17 Day Diet: The Definitive Guide to Weight Loss

Searching through the app store for a “diet” or some weight loss help might lead you to many options. You have probably stumbled upon 17 Day Diet and wondered, “What is this? A 17 Day Diet? I can do 17 days, that’s easy!”

17 day diet ultimate guide to weight loss. Handy guide for beginners.

The diet is a healthy and easy way to get the pounds off. It was designed by Dr. Mike Moreno.

It’s essentially a carbohydrate cycling diet, which means you are adjusting your intake of carbs depending on which cycle of the diet you are currently on (there are 4 cycles and all are explained below). 

It’s not a fad diet, but a balanced eating plan that adjusts every 17 days so that your metabolism won’t slow down and you won’t get bored. You do eat what is considered “healthy diet foods”, however, you can make them delicious and still enjoy being on the 17 day diet. 

This diet is great as a jumpstart to living a healthy lifestyle as it teaches you what is good for you and allows only foods that are healthy.  It provides visible results in 7 days and weight loss of up to 12 pounds in the first 17 days. 

You eat mostly lean proteins, vegetables, low-sugar fruits, probiotics, and “friendly” fats that are heart-healthy and promote fat loss.

You add a greater selection of foods as you go through the cycles, including natural carbs.

Eventually, you will even be able to enjoy alcohol and your favorite foods again, though in moderation.

You won’t just be losing weight, you’ll be moving away from refined, processed foods to cleaner foods that are friendly to your digestion system.


17 Day Diet Cycles

There are 4 Cycles (each cycle is 17 days). Learn about them below.

  • Cycle 1, Accelerate: The 17 day diet cycle 1 is the most restrictive so that you see results right away and stay motivated.
  • Cycle 2, Activate: The Activate cycle resets your metabolism so that you don’t plateau and keep burning fat. Every other day, you will alternate Accelerate cycle (cycle1) with the Activate cycle (cycle2). Natural starches are added during this cycle giving you more carbs and more variety to your meals.
  • Cycle 3, Achieve: The goal of the Achieve cycle is to establish healthy eating habits and steady weight loss while adding even more variety such as breads, pasta, snacks, and even alcohol into your diet. Your weight loss won’t be as rapid, but you can offset this by exercising more and avoiding alcohol and snacks when possible.
  • Cycle 4, Arrive: Arrive is basically a maintenance cycle. It’s simple: during the week, you will eat from any of the meal plans on the Accelerate, Activate, or Achieve cycles. On weekends, you will increase your calories and enjoy favorite foods like pizza, hamburgers, or cheesecake. To prevent yourself from gaining weight, you should have no more than 3 favorite foods each weekend.

17 Day Diet guide - ultimate guide to weight loss on 17 day diet. Learn the 4 cycles.

The Most Important 17 Day Diet Rules To Follow:

  1. Each cycle is 17 days.
  2. Eat mostly lean proteins and vegetables; fruits, probiotics and fats are allowed in limited quantities. Certain starches are not allowed until cycle 2. And you are added more starch options as you move into cycle 3. Our 17-Day-Diet Complete app can guide you through the whole diet.
  3. Only 2 servings of fruit a day and no fruit after 2pm.
  4. Drink 64 ounces of pure water a day. You are also allowed coffee, tea & diet soda. These do not count towards your daily water requirement.
  5. Eat only foods that are on the allowed foods list for that specific cycle. See full list of foods on our 17 Day Diet Quick Reference Food Guide.
  6. Exercise: For the first 2 cycles start off with walking for a minimum of 17 minutes a day. You could also double this amount and walk 34 minutes, or split it up and do 2 walks throughout the day- 17 mins each. You could also try jogging, riding a bike, dancing or any exercise you like. Try not to overdo it during these cycles because you are taking in less carbs at this time.
  7. For the rest of the diet push yourself to go longer and harder in your exercise routines. This is best considering you are taking in more different types of carbs and once on the 4th cycle you are allowed to eat your favorite foods such as pizza or cheesecake, so exercising more is best. It will also be good for you to train for an active and healthy lifestyle.
  8. There is an optional 1 day fast you can do between cycles if you’d like. You would eat 3 smoothies during the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The smoothies should include some of these ingredients to promote fat burning: Matcha green tea powder, whey protein powder, probiotics, fiber and low-sugar fruits. Read more about the smoothies in our Transitional Smoothie post.

How to get started: 

To get started on The 17 Day Diet I suggest either getting the book or following our meal plan. The reason being is both will guide you the RIGHT WAY on this diet. It’s a pretty specific diet, and following the rules will lead to the best results on it.

I suggest using a 17 day diet food list either from the book – or this one on our site – and make sure you only have these foods in your house.

Cleaning out your pantry or fridge of foods that aren’t allowed will help you succeed on the diet tremendously! It’s my first step to starting this diet.

Next, create your own meal plan, or use one of ours and go shopping for the foods you need.

Having what you need on hand will also help you succeed. Doing this gives you NO excuses for going out and eating food that isn’t on the diet – aka Cheating!

After you’re all stocked up with supplies, you’re ready to embark on the diet. Stick to the diet plan, exercise, drink lots of water, have some lemon water and green tea and you’re going to do well on this diet.

If you’re interested – here is our meal plan app for 17 Day Diet.

