17 Day Diet for Weight Loss

The 17-day diet was introduced by Dr. Mike Moreno when he published his book in 2010. The important thing about this diet is regularly changing foods and calorie consumption, which is claimed to promote metabolism.

The 17-day diet is classified into 4 cycles such as Accelerate, Activate, Achieve, and Arrive. The first 3 cycles remain 17 days each, while the arrival cycle is followed for life. As you move from the cycles, the diet includes strategies and food options.

This diet will not tell you how many calories you need during each cycle.

However, it progressively raises calorie consumption by introducing extra calorie-containing food for each cycle.

In 2014, Dr. Moreno published a breakthrough edition of the diet with some additions:

  • More-recipes-and-food-options.
  • Contour-foods-to-help-you-target-fat-loss-in-specific-areas.
  • Optional-fast-day-between-cycles.
  • Supplements-for-the-17-Day-Diet.
  • 17-minute-workout-to-target-fat-loss-in-specific-areas. 

17 Day Diet: 4 cycles

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Cycle 1: Accelerate

The Accelerate cycle is the 1st cycle of the 17-day diet. It challenges to help you to drop 10-12 pounds that 4.5-5.4 kg during the first 17 days by:

raising protein consumption

  • Improving digestive health
  • lowering refined carbs, sugar, and sweets.
  • Clearing toxins from the body that affect metabolism.

During this time, you are allowed to consume limitless vegetables and vegetable options from the particular Accelerate foods list. Most carb-rich foods are not allowed during this cycle.

However, fruits are an exception even you are not allowed to consume any fruit after 2 pm. The book claims that it is difficult to burn carbs later in the day as you remain less active. Other guidelines include:

  • Buy skinless poultry
  • Skip sugar and alcohol to improve digestion
  • Eat 2 probiotic food every day to boost digestive health
  • Eat slow and chew food until you feel your stomach full.
  • Drink eight 240 ml glasses of water every day.
  • Workout for at least 17 minutes every day.

Foods to eat

The 17-day diet has 4 cycles, each with a unique list of food options.

Foods to eat through the Accelerate cycle

Fish: Salmon (fresh or canned), canned light tuna in water, tilapia, catfish, flounder, sole.

Poultry: Turkey or Chicken breast, eggs, lean ground turkey, egg whites.

Non-starchy vegetables: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, okra, leeks, green leafy vegetables, onions, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, celery, garlic, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, etc.

Low-sugar fruits: Oranges, Apples, berries (all), Apples, peaches, grapefruit, plums, pears, prunes, red grapes, prickly pear cactus.

Probiotic foods: Fruit-flavored, Sugar-free, Yakult, plain and low-fat yogurt like Greek-style), kefir, tempeh, kimchi, low-fat acidophilus milk, reduced-salt miso.

Oils: Olive and flaxseed oil.

Condiments: light soy sauce, Salsa, fat-free sour cream, vegetable cooking spray, Truvia, sugar-free jams, vinegar, salt, pepper, fat-free salad dressings, mustard, spices, and all herbs, low-carb ketchup, and marinara sauce.

It is worth checking that you can only have eggs for protein two times every week.

Serving sizes may differ and some foods are limited to a certain serving number every day. For example, you may consume only 2 servings of low sugar fruits and probiotic foods every day.


Sample menu

Here is a sample menu for one day for every cycle of the 1-day diet.

Accelerate cycle: Sample Plan


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Have 240 ml of green tea,

with 170 grams of low-fat and plain yogurt, and

150 grams of berries.


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In lunch eat Grilled chicken breast with salad having dressing of 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.


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Have steamed vegetables

baked or grilled chicken

240 ml of green tea.


Eat 1-serving of probiotic food

1 fruit and your choice.

Cycle 2: Activate

The 2nd cycle of the 17-day diet is the activate cycle. During this cycle, you change between lower and higher calorie days. On low-calorie days, you eat as you would in the Accelerate cycle.

On higher calorie days, you can include 2 servings of naturally higher starchy carbs, like grains, legumes, root vegetables, and tubers. To follow this cycle, spend 1 day on the accelerated diet plan, the next day on the activate plan. Keep alternating between these 2 versions over the next 17 days.

This second cycle has come from the idea of alternate-day fasting. However, it takes one modified approach, as it is lower calorie days are more in calories than on an old alternate day fasting diet.

Additionally, the Activate cycle includes more new food options. This cycle claims to help to reset your metabolism, but evidence to manage this is lacking.

Different rules type the accelerate cycle still apply, such as avoiding carb after 2 pm. It means that you must eat carb options with breakfast and lunch during this 2nd cycle.

