The 17 Day Diet. Does it Really Work?

17 day dietThe 17 day diet was and still is one of the most popular plans today. But does it really work? The answer is yes, but not everything that was advertised about it is true.

In fact some of it is misleading. It’s NOT 17 days and you should know this and some very important facts before you attempt to try it. 


The 17 day diet background info:

Even though it says 17 days, it’ll actually take you 68 days to complete this diet. The reason being is that it’s divided into 4 cycles, each 17 days long. Advertisers didn’t bother mentioning this because 17 sounds better than 68!  

Though it’s not really a bad thing, but it was never mentioned until people started looking into it. The diet is mostly low-carb and aims to change your eating routines every 17 days.

The purpose of this change is to trick the body into raising metabolism and avoiding a weight loss plateau from happening. This is called metabolic confusion. Although results vary, it is said you can lose 12 pounds every 17 days with this diet. 

How it works:

  • There are a number of rules that go along with this plan: 
  • You will need to drink a lot of water daily. 8 glasses is what’s suggested. 
  • Never eat until you’re stuffed. Always leave a little room left. 
  • You have to drink tea with lemon every morning for breakfast. 
  • There are 4 cycles to this diet, each 17 days long. 
  • There is also an optional workout DVD as well as a service that delivers the same meals shown in the diet book to your door. But it’s just recommended to stick to the book only if you want to try this diet. These are just optional choices.

Cycle 1:

This is called “Accelerate”. Here you officially begin the diet by following a specific meal plan laid out for you in the 17 day diet book. Most of the diet is low-carb and you’ll be eating a combination of lean meats and vegetables throughout this cycle, while sticking to the rules above. 

Dr. Moreno has set up this cycle such that when you eat a certain way for 17 days, your body will get used to this and when you go on to cycle 2, you will switch to a new meal plan. This will “activate” even more fat burning and keep metabolism high. You’ll be repeating this format each cycle, 4 times.

Sample food list:

Lean proteins: Chicken, salmon, turkey, eggs, flounder, tuna.

Vegetables: Peppers (all colors), broccoli. There are a lot available, but the key is to avoid any vegetable with starch.

Fruits: Berries, apples, grapefruit. 

Other: Yogurt. 

Cycle 2:

Known as “activate”. In this cycle you will now change your eating routines. In this case, you’ll be eating in a cycle 1 fashion every other day, while the days in between will be in a cycle 2 style.

This will keep mixing up what you eat and trick the body into never being able to adapt to any particular eating routine. This will make the metabolic confusion effect occur and help the weight loss results continue. Cycle 2 lasts for another 17 days.

Sample food list:

Lean proteins: Sirloin steak, pork chops, lean ground beef, lamb shakes, clams, shrimp, oysters. 

Vegetables: Potato, corn. The starch taboo is lifted for cycle 2. 

Beans: Soy beans, peas, black beans, lima beans, kidney beans. 

Carbs: Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa (a special kind of rice), oat bran. 

Cycle 3:

Known as Achieve. In this cycle, you go back to following a specific meal plan. The good news is there is much more flexibility. There is no alternating like in Cycle 2. You just follow a specific meal plan laid out for you. 

Food list:

You can now eat pasta and other foods which do not contain gluten and all have high fiber. 

Bread: Whole wheat. 

Meat: Any choice from cycles 1 & 2. 

Fruits: Anything from cycle 1 with more choices such as bananas, pomegranate, cherries.

Vegetables: Any choices from cycles 1 & 2.

Cycle 4:

Known as Arrive. This is the final cycle of the diet, but rather than being another 17 days, it’s more of a long term plan to maintain your results. Here it’s very simple:

5 days out of the week, you eat the same way you would during cycle 3, while the other 2 days, you are allowed to eat anything you want. Think of them as cheat days.  

The purpose of this phase is to get you permanently used to eating healthy and also keep the metabolic confusion effect going. By eating the same way for 5 days and then completely changing it during your cheat days, you’ll continue to keep your body from ever adapting to any particular eating routine and thus keep the metabolic confusion effect happening, which means you’ll maintain weight loss results. 

