17 Day Diet before and after

17 Day Diet Menu

Impatient? This link goes straight to a sample 17 day diet menu.

The 17 day diet was created in 2010 by US Doctor Mike Moreno (‘Dr Mike’) and offers a varied diet plan with the aim to shift visceral fat, the diet is divided into four phases. The plan is aimed at everyone whether the aim is to lose a little or a lot of excess weight; it has proven very popular with dieters claiming the weight they lose does not return. The plan requires 17 minutes of daily exercise and the following of four different cycles each lasting 17 days. The science behind the 17 day diet is that it surprises the body’s metabolic system by changing eating habits every 17 days to avoid plateaus, a weight loss of 10-12 pounds is common during the first phase.

17 Day Diet Phases

Cycle 1 is the accelerate phase which drives quick weight loss. This cycle rids the blood of sugar which in turn promotes fat burning and depresses fat storage. The second cycle is the activate phase which resets the body’s metabolism by both increasing and decreasing calorie intake. This also boosts fat-burning whilst helping stop plateaus.

Cycle 3 is called ‘achieve’ and assists in healthy eating habits through the re-introduction of certain foods. The final part is ‘arrive’ also known as cycle 4. At this last stage dieters are maintained at their goal weight by eating properly Monday to Friday and taking a break at the weekend to enjoy other foods.

Dr. Moreno commented that “This diet is probably the only diet that is for everybody…whether you want to lose five pounds for your high school reunion, whether you want to lose 150 pounds, or whether you’re just comfortable with who you are and how you look and your health and your weight, as it is, this is just a way to not only focus on the scale moving, but it’s focusing on good, proper digestive health.” The four different cycles are varied to promote healthy eating habits and weight loss and it’s crucial to follow through with each cycle in order to increase your weight loss potential. Here the 17 Day Diet phases are covered in detail.

Here’s an example of a 17 Day Diet menu for week 1 (the accellerate phase). The 17 Day Diet meal plan is not fixed so this is not necessarily what you have to eat, there are options.

Day 1

Breakfast: Omelette
Lunch: Shrimp & Chicken Gumbo
Dinner: Beef Bourguignon

Day 2

Breakfast: Mixed Berry Crepe
Lunch: Chicken Cheese Steak
Dinner: Port Tenderloin with Olive Tapanade

Day 3

Breakfast: Omelette
Lunch: Broccoli & Beef Dinner
Dinner: Sausage Dinner

Day 4

Breakfast: Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Crepe
Lunch: Shrimp Bowl
Dinner: Chicken Roasted Apples

Day 5

Breakfast: Omelette
Lunch: Blackened Tilapia
Dinner: Fish Paella

Day 6

Breakfast: Breakfast Crepe
Lunch: Salmon Fillet with Roasted Pepper Puree
Dinner: Arroz Con Lentejas

Day 7

Breakfast: Chicken & Mushroom Crepe
Lunch: Chicken Bowl
Dinner: Pinapple Teriyaki Meatloaf


One of the attractions of the 17 Day Diet is that there’s a service (US only), for approx $185 per week, that delivers 7 days worth of meals to your door! This service saves all the hassle of buying the specific ingredients and cooking to recipes every day.

Here’s a video of Dr. Moreno on the show Dr. Phil talking about the diet.

17 Day Diet before and afterDr Mike Moreno

17 Day Diet FAQ

Here’s our 17 Day Diet FAQ, please contact us if you think we’ve missed anything.

Q: How do I know what to eat?
A: Buy the 17 day diet book which contains meal plans and all recipes. The meal plan is divided into the cycles making it easy to follow.

Q: Should I also exercise?
A: Yes. The plan recommends 17 minutes of cardio exercise every day and there is also a 17 day diet DVD available.

Q: Will it be easy?
A: Yes, and no. The feedback says that it's easier than other weight loss diets, however there are restrictions (think no pain, no gain [or should that be loss?]). As the diet goes on, additional foods are reintroduced so there are benefits that come with completion of a phase. Phase 1 is the one that most people find the hardest, but it’s also where the most weight is lost and it comes at the beginning when your motivation and determination is very high.

Q: Am I allowed to drink tea and coffee?
A: Green tea has metabolic boosting properties and is recommended as part of the plan and drunk with every meal. Coffee is also permitted at no more than three to four cups per day.

Q: Can I substitute foods?
A: You may substitute foods in the menu plan with others that are permitted within that cycle, but never substitute foods for those that are not on the diet.

