The 17-Day Diet: Pros, Cons, and What You Can Eat

At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy life style. successful eating plans need to be individualized and take the whole person into retainer. Prior to starting a new diet design, consult with your healthcare provider or a register dietician, particularly if you have an fundamental health condition. The 17-Day Diet promises agile weight loss—10 to 15 pounds over the first base 17 days—through a restrictive first phase that eliminates sugar, grain-based foods, fruit, and most dairy foods. The diet claims to rev up your metamorphosis and encourage your body to burn fatness .

The platform is the inspiration of Michael Moreno, MD, a kin practice doctor in San Diego. His best-selling book, “ The 17-Day Diet, ” was published in 2010, and according to his web site, Dr. Moreno has helped millions of Americans lose weight following this diet plan. His blueprint for weight unit loss was updated in 2014 with “ The 17-Day Diet : Breakthrough Edition, ” which includes recipes plus data about supplements and exercise.

The diet peaked in popularity in the early 2010s but hush circulates in the diet culture. Dr. Moreno ‘s web site includes information, resources, and recipes for those who are concerned in learning more about the diet and for those who have followed the program for a while .

Proponents of the diet tout its fast results ( specially during the first 17 days ), and many have found that it ‘s easy to implement and follow. however, as with many diets, it ‘s slippery to get sustain results, and people who have followed the 17-Day Diet say it ‘s difficult to follow long-run .

realistically, you are probably to lose some weight unit on the 17-Day Diet, peculiarly in the inaugural phase of the program. The diet gets slightly less restrictive in the subsequent phases, and ultimately adds back many of the foods it eliminates by the final bicycle, which is ideally meant to be followed for life. Yet reintroducing foods that were previously eliminated can cause you to regain some or all of the initial weight that was lost .

What Experts Say

“ The 17-Day Diet progresses through four stages, claiming to rev your metabolism. Experts say there ’ sulfur little attest for the 17-day switch, or for some of the diet rules like no fruit past 2pm. But calorie restriction should lead to slant loss, and the late stages are balanced. ”
— Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH

What Can You Eat ?

The eat design on the 17-Day Diet reduces the inhalation of carbohydrates by eliminating all refined carbohydrates and sugars. The diet does allow for some solid grains and prioritizes low-carb vegetables, tend protein, and healthy fats. The 17-Day Diet works in cycles, with unlike foods allowed during different cycles .

The program includes three meals per day plus snacks. The goal is to keep people who are following the diet from getting hungry. From the beginning cycle, you can eat vitamin a much as you want of specific proteins and the alleged “ cleanse ” ( e.g., non-starchy ) vegetables .

The diet blueprint includes suggested meal plans for all days, although you can mix and match those plans to suit your own tastes. You besides can elect to do fast days in between the cycles ( in which you ‘ll consume smoothies ) to purportedly jump-start your weight personnel casualty .

To follow the 17-Day Diet, it ‘s helpful ( although not required ) to purchase Dr. Moreno ‘s record, which includes meal plans and recipes along with the diet blueprint. hush, most meal templates are simpleton. For exemplar, a typical breakfast in Cycle 2 includes 1 cup of lean granola with 6 ounces of no-sugar-added fruit-flavored yogurt, while a typical dinner would feature garlic shrimp, steamed fleeceable beans, and a large discard salad dressed with 1 tablespoon olive anoint .

many well-loved foods are off the table for the duration of the 17-Day Diet. Though proponents say this is what accelerates weight unit loss, you may find it makes the diet catchy to follow when eat or socializing with friends and syndicate .

What You Need to Know

If you have food allergies or intolerances, following the 17-Day Diet should be relatively simple—you ‘ll barely need to eliminate the foods you ca n’t have. For those with addict or dairy allergies, it ‘s comfortable, since those foods are by and large not included in the diet blueprint. It ‘s besides easy to follow the diet if you follow a gluten-free diet since it mentions when you can have foods such as gluten-free boodle and gluten-free pasta .

The program besides includes “ transitional day fasts, ” which are supposed to “ coax your body into extra fat-burning between cycles. ” These fasts are optional, according to Dr. Moreno. If you choose to do the transitional day fasts, you ‘ll consume smoothies in three liquid meals on your fast days. The smoothies contain almond milk, yogurt, whey gunpowder, powdered fiber, plus fruit .

