe that any diet would work as long as people stick to it with unrelenting dedication.
– However, when it comes to the General Motors diet plan, continuing it for longer periods of time is not practical or achievable.

To get expert dietary advice, consult top dietitians on MFine!

Chapter 2: What Is the 7-Day Indian GM Diet Plan?

One of the first-and-foremost rules of the Indian GM diet plan is that the participants need to adhere to very strict rules each day in order for it to work. It is a week-long or 7-day diet which comprises of the following rules and restrictions:

Day 1: Fruits Only

Breakfast: 1 medium bowl of apple/mixed berries

Snack: 1 bowl of cantaloupe/orange

Lunch: 1 bowl of watermelon

Snack: 1 orange

Dinner: 1 bowl of kiwi

Snack: 1 bowl of mixed berries

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • Eat fruits with high water content for GM diet plan day 1, such as watermelons, cantaloupes, berries, etc.
  • You can eat any kind of fruit, except for bananas.
  • There is no restriction on the number of fruits.
  • Ideally, aim for drinking 8-12 glasses of water during the day.

Day 2: Vegetables Only

Breakfast: 1 sweet potato/baked potato

Snack: 1 bowl of cabbage

Lunch: A bowl of mixed salad containing lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumber

Snack: 1 bowl of steamed/raw broccoli

Dinner:1 bowl of kale/arugula with asparagus

Snack: 1 bowl of sliced cucumbers

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • Eat fruits with high water content for Indian GM diet plan day 1, such as watermelons, cantaloupes, berries, etc.
  • You can eat any kind of fruit, except for bananas.
  • There is no restriction on the number of fruits.
  • Ideally, aim for drinking 8-12 glasses of water during the day.

Day 3: Fruits and Vegetables

Breakfast: 1 apple or a 1 bowl of watermelon

Snack: 1 bowl of cherry tomatoes

Lunch: A bowl of mixed salad

Snack: Sliced cucumbers

Dinner: Kale salad with carrots and cucumbers, 1 bowl of strawberries on the side

Snack: 1 apple

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • You can eat both fruits and veggies during day 3 of the Indian GM diet plan, but don’t consume bananas and potatoes as you’ll already be getting carbs from fruits.
  • You can have the veggies in any form – raw, boiled, or sauteed with a spoonful of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper for taste.
  • It is from the GM diet day 3 that your body gets into the fat-burning mode and tries to shed off extra pounds that were accumulated over the years.

Day 4: Bananas and Milk

Breakfast: 2 bananas with a glass of milk

Snack: A banana smoothie with skim milk

Lunch: 1 bowl of GM wonder soup

Snack: A banana smoothie containing skim milk

Dinner:Wonder soup and 1 banana

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • On GM diet day 4, you can eat up to 8 small or 6 large bananas and 3 glasses (250 ml each) of milk (preferably skim milk).
  • Make sure to not add sugar or any type of sweetener to the milk.
  • You will get the necessary potassium and sodium nutrients from banana and calcium from milk.
  • You can also have cabbage soup when hungry. Just don’t add corn starch in it.
  • Aim for 8-12 glasses of water at least.

Day 5: Meat

Breakfast: 5–6 oz meat and 2 whole tomatoes

Lunch: 7–8 oz meat with 2 whole tomatoes

Dinner: 5–6 meat with 2 whole tomatoes

Snack: GM wonder soup or freshly-pressed tomato juice with additional 4 cups of water

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • On the Indian GM diet day 5, non-vegetarians can have beef/chicken/fish along with tomatoes. In terms of the recommended quantity, you can eat up to 6 whole tomatoes and 250 gms of meat of your choice. Consuming meat provides the necessary iron and protein.
  • Vegetarians can have cottage cheese (Paneer)/tofu and brown rice along with 6 tomatoes instead.
  • You need to consume the recommended amount of tomatoes as they’re rich in fibre and improve digestion.
  • If you don’t like your tomatoes raw, you can have tomato soup.
  • For the GM diet plan day 5, you can have up to 6 eggs instead of meat or paneer.
  • Aim to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water to flush out excess uric acid.