Q: Can vegetarians follow the 17 Day Diet?
A: Absolutely. Lacto-vegetarians should limit protein to dairy products, eggs, beans and legumes according to the cycle you are on. Those who don’t eat red meat but eat chicken and/or fish can follow as normal and substitute red meat for chicken or fish. Vegans need to use meat substitutes and take a probiotic supplement instead of yoghurt.

Q: Can diabetics follow the 17 Day Diet?
A: The diet is not recommended for those with type 1 Diabetes or any other serious medical conditions. You should consult your doctor before undertaking any special diet or weight loss program.

Q: Can I follow the diet while pregnant?
A: No. The diet is not for pregnant or lactating mothers.

Q. How much weight can I expect to lose?
A. Some dieters may lose as much as 15 pounds in the first 17 days. Most people claim a loss of at least 10 pounds in cycle 1.

Q. How many calories will I consuming each day?
A. 1,200 calories on average per day during the first phase, 1,500 in the second.  The other phases have higher daily calorie inakes.

Q. Do I have to buy the meals from Bistro MD (eg get my meals delivered)?
A. No, having your meals delivered is optional and purely for convenience, the book covers everything you need to know about prepaing the meals yourself.

Q. I enjoy eating out with friends, what do you recommend?
A. If you are on the first three cycles then follow the permitted food list given and stay away from temptations including the dessert trolley or buffet table. Also remember the alcohol restrictions. If you are on cycle four then everything should still be in moderation for example have one slice of pizza instead of two and try and avoid weighty desserts. Remember you can go-ahead and enjoy vegetables but avoid the carbs, proteins are also fine but watch out for sugary sauces.

Q. I am looking forward to the holidays, how can I prepare in advance?
A. Dr. Moreno recommends that you start the plan before the holiday so that you are better prepared. You should remember not to over indulge and always avoid calorie laden festive desserts.

Q. Can I drink alcohol?
A. Alcohol is not allowed during the early stages and only in moderation thereafter.

Q. When should I weigh myself and how often?
A. Once a week is fine and remember to weigh yourself without clothes. On cycle four it’s important to weigh yourself every weekend to ensure you are not overindulging.

17 Day Diet before and afterfruit and vegetables

How Does It Work?

The 17 day diet is essentially low carb and low calorie for everyone regardless of weight loss goals, the diet promotes good health and nutrition for people from all walks of life. The diet is very popular in the US and is gaining notoriety in Europe as a plan that works and keeps the weight off. It was created by San Diego physician Dr. Mike Moreno who heavily promoted the 17 Day Diet on the internet via social networks such as Twitter and by posting before and after results as video clips on YouTube. There is also a book that accompanies the plan guiding dieters through the four different cycles.

The plan lasts 68 days in total which is broken down into 17 day segments; this makes it an interesting weight loss plan where dieters see results quickly. In scientific terms the diet manipulates carbohydrate intake differently during each of the 17 day phases, the intake being very low in some cycles and higher in others. This effect has two benefits, firstly it confuses the body’s metabolism to avoid plataeus and secondly it also provides variety in food and menus as when compared to ‘normal’ diets, this has the effect of keeping the 17 Day Diet interesting and varied for the dieter who is therefore more likely to see the diet through to the end. Those who have followed the plan claim that its very motivational seeing such quick results in the first phase giving the incentive to see the plan through. Dieters commonly lose as much as 10-12 pounds in the first cycle with Dr. Moreno promoting rapid weight loss as more advantageous than steady, slow dieting.

Due to the variety of the plan, this is a diet that easily fits into many different lifestyles and has quickly become a sought after diet plan which can be used whenever you want to rapidly lose excess weight. The diet was originally released as a way to help people burn off fat gained by over-eating during the holidays, but it’s now used regardless of the season. It originally became famous in the states after being shown on The Doctors TV Show. Celebrity backers also include Dr. Phil.

Here’s a promotional video that that features Dr. Moreno discussing the major benefits of the 17 Day Diet.

17 Day Diet before and after

17 Day Diet Results

Lots of diets talk about how much weight you could lose but there’s nothing like hearing it from someone who’s actually done the diet. Here we see Dr Mike chatting to Clint and Kim who are currently 7 days into phase two.

7 Days into the 2nd Phase

They’re both doing well, Clint has lost about 6 pounds in the Activate Phase (2nd phase) on top of the 18 pounds he lost in the first 17 days. So far Kim has dropped 3 pounds in phase 2 on top of the 12 pounds lost during the Accelerate Phase (1st phase). Clint’s huge success (now 24 pounds in 24 days)  is partly down to the exercise he’s been doing since the diet started, he exercises twice a day, one cardio session and one weight training session.

