The 17 day diet is the brainchild of medical doctor Mike Moreno, a Beverly Hills physician who created a fast weight loss plan to prescribe to his overweight patients.
With endorsements from Dr. Phil and The Doctors this diet plan has become one of the most popular methods for “fast track” fat loss on the market promising weight loss of up to 15 pounds within a 17 day period.
It relies on a low calorie, low carb approach to eating while using a system known as “body confusion” to maintain a high metabolic rate without the need for excessive exercise or starvation.
The actual science behind the diet sounds very impressive and because it was created by a licensed doctor and is backed by credible celebrity endorsements it seems like a real winner … but does it really work?
Origins of the 17 Day DietThe 17 Day Diet first appeared on on the national and global scene after its creator, Dr. Mike Moreno, had a guest appearance on the Dr Phil show back in 2010 to promote his self published diet book.
Immediately after the Dr. Phil endorsement Moreno was invited onto the show The Doctors and was also given an enthusiastic endorsement there.
After these celebrity endorsements went public interest in the 17 day diet exploded and Dr. Moreno’s self publishing efforts were not enough to meet the demands for his book from of the weight loss market.
It was then that he started to consider offers from various publishing houses for publishing rights.
The Science of the 17 Day Diet Plan
According to Dr. Moreno anyone following the diet and exercise advice he offers can expect to lose up to 15 pounds of body fat within a 17 day period. Even modest weight loss should amount to at least 10 pounds according to proponents of this diet.
Given Moreno’s remarks on the Dr. Phil show and occasional references to how muscle building is performed it seems his “body confusion” is based on the concept of “muscle confusion” used by top professional body builders.
Just as body builders change their training routine to ensure their muscles do not get accustomed to lifting specific weights in specific ways the 17 day diet also alters the routine of eating and exercise to ensure your metabolism doesn’t get a chance to get accustomed to your weight loss efforts.
How it Works
This diet is cyclical in the fact that it is divided into 4 distinct and separate phases.
Although its name might suggest otherwise this diet does not actually last 17 days. It is designed to be ongoing. The 17 day diet title is due to the fact the it follows a 17 day cycle not that it only lasts 17 days.
In other words the diet is designed to be followed indefinitely or until your reach your desired weight goal but follows a 17 day cycle of changing how you eat and how you exercise.
The 17 days are divided into 4 cycles.
Cycle 1: Accelerate.
This kicks starts the diet with a rapid weight loss regime that focuses on cleansing the body of harmful fat-storing chemicals while promoting natural fat burning and discouraging fat storage.
Cycle 2: Activate.
During the activation period you get to alter your metabolic rate and raise it to burn more fat even at rest.
Cycle 3: Achieve.
This phase is all about the development of new healthy eating habits and retraining your mind and body to eat less carbs and more protein. The metabolic rate is increased even more with the use of aerobic exercise.
Cycle 4: Arrive.
During this phase you wind down your efforts while maintaining specific eating habits and being sensible with your portion sizes. However, you are allowed to eat just about anything you want at the weekends.
The 17 Day Diet Exercise advice
The recommended exercise for the 3 cycles is as follows:
17 minutes per day of moderate exercise.
This can be as simple as brisk walking or as complex as aerobics.
17 minutes per day of moderate exercise similar to that of cycle 1.
40 – 60 minutes of aerobic activity.
This is the most intense exercise phase.
Regular moderate but daily exercise with 1 hour aerobic activity at the weekends,
17 Day Diet Meal Plan
Although the 17 day diet menu is completely customizable to suit vegetarians, vegans, and even ‘celiacs’ it does come with detailed meal plans and even has a supplemental 17 day diet menu cookbook.
Although it is fully customizable this diet comes with detailed recipes which eliminates the need to fret over your exact calorie count and whether or not you are consuming too many carbs, not enough protein or whether you’re just plain doing it wrong.
Watch the video below for some examples of what it offers and what Dr. Moreno personally recommends you should be eating.
17 Day Diet Review Conclusion
Will you lose weight following the 17 day diet?
Yes you will.
However, it is doubtful that all the weight you see disappearing from the scales will be pure body fat, though most of it will be. You will lose some muscle and a lot of water.
In addition the amount of weight you lose (and the amount of body fat) will depend largely on the amount of exercise you do. Although there are weight loss programs that are based solely on changing your eating habits almost all diets must be used in conjunction with exercise if they are to be effective.
If you do follow the exercise advice and stick to the meal plans then you will lose weight and you will most definitely by eating healthier.
The Pros and the Cons
Here are the pros and cons of following the 17 day diet.
This is healthy eating at its best. No need to starve yourself or eat cardboard-like food.
By choosing low-carb, low-calorie alternatives, bulking up on proteins and vegetables while avoiding starchy high carbohydrate foods you get to eat a lot more than you would on a “normal” diet.
There are no strict portion sizes but the rule-of-thumb is to eat slowly until you are satisfied but not to overeat until you feel stuffed.
The food choices are extremely healthy and offer high levels of energy. You will feel better while on this diet and will mostly likely experience higher energy levels, more mental alertness and less physical fatigue at the end of the day.
Protein plays a large role in this diet and as most people rely on meat for their source of protein some vegetarians and vegans mistakenly skip researching this diet.
However, all meat used in the diet can be substituted with vegan alternatives as can the diary.
The diet is also friendly for those who suffer from celiac disease as long as you personally ensure you substitute specific food types within the menu for gluten free alternatives. This will not diminish the overall effectiveness of the program.
Although not all diets created by medical doctors are considered to be healthy the great thing about this doctor created diet is that you can be assured you are getting a healthy eating plan.
Dr. Moreno has insured diabetics can successfully follow this diet advice as well as everyone else.
Apart from its time-consuming nature (see “cons” below) this diet is extremely easy to follow and maintain. What’s more it is also easy to restart it once your initial 17 days are over. This can lead to significant and speedy weight loss as well as bringing a host of health benefits.
This diet can be costly. Eating healthily in this age of convenience processed food can be a challenge to your pocketbook.
If you follow this diet then you will need to set aside some time for food preparation.
There are varied meal plans within the 17 day diet menu but you need to purchase fresh produce which entails taking time out for daily shopping and then you must prepare the meals the day of consumption to keep it fresh and healthy.
You can’t just prepare your week’s meals at the weekend and then freeze them as this is counterproductive to the basic essentials of the diet.
The exercise requirements can be quite demanding especially when you reach the third cycle of the diet plan when you are expected to spend as much as 60 minutes per day doing some form of aerobic activity.
For many people it can be difficult to find just 20 minutes for a brisk walk with the family let alone finding an hour for solo exercise daily even if they are willing and eager to do it.
This diet does not provide the daily recommended amounts of certain vitamins, such as vitamin B, and does not provide the recommended amounts of calcium either.
Although in the short this may not cause much of a problem (though we recommend taking some form of supplement anyway just to be safe) long term use of this diet will require you to take some form of multivitamin supplement (preferably in soluble or liquid form) and an additional calcium supplement.
If you feel that this diet is the right fit for you be sure to give it a try. You may not get the same rapid results when compared to alternative diets, such as the cabbage soup diet, but you will get great results that you can maintain and feel a lot healthier.
If you feel that you would rather try a faster approach be sure to read about the dangers of crash diets before you try anything drastic.