Day 6: Meat and Vegetables

Breakfast: 5–6 oz meat with 1 bowl of vegetables

Lunch: 7–8 oz meat with 1 bowl of vegetables

Dinner: 5–6 oz meat with wonder soup

Snack: GM Wonder soup

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • On the Indian GM diet day 6, you can have beef/chicken/fish/eggs and vegetables and skip tomatoes.
  • You can consume up to 250 gms of any kind of meat and all varieties of vegetables excluding potatoes.
  • Vegetarians can replace meat with cottage cheese, brown rice, and vegetables.
  • You can have vegetable soup anytime you feel hungry.
  • Aim to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water.
  • By GM diet day 6, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your body weight as well as the appearance which acts as instant motivation.

Day 7: Rice, Fruit, and Vegetables

Breakfast: 1 orange or a bowl of watermelon with a bowl of brown rice

Lunch: 1 bowl of brown rice and 1 glass of sugar-free fruit juice

Dinner: 1 bowl of brown rice with raw/cooked vegetables

Snack: A bowlful of berries, 1 citrus fruits, or wonder soup

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • On the Indian GM diet plan day 7, you can eat brown rice, fruit juice, and an unlimited quantity of vegetables.
  • You can drink 4 glasses of fruit juice but make sure to not add any sugar, honey, or sweetener.
  • Drink up to 8 glasses of water.
Key Pointers to Remember
  • Typically, people tend to lose weight in the first three days of the Indian GM diet plan as the calorie intake is restricted to 1,000-1,200 every day.
  • Since this is a low-carb diet, low-intensity workouts such as yoga are recommended.
  • The first 3 days of the Indian GM weight loss diet have no restriction on the quantity. That said, you should eat more than the suggested amount on the remaining days for better weight loss results.
  • After following the 7 day Indian GM diet plan for weight loss, you’ll notice that your weight has reduced by a minimum of 4-7 kg as compared to when you started the diet.

Book an online doctor consultation on MFine to get treated by the best doctors near you!

Substitute Foods Allowed During the GM Diet
  • The Indian GM diet schedule allows you to swap regular milk for soy milk, figs for bananas, beef for chicken or fish, beef for cottage cheese, etc.
  • There are no alternatives for tomatoes. It is a must on this diet.
  • Along with the plan mentioned above, you can have the green tea/black coffee/black tea (without sugar) or sprouts (in limited quantities) or a handful of nuts.
  • To stay within the calorie limits, have only 1 additional food per day.

Foods That Are Not Allowed While on the Indian GM Diet


Not to exercise the first three days


Fruit juices only on day7


Alcohol & Soda




Packaged food items


No to sugar

  • Avoid alcoholic drinks and diet sodas as they contain empty calories and can make you gain weight.
  • Don’t have beans (think: kidney, lima, pinto, etc.) as they’re high in calorie content.
  • Avoid junk foods, white rice, flour, pasta, sugar, etc. at all costs.

Who Shouldn’t Follow the GM Diet Plan?

  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women.
  • Those with physically active routines or physically demanding jobs. For example, people who do strength training.
  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes patients and those with thyroid issues.
  • Women with PCOD/PCOS issues.

– The Indian GM diet plan follows a strict 7-day routine that should be followed to the T.
– It mainly focuses on consuming complex carbs, along with low-calorie foods and an increased water intake which can result in a significant weight loss within 7 days.

To get expert dietary advice on the GM diet, consult top dietitians on MFine!

Chapter 3: What Does a Indian GM Diet Menu Look Like?

The Indian GM diet plan menu comprises of fruits, vegetable, dairy products, pulses, meat (but not beef), etc. For vegetarians, the plan aims at offering suitable substitutes for meat without compromising on the effectiveness of the diet program.

Here’s a detailed GM diet plan with a day-to-day menu for your reference:

Day 1

Breakfast : 1 medium apple, a few plums or 1 orange

Mid-meal : ½ bowl of sliced muskmelon

Lunch : 1 bowl of watermelon

Mid-meal : 1 large orange or mosambi

Snack : 1 cup of muskmelon and pomegranate salad

Dinner: ½ cup of watermelon


Day 2

Breakfast : 1 cup of boiled potatoes

Snack : ½ bowl of cucumber

Lunch : 1 cup of lettuce, spinach, cucumber, and capsicum

Snack : ½ cup sliced carrots and a glass of lemon juice with a pinch of salt

Snack : 1 cup boiled broccoli and green peas

Dinner: 1 cucumber


Day 3

Breakfast : ½ bowl of muskmelon

Snack: 1 cup of pineapple or pear

Lunch : 1 cup of lettuce, spinach, cucumber, and capsicum

Snack : ½ cup sliced carrots and a glass of lemon juice with a pinch of salt

Snack : 1 cup of boiled broccoli and green peas

Dinner: 1 cucumber


Day 4

Breakfast : 2 bananas

Snack : 1 banana

Lunch : Milkshake (2 bananas + 1 glass of milk + a dash of cocoa powder)