Phase 1 has few carbs, the diet is designed this way to ‘reset’ your digestion system to enable you to lose weight effectively in a short space of time, however this isn’t a yo-yo diet. The four phases ensure the weight you lose is permanently lost. When carbs are reintroduced in the second stage they’re done so is a carefully controlled manner to prevent weight gain. Clint recommends that if you’re used to a daily 30 minute cardio workout during the Accelerate Phase you should consider increasing it to 45 minutes for the second phase to counter the reintroduction of carbs.

See what Clint and Kim have to say in their own words in this video.

Dieting to Lose Weight

Medical professionals, such as Dr. Moreno, have been putting their education to good use in studying how the human body behaves and how best it can be manipulated into weight loss. These studies have taken years to produce meaningful results, many different versions of a diet have been tested and the results compared to see which offers the most success.

Dieting is a short term action to lose weight, it’s very important to see the diet through to the end in order to receive the maximum benefit. Emotionally and psychologically it can take a lot out of us if we’re not sufficiently prepared and determined to complete the full program, and when we don’t complete the full program the chance of the weight lost being regained is increased several times over.

Often the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful diet is in the dieters head. Having a clear goal set is important, then sheer determination, not hoping but actually knowing that you’ll be successful, will get you to your goal.

Decide how much weight you’re actually going to lose, as opposed to just hoping, then don’t stop until you get there.

17 Day Diet before and after17 Day Diet book cover

17 Day Diet Phases

The 17 Day Diet phases are the key to why the diet works, the aims are twofold, to lose weight (obviously) but also to help you make healthier food choices so the weight lost isn’t regained. The phases are designed to optimize your metabolism for burning fat, partly through confusing your body so it doesn’t have the chance to become accustomed to the diet regime in order that you continue to lose weight.

Accelerate Phase

The first cycle is called the accelerate phase and involves following a limited calorie controlled diet featuring some carbs, protein, vegetables and fruit. You will experience the most dramatic weight loss during this phase due to a reduction in the intake of carbohydrates which will boost fat burning and body cleansing. This first phase lasts from day one to 17 and is often the most difficult cycle due to its restriction of carbohydrates. The types of food you are permitted to eat include lean meat, non-starchy vegetables and plain yoghurts, fruit that is low in sugar, water and green tea. Calories will be no higher or lower than 1,200 per day which will allow your body to quickly lose weight, rapidly burn fat and also detox. You should also include 17 minutes of exercise per day to speed up your metabolic rate even more and to tone up muscle.

Activate Phase

Days 18 to 34 form cycle 2 which is called the activate phase. Calories are cycled during this phase moving from high to low which confuses the metabolism and ensure it’s running at top speed. You will ingest an average of 1,500 calories per day which includes two new helpings of whole grains. This phase stimulates fat burning whilst also resetting the metabolism. The aim during this cycle is to avoid any plateaus and keep you on target for achieving your weight loss objectives. The additional benefit of the second cycle is that it will help you stay motivated by introducing new and interesting foods, stopping you becoming bored and therefore more likely to stick with it.

Achieve Phase

Cycle 3 takes place from days 35 to 51 and gradually reintroduces foods during what is called the achieve phase. Previously banned foods will be slowly brought back into your diet as you learn to develop nutritionally balanced eating. The main aim of this cycle is to teach healthy eating habits that continue beyond completion of the 17 day diet. Lean meat can be eaten as often as you require and small amounts of alcohol are permitted. There is also the introduction of more fruits, a one hundred calorie snack and an increase in grains. At this point in the 17 day diet you will have more food choices and therefore become knowledgeable in how to make healthy food choices which is vital to help you keep the weight off in the future.

Arrive Phase

From day 52 onwards, healthy eating is encouraged as the new way forward for the rest of your life. The arrive phase, or cycle 4, is all about fusing the first three cycles together with the added luxury of weekend treats. Your goal weight is maintained by following a week long healthy eating plan with treats allowed over the weekend. Although indulgence in your favourite foods is permitted on Saturday and Sunday, you must return to cycle 2 if you begin to start gaining weight. This cycle will give you the focus and stamina to continue eating this way forever. It is important to weigh yourself once a week to ensure that you are staying on track.