Foods to eat while the Activate cycle

Additionally, this cycle has the following options:

Shellfish: Clams, Crabs, oysters, scallops, mussels, and shrimp.

Beef (lean cuts): Top sirloin, flank, top round, round tip, the eye of the round, lean ground beef, top loin.

Pork (lean cuts): Boneless loin roast, Sirloin chops, and top or center loin chops.

Lamb (lean cuts): Sirloin roast and Shanks.

Veal (lean cuts): Cutlet.

Grains: Barley (pearled), Amaranth, quinoa, couscous, bulgur, cream of wheat, grits, brown rice, basmati rice, old-fashioned oatmeal, and millet oat bran.

Legumes: Black-eyed peas, Black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), butter beans, great northern beans, lentils, lima beans (baby), kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, peas, soybeans, split peas.

Starchy vegetables: Potato, sweet potato, Breadfruit, taro, winter squash, corn, yam.

Legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables can only be eaten on active days, and 1 serving of legumes and grains is a half-cup cooked.


Activate cycle: Sample Plan


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Cooked oatmeal – 1/2 cup (230 grams)

Green tea – 1 cup (240 ml)

1 peach

Egg whites – 4 scrambled



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Shrimp salad sprayed with 30 ml of balsamic vinegar,

1 medium baked sweet potato and

1 cup (240 ml) of green tea.



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Pork sirloin chops (grilled or broiled),

1 cup green tea

Steamed veggies



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kefir – 240 ml

blueberries – 150 grams


Cycle 3: Achieve

The 3rd cycle of the 17-day diet is the achieve cycle. This cycle points to establish healthy eating habits with steady, supportive to weight loss. Alternate day fasting is not much longer needed and the diet is the same as active days of the 2nd cycle. You are not permitted to eat a wider variety of carb sources, like pasta, bread, high fiber fresh fruits, vegetables, and cereals.

Additionally, you may consume one optional glass of alcohol every day if you would like. However, the diet suggests passing on the alcohol if you wish for more weight loss.

Since you are consuming more food than in earlier cycles, it is suggested to raise aerobic workouts from at least 17 minutes to 45-60 minutes every day.

It worth noting that it is still not advisable to consume carbs after 2 pm during this cycle.


Foods to eat While the Achieve cycle

During the Achieve cycle, you may have options to choose from previous both cycles, with the below options:

Meats: Quail pheasant, Cornish hen, low-fat turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, and sausage or lunch meat.

Bread: Fiber-enriched, multi-grain, gluten-free, Cracked-wheat, oat-bran, pumpernickel or rye bread, sugar-free, pita pocket, whole-grain bagel, and whole-wheat tortilla.

High-fiber cereals: All-Bran Extra, All-Bran, Fiber One, All-Bran Buds, low-sugar granola, and gluten-free cold cereals.

Pasta and noodles:  Gluten-free pasta, Whole-wheat pasta, high-fiber pasta, vegetable-based pasta, udon noodles.

Vegetables: Virtually any vegetable, including broccoli sprouts, alfalfa, chilis, fennel, jicama, cilantro, pea pods, rhubarb, radishes, rutabaga, summer squash, zucchini, swiss chard, kelp, and other edible seaweeds, etc.

Fruits: Fresh fruit, including cherries, apricots, bananas, figs, currants, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, tangerine, tangelo, etc.

Low-calorie cheeses: Brie, Fontina, low-fat cheddar, Edam, Camembert, feta, goat, part-skim mozzarella, low-fat ricotta cheese, and low-fat cottage cheese.

Milk: Soy milk, sugar-free rice milk, Low-fat milk, almond milk.

Oils: Walnut and Canola oil.

Condiments: Mayonnaise, low-fat salad dressings, and light mayonnaise.

Other fat options: Avocado, Raw nuts or seeds, low fat-calorie margarine, and margarine (trans-fat-free).

Optional snacks: Fudgesicle (100-calorie bar), Frozen fruit bar, granola bar (low fat and sugar), Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, light microwave popcorn, pudding cup(sugar-free).

Alcohol (1 drink per day): 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.


Achieve cycle: Sample Plan


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Whole-wheat toast – 1 slice

Green tea 240 ml

150 grams of berries

1 boiled egg



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Tuna sandwich

240 ml Green tea

1 pear



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Sesame fish

1 cup (240 ml) of green tea

steamed vegetables (any you like)


1 frozen fruit bar

170 grams of yogurt

Cycle 4: Arrive

The arrival is the last cycle of the 17-day diet. Unlike other cycles of 17 diets, this cycle is needed to follow for a lifetime. For this phase, you may choose another meal plan from either of the previous 3 stages given above in this article and follow them from Monday breakfast to your Friday lunch.