There are four phases, or “ cycles, ” on the 17-Day Diet, the first three of which are 17 days retentive. hera ‘s a breakdown of each hertz, according to Dr. Moreno ‘s koran :

  • Cycle 1 (“Accelerate”) is designed to “promote rapid weight loss by improving digestive health. It helps clear sugar from the blood to boost fat-burning and discourage fat storage,” according to Dr. Moreno. This cycle reduces carbohydrate intake slightly but eliminates all sugar, sweets, and refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, replacing them mainly with low-carb vegetables. You’re allowed to have some fat in the form of olive oil or flaxseed oil, plus “liberal amounts” of lean protein. Probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, and tempeh also are encouraged.
  • Cycle 2 (“Activate”) is designed to “reset your metabolism through a strategy that involves increasing and decreasing your caloric consumption to stimulate fat burning and to help prevent plateaus.” On this cycle, you’ll alternate days between the more restrictive Cycle 1 foods and the less restrictive Cycle 2 foods. On “Cycle 2” days, you can have everything that was allowed in Cycle 1, plus some higher-fat meats and fish, some whole grains, some starchy vegetables, and legumes.
  • Cycle 3 (“Achieve”) is designed to help you “develop good eating habits through the reintroduction of additional foods and move you closer to your goal weight.” Cycle 3 foods include all foods from the first two cycles, plus some additional fattier types of meat (quail and turkey bacon, for example). You also can have some forms of whole-grain bread, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain pasta. Vegetables are unlimited, while you can have two servings of fruit daily. You also can add alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Cycle 4 (“Arrive”) is designed to be followed for the long term to “keep you at your goal weight through a program of eating less that lets you enjoy your favorite foods on weekends while eating healthfully during the week.” This cycle, which is open-ended, calls for eating only foods allowed in the first three cycles during the week and then giving yourself some leeway to “splurge” on one to three meals and some alcohol between Friday dinner and Sunday dinner.

The 17-Day Diet may be more unmanageable to follow if you ‘re a vegetarian or vegan since it relies heavily on poultry- and fish-based protein, specially in the first gear two cycles. What to Eat

  • fish and low-fat poultry ( Cycle 1 )
  • shellfish and higher-fat domestic fowl ( Cycle 2 )
  • poultry, bacon, and blimp ( Cycle 3 )
  • crimson kernel and pork ( Cycles 2 and 3 )
  • Eggs ( all cycles )
  • Non-starchy vegetables ( all cycles )
  • Starchy vegetables ( Cycles 2 and 3 )
  • Legumes ( Cycles 2 and 3 )
  • hale grains ( Cycles 2 and 3 )
  • Probiotics ( for example, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut ) ( all cycles )
  • Low-sugar fruit ( for example, apples, berries, pears, citrus ) ( all cycles )
  • High-sugar fruit ( for example, bananas, mango, pineapple ) ( Cycle 3 )

What not to Eat

  • milk, ice cream, and most other dairy products ( all cycles )
  • Foods with lend sugar
  • White bread ( and other highly processed bread products )
  • Alcohol ( allowed in easing )
  • sugarcoat
  • Wheat flour-based pasta
  • Dried fruit
  • Flavored coffee bean drinks
  • juice

The 17-Day Diet focuses on eliminating certain carbohydrates from your meals. As a result, you ‘ll tend to eat more protein than you might normally while eliminating entire groups of carb-based foods .


There are plenty of protein options on the 17-Day Diet, even starting in the diet ‘s more restrictive first motorbike. From day one, you can enjoy pisces ( including salmon, sole, stagger, catfish, tilapia, and canned light tuna in water ). You besides can have chicken and joker breast, lean land joker, and eggs in specify quantities. In the second cycle, you can add mollusk, pork barrel, lean red kernel, lamb, and veal. In the third base bicycle, you can have fatty types of domestic fowl plus turkey bacon, joker sausage, and canadian bacon .


When it comes to vegetables, the 17-Day Diet breaks them down into two categories : starchy and non-starchy. Non-starchy vegetables, which Dr. Moreno calls “ cleansing vegetables, ” are allowed in inexhaustible quantities. They include cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, celery, greens beans, greens, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. Starchy vegetables are allowed beginning in Cycle 2. They include corn, potatoes, pumpkin, sweetness potato, and winter squash .


Fruits are besides divided into two categories : low-sugar fruit and high-sugar yield. Two servings per day of low-sugar fruit are allowed from the first cycle, while high-sugar fruit is n’t allowed until the one-third cycle. This diet categorizes low-sugar fruits as apples, berries, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, and red grapes. High-sugar fruit includes apricots, bananas, cherries, figs, chinese gooseberry, mango, papaya, pineapple, tangelo, and tangerines .


