The New 17-Day Diet

The new 17 Day Diet was created by a physician, Dr. Mike Moreno, and was recently featured both on the Dr. Phil Show as well as The Doctors. While this is a diet which was originally formulated as a defense against holiday weight gain, those who wanted to lose weight began using it throughout the year, finding that it encouraged rapid weight loss. The theory behind the 17-day cycle lies in what Dr. Moreno calls metabolic confusion. This metabolic or body confusion is generally accomplished by not allowing your body to become accustomed to certain foods or exercises in order to keep your metabolism burning as high as possible.

The Four Cycles of the 17-Day Diet

The 17-day diet uses four cycles, beginning with the rapid weight loss cycle which comes first and is called "Accelerate." You will be eating approximately 1200 calories per day, on a fairly strict diet, however the "up" side to that is that first, it only lasts 17 days, and second the accelerate phase will allow you to lose from 10-15 pounds during that time, remove unhealthy carbohydrates from your diet, stimulate fat metabolism and cleanse and hydrate your body. You can eat up to two eggs per day on the diet, lean proteins, vegetables, low-sugar fruits, yogurt and two servings of "good" fats.

No starchy foods such as potatoes, beans, brown rice, corn or oatmeal are permitted during the first cycle of the diet. Fruit should be eaten before 2:00 p.m., as Dr. Moreno believes the timing of carbohydrates-even good ones-is critical. No alcohol or sugar is allowed, and drinking green tea is encouraged. As with most diets you are urged to drink 8 glasses of water per day to flush out fat and fill your stomach. Lean proteins include salmon, sole, flounder, catfish, tilapia, canned tuna in water, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, ground turkey, and eggs. Most vegetables are allowed, however cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are especially encouraged, as are artichokes.

Cycle 2 on the diet is known as "Activate," and claims to reset your metabolism. During the second cycle, you will alternate the original food plan from cycle one with a slightly higher-calorie plan, changing from day to day. You will be on the Accelerate plan for one day, then the Activate plan the next, alternating throughout the next seventeen days. You are expected to show another 5-6 pound weight loss during this period. On the Activate days, you get to add some starchy carbs to your diet, such as slow-digesting oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, beans, legumes and sweet potatoes. Because slow carbs take longer to reach the blood, you will feel fuller on the days you can add these carbs to your diet.

The goal of the third cycle, known as "Achieve," is to establish healthy eating habits, and promote steady weight loss. You will not lose as much on the third cycle of the 17-day diet as you did during the first two cycles, however you are allowing your body to "settle in" to normal, healthy eating. By this point in the diet you should have more energy, have lost a significant amount of weight, feel less hungry on a daily basis, feel lighter, have fewer cravings, and have a much better overall mental attitude about life. During this third cycle you can add one serving of pasta per day, one serving of a high-fiber cereal, and one serving of bread. Everything else you are allowed to eat are the same things you ate on the Activate cycle. You should still be eating lean proteins, eggs, vegetables, fruit-before 2:00 p.m., "friendly" fats, two servings of starchy carbs, plus the above mentioned bread, cereal and pasta. Keep drinking your eight glasses of water during all phases of the diet.

The final cycle-"Arrive"-- of the diet is not 17-days, but rather a healthy eating plan for life in order to maintain the weight you have lost during the first three cycles. If you have a large amount of weight to lose, simply start over on the first level, and move through them as before. Keep repeating this cycle until you are at a weight you are comfortable with, then move to the "Arrive" cycle for long-term maintenance. Any time you have gained a couple of pounds, immediately go back to the second or third cycle. The 17-day diet also advocates 17 minutes of exercise each day, although it can be something as simple as taking a short walk.

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