The Secret to 17 Day Diet Isn't What You Think

Emily Abbate

17 day dietA diet that is effective in only 17 days? Supposedly. The 17 Day Diet, by Dr. Mike Moreno, promises results, quick.

My first reaction: It's got to be too good to be true, right? There are tons of things on my to-do list that can't even be completed in over two weeks time, and just my luck -- losing a few pounds is one of them! 

Just by looking at the loads of before and after pictures on the diet's Facebook page, it has worked for some. But I have some bad news, ladies. Because there's one (major) catch here ...

The 17 Day Diet actually lasts 68 days. What? You wouldn't immediately want to know about a diet that lasts more than two months, instead of just over two weeks? Did the 68 Day Diet not have the same ring to it?

So let's talk specifics. The diet is broken up into four cycles: Accelerate, Activate, Achieve, and Arrive. Each cycle fluctuates your intake of proteins, calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and is devoid of processed foods, sugar, fried, and most unhealthy options. Oh, and each of them lasts for 17 days.

Ahhhhh, so that's where the name comes from. Allegedly, the cycles last for exactly 17 days because that sounded like a good number that will prevent a weight loss plateau and keep your body guessing. Right.

For the first two cycles, you're consuming roughly 1,200 calories a day (YIKES! That's IT!?) and exercising for, yup, you guessed it, 17 minutes a day. According to Moreno, you can lose 10 to 12 pounds in the first 17-day cycle. OK, so the people who bought the book based on the name aren't at a complete loss. However, Moreno himself has admitted that a majority of those first 12 pounds is water weight. FYI: Water weight is not the kind that stays off for long.

And while eating "healthier foods," using some of the guidelines Moreno suggests, will help anyone lose weight, it's not an ideal lifestyle. The reason for the 17-minute exercise, which is mostly walking, is because incorporating more activity would leave you totally zonked. Zonked Emily: Unhappy Emily.

Personally, I'd much rather up my calorie intake and activity level if it meant for better overall nutrition and a wider variety of foods. Until someone can prove to me and other unconvinced professionals that 17-day cycles 100 percent prevent plateaued weight loss and a high-functioning metabolism -- I'll stick to keeping active and eating healthy my own way.

Have you or someone you know tried the 17 Day Diet? What do you think of Dr. Mike's program?


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