What Is the GM Diet?

Six bananas, one peeled, on a bright blue background
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At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and take the whole person into consideration. Prior to starting a new diet plan, consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

The GM Diet, formally the General Motors Diet, is a seven-day diet plan that promises to help you lose an eyebrow-raising number of pounds—up to 15—in just one week. One GM Diet website even purports that you can lose 10 to 15 pounds in one week without exercising at all. If that’s not enough of a red flag to keep you away from the GM Diet, perhaps the rest of this guide will clarify just how strange and unnecessary the GM Diet is. The diet involves cutting out many food groups while eating only certain foods on specific days. There is also a particular soup participants are to eat when hunger strikes.

If you peruse the FDA, USDA, and John Hopkins websites, you’ll find no mention of the GM diet, which is a good thing because this so-called miracle diet isn’t backed by any science whatsoever. It’s also been referred to as the GM Detox Diet, which is yet another red flag because self-imposed detoxes of any type may not be a good idea. Though Verywell Fit doesn’t recommend the GM Diet as a bonafide weight-loss diet or a sustainable healthy diet, it is worth discussing, if only to debunk its falsities. 

What Experts Say

“The GM diet includes healthy foods but is very regimented in how and when to eat them. For example, you can only eat fruit on the first day. The diet is unrealistic and not backed by science. Creating strict rules around food is not the healthiest psychologically.”

Kelly Plowe, MS, RD

What Can You Eat?

The GM Diet is a seven-day weight loss diet plan. It involves eating specific foods on specific days, cutting out many food groups and beverages, and drinking something called “GM Wonder Soup” when you get hungry. If that sounds odd to you, it’s only going to get weirder—this section explains in full detail the oddities of this origins-unknown diet. 

Here’s an outline of the diet structure: 

  • Day 1: Fruit only. Eat any kind of fruit except bananas and mangoes. The diet encourages you to eat melons for extra weight loss, although there are no studies that say melons specifically induce weight loss. 
  • Day 2: Vegetables only, raw or cooked. Limit potatoes to your morning meal.
  • Day 3: Eat fruit and vegetables of any kind, except bananas. Do not consume potatoes because the carbohydrates will be coming from fruit consumed.
  • Day 4: Only bananas and milk allowed. Eat up to 6 large or up to 8 small bananas, and drink three glasses of milk. The diet encourages you to drink skim milk, but doesn’t ban whole or 2% milk. At lunch, you'll consume one cup of cabbage soup.
  • Day 5: You can eat portions of beef, chicken, or fish. Other than the meat, you’re only allowed up to six tomatoes (yes, six whole tomatoes) on this day, wonder soup, and power soup.
  • Day 6: Any meat, beef, chicken, or fish, plus unlimited amounts of vegetables, but no potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn or peas. 
  • Day 7: Only brown rice, fruit, fruit juice, and vegetables.

What You Need to Know

The selection of foods you eat on the GM Diet isn’t necessarily bad (they’re all healthful foods in their own right), but the combinations in which you’re allowed to eat them do seem strange and can even contribute to troubling mindsets about food combining. This practice may lead to disordered eating habits if you follow the diet for longer than its intended seven days.

On the GM Diet, there’s no such thing as “recommended timing"—it’s mandatory. You can actually eat at whatever time of day suits you, but you’re only allowed to combine certain foods on particular days throughout the week. 

Interestingly enough, the GM Diet doesn’t specify any calorie limits or food quantity limits. You’re free to eat as much as you want, although overeating any food can be a detriment to your weight loss progress. You may not have an issue with that on the GM Diet, though, because all allowed foods are relatively low-calorie. This means you can eat a higher volume of food but take in fewer calories. 

When you get hungry in between meals, the GM Diet encourages you to eat “GM Wonder Soup,” a supposed weight-loss concoction made of celery, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cabbage. While those ingredients aren’t at all bad for you, it’s improbable that this so-called Wonder Soup will help spur weight loss. 