The diet bans grains and other “ natural starches ” in Cycle 1, but then allows them ( limited in types and quantities ) in Cycles 2 and 3. In Cycle 2, you can add amaranth, barley, brown rice, couscous, cream of pale yellow, grits, long-grain rice, millet, oat bran, antique oatmeal, and quinoa. In Cycle 3, your grain-based options expand dramatically, with whole-grain and gluten-free boodle, high-fiber cereals, plus diverse kinds of pasta ( whole wheat, gluten-free, vegetable-based, and high-fiber ) .


dairy products are allowed in moderation on the 17-Day Diet. In Cycles 1 and 2, people following the program are encouraged to have two servings per sidereal day of probiotic foods, which includes yogurt, kefir, and acidophilus milk, along with Breakstone Live-Active bungalow tall mallow ( bungalow cheese with active cultures ) .

In Phase 3, they can add small amounts of certain cheeses ( Brie, camembert, fontina, low-fat cheddar, Edam, feta, capricorn, Limburger, and part-skim mozzarella ). They besides can enjoy low-fat bungalow cheese, low-fat milk, and low-fat ricotta cheese .


When it comes to fats, Dr. Moreno encourages people following his program to consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of “ friendly fats ” ( olive petroleum and flaxseed petroleum ) from the first day. once they get to Cycle 3, they besides can have a humble sum of avocado, canola oil oil, walnut vegetable oil, mayonnaise, nuts or seeds, reduced-calorie margarine, and salad dressing per sidereal day .

If you have diabetes or another chronic health condition, you should speak with your doctor anterior to starting any diet program, including the 17-Day Diet. The platform can be safe for those with health concerns, but you ‘ll want to make certain you ‘re getting all the nutrients you need.

Sample Shopping list

The 17-Day Diet is divided into four different cycles, which means that what you eat will vary depending on which cycle you ‘re in. The most restrictive phase of the diet is Cycle 1, but the eating plan starts to ease up during Cycle 2. On “ Cycle 2 ” days, you can eat everything that was allowed during Cycle 1 with the accession of higher-fat protein, whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes .

The following shopping number includes the basics for Cycle 2 and includes foods from Cycle 1. note that this is not a definitive shop list, and you may find other foods that work well for you .

Cycle 1: Accelerate

  • Low-carb vegetables (asparagus, zucchini, broccoli)
  • Olive oil and flaxseed oil
  • Lean protein (tofu, white-fleshed fish, low-fat cottage cheese)
  • Low-sugar fruit (mixed berries, grapefruit, avocado)
  • Probiotic foods (kefir and tempeh)

Cycle 2: Activate

  • Higher-fat meats and fish (chicken, beef, pork, salmon, shrimp)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley, low-fat granola, rolled oats)
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash)
  • Legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils)
  • Fruits (apples, nectarines, pears, grapes)
  • No-sugar-added yogurt (plain or with fruit added)

sample Meal plan

once you get to Cycle 2, you will alternate between low-calorie foods from Cycle 1 and higher-calorie foods from Cycle 2 every other day for 17 days. From there, you ‘ll move on to Cycle 3. The follow three-day meal plan is an example of what you could eat during the first three days in Cycle 2. eminence that if you do choose to follow the 17-Day Diet, there may be other meals that are more appropriate for your tastes and preferences .

Day 1: Cycle 2

  • Breakfast: 1 cup no-sugar-added fruit-flavored yogurt, 6 ounces low-carb, low-sugar granola
  • Lunch: 1 cup Asian shrimp salad (omit sugar from the dressing)
  • Dinner: 1 serving chicken marsala; 1 cup brown rice; 1 cup steamed broccoli

Day 2: Cycle 1

Day 3: Cycle 2

Pros and Cons


  • Diet relies heavy on healthy vegetables and tilt protein
  • easily accommodates dietary restrictions
  • Followers are probable to lose weight, particularly at first


  • May not provide adequate roughage, particularly in beginning
  • unmanageable to follow long-run
  • Requires lots of food homework and meal plan

Though some health experts say that evidence for the 17-Day Diet is lacking, according to Dr. Moreno ‘s web site, there is some science behind it. Review the pros and cons to inform your decision about trying this diet .


