The 17 day diet was created in 2010 by Dr. Mike Moreno, a family practice physician residing in California. He claims that it is possible to lose 5 to 7 kg in just 17 days. In this diet, he targets cleansing the body, burning fat, resetting your metabolism, as well as developing new eating habits. Let’s break it down for you…
What does the diet contain?
The diet is made up of 4 cycles: Accelerate, Activate, Achieve, and Arrive. The plan is cyclic in nature in order for the dieter to avoid boredom, but at the same time lose weight quickly. Each phase is 17 days in length and hence the name the “17 day diet.” Dr. Moreno refers to his diet as “clean” eating, meaning that no fast food is allowed. In addition to dieting, Dr. Moreno recommends a 17 minute cardio workout to follow each day. It doesn’t have to be at the gym, it can be a home workout as well.
What are the items I can eat during each phase?
Dr. Moreno refers to the first cycle as “ Accelerate” since he targets accelerated weight loss. It is important here for the dieter to remove all sorts of sugar and alcohol from their meals and snacks. Dr. Moreno stresses cleansing the body from these non-needed items will help you lose weight. He differentiates his diet from other types of diets in that he does not recommend fasting. Foods recommended in this phase are: green tea, eggs, vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli), olive oil, fish, chicken, yogurt, and fresh fruit.
The second cycle is called the “Activate” phase since he is activating and stimulating the dieter’s metabolism. The challenge here is that with this cycle, Dr. Moreno is targeting a “metabolic body confusion plan” where he tricks the body to lose weight by changing strategies. Basically, he recommends increasing and decreasing caloric intake during this cycle in order to challenge your body to burn more calories. Foods recommended in this phase are: lean meat, brown rice, baked potato, shellfish, and oats.
Cycle 3 is referred to as the “Achieve” phase since it involves introducing more carbohydrates into your diet plan such as granola bars, whole wheat bread, cereal, and alcohol in moderation. The target here is to avoid boredom and switch around food items.
The final phase, cycle 4, is “Arrive.” It includes weight maintenance and paying attention to what you eat on weekdays by following what you learned during the above 3 phases. The nice thing about this phase though is that you can have diet breaks on the weekends.
Here’s an example of a 17-Day Diet menu for week 1 (Accelerate phase) created by Dr. Mike Moreno.
Lunch: Shrimp or chicken soup
Dinner: Beef stew
Breakfast: Mixed berry crepe
Lunch: Chicken and cheese patty
Dinner: Beef tenderloin with olive oil
Lunch: Broccoli & beef
Breakfast: Spinach & ricotta cheese omelet
Lunch: Shrimp bowl
Dinner: Baked chicken with roasted apples
Lunch: Baked fish
Dinner: Fish paella
Breakfast: Breakfast Crepe
Lunch: Salmon fillet with roasted peppers
Dinner: Rice or lentils
Lunch: Chicken Bowl
Finally, the diet is based on scientific evidence that Dr. Moreno provides in his book; he claims that you should follow the “17 day diet” in order to avoid weight plateaus and boredom that are common among traditional diet plans.
In my opinion, this diet will indeed lead to weight loss since you will be cutting out calories, fats, sugars, fast food, and incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as whole grains. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The name is somewhat confusing and misleading to the reader since it is referred to as the “17 day diet,” however if you read the diet carefully, each phase is actually 17 days. In the end, after following any diet plan, weight loss is short lived if you resume old habits!