Read about the #1 plan which rates higher than 17 Day Diet.

Pros of the 17 Day Diet:

  • Has healthy food choices.
  • Unusual, but effective way to diet.
  • Uses metabolic confusion, a proven way to lose weight. This is also known as interval eating where you eat mixed meals in calories.
  • Does get results. 
  • You do get to eat more during this diet than most traditional plans. 


  • Doesn’t mention it’s 68 days long. 
  • There isn’t much room for flexibility. 

17 Day Diet Score:

4 stars

4 stars out of 5. Pretty solid diet. It does work. But it is limited in certain areas (below). 

17 day diet score

The verdict on the 17 day diet:

It’s a good diet that for the most part doesn’t follow the traditional ways of dieting which is good. It does get results and if you stick to it, you’ll likely see them and be happy.

But it does have a few flaws and the biggest is that it’s approach to metabolic confusion is limited. Why is this such a big deal? Because if it was properly used, this diet would get even better results and you would be allowed much more variety of foods. 

You see metabolic confusion goes by many names, the most popular being calorie shifting or interval eating and in it’s purest form, you change how you eat day to day almost constantly which speeds up the process. Think of cycle 2 of the 17 day diet, but done in a daily scale. This is what interval is in essence, but there’s much more variety in what you can eat and if done right, you can lose 1 or more pounds every single day. This is something the #1 rated diet (EODD) does and correctly.

You can even eat what you like on certain days. And because interval eating’s only focus is on how you eat, not really what you eat, there is much more flexibility. Because the 17 day diet tries to add in the traditional healthy approach, it actually ends up having an opposite effect on the metabolic confusion (interval eating) effect. This is how it ends up looking with the 17 day diet:


If you want to truly experience the weight loss power of calorie shifting, then I would highly recommend trying this diet. It’s rated #1 on this website and can help you drop 20 pounds every few weeks and it is 4x SHORTER than the 17 day diet.

This doesn’t disqualify the 17 day diet by any means. It works and it’s definitely a very good plan. But at the same time, through the #1 rated diet, you can eat as much as you eat on certain days, not be limited to a certain group of foods and not have to go through 68 days of dieting to finish anything (this diet lasts 10-11 days).

 What do you think of the 17 day diet? Leave your comments below! 

5 thoughts on “The 17 Day Diet. Does it Really Work?”

  1. Hi There,

    Excellent in depth review I must say! I am not a plan of fad diets be it the vegan diet, raw food diet, 21 day diet, venus diet or what ever as to be honest a diet is as on going thing.

    Most people who diet actually end up putting the weight back on, which defeats the purpose.

    A diet in my humble opinion is making lasting lifestyle changes to their eating habbits.

  2. This is an interesting diet format. My husband did something like this when he was weight training, in order to lose fat and build muscle. I mean it wasn’t quite the same, the diet and foods he chose were DULL, but this sounds like it has promise. But i was interested in your verdict, if there is one that is better, this sounds like it’s worth a look. I want something that i can sustain every day (after the initial weight loss), without really thinking about it, or am I hoping too much?!

    • Not quite Ruth. Try the 3 week diet. If you can go through the first 21 days of the diet, you’ll lose a lot of weight and then only be limited to calorie intake everyday, but you’ll be able to eat all the foods you like.

  3. Thank you for this awesome and detailed article of yours.

    I honestly have never heard of the 17 days diet, and I am also glad that you did break the confusion that it is actually a 68 days diet.

    I always wonder if it really fits for everyone though?

    I am certainly intrigued to learn more about it and will do more research.

    Your detailed article certainly helped a lot and I have bookmarked your website.

    All the best.


    • No I don’t think it fits everyone Sylvia. 68 days is long, but for longer diets like this one, it’s not bad. Take a look at the food list there, if there are foods there you can see yourself eating and enjoying, then you can do this diet 🙂


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