From Friday dinner to Sunday dinner, you can enjoy any of your favorite foods in a limited way. However, you are suggested not to consume more than 1-3 of your favorite food over the weekend.

Additionally, you can consume 1-2 alcoholic drinks every day over the weekend. It is suggested to do at lead one hour of intense workout on Saturday and Sunday since you eat more calories on the weekends. During this cycle, it is still recommended to avoid carbs after 2 pm.

Foods to eat While the Arrive cycle

The arrival cycle permits all food options given above with choices of eating 3 of your favorite meals from Friday dinner to Sunday dinner.

You also have choices for the following:

1-2 alcoholic drinks during weekends.

You can change the main meals for broth-based soups.

The option to change one fruit serving for a 3/4 of unsweetened fruit juice or one cup of vegetable juice.


Arrive cycle (Friday)


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2 poached eggs

240 ml of green tea

1 pear and



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Baked turkey breast

1 cup green tea

a fresh garden salad drizzled with

1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, and

170 grams of yogurt



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Eat dinner out with your friends like tossed salad and blue cheese dressing, vegetable lasagna,

150 ml glass of red wine

1 serving of tiramisu.



1 apple

40 ml of acidophilus milk

170 grams of yogurt.


Is It Useful for Weight Loss?

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As this diet plan restricts calories, it effectively helps for quick weight loss, which means it can create a calorie deficit.

Eating fewer calories than your body burns is a sure-fire way to reduce weight. For example, during the accelerated cycle, the 17-day diet reduces your lean protein choices, probiotic foods, and no starchy vegetables, which are low-calorie.

During the activate phase, it implements a modified take on change day fasting, which has been discovered to be effective for fat loss, as people feel it easy to follow.

Still, though the diet can help weight loss, it makes different weight-loss claims that are not supported by evidence, like the change in food groups and calorie consumption can confuse and promote metabolism.

It also suggested skipping carbs after 2 pm, claiming that carbs consumed later in the day are difficult for your body to burn, as you burn low energy in the evening. However, there is no high-quality research that supports this claim.

All told, the 17-day diet can benefit to lose weight, but evidence to suggest that is extra effective than conventional, whole foods, and calorie-restricted diets are not sufficient.


Other potential benefits

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Additionally, a 17-day diet provides potential benefits:

Vegan friendly and vegetarian

This diet has more options that permit it to be followed by vegan and vegetarian.


You can make it gluten-free.

Caters To Many Cuisines:

It has options like Hispanic, Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, and various cuisines to make it region friendly.

High In Fiber:

It advocates consuming more high-fiber foods. Fiber may not only help weight loss but also provide other benefits for health.

Offer Surviving Tips For Difficult Situations:

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The program offers helpful tips on eating out, family situations, and surviving holidays. Fiber helps to support weight loss and also benefits overall health.

Possible drawbacks

Though the 17-day diet provides many benefits, it has drawbacks also

Supported by small evidence:

Evidence to support different claims linked with this die is not enough. This includes the idea that the diet can cause to confuse your metabolism or the rule to skip carbs after 2 pm.

May affect exercise performance

The first 2 cycles of the 17-day diet have low carbs and low calories, which may harm the workout.

Cost of supplements:

Dr. Mike Moreno suggest supplement, which can be expensive in the 17-day diet. For example, Dr. Mike’s 17 Day Diet Pack, a one-month supply cost around $69.88.

Easy To Leave Diet Track During Your Last Cycle

This diet allows you to eat with freedom and your favorite foods three times every week. However, it can be easy to get binge or overeating on weekends, which affects achieved weight loss.


Pros and Cons

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Though some experts state that proof for the 17-day diet is lacking, Dr. Moreno’s website says that there is some science after it.

Here are the pros and cons of a 17-day calorie diet.


Lean protein and Lots of veggies

The 17-day diet cycle has plenty of healthy lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. You are allowed to have limitless both in all phases of the diet. These should benefit to stop hunger in the initial days of the diet.

Adaptable to dietary limitations

If you have a celiac ailment, a nut allergy, dairy intolerance, you can easily change the program to meet your requirement. Food choices are costly enough that you can clear about allergenic things and still follow the diet.

Weight Loss Is Likely

You are almost sure to lose weight, particularly in the initial days of the diet, because your calories will be less, even though you have unlimited lean protein with starchless vegetables. Initial weight loss can promote motivation and help to track your progress.


Not enough fiber

Everyone needs fiber like women to need 22-28 gm and men need 28-34 gm every day. If you are not careful with planning meals out in the first cycle, you could fall out of your fiber need. Make sure to combine more nonstarchy vegetables and two servings of high fiber fruits every day to meet your everyday requirements.