On each day where protein intake is required, vegetarians can substitute brown rice or cottage cheese in place of chicken, beef, or fish. Keep in mind that while the protein content of cottage cheese might be somewhat comparable to animal sources of protein, the protein content of brown rice is not. 

If you modify the GM Diet, you technically wouldn’t be doing the GM Diet anymore. I suppose you could change the diet to match your dietary preferences, such as if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet. But to be truthful, in terms of food selection, the GM Diet is rather inclusive—you can eat any fruit and vegetables, potatoes, dairy products, and several protein sources—and you can choose based on your preferences. 

The diet does leave out grains and healthy fats, but to add those back in would be to ignore the structure of the GM Diet. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though: You do need nutrients from those food groups for optimal health. 

What to Eat
  • Fruit

  • Vegetables

  • Potatoes

  • "GM Wonder Soup"

  • Milk

  • Beef, chicken, fish

  • Tomatoes

  • Brown rice (vegetarians only)

  • Cottage cheese (vegetarians only)

What Not to Eat
  • Processed packaged foods

  • Grains

GM Wonder Soup

GM Wonder Soup contains celery, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cabbage.

Processed Foods

No processed foods of any sort, including chips, crackers, pretzels, cakes, cookies, ice creams, other desserts, granola bars, frozen meals, etc. are allowed on the GM diet


No grains are allowed, such as bread and oats. There is an exception for vegetarians, who may eat brown rice in place of protein sources.

  • Includes healthy foods

  • Doesn’t restrict calories

  • Strange, unsustainable setup

  • Claims not backed by science


Despite its peculiarity and unsustainable structure, the GM Diet does hold onto—if only by a thread—some notable health attributes. Here are the few:

Includes Healthy Foods

If the (unknown) creators of the GM Diet did anything right, it was that they chose a healthy group of foods. The health benefits may be near null because of the diet structure, but nonetheless, the food choices—fruit, vegetables, animal protein, milk, and vegetable-based soup—do offer health benefits in their own right. 

Doesn’t Restrict Calories

One of the very notable things about the GM Diet compared to its other fad diet counterparts is that it doesn’t emphasize calorie restriction. Perhaps the creators of the diet were smart enough to know that eating mostly fruit and vegetables does indeed lend itself to weight loss because produce has a low calorie density

Of course, on the days you eat animal protein foods and drink milk, your calorie intake will be higher than on the fruit- or vegetable-only days. Still, there’s no emphasis on calorie counting on any of the days, which is an upside for people who struggle with keeping track of calories. It is also one less thing to worry about when the rest of the diet requires so much pondering and planning.


Don’t let the above benefits fool you into thinking the GM Diet is a sustainable, healthy eating pattern—it’s our duty to inform you of both the benefits and the drawbacks of every diet, but it does seem that the cons of the GM Diet heavily outweigh the pros. 

Strange, Unsustainable Setup

It goes without saying that the GM Diet is downright peculiar. The seven-day plan with seemingly arbitrary food combinations doesn’t lend itself to sustainability even for one week. Most people might start the diet, make it a day or two or even three in, and realize how silly or strained it feels. Plus, when hunger really strikes, who wants to drink vegetable soup instead of reaching for a hearty meal or snack?

Even if the bold claim of “up to 17 pounds lost in one week” is true (which it is very likely not), that’s not a manageable way to lose weight. Think about it with a long-term mindset: If you did lose 17 pounds in one week, what would you do next? How would you maintain your new weight? While rapid weight loss sounds appealing, you are likely to lose more water weight and lean body mass, rather than body fat.

Those are questions you must ask yourself when considering a diet like the GM Diet. Because if you gain those 17 pounds right back, those 8 bananas you ate on day four were all for naught. Instead of trying to lose weight rapidly, consider the generally accepted guidelines of losing one to two pounds per week, which you can accomplish through a daily calorie deficit.

Claims not backed by science

Evidence-based diets (a handful of which we provide at the end of this article) are the best diets to follow. When a diet has the endorsement of scientific organizations, the dietary branches of the government, and researchers in several disciplines, you know it’s a nutritious, manageable choice. 

