The 17 Day Diet is one of the most popular weight loss programs created by Dr. Mike Moreno. The doctor claims to help men and women lose up to 10–12 pounds (4.5–5.4 kg) in just 17 days. The key to this diet is to change food combinations and calorie intake in each 17-day cycle.
Dr. Moreno believes that changing a person’s diet in this way prevents boredom and keeps the metabolism in a state of “confusion” to accelerate weight loss and avoid plateaus. However, many claims associated with this diet are not supported by quality studies.
This 17 Day Diet Review will show you whether this program can help you lose weight.
What is The 17 Day Diet?
The 17 Day Diet was created by Dr. Mike Moreno. His book was first published in 2010.
The 17 Day Diet is suggested to help you lose weight quickly and develop healthy eating habits. The key to this diet is to constantly change food and calorie intake, which is said to increase your metabolism.
Who is Dr. Mike Moreno?
Dr. Mike’s full name is Dr. Michael Rafael Moreno. He graduated from the University of California at Irvine and took medicine course at Drexel University (formerly Hahnemann Medical School).
After his Kaiser Permanente residency in Fontana, California, he moved to San Diego, where he is currently practicing Family Medicine.
Before his workday began in 2008, he participated in a show called “Walk with Your Doc,” which aired every Tuesday and Thursday morning. It has grown into a thriving community when Dr. Mike offered to motivate a patient to exercise and eat better.
How Does 17 Day Diet Work?
The 17 Day Diet is divided into four cycles (all of which will be discussed in detail below). The first three cycles last 17 days each, while the last cycle is intended to be followed for life.
As you go through the cycles, the diet introduces new strategies and food options.
It is worth noting that the diet does not tell you how many calories you should eat during each cycle. However, you gradually increase your calorie intake by introducing more calorie-rich options with each cycle.
The 4 Cycles of the 17 Day Diet
Cycle 1: Accelerate
Dr. Moreno claims that a person can lose 10–12 pounds (4.5–5.4 kg) during the first 17 days by:
- Increasing protein intake.
- Improving digestive health.
- Reducing sugar, sweets and refined carbohydrates.
- Cleansing the body of possible toxins that affect the metabolism.
During the Accelerate Cycle, it is allowed to eat unlimited protein and vegetable options from the specified Accelerate food list. Most carbohydrate-rich foods are prohibited during this cycle.
However, fruits are an exception, although you are not allowed to eat any fruit after 2 P.M. The book states that it is harder to burn carbohydrates later in the day, since you are less active.
Other guidelines to follow include:
- Buy skinless chicken or take off the skin.
- Avoid alcohol and sugar to improve digestion.
- Eat two probiotic foods daily to promote digestive health.
- Eat slowly and chew well until you feel full.
- Drink eight glasses of 240 ml (8 oz) water per day.
- Exercise at least 17 minutes per day.
Cycle 2: Activate
During Activate cycle, the person must alternate the amount of calories taken between days.
On low calorie days, simply eat as you would during the Accelerate cycle. On the days with the most calories, you can add two servings of naturally starchy carbohydrates, such as legumes, grains and tubers.
To continue this cycle, spend a day in the Accelerate plan, the next day in the Activate plan. Continue alternating between these two cycles for the next 17 days.
This second cycle is based on the idea of fasting on alternate days. However, it adopts a modified approach, since its low-calorie days are higher in calories than in a traditional fasting diet on alternate days.
In addition, the Activate cycle adds many new food options.
It is claimed that this cycle helps restore your metabolism, but evidence is lacking to support this.
Many rules of the Accelerate cycle still apply, such as not eating carbohydrates after 2 P.M. This means that you should eat your carbohydrate options with breakfast and lunch during this second cycle.
Cycle 3: Achieve
Achieve cycle aims to establish healthy eating habits with constant and manageable weight loss. Fasting on alternate days is no longer necessary and the diet is similar to the Activate days of the second cycle.
Now you can eat a wider variety of carbohydrate sources, such as breads, pasta, fiber-rich cereals and virtually any fresh fruit or vegetable.