17 Day Diet Do’s and Don’ts

Being restricted of lots of stuff on a diet can be disheartening and cause you to fall off the wagon. This diet is restrictive, but not to a point of starving. There is no reason to starve on this diet – see the first “DO” for more detail! Which is so awesome! Right?

Below I’ve narrowed it down to the most important 17 day diet tips I could and I hope it helps you decide if it’s the diet for you or not.

17 Day Diet “Do’s

  • Enjoy unlimited proteins and vegetables. There is no excuse for starving yourself on this diet. You can eat as much of these as you’d like – you should never go hungry. As you progress into cycle 2 & 3 you are allowed more protein options as well as veggie options.
  • Eat 2 low-sugar fruits a day. Fruit helps with digestion, has healthy vitamins and is a good all natural sweet to snack on. In cycle 3 you are given more fruit options.
  • Eat 2 servings of probiotics a day. Probiotics help with digestion and weight loss. Yogurt, kefir, live-active cottage cheese, miso, kimchi and tempeh are just a few examples. You can combine your fruit and probiotic by drinking a smoothie or eating a fruit and yogurt bowl.
  • Add 1- 2 servings of “friendly fats” to your day. Olive oil and flaxseed oil are allowed on the first 2 cycles. You can add avocado’s, nuts, seeds and other oils starting in cycle 3. Adding oils is simple as you can use them to cook with or add a TBSP of flaxseed oil to your smoothie. Some people add ground flaxseeds to smoothies to help with constipation. Learn about good fats vs bad fats here.
    A lot of people ask me about olives. They are definitely a healthy fat. But keep in mind that olives are also high in sodium, and this isn’t so great when trying to lose weight as it’s been shown to cause bloating if you eat a lot. Therefore, you can eat olives, but eat them in moderation.
  • Drink at least 8 (8 oz) glasses of water a day. Drinking water is one of the most important 17 day diet guidelines and a key to weight loss. Water keeps you hydrated, can help with cravings, helps with weight loss and keeps you healthy. You are allowed other drinks such as coffee, tea and zero calorie soda’s. However – none of these count towards your required water intake. Quick Note: Zero-calorie soda is “allowed”, per say. However, it’s not highly recommended to be honest. For 2 reasons: 1. This diet is trying to move you towards a clean/healthy way of eating. Soda is not clean nor healthy.
    2. Even though diet soda contains no sugar, it’s still feeding your sugar addiction and that’s the opposite of what 17 day diet is trying to help you do – get rid of your carb/sugar addiction.
  • Start your day with some lemon water – can be warm, cold, or hot. The lemon water helps wake up your digestive system.
  • Drink green tea every day for added weight loss benefit.
  • Exercise at least 17-34 minutes a day. This is just a minimum, too. If you want to exercise more, go for it! Exercise options are unlimited! Walking, biking, swimming, yoga, hiking, dancing, aerobics, pilates, weight training, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking and HIIT are just a few examples of what you can do to get your body moving every day.
    FitnessBlender.com is great for workout videos. They offer cardio, aerobics, strength training, body weight workouts, pilates, yoga and more! I love using the site when I just don’t feel like going outside the house to workout, you can use their videos anywhere and it’s free!
    If you want to take a day or 2 off from exercise, this should be fine. But try and make your day at least slightly active, like take the stairs instead of the elevator!
  • Focus on how far you’ve come not how far you have to go. Take note of little changes such as how your clothes feel on your body, how you look in the mirror, and how you feel. Success can be measured in multiple ways not just the number on the scale! Before/after pictures and measuring tapes can help you see your progress as well.
  • Get the 17-Day Diet Breakthrough Edition book for more information about the diet. It includes many additional info for the diet, such as the PMS exception diet, eating out tips, ethnic food tips and the new optional fast guidelines.

17 Day Diet “Don’ts

  • DO NOT Eat starches/carbs on the first cycle. No bread, pasta, rice, grains, beans, oatmeal, tortillas, or starchy veggies such as squash, potatoes, corn and peas.
    In the 2nd cycle you are allowed some starches (2 servings a day): rice, oatmeal, beans, and some starchy veggies such as potatoes, corn, some squash and peas.
    All starches MUST BE eaten before 2pm!
    The 3rd cycle allows for breads and tortillas as well as a couple more starchy veggies. Learn about Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs here.
  • DON’T eat fruit after 2pm. Eating your fruit earlier on in the day is best.
  • TRY NOT TO Drink alcohol until cycle 3. 
  • DON’T Eat donuts, cakes, pies, cookies and other “bad for you” sweets. They’re truly NOT recommended on this diet. Of all the diet guidelines listed here, I highly recommend sticking to this one.
    If you have an “addiction” to these kinds of foods, just know that if you stop now, it might be hard at first, but keep going! It gets so much easier, and will get to a point where you won’t even desire foods like this and realize they make you sick!
    To help curb sweet cravings, you are allowed super dark chocolate in moderation, as well as sugar free jello. You can also make a tasty “frozen yogurt” treat using Plain Greek Yogurt, unsweetened cocoa powder and stevia. Stir and freeze.

In Conclusion

It might sound a bit complicated, but I promise you that you can get used to it. We even created a Meal Plan app for it, to make it easier for people with no time. Basically you have no excuse if you use our meal plan – you just have to shop, cook and eat – and make sure you’re following the other rules (exercise and water intake). You will lose the weight following our meal plan. I wish you the best of luck. If you have questions along the way, just ask in the comments below.

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