Wonder Soup Diet

by Jon Williams ; Updated July 18, 2017

A young couple prepare making wonder soup.

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The wonder soup diet, also known as the GMC diet or General Motors diet, has been floating around for decades. Allegedly commissioned by the General Motors Company in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration for the exclusive use by GM staff, this fad diet has long been disavowed by GM, which maintains it had nothing to do with the plan, according to India Parenting.


The premise of the seven-day diet plan is that you can eat as much as you want of the wonder soup, along with particular foods that are allowed on each of the seven days. The soup and the details of the seven-day diet are nearly identical to the cabbage soup diet, which is circulated widely on sites such as Cabbage Soup Diet. Promoters of the GMC diet claim you can lose 11 to 12 lbs. in a week.

The Soup

You’ll find variations, but the basic soup includes 28 oz. of water, six large onions, two green peppers, three large diced tomatoes, one bunch of celery, one head of shredded cabbage and salt and pepper to taste.

Daily Foods

The foods allowed each day vary. For example, on the first day you eat all the fruit you want except bananas. On Day 2, you eat all the vegetables you want and have one potato with dinner. Day 3 is fruits and veggies, but no potato. Day 4 you can have as many as eight bananas and three glasses of milk. On Day 5, you eat 20 oz. of lean beef and six whole tomatoes and on Day 6, you eat all the vegetable and lean beef you want. Day 7 you can have fruit juice, brown rice and all the vegetables you want.

Irrational Rationale

Promoters of this diet offer this strange mix of daily foods as a strategy to drastically reduce calories and detoxify your system. Foods offered one day are there to compensate for deficits on others. For example, on Day 4 you can go bananas on the bananas to make up for the potassium and sodium you have lost or excluded from your diet on previous days. Promoters of the diet wrongly assert that the soup burns more calories than it contains, a claim that is not true and raises questions about the scientific merits of the diet. This diet is basically a crash diet that counts on severe restriction of food and a drastically reduced calorie intake to create quick weight loss. The problem is that yo-yo dieting is usually not an effective strategy to attain and sustain long-term weight loss.

The Wonder

The greatest wonder about this diet is how people can believe it is anything more than a fad that has passed its expiration date. Feel free to fill up on the soup, as it has healthy ingredients and no doubt is low in calories. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, avoid crash diets. Reduce your calorie consumption, eat a balanced diet and exercise. In the case of the GMC diet, exercise some judgment and take a pass.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Jon Williams is a clinical psychologist and freelance writer. He has performed, presented and published research on a variety of psychological and physical health issues.