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Take the 'GM Diet' for a test drive

February 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's called the "GM Diet" because it was first tried out by employees of a General Motors plant. But the diet has resurfaced in Southern California, and has become quite a trend. Is it safe? Does it work? And who came up with it? We asked the experts for answers.It was a New Year's resolution that prompted long-time friends Megan Weinsten, Nicole Howard and Nina Kleinert to try a new diet this year.

"I lost seven pounds and it's been two weeks I've kept it off," said Nicole Howard.

Seven pounds for Nicole. Megan lost five. And they say the food wasn't bad.

What is this new secret formula? The General Motors Diet, as seen on the Internet. Ever heard of it before? Probably not. That's because it was first designed in 1985 for employees of the car manufacturer.

So here's the diet in a nutshell:

Day One: Fruits, all you can eat, except bananas.

Day Two: Vegetables, with one surprise Nicole loved. "You get a large baked potato, and a pat of butter," said Nicole Howard.

Day Three: Fruits and vegetables, but no baked potato.

Day Four: Bananas and milk.

Day Five: Beef and tomatoes in limited amounts.

Day Six: Beef and vegetables, all you want.

Day Seven: Brown rice, fruit juice and all the veggies you can swallow.

We asked a registered dietitian about the GM Diet.

"It is a no-brainer," said Registered Dietitian Tamar Apelian. "It's pretty easy to follow."

According to Tamar, fruits and vegetables are always good for you, but no matter how much you eat, the calories won't add up, which means your total caloric intake will be low.

Does it work? Tamar says sure, like any other diet, if you restrict your calories, you'll lose weight, but you'll also lower your metabolic rate. That's the amount of calories your body burns each day.

And here's the deal: Usually, when dieters go back to old eating habits, the weight comes back too.

So while the GM Diet is fine for one week, Tamar says the better bet is a lifestyle change long-term.

"You know, it sounds boring, but that's really the bottom line," said Tamar Apelian. "Knowing your portion control and get yourself moving to burn more calories."

One of the women we talked to admitted she cheated a bit, so she didn't lose quite as much as her friends, but all of them say they never went hungry on this diet, and it forced them to be creative with vegetables.

Another thing about this diet: It includes a recipe for vegetable soup and you're encouraged to have as much of that soup as you want.

 

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