Confusing to follow

The first phase of the 17-day diet can be hard to understand as it has fewer special rules and other food limitations. However, the later stages seem to be extra balanced. Some people may see it as more time-consuming to prepare and make meals ready, however, the recipes are very simple.


17-Day Diet: Is it a Healthy Choice?

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The first cycle of the plan reduces certain food groups such as fruits, and whole grains, but these foods are included back over time. Therefore, the first cycle of the diet does not follow the USDA’s dietary guidelines, but as you keep following the plan, the diet becomes more balanced.

The nutritional guidelines from USDA’s MyPlate that fill more than one quarter oof plate with grains, commonly with whole grains.

The 17-day diet does not allow any grains in the first cycle and after that only permits less grain-based product.

The USDA likewise informs a decrease of 500 calories per day for a consistent pace of weight loss.5 On a 2,000-calorie diet that would mean taking in around 1,500 calories each day, yet this can fluctuate depending on various elements like age, sex, weight, and level of active work. Utilize this calculator to help decide your own calorie rules to meet your objectives.


How does 17 Day Diet work?

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According to Michael Rafael Moreno’s 2011 book, this diet is designed for rapid weight loss. The plan claims to reduce pounds quickly and permanently. The diet is separated into three 17-day cycles to stop boredom and your body from plateauing, says Moreno, a family from California medicine physician.

During the first Accelerate cycle, you will cut around 1200 calories every day, lower sugar consumption, and focus on digestion improvement. It is when you will reduce the most 10-15 pounds-though most of it will be water weight.

After 17 days you will reach the 2nd cycle, Activate. During this time, you will change between the diet of a limited calorie or accelerate and activate a light higher calorie meal plan.

This back-and-forth restores your metabolism and energizes fat burning to yield an extra deficiency of 5-6 pounds. In the third cycle, “Achieve,” you’ll center around growing great dietary patterns to drop another 2-3 pounds. The last cycle, “Show up,” is continuous. You’ll keep up your objective load by eating invigoratingly on non-weekend days and making the most of your number one food source (with some restraint) at the ends of the week.

You can develop your meal plans using Moreno’s lists of acceptable non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, low sugar fruits, and natural carbohydrates, which include some common portion guidelines.  Green tea in this diet works wonders for blocking fatty tissue.

Moreno also provides tips for dieting on the road, at restaurants, during the holidays, for various cultural cuisines, and if you are PMS.

How much does 17-Day Diet cost?

You will be purchasing more fresh produce, meat, fish, so this diet could get expensive. But you can buy where you wish and organic foods are not needed.

Is the 17-day diet easy to follow?

Sticking to the 17-day diet is feasible.


It is relatively convenient: Moreno offers tailored meal plans for busy work schedules, and holidays for example. But the diet requires significant food prep and shopping, which are time-consuming. 


Moreno provides recipes on his website and his book back, but you can use your own and they conform to his guidelines.

Eating out:

Eating out in this diet is allowed but avoid fattening restaurants.


You are allowed to drink one every day during the last 2 cycles, but you are strongly recommended to skip when you can.


Your meal should prevent hunger, but not make you feel stuffed or full. Many items do not with strict sizes of portion, so you can consume till you get satisfied.

How many exercises You Should Do On A 17-Day Diet?

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Workout is an important component of the 17-day diet. During the 1st and 2nd cycles, you will spend 17 minutes every day doing some light workout like walking. During the 3rd cycle, you will do 40-60 minutes of aerobic workout most days of the week. In the last cycle, you will work out for one hour on weekends and continues with regular plans on weekdays.

The 17-Day Diet: Effects of Short-Term and Long-Term

The 17-day diet may have short-term effects, so if you have to reduce some pounds for an event, a diet like this could be effective for you. Keeping the weight off for the long term, however, might be problematic. One can not stay like this for more time because of too many rules. You will also find it difficult to manage food. Therefore, it is suitable for short-term diet plans.

The 17-day diet is an effective weight loss program that claims quick results for weight loss by switching food and limiting calorie intake. It helps with weight loss by improving whole, exercise, and unprocessed foods. Yet, different of its rules and claims are not supported by high-quality scientific evidence.

The 17-day diet might seem complicated, but once you follow it properly, you and your body get used to it. You can use meal planning apps to make it easier to manage in a busy schedule. Good dieting is about learning your health, shopping for suitable food, cooking for yourself, and eating. Make sure to follow all instructions and contact a health expert, if you get any unpredictable side effects.

Also, do not skip your healthy sleep of 7-8 hours. Drink enough water to increase hydration. Avoid stress and keep your mind busy in your favorite activity to stay relaxed to follow the diet healthily.

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