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.
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.
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.
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.
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.