There was more than one reason I wanted to do the GM Diet Cleanse:
- I had been eating very unhealthy foods for a few weeks in a row, and there was something appealing about having my body “cleansed.”
- I had never done a cleanse before.
- I was skeptical of cleanses—do they work? Do you actually feel better afterwards? Do you actually lose weight? What are the side effects? I had so many questions, and I could only read so many blogs and articles online to answer these questions. I figured the only way to get some answers was to actually do it.
Let me be clear: I was not looking to purely lose weight or lose weight at all while on the cleanse. In general, I like to focus on feeling good, both mentally and physically, rather than my weight. And I do feel good about my body, most of the time. I’m not overweight, but I do indulge in fried foods or desserts occasionally. I knew I could be healthier, so I was curious to see if this would help.
The GM Diet is 7 days long. It claims that you’ll lose 10-17 pounds throughout those days, as long as you stick to the routine. Throughout the week, you can drink water, black coffee or black tea, but it recommends you stick to only water.
Day One: Fruits
Calorie intake: 274 calories
On day one of the cleanse, you’re supposed to only eat fruits and focus on melons if you really want to lose weight. You’re restricted from eating bananas. For breakfast, I had a handful of cut up cantaloupe and water. Around lunchtime, I started to get a severe headache, which I assumed was from the lack of caffeine. I have around 1-2 cups of coffee per day, but I was trying to stay away from caffeine the whole week. More cantaloupe and a handful of raspberries was on the menu for lunch.
I had a really busy day that distracted me from not eating, but once I got home I had half an apple. Throughout the day, I didn’t notice I was hungry at any point, but I assume that’s because the calories I had the night before carried over (I had a pretty big dinner). The excitement of starting the cleanse project was probably enough adrenaline to keep me from starving, too.
Day Two: Vegetables
Calorie intake: 424 calories
On day two, you’re supposed to eat only raw or boiled vegetables. You can have one baked potato with a pad of butter. I struggled this day. For breakfast, I had half a baked potato with a little butter. It was a good start to the day and kept me full for awhile. I packed boiled broccoli, boiled green beans and raw red and green bell peppers for work. I ate two bites of the cooked veggies and then decided to munch on the bell peppers. I don’t mind eating vegetables, but I did learn that the way you prepare them has a huge effect on how they taste. I started getting another headache, so I caved and got myself a nice black coffee, which helped me stay full after the light lunch.
After work, my family was getting dinner, so I joined them. The waitress definitely rolled her eyes when I asked for iceberg lettuce with no dressing and a baked potato, but it might have been the best meal of the week. I drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil (not sure if you’re allowed to do that) on the lettuce and only ate half the baked potato. I may start trying plain olive oil on more salads—if it’s good olive oil, it adds a nice round flavor.
I started to realize on this day that food is much more than just calories. In our culture, it’s a way to socialize. If you’re focused on how hungry you are throughout a meal, it’s hard to pay attention to the people around you.
Day Three: Fruits and Vegetables
Calorie intake: 656 calories
This day, you can eat any fruits or vegetables except for bananas and potatoes. This was probably my favorite day of the whole week—I think I could do this (meatless Mondays, perhaps?) more frequently. I ate an orange for breakfast, which was really refreshing after all the vegetables the day before. I also woke up craving a banana, but I knew I had to wait until the next day to eat one. I was also extremely thirsty in the morning, so I worked on increasing my water intake.
Throughout the day, I noticed that I got more hunger pains than I had the previous two days. I tried eating more fruit to make up for this, like the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries I had for lunch, but it was difficult without protein. I also completely forgot corn was a vegetable, so I ate a bunch of corn for dinner with apples, raspberries, blueberries and another orange.
Day Four: Milk and Bananas
Calorie intake: 1,030 calories
Day four is literally what it says: only eat milk and bananas. I had three glasses of 2% milk throughout the day, and I ate five bananas. This day is when I really started to feel disgusting. I was still really hungry, but every time I ate a banana I felt fatter and fatter. I tried again to increase my water intake to make up for the amount of bananas I ate, but especially as someone that doesn’t drink a lot of water to begin with, I found this really difficult. The lack of balance in my diet really had an effect on both my mental and physical health. I was extremely moody throughout the day, and all I could think about was a nice nap that I didn’t have time to take.
Day Five: Tomatoes and Beef
Calorie intake: 1,315 calories
Again, this day was literally just tomatoes and beef. You were required to eat six tomatoes and 20 ounces of beef. I was excited for the beef in the morning, so I ate one hamburger patty with two tomatoes. The protein felt good to begin with. I ate that again for lunch, but during lunch I already noticed how much acid was building up in my system. After not eating meat for four days, my body was not used to the red meat, especially when paired with acidic tomatoes. I only ate five of the tomatoes (oops), but I did eat 20 ounces of beef.
Day Six: Beef and Vegetables
Calorie intake: 1,215 calories
There’s no requirement for how much of each of these you need to eat, but on day six you eat beef and vegetables. I woke up even thirstier than the day before, so I started out drinking two full glasses of water. I’ve had a problem with acid reflux in the past, and the beef that I ate the day before really got to me. I decided to stick with bell peppers for the veggie, so I ate those for breakfast with a little beef. Honestly, I tried to avoid eating all day because I was so sick of the food I was allowed to eat. I was craving some good, salty bread (as shown in the text message). By the end of the day, I was so sick of looking at meat. I felt nauseous, greasy and disgusting, and I was ready to quit.
Day Seven: Vegetables, Brown Rice and Fruit Juice
Calorie intake: 1,036 calories
The fruit juice was my savior on this day. For breakfast, I had grape-cranberry juice and then for lunch I had apple juice. I had brown rice throughout the day, but most of the time it had to be reheated or cold, which meant it was pretty gross. I also mixed in some broccoli with the rice. I was so excited to be done with this cleanse.
I noticed that even on the days that it felt like I was eating a lot, I was not consuming enough calories. Take day three, for example: I ate a bunch of fruits and vegetables, but I only consumed 656 calories throughout the day. My personal calorie goal on an average day is somewhere in between 1,200 and 1,500 calories, so the 656 calories that I consumed was less than half my goal. This alone is not a healthy diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. I ended up losing one pound after the entire cleanse, and I was lightest on the beginning of the third day when I was four pounds below my starting weight. Obviously, the diet’s claim to losing 10-17 pounds wasn’t accurate.
Throughout the week, I mostly realized that my life revolves around food. This cleanse made me not want to go out to eat, it made me want to be less social. I respect food so much, so it turning against me during this cleanse was a shock to my system, literally and figuratively. I urge anyone looking to do a cleanse to research how healthy the diet is and most of all, be careful and aware of what you’re doing to your body.