  • Lots of veggies and lean protein. The 17-Day Diet’s cycles include loads of healthy non-starchy vegetables and lean protein. In fact, you’re allowed to have unlimited amounts of both in all phases of the diet. These should help prevent hunger in the diet’s early days.
  • Adaptable to dietary restrictions. If you have celiac disease, a dairy intolerance, or a nut allergy, you can easily tailor the program to meet your needs. Food choices are expansive enough that you can steer clear of allergenic items and still follow the diet.
  • Weight loss is likely. You’re almost certain to lose weight, especially in the diet’s early days, because your calories will be pretty limited, even though you can have unlimited lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. Initial weight loss can boost motivation and may also improve energy and sleep, which can help you stay on track with your new healthy eating plan.


  • Not enough fiber. Everyone needs fiber—in fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend anywhere from 22–28 grams of fiber per day for adult women and 28–34 grams for adult men. If you are not careful with planning out your meals in the first cycle, you could fall shy of your fiber needs. Be sure to incorporate lots of non-starchy vegetables and two servings of high fiber fruits daily to meet your daily needs.
  • Confusing to follow. The initial phase of the 17-Day Diet can be difficult to follow as it has very specific rules and food restrictions. However, the later stages appear to be more balanced. Some people may find it time-consuming to prep and cook compliant meals, however, the recipes are fairly simple.

Whether or not the 17-Day Diet actually speeds up your metamorphosis, you are probably to lose some weight following this plan since it restricts calories and eliminates refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Is the 17-Day Diet a Healthy Choice for You ?

The first cycle of the design eliminates certain food groups such as whole grains and fruits, but these foods are added back over time. therefore, the first cycle of the diet does n’t follow the USDA ‘S dietary guidelines, but as you continue to follow the plan, the diet becomes more balance .

The USDA ‘s MyPlate nutritional guidelines tool recommends that you fill more than one-quarter of your “ plate ” ( as in your daily diet ) with grains—ideally with hale grains. The 17-Day Diet, of course, does n’t allow any grains in its first motorbike, and after that alone allows a very limited come of grain-based products .

The USDA besides advises a reduction of 500 calories a day for a firm rate of weight loss. On a 2,000-calorie diet that would mean taking in about 1,500 calories per day, but this can vary based on a number of factors like long time, sex, weight, and degree of physical bodily process. Use this calculator to help determine your own calorie guidelines to meet your goals .

The USDA recommends more servings of fruit and dairy and less protein than the 17-Day Diet. Because the diet is a generally healthy short-run eat plan, it is sometimes recommended by nutriment experts .

Health Benefits

While proponents of the 17-Day Diet claim that it will speed up the consistency ‘s metabolism and lead to increase weight loss, inquiry suggests that any weight loss resulting from temp diets is much not sustained. even though the fourth phase of the diet is meant to be lifelong, many people may have a arduous time sticking with it .

however, the corrode design does tout the benefits of cutting back on refined carbohydrates and added sugars and emphasizes lean protein and fresh vegetables, which could help people develop healthy eating habits for the long term .

Health Risks

While there are no common health risks associated with the 17-Day Diet, it does lack dietary fiber during the first cycle. Research has shown that getting enough fiber is necessity for maintaining digestive health, reducing ignition, and preventing colon cancer.

A Word From Verywell

Choosing a diet program is a very individual decision, and what ‘s right for you may not be right for person else. If you ‘re looking for a program that will lead to results, the 17-Day Diet could work for you—especially in the short term. however, you should talk to your doctor before you start any diet broadcast, to make certain the broadcast you ‘ve chosen is aligned with other health concerns you may have .

Restricting your diet international relations and security network ’ t the only component that influences system of weights passing and achieving your health goals. You can cultivate other goodly habits such as regular exercise, rest, and other factors. If the 17-Day Diet gives you a jumpstart to make healthier choices, great—but just be certain those choices are sustainable .

Remember, following a long-run or short-run diet may not be necessity for you and many diets out there simply don ’ triiodothyronine influence, particularly long-run. While we do not endorse fad diet trends or unsustainable weight unit loss methods, we present the facts so you can make an inform decision that works best for your nutritional needs, familial blueprint, budget, and goals .

If your goal is weight loss, remember that losing weight international relations and security network ’ t necessarily the same as being your healthiest self, and there are many other ways to pursue health. exercise, sleep, and other life style factors besides play a major function in your overall health. The best diet is always the matchless that is balanced and fits your life style .

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