The 17-Day Diet – Counting the Days to Results

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If you’ve never heard of this diet, the title makes it sound like a lot of other eating plans that promise results in a short amount of time.

And there are a lot of them.

With obesity at an all-time high, cases of diabetes rising rapidly, and heart disease the leading cause of death, many people want a quick fix to losing weight and improving their health.

An estimated 50 million Americans go on a diet every year, according to a Colorado State University study. Many people lose weight by following a crash diet or taking weight loss supplements. But sadly, only about five percent of people who lose weight this way keep it off.

Despite its title, The 17-Day Diet, is not another fad diet. It’s a long-term eating plan based on adjusting eating habits every 17 days over the course of a couple months. Written by family doctor Mike Moreno, The 17-Day Diet is designed to help you eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet, control calories and help you lose weight for good by developing eating habits that will keep you healthy for life.

Here’s How it Works…


The 17-Day Diet is actually a 51-day eating plan divided into three 17-day cycles. But it doesn’t end after just two months. There’s a fourth cycle designed to help you keep up your healthy eating habits once you’ve made it that far in the program.

Cycle 1: You will cut your daily calories to about 1,200 calories per day for the first 17 days of this plan. That’s a significant reduction in calories compared to the average 1,800 to 2,300 calories per day recommended for most adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This cycle requires dieters to follow a strict eating plan (non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and water, with limited amounts of yogurt and healthy fats) and eliminate unhealthy carbohydrates, sugar-sweetened drinks, and fatty foods.
Cycle 2: Dieters increase their caloric intake slightly, but must still adhere to the eating plan that limits fruit and dairy products.
Cycle 3: Additional healthy foods are added to the eating plan that include more fruits, proteins, healthy fats, and starches. At this point, Moreno reintroduces alcohol, no more than one glass per day, and allows dieters to eat a variety of 100-calorie snacks. And instead of just dieting, Moreno adds regular exercise to the mix.
Cycle 4: Moreno expects that you will have achieved your weight loss goal during the course of the three previous cycles. This long-term eating plan is designed to help you maintain your weight loss, and allow for occasional indulgences not on the menu in the first three cycles. Cycle 4 allows dieters to eat a favorite meal once or twice a week, regardless of nutritional value. Dieters can also have one to two alcoholic drinks on the weekends.

Now Let’s Take a Look at the Pros…


fit woman showing her abs

In a nutshell, a quick rundown…
  • The 17-Day Diet overall is a healthy eating plan. If the estimated 68 percent of all adults in the U.S. who are overweight or obese followed Moreno’s plan, there would be huge reduction in chronic diseases and healthcare costs.
  • Most people eat far too much fast food, processed meals, sugar sweetened-drinks, and refined carbohydrate. The 17-Day Diet is designed to help you clean up your eating habits with a serious intervention during Cycle 1. Survive the first 17 days, and you’ll welcome the additional of other healthy foods and more calories. And it’s in these first two cycles where Moreno says people will experience the most weight loss.
  • With a calorie deficit of more than 500 calories for most people throughout Cycle 1 and 2, the average person can lose 10 to 15 pounds during the first month of The 17-Day Diet. Weight loss should continue in Cycles 3 and 4, but this is where Moreno adjusts the diet to be a more sustainable eating and exercise plan for maintaining a healthy weight for the long haul.

Time for the Cons…


  • In Cycle 1, dieters are restricted to a 1,200-calorie diet. And cycle 2 provides a few more calories and healthy foods. Moreno claims that changing calorie restrictions every 17 days alters the body’s metabolism. But there’s no scientific evidence that suggests this strategy actually does that.
  • One other drawback to The 17-Day Diet is Moreno’s restrictions on fruit. It’s only allowed in limited amounts throughout the entire 51-day plan. But health experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agree that more people need to eat more fruits, along with other foods in the 17-Day Diet like vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • For some people, the dietary restrictions may be too challenging to adhere to during the first two cycles. You might feel hungry at times, and if you don’t have the self-discipline to stick with the eating plan, you might abandon ship and go back to your old ways.

Are the 17 Day Diet Results Life-Changing?


The 17-Day Diet is a healthy eating plan and mirrors recommendations by other health experts for weight management and to reduce the risk for chronic diseases.

If you follow this plan as outlined, you should see significant weight loss in Cycle 1. Your body has no other choice but to burn fat when you drop your regular eating habits for a 1,200-calorie diet for 17 days.

You should see continued weight loss in Cycle 2. And you’ll keep losing weight in Cycles 3 and 4 if you increase your exercise activity. Moreno’s recommendation for exercise matches the guidelines for weight loss supported by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Institutes of Health so as long as you follow the basline, your on the right track.