Benefits of the GM Diet
The benefits of the GM diet have not scientifically been evaluated, however, based on the dietary constituents, nutritionists can assess the pros and cons of such a diet to have a better perspective regarding the diet and its impact on people.
As the diet encourages its followers to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, there are several studies which support the fact that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables promote a decrease in body weight over time and also decreasing waistlines , . This may be due to a calorie deficit — burning more calories than you consume since nonstarchy vegetables and fruits are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber.
The diet also curbs sugary foods and alcohol which are known to increase weight gain in individuals. Sugar-rich diets have been identified as risk factor for obesity . Alcohol consumption contributes to excess energy intake which is linked to weight gain .
The diet also allows you to make personal choices regarding the kind of fruits, vegetables, meat consumed and also the manner in which it is consumed. So there is less chance of nonobservance of the diet.
Disadvantages of GM Diet
Like any crash diet, the GM diet has its pitfalls. Some of the drawbacks of the GM diet are the following:
Lack of Scientific Backing
Till date, there are no studies which assess the impact of GM diet on the overall health of individuals. So there is no concrete evidence endorsing its claims.
There is no evidence to prove that the dietary constituents which are negative calorie foods actually burn up more calories than they provide. Some of the dietary foods constituting the GM diet supply more calories than others .
Deficient in Vital Nutrients
The GM diet is not a balanced diet as it excludes some food groups on certain days. Hence it may tend to be deficient in important nutrients. This may make the person lethargic, dizzy, and weak as the body has to undergo a sudden change from its normal routine.
The GM diet tends to be protein deficient as rich sources of protein such as eggs and meat are avoided for many days. This can adversely affect the individual by reducing the appetite and lead to weight gain .
The diet is also low in fat and other essential nutrients like iron, B12, calcium, etc., especially during the first three days.
All food groups are essential, and their absence for even a short time can adversely affect the body.
Temporary Weight Loss
The weight that is shed while on a GM diet is mainly thought to be water weight and not the loss of fat.
Glycogen, a carbohydrate-rich in water, that is stored in the liver, is the major fuel source of the body when calorie supply to the body is limited. Fats are generally burned upon physical activity. Hence this type weight loss due to water loss is temporary and is not beneficial as you regain weight upon switching back to your old eating habits.
The GM diet is an unnatural diet since it is not based on our natural lifestyle. As a result, it cannot be continued long-term. It should not be followed for more than 1 week.
It leaves the follower confused concerning what to eat on a regular basis after the diet period is over. This may lead to weight gain.
Other Possible Side-Effects include:
- Headaches and extreme cravings during the first two days.
- You’ll need strong will power to control yourself, and advance preparation may come handy.
- Hunger pangs at night, which you will need to overcome for the diet to be successful.
- Some hair loss after completing the diet, due to loss of protein.
- Feelings of fatigue, exhaustion, and tiredness.
- Loss of muscle mass.
Tips for those who still wish to try the GM diet
- The GM diet may be tried by young adults for a very short period of one week.
- One way to prepare your body for the GM diet is to start having healthier meals with loads of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains at least 3 to 4 weeks before following the GM plan.
- To keep up your energy levels on the first two days, you can eat potatoes and bananas the day before.
- Find a diet buddy to share and support your journey through the diet week.
- Check for underlying health issues that may hinder weight loss like thyroid problems, hormonal imbalance, and high cortisol and seek treatment if necessary from a qualified health specialist.
- Go to bed early by 10.30 p.m and sleep well for around 8 hours as this can also affect weight loss.
- Eat your dinner at least 2.5 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid frequent snacking before meals.
- Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
From the above evidence presented we can conclude that the GM diet does lead to weight loss, but this is unsustainable in the long run. It is also detrimental to your health if frequently done and is not backed by scientific studies.
So the best option to lose weight is to consider a balanced diet planned with the help of a qualified professional and to couple this diet with regular physical activity so that you can stay fit.
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle, in the long run, will bring fruitful results and a healthy you! Eliminating a food group even for a short time is not the answer.