But when a diet makes very bold claims that aren’t backed by any peer-reviewed scientific studies or prominent, trustworthy organizations— not to mention unlawfully assigns itself to the name of a well-known brand that has nothing to do with nutrition or healthy living—it doesn’t seem so worthy of trust. 

Is the GM Diet a Healthy Choice for You?

The GM Diet is somewhat one-of-a-kind, and we can see how the GM Diet stacks up against the USDA healthy eating recommendations for Americans. 

The federal dietary recommendations include five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein. The key recommendations in the federal guidelines include:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red, and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils
  • Limited saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

In terms of food options, the GM Diet surprisingly falls in line with many USDA recommendations. However, you should note a few key things: 

  • The GM Diet leaves out healthy sources of whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oats, quinoa, and barley, which are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains also contribute to preventing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. 
  • The GM Diet also leaves out healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados, containing nutrients essential to your overall health. 
  • There is no calorie limit on the GM Diet, so you might inadvertently surpass your daily calorie needs. On the flip side, you might not meet your calorie needs because most GM Diet foods are low-calorie. 

To reach your weight loss and health goals, it’s important to know how many calories you should be consuming each day, no matter if your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight. 

While most people need around 2,000 calories per day, some people may need less or more. For example, petite women and children may need fewer than 2,000 calories each day, while very active people (male and female) and men may need more than 2,000 calories each day. 

Your calorie needs differ from everyone else’s, with your age, height, weight, body composition, and activity level all playing a role, so don’t base your calorie intake on a friend, family member, colleague, partner, trainer, or anyone else. 

Although losing a large amount of weight in a short period may sound tempting, this type of weight loss is rarely sustainable and could result in weight regain. Aim to lose one to two pounds per week for a safe rate of weight loss.

Health Benefits

Emphasizes Hydration

One other great thing about the GM Diet is its focus on fluids. For one, the diet encourages you to drink a vegetable, broth-based soup, which is a great way to consume fluids and nutrients simultaneously (just watch your sodium intake). But besides the soup, the GM Diet emphasizes hydration and encourages you to drink plenty of water with and in between all of your meals. 

Focuses on Nutritious Foods

Although the GM Diet's eating patterns may not be balanced, the focus is on nutritious foods like lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, and brown rice. Also, soup is an excellent way of consuming vegetables and water and encourages weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and satiety.

Health Risks

Not Balanced

There is limited evidence that eating fruit as snacks can aid in weight loss (as opposed to eating processed snacks), but eating only fruit in a day can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes without protein and fat to help slow digestion. 

Lacks Important Nutrients

Of all the disadvantages to the GM Diet, this may be the most significant. While the GM Diet does include some nutritious foods, it leaves a glaringly wide gap in your nutrient intake because it completely cuts out two major food groups: grains (unless you’re vegetarian and choose to eat brown rice) and healthy fats. 

Without whole grains, you may find yourself struggling with a severe lack of energy (carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy ), and without healthy fats, well, a whole host of unfavorable outcomes can occur.

May Lead to a Strained Relationship with Food

Any diet that restricts food groups can lead to disordered eating habits. This is something you should consider when weighing your diet options, especially if you have struggled with disordered eating or a full-fledged eating disorder in the past. If you tend to moralize foods—that is, give foods “good” and “bad” labels—the GM Diet may not be suitable for you. You may fare better with a diet that doesn’t impose such restrictive rules and allows you to eat many nutritious foods and treats. 

A Word From Verywell

The GM Diet makes promises that aren’t backed by science. It also lacks many vital nutrients, may contribute to disordered eating habits, and doesn’t set you up for a sustainable healthy eating pattern. Rather, it’s a fad diet that won’t result in long-term weight loss or health benefits. 

Verywell Fit’s mission is to help you reach your health, fitness, and weight loss goals, and part of that is recommending diets that can assist you—and debunking the ones that won’t. 

While choosing a diet is a highly personal decision based on several factors, we recommend that you learn about some of the diets we recommend, all of which contain foods that ensure you get enough vital nutrients, allow for dietary preferences, and won’t leave you feeling restricted. 

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