17-Day Diet: Benefits, Foods, and Rules

The 17-day diet is an effective diet for people that want to lose weight quickly and form better eating habits. It helps to regulate your digestion, improve your metabolism, and foster healthy food habits that can last a lifetime. The 17-day diet works in cycles with food restrictions, to help solidify good habits so you can lose weight quickly and keep it off in the long term.

What Is a 17-Day Diet?

The 17-day diet was developed by medical doctor Michael Moreno. The 17-day diet cycle 1 should help you lose 10-17 pounds within the first 17 days. It restricts the kinds of food you can eat in a way that boosts your metabolism and helps you shed those unwanted pounds. 

What Is a 17 Day Diet
What is a 17-Day Diet?

The 17-day diet cycle 1 food plan is the most important cycle because it accelerates your metabolism to get the ball rolling on your weight loss. 

The diet combines both strict eating with a mild workout and supplement regimen, but many people have seen it work wonders on their bodies. It has a relatively low cost compared to some diet plans but does require you to buy proteins, which can be expensive when compared to grains or vegetables. 

How Does a 17-Day Diet Work?

The 17-day diet works by creating a strict food regimen, including a 7-day detox diet, which can help you lose 10-17 pounds in less than a month. 

After the first cycle, it loosens food restrictions slowly, eventually getting you to a more sustainable diet to help you maintain the weight loss without eliminating many foods from your diet. 

The 17-day diet regimen is excellent for people that want to see fast results and don’t mind restricting their diet at the start. 

What Are the Cycles of the 17-Day Diet?

There are four cycles to the 17-day diet; accelerate, activate, achieve, and arrive. They each have a different purpose within the 17-day diet. 

  1. Accelerate: The first cycle is typically the hardest because it restricts a lot of the food you can eat, but it helps you lose weight fast. The first cycle is all about remedying your digestive health and boosting your metabolism by eliminating all sugars, fats, and most carbohydrates. People are encouraged to consume pro-biotics like yogurt and lots of lean proteins to maintain nutrition. 
  2. Activate: The activate stage is a continuation of cycle 1, helping to regulate your digestive system and eliminate foods that can disrupt your metabolism. In cycle 2, you alternate between the cycle 17-day meal plan with the cycle 2 diet. The 17-day diet menu plans cycle 2 allows you to eat more starchy vegetables and proteins with a higher fat content like pink fish or red meat. 
  3. Achieve: The third cycle of Dr. Moreno 17 day diet menu allows you to introduce more foods, such as poultry with more fat, whole grain kinds of pasta and bread, and even alcoholic beverages in moderation. This cycle is the beginning of your good eating habits to keep the weight off without having to live off cabbage soup recipes and soda water. It’s important to continue eating loads of vegetables rather than returning to old, unhealthy habits.
  4. Arrive: The fourth cycle means you’ve ‘arrived’ at your long-term way of eating. You can eat all of the foods from the first three cycles in moderation, and then you can loosen the restrictions on the weekends. So all of the sugary foods you weren’t letting yourself eat, you can enjoy on Saturdays and Sundays. But on weekdays, you have to stick to the restricted diet if you want to keep the weight off. 

What Are the Health Benefits of a 17-Day Diet?

The health benefits that come along with the 17-day diet plan will not only help you lose weight but can improve your overall bodily health and make you happier! Check out the pros and cons of the 17-day diet plan. 

  • Weight Loss: The most obvious health benefit is the weight loss that the diet and Dr. Moreno promise. If you are overweight, this can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health benefits of healthy weight loss. It can also relieve stress on joints and bones by eliminating the excess weight they have to carry. 
  • Increased Metabolism: Increased metabolism means your body will be able to process foods more efficiently and take the most nutrients from everything you eat. A better performing metabolism can help you burn calories while you sleep and give you more energy throughout the day. 
  • Improved Digestion: Eating meats and probiotics improve your digestive health, meaning you can be more regular. This benefit is a lifesaver for people with troubled bowels and sometimes can help those with IBS reduce symptoms and irritation. 

What Are the Health Risks of a 17-Day Diet?

The health benefits of the 17-day diet outweigh the health risks if you follow the meal plans correctly. But there are some health risks to consider and discuss with a doctor before beginning the 17-day diet. 

  • Lack of Nutrition: If you don’t balance your meals properly and over-restrict because you’re eager to lose weight, your body may not get the nutrition it needs. When this happens your bodily functions like digestion and sleep can lack, and you may feel fatigued or weak. 
  • Binge-eating: Another health risk associated with the 17-diet is binge-eating. If you can’t stick to the diet or you go overboard on your ‘free days’ on the weekend, you may do more harm than good. 

How To Do a 17-Day Diet

Below are the steps to starting and then maintaining the 17-day diet plan. 

