Yes, another diet book, this one promising dramatic results in less than three weeks. In The 17 Day Diet, Dr. Mike Moreno presents his weight-loss plan, comprised of three phases and ongoing maintenance that he insists can help dieters shed those unwanted pounds.
Overall the book presents the plan in a clear and concise manner and provides an appropriate level of scientific proof that it should work. The rules are fairly straightforward and will likely work for those who have the willpower to stick with it, but - just like other eating regimens - there are some rules that need to be followed, and the lost pounds will likely return if the dieters revert to their original eating habits.
The diet is basically designed to “confuse” the body to jumpstart weight loss. “Accelerate,” is the first cycle, “activate” is cycle two, and that is followed by “Achieve” and then “Arrive.” Each phase is designed to last 17 days (or perhaps extended depending upon the amount of weight that needs to be lost), though the finite end date is intended to make the process less overwhelming because it comes with the knowledge that any discomfort has an end in sight.
Many of the elements of this diet are the same as or similar to the Atkins and South Beach diets, though there are a few variations. In the initial phase, the focus is on eating an unlimited amount of lean proteins (fish, chicken, turkey), a limited number of eggs, low-carb vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower), two servings of low-sugar fruits (applies, plums, peaches), and two servings of probiotic foods (yogurt). The second phase builds upon these choices but adds other proteins which are higher in fat (such as steak, lamb and veal) along with a limited about of natural starches (brown rice) and a wider selection of vegetable for most days. It also requires dieters to eat within the restrictions outlined in the initial “accelerate” phase for a few days in order to keep everything in check. The third phase, the “achieve” cycle, introduces even more food choices, including some additional starches such as multi-grain bread, high fiber cereals, additional fruits, and optional snacks.
The book might be beneficial for people who have the willpower to follow a plan that allows for the consumption of a large quantity of limited types of food. As with other diets, those people who find it difficult to eliminate certain foods from their diet may have a more difficult time sticking to the plan. What I do appreciate is the fact that Dr. Moreno acknowledges the reality that losing weight with any plan takes discipline, and he makes it clear that if you don’t think you can follow the plan, you should not start it. He also suggests that if you sense your willpower weakening, you should immediately move to the less restrictive phases, even if you did not reach your final goal, in order to protect the weight loss achieved to that point.
The plan is clear, and the book includes food lists and recipes that represent the tools necessary to make it work. Keep in mind, however, that the diet does not include any revolutionary techniques, nor does it provide dieters with a magical answer. Dr. Moreno makes it clear that while some of the food choices are “unlimited,” dieters should still eat in moderation. In addition, throughout the book he reiterates that losing weight is challenging and the diet is not going to be an entirely pleasurable experience. He also stresses that dieters will have to exert significant effort to stick with the program, alter their prior poor eating habits, and modify their sedentary lifestyle in order to achieve the ultimate success.
Overall, The 17 Day Diet presents a plan that seems grounded in scientific research and has the potential to produce results. That information, coupled with Dr. Moreno’s reasonable assertion that losing weight is challenging and requires a commitment to making a change, makes purchasing and reading this book a worthwhile investment that has the potential to produce great results.