17 Day Diet

17 Day Diet coverBy: Nikki Nies

My mother is one of the most disciplined people I know.  Seriously.  You don’t want to know how many cleanses she’s done.  I’ll always say I’ll do it with her, but after a couple of days, I can’t handle it and wimp out.  When she shared that she was starting another diet, I can’t lie, I rolled my eyes.

I don’t like the word diet, but the latest diet she’s done seems to really work.

Last year when she went on the 17 Day Diet, she lost 10 pounds and kept it off.  Imagine? So many people losing 10 pounds on a diet and then gain it back.  Since it worked so well for her last year, she decided to give it another go.  She’s currently on the end of the second round of the 17 day diet and has lost another 9 pounds.  I’m confident she’ll keep this 19 pound weight loss off.

However, I became curious.  It couldn’t be just her sheer discipline that kept the weight off could it be?  I had to explore more about the diet because I’ve only seen the pink book laying around the house, not knowing much more than that.

Created by Dr. Michael Moreno, he describes the diet as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.  I like the sound of that already!

The 17 day diet is split up into 4 cycles of 17 days each.


  1. Accelerate: carbohydrates and sugars are cut to stimulate the burning of fat; cleansing; goal is to improve digestion
  • Breakfast: Plain low-fat yogurt with fresh berries, green tea
  • Lunch: Green salad with a variety of vegetables like tomato and cucumber with a homemade vinaigrette, green tea
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon, choice of raw or steamed vegetables, green tea
  • Snacks: Sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt, choice of one fruit

2. Activate: balance of low and high caloric intake; “reset” metabolism

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites, half grapefruit or in-season fruit, green tea
  • Lunch: Baby spinach salad with tomatoes and feta and homemade vinaigrette, green tea
  • Dinner: Grilled turkey patties, side salad, green tea
  • Snacks: Fresh berries, plain low-fat yogurt

3. Achieve: After cleanse, reintroduce body into common carbohydrates; develop healthier eating habits

  • Breakfast: High-fiber cereal with skim milk, fresh berries, green tea
  • Lunch: Whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, Italian dressing; baby carrots; green tea
  • Dinner: Barbecued boneless chicken breast, steamed vegetables like asparagus or broccoli, green tea
  • Snacks: choice of one fruit, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich

4. Arrive: “maintenance” phase; reserved for those that have achieved their goals in the previous 3 cycles;enjoying foods in moderation

  • Brunch: Blueberry waffles with syrup, turkey sausage, orange juice
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, steam broccoli, green tea
  • Snacks: Sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt, raw baby carrots

Dr. Moreno stated 17 days is key as it’s the amount of time that’s needed to change our bodies’ interior and exterior.

Also, any type of exercise, light, moderate to heavy is recommended.  As long you’re moving, that’s the key!

Possible Positives of 17 Day Diet:

  • Provides direction in a sustainable way
  • Supports healthy fats and carbohydrates, lean protein,
  • Limits processed foods
  • Exercise is not central aspect—build as you go
  • Includes maintenance aspects
  • Vegetarian friendly—use soy, dairy and legumes
  • User friendly
  • Regular exercise will strengthen one’s hart and decrease cardiovascular disease
  • Meals low in fat, cholesterol and sugar
  • Allows one to lose weight at a healthy rate
  • Diabetic 1 and 2 friendly
  • Can access recipes on  the go via mobile app
  • One time cost—purchasing the book
  • Detailed meal plans offered

Possible Negatives of 17 Day Diet:

  • No research evidence that “cycling” boosts metabolism
  • Some cycles limit 1200 even during times of exercise—may feel deprived and overeat
  • Not realistic lifestyle to keep track of
  • Recommended weight loss exceeds 1-2 pound weekly weight loss
  • No online community or support available

No diet is perfect,  but compared to others, this diet seems to do the least amount of harm while providing results that people are proud of.  It’s definitely a diet that one has to be disciplined to keep up with, but if you’re ready to take the plunge, why not grab your own copy of the 17 Day Diet book and start your “activate’ cycle?

Photo Credit: The 17 Day Diet 

Sources: http://www.self.com/blogs/flash/2011/04/can-you-really-lose-12-pounds.html





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