Snack : 2 bananas

Snack : 1 banana, 1 glass of milk

Dinner: 1 glass of milk


Day 5

Breakfast : 3 tomatoes

Snack : 2 tomatoes

Lunch : ½ cup of brown rice, sautéed assorted veggies

Dinner: 1 bowl of brown rice, 1 tomato, ½ cup of sautéed veggies


Day 6

Breakfast : 1 glass carrot juice

Lunch : ½ cup of brown rice + ½ cup of veggies

Snack : 1 cup of cucumber slices

Dinner: ½ bowl of brown rice, ½ cup of veggies, chicken/cottage cheese


Day 7

Breakfast : 1 glass of orange/apple juice

Lunch : ½ cup of brown rice, ½ cup of sautéed veggies

Snack : 1 cup of watermelon/few assorted berries

Dinner: 1 bowl of GM Soup

Guidelines to Keep in Mind:
  • Make sure to consume 8-12 glasses of water every day.
  • On day 1, consume lots of watermelons and muskmelons as these are fiber-rich and low in fat.
  • When cooking the vegetables, use olive oil or butter only sparingly.
  • You can have the GM Diet soup from the third day onwards as it replenishes your body and offers all the required nutrients. Plus, it will break the monotony of food items and provide a much-needed boost to your taste buds.
  • On day 4, you can substitute bananas and milk with fig and soy milk.
  • The Indian menu for day 6 of the GM diet states that vegetarians can opt for a cup of brown rice, while non-vegetarians can include a lean protein source like fish or chicken breast in their diet.

– The Indian GM diet plan is an improvised version of its Western counterpart where beef is substituted for meats such as chicken, fish, etc.
– Otherwise, the plan follows all the same rules and restrictions as the generalized GM diet plan and is as effective (if not more).

Consult top dietitians on MFine to know more about the Indian GM diet menu!

Chapter 4: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Indian GM Diet?

Like every other diet plan, the Indian GM diet, too, has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore these.

  • The plan encourages a higher intake of healthy fruits and vegetables among the participants. Since fruits and vegetables are
    low in calories and high in fiber content, this keeps you full for long periods of time and suppresses fat accumulation in the body.
  • The GM diet program cleanses the system from the inside out as it encourages the person to stay hydrated at all times.
  • It improves digestion as the foods you eat are high in fiber and help improve your bowel movement. It also boosts metabolism.
  • It helps people cut out fried and junk food. In general, people no longer find it appealing.
  • The Indian General Motors diet plan is based on the principle of lower calorie intake, contributing to weight loss as the body burns more calories than it consumes.
  • The GM diet, in general, has less sugar content, with the only sugar intake being from ‘fructose’ – the natural sugar found in fruits.
  • Your skin improves, and there’s a natural glow to it due to detoxification and better digestion.
  • The Indian GM diet program has no scientific evidence to back it up.
  • The GM diet is not a long-term and sustainable weight loss solution.
  • Since the diet eliminates certain food groups altogether, it is deficient in several essential minerals and vitamins.
    For instance, you’ll be missing out on healthy fats and protein during the first 3 days of the diet.
  • It can cause behavioral side-effects due to feelings of lethargy, tiredness, fatigue, etc. in the first two days caused by a low-calorie intake.
  • Oftentimes, all the weight lost is gained back quickly as people fall into old eating habits and patterns. Hence, this diet only works if you want short-term weight loss.

This diet is also known to cause many other health issues, such as:

A. Muscle Weakness: During the initial 3 days, you’ll not be getting any protein, and hence it can result in muscle weakness.

B. Dehydration: We need fluids to foster metabolism, so you might suffer from incessant thirst and dehydration. That’s why it’s essential that you drink plenty of water during the GM diet plan.

C. Headaches: Since your body uses all the stored carbs and available protein in the muscles, it can cause an excessive
generation of toxic substances which can eventually lead to headaches.

D. Fatigue: It can cause poor physical performance while doing workouts as the stored glycogen is utilized to sustain essential bodily functions.