Also, you can have an optional glass of alcohol per day if you wish. However, the diet advises passing on alcohol if you want to lose more weight.
As you are eating more food than in previous cycles, it is recommended to increase aerobic exercise from a minimum of 17 minutes to 45-60 minutes per day.
It is worth noting that it is still not allowed to eat carbohydrates after 2 P.M. during this cycle.
Cycle 4: Arrival
Unlike other cycles, which last 17 days, Arrival cycle must be followed for life.
For this cycle, you can choose a meal plan of your choice from the three previous cycles and follow them starting from Monday’s breakfast to Friday’s lunch.
From Friday dinner to Sunday dinner, you can enjoy your favorite meals in moderation. However, it is recommended not to eat more than one or three of your favorite meals during the weekend.
In addition, you can have one or two alcoholic drinks daily during the weekend.
It is recommended to do at least one hour of intense exercise on Saturdays and Sundays, since it consumes more calories on weekends.
During this cycle, it is still suggested not to eat carbohydrates after 2 P.M.
The 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition
In 2014, Dr. Moreno launched a “breakthrough edition” of the diet with some additions:
- More recipes and food options.
- Contour foods to help you fight fat loss in specific areas.
- Optional fast day between cycles.
- Supplements for the 17 Day Diet.
- 17-minute training to treat fat loss in specific areas.
Is It Effective To Lose Weight?
One of the biggest attractions of the 17 Day Diet is that it can help you lose weight quickly, since it restricts calories, which means you are creating a calorie deficit.
Eating fewer calories than your body burns is a sure way to lose weight since caloric restriction is a science-backed technique.
During the Activate phase, it implements a modified version of fasting on alternate days, which has been found to be effective for fat loss, since people find it easy to follow.
Dr. Moreno also recommends avoiding carbohydrates after 2 P.M., claiming that carbohydrates that are eaten later in the day are more difficult to burn for your body, since it burns less energy at night. However, there are no high-quality studies that support this claim.
In total, the 17 Day Diet may help you lose weight, but the evidence that suggests that it is more effective than conventional diets of whole foods with caloric restriction is insufficient.
Pros and Cons
In addition to losing weight, Dr. Mike’s 17 Day Diet also offers these potential benefits:
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans: this diet has many options that allow them to be vegetarians and vegans.
- Gluten free: it can be done gluten free.
- Fits many cuisines: you have options for cooking Mediterranean, Spanish, Indian, Asian and many other cuisines, so it is friendly to the region.
- High in fiber: advocate eating many foods high in fiber. Fiber not only helps you lose weight, but also offers many other health benefits.
Although the 17 Day Diet offers many potential benefits, it also has several drawbacks:
- Supported by weak evidence: the evidence to support many claims associated with this diet is insufficient. This includes the notion that the diet can “confuse” your metabolism or the rule of avoiding carbohydrates after 2 P.M.
- It can affect training performance: the first two cycles of the 17 Day Diet are lower in calories and carbohydrates, which can have a negative impact on exercise.
- Supplements cost: In the 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition, Dr. Mike recommends taking some supplements which is an additional cost to the weight loss plan.
- Easy to deviate during the last cycle: during the last cycle, you have the freedom to eat your favorite meals three times a week. However, it can be easy to overeat or binge on weekends, which denies the weight loss achieved.
Where To Buy 17 Day Diet
The 17 Day Diet is available to be purchased on Amazon. Some are available in Hardcover, Paperback, or Kindle Edition.
The 17 Day Diet Reviews
The 17 Day Diet is a weight loss program that promises quick results by changing your food combinations and calorie intake through different cycles.
It helps with weight loss by encouraging whole and unprocessed foods and exercise. However, many of its claims and rules are not supported by high quality scientific evidence.
In addition, its effectiveness in maintaining weight loss is questionable, since it implies a lifetime diet.
Instead, adopting healthy habits, such as simply eating whole foods, limiting refined sugar and exercising regularly, may be more effective in maintaining long-term weight loss.