17 Day Diet before and after

17 Day Diet Sample Meals Video

Here's a great short video from Dr. Phil's 'The Holiday 12' episode where a guy's typical breakfast, lunch and dinner are compared with a sample 17 Day Diet breakfast, lunch and dinner on. Dr Mike Moreno introduces the diet to a couple seeking to lose weight emphasizing that the feedback about the diet says that sticking to the it is so much easier than expected and additionally they will not get hungry at all. Starting with a breakfast diet dish of two eggs, an orange and a cup of green tea, Mike explains that the dishes he presents are just a few of the wide range of food and menu items on offer.

A variety of meals are presented including a very generously portioned colorful salad of broccoli, red peppers, cucumbers, red onions and hard boiled eggs for lunch, which Dr. Phil points out is sure to leave you feeling healthy and energized. The dinner option is turkey with a combination of vegetables such as carrots and asparagus and there is also a snack of berries and yoghurt on offer. The show highlights how you can lose 10 to 12 pounds in weight in only 17 days with minimal effort and a lot of food choices so you won't get bored.

17 Day Diet before and after

17 Day Diet Phase 1 Video

Here’s a great video in which Dr Mike Moreno explains phase one of the 17 Day Diet, the accelerate phase. He goes through some of the foods explaining how they can help with weight loss. Phase 1 of the 17 Day Diet is where weight is lost the fastest, the change in regime is designed to confuse your body into losing weight.

He’s totally right when he says “This doesn’t look like diet food, it really doesn’t” however don’t assume this diet will be easy (are there any easy diets?). That said much of the feedback says this diet is easier than others. He also touches on new research that shows you’re more likely to keep lost weight off if you lose it quickly, which contrasts with traditional thinking that says you should lose weight gradually.

17 Minute Workout DVD17 Minute Workout screenshot

17 Minute Workout

The 17 Minute Workout is a very enjoyable workout you can do at home, or anywhere, little space is required. You set the pace and intensity yourself to whatever is confortable for you however unfit or overweight you are. At first people may find it a little difficult to follow (no different from any exercise video right?) but after a few days the moves become more fluid as they sink into your memory and your muscles adjust to become accustomed to them. The workout is a key part of the 17 Day Diet and should be done 6 days a week whilst on the diet.

There are 3 different 17 Minute Workouts which focus on the body’s core muscles (all those in the lower torso to hips area, including lower back) specifically working the abs and obliques, the muscles in your butt and finally improving total body conditioning. The only equipment you’ll need are 2 small dumbells, as you lose weight and improve your fitness you put more into the workouts by say lifting your knees higher or stretching further or twisting with every repition of an exercise, it’s up to you do what you find comfortable.

You can find the DVD here to buy. Here’s a short clip from The Doctors where they discuss the 17 Minute Workout.


And here’s the intro from the DVD to give you a quick preview.

17 Day Diet before and after

17 Day Diet Criticisms

Here we consider some of the plusses and common 17 Day Diet criticisms.


Fans of the 17 day diet like the plan as it is interesting and varied, plus being broken down into four short segments makes it appear achievable and motivating. The first cycle may be the hardest but the rapid weight loss in such a short space seems worth the effort. The diet itself is also well-balanced combining plenty of different food sources. Expect to enjoy fruits, vegetables and lean meats including some healthy carbohydrates as the plan cycles through each phase. This has the additional benefit of a cleansing effect as you take your body through a constantly changing plan encompassing a spectrum of food.

Another key benefit of the plan is the way in which it promotes a long term healthy eating strategy as calories are gradually introduced. Clever tricks include replacing mayonnaise with mustard to ensure that weight stays off over time. This diet plan is great for those who commonly eat highly processed foods, it changes them for options such as egg whites and fish accompanied by a healthy portion of vegetables.


Critics of the 17 day diet plan are not happy about the lack of scientific evidence supporting the plan with little proof currently available with regards to the effect of calorie cycling on the metabolism. Dieticians and nutritional experts also express a concern with regards to the first cycle stating that it may backfire due to your body going into starvation mode through lack of calories which can in turn actually slow down your metabolism. Some also believe that the plan is offering nothing new and that the best diet principle is the one that has been around for decades, which is to simply cut calories and increase your exercise.

grilled vegetablesDr Mike Moreno

17 Day Diet Drinks

Water and green tea are freely available during all cycles. Coffee is allowed in moderation with no more than four cups per day permitted, sugar and honey is not allowed however.

Sodas and juice should also be exchanged for water or a soda water with freshly squeezed lemon. Alcohol in moderation is slowly introduced in cycles three and four.

The 17 day diet book recommends that you drink green tea with all meals and hot lemon juice first thing in the mornings.