– All in all, the GM diet plan should always be used as a detoxification diet instead of a pure weight loss diet.
– The Indian General Motors diet plan is helpful if you wish to lose weight for an occasion, but remember that more often than not, it is likely that you’ll gain back the weight with time and old eating habits.
– This is why health experts recommend that you follow a healthy and nutritionally well-balanced diet along with regular exercise to enjoy permanent weight loss results.

To know more about the pros and cons of the GM diet, consult top dietitians on MFine!

Chapter 5: The Final Verdict: Should You Try the Indian GM Diet Plan?


“GM diet is popular but it is not recommended as it can harm your health in the long run. It weakens your immunity, which can lead to multiple health problems. It is best to eat a balanced diet and avoid processed and oily food to lose weight. It might take up more time but but that is the healthy way to do it”
– Parvathy Menon, Dietitian and Nutritionist

The straight answer is ‘No.’ You can try a tweaked version to suit your requirements (after consulting with a dietitian), however, you should avoid these short-term diets. Even though the Indian GM diet plan works in the short run, it is harmful to your body in the long run. Hence, it is highly recommended that you meet a dietician instead of experimenting with a diet that’s not supported by science or offers drastic, short-term results.

To that end, here are a few key advantages of meeting a dietician:

  • You can get access to a personalized eating plan that supports healthy eating patterns.
  • You can get valuable insights into where you might be going wrong with respect to your workouts, behavioral changes, eating patterns, etc.
  • The diet plan can be tailor-made to include a wide variety of foods with the appropriate portion sizes.
  • The dietician will also factor in key health markers such as your body type, health history, unknown allergies, etc. into the diet plan.
  • This can improve overall health while leading to a more permanent form of weight loss.
  • You’ll get expert guidance, emotional support, and resourceful help along the way – even when you falter.

– People often think that they ‘know’ what to eat and simply lack the discipline to act on it. However, sometimes the guidance of an expert is necessary.
– An experienced dietician can help you lose weight and also take care of other health issues that may crop up if your diet is poor.
– Simply put, for a more holistic approach towards weight management, seeking expert guidance is paramount.

To know if the Indian GM diet is right for you or not, consult top dietitians on MFine!

Chapter 6: FAQs

Q1. How often can I try the Indian GM Diet Plan?

You should avoid repeating the Indian GM diet immediately after completing it. Ideally, you should consult a health expert to understand the frequency based on your needs and requirements.

Q2. How much weight can the Indian GM diet help me lose?

If done properly, you can lose up to 7 kg with the Indian GM diet within a week.

Q3. Does the Indian GM diet help reduce belly fat?

Spot weight reduction cannot be obtained with diets in general. With this diet plan, you will lose the overall body weight, which may or may not include fat reduction.

Q4. Why am I not losing weight on the Indian GM diet?

Weight loss differs for each individual and is based on several factors such as genes, age, gender, weight, muscle mass, level of physical activity, among others. If you’re doing the diet continuously, you might not lose weight as it can slow down your metabolism and prevent you from losing weight further.

Q5. Is the Indian GM diet harmful?

The Indian GM diet plan is not a good long-term weight loss solution and can cause nutritional deficiencies in addition to other health problems if done continuously and without expert guidance.

Q6. How can I maintain weight loss post the Indian GM diet?

In order to prevent weight gain, you have to change your food habits and lifestyle for good and say goodbye to unhealthy eating habits. As long as you’re sticking to a well-balanced diet plan and exercising regularly, you’ll be able to maintain your lost weight.

Q7. Can I consume salt while on the Indian GM diet?

Yes, salt, especially sea salt, is essential to prevent electrolyte imbalance. That said, don’t go overboard. You can add a pinch of salt in your food.

The Way Forward

Unsupervised diets can do more harm than good. As appealing as the Indian GM diet plan sounds, it should not be done without expert guidance. Prolonged use can cause nutritional deficiencies and other health problems.

For any weight loss to be permanent and long-term, it is recommended that you consume a well-balanced diet and make lifestyle changes for good. Additionally,
getting regular physical exercise, drinking plenty of water, and sleeping for 7-8 hours can help achieve long-term weight loss.

If you feel like there’s too much-scattered information available online, or simply don’t know where to begin, please consult a healthcare professional or
a licensed dietician
who can guide you right. They will craft a personalized weight-loss plan for you which will be better suited to your body’s needs.

Long story short, the Indian GM diet plan is more of a crash diet which may give immediate but definitely not sustainable results.

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