  1. Doing the 17-day diet starts with eliminating fats, sugars, and most carbohydrates from your diet. So the first step is to get rid of or hide all sugar, like chocolates, ice cream, and other sugary snacks. 
  2. Next, eliminate pasta, bread, and other refined carbs that slow digestion and prevent weight loss. And finally, don’t eat foods high in fat, like red meat. Follow this strict regimen for 17 days, or more if you don’t mind the restrictions. 
  3. After this, move on to the 17-day diet cycle 2 meal plan, where you can incorporate starchy vegetables and some other proteins. Alternate the cycle 1 diet with the cycle 2 diet daily for about a month or until you see the weight loss results you want. 
  4. In the third cycle, you can bring back some carbs and eat proteins with higher fat content, plus all of the foods you ate in cycles 1 and 2. Many people say the diet starts to get a lot easier when you reach this cycle because you can go back to enjoying almost all meats and most carbohydrates. 
  5. And the last cycle is just the culmination of the habits you’ve been practicing. But the difference is that you can eat whatever you want on the weekends. So, splurge on Saturdays and Sundays by getting that Big Mac or the hot fudge sundae with no regrets! Stick to the restricted diet Monday through Friday to keep the weight off and keep your digestive system happy!

What Foods Can Be Eaten on a 17-Day Diet?

What foods you can eat on the 17-day diet evolve as you move through the cycles. But by the end, you will be able to eat the following foods on weekdays to maintain a healthy and desired weight.

  • Cycle 1 Food List: Fish, Poultry, Low-starch vegetables, Pro-biotics
  • Cycle 2 Food List: Everything from cycle 1, Shellfish, Low-sugar fruit, Pork, Eggs, Whole grains, All vegetables
  • Cycles 3 and 4 Food List: Everything from cycles 1 and 2, Bacon, Sausage, Red meat, All fruit

In 17-day cycle 1, you have to avoid high-sugar fruits, high-starch vegetables, high-fat proteins, and any grains. But you can eat most of these foods once you reach cycle 2 and beyond. 

What Foods Cannot Be Eaten on a 17-Day Diet?

For more 17-day diet facts, you cannot eat the following foods at any point during the 17-day diet, except when you reach cycle 4 and can splurge on the weekends.

  1. Milk
  2. Dried fruit
  3. White bread 
  4. Candy
  5. Ice cream
  6. Flavored coffee drinks
  7. Wheat flour-based pasta
  8. Juice

What Are the Best Recipes for a 17-Day Diet?

To help you plan out your meals, these are 17-day diet recipes from 17-day diet blogs and weight watchers. 

What Are the Best Recipes for a 17 Day Diet
What are the Best Recipes for a 17-Day Diet?
  1. Green salad with spiced tuna: Top off a big bowl of spinach with canned tuna seasoned with olive oil, dill, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Cauliflower soup: To make this delicious cauliflower soup, roast cauliflower with salt and pepper and blend it with vegetable broth. 
  3. Whole-grain pancakes: The WW whole grain pancakes are low in sugar and refined carbohydrates but super yummy with some fruit. 
  4. Grilled steak and vegetables: This recipe is best on the grill. Just toss the steak and veggies on the girl with some salt and pepper, and enjoy!

What Is a Sample Menu for a 17-Day Diet?

Below are sample menus of what a day in each cycle should look like. Use these as templates for your daily food as you move through the cycles. 

Cycle 1 Sample Menu

  • Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, 1 cup plain kefir, 1/2 a grapefruit
  • Lunch: 2 tofu summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce (no sugar)
  • Dinner: 3 ounces pan-seared halibut, 1 serving oven-roasted asparagus

Cycle 2 Sample Menu

  • Breakfast: 1 cup yogurt, 6 ounces granola
  • Lunch: 15 ounces shrimp salad with sugar-free dressing
  • Dinner: 1 serving chicken marsala, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed broccoli

Cycle 3 Sample Menu

  • Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal with sliced peaches
  • Lunch: 1 cup Greek yogurt, 10 ounces almond chicken salad, 8 ounces of whole-wheat crackers
  • Dinner: 5 ounces honey mustard salmon, 1 cup oven-roasted potatoes, 3 ounces of mixed greens

What Is a Sample Shopping List for a 17-Day Diet?

Below is a sample shopping list for cycles 1 and 2. This is just an example of a grocery list following the 17-day diet. 

Cycle 1

  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil 
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Tofu 
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed berries 
  • White-fleshed fish
  • Kefir 
  • Avocado 
  • Grapefruit
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Tempeh 

Cycle 2

  • Chicken 
  • Pork 
  • Beef
  • Shrimp 
  • Salmon 
  • Barley 
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Low-fat granola
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Rolled oats
  • Apples
  • Chickpeas 
  • Pears 
  • Grapes 
  • Nectarines 
  • Beans
  • No-sugar-added yogurt 

Cycle 3 will consist of these foods, so you can combine these shoppings list when you get to cycle 3 and on weekdays of cycle 4. 

What Is the Cost of Following a 17-Day Diet?

The cost of following the 17-day diet is no different than most diets. You can usually spend between $50 and $70 on groceries per week. So this is one of the easier diets to follow. 

What Are the Facts About the 17-Day Diet?

What Are the Facts About the 17 Day Diet
What are the Facts About the 17-Day Diet?
  1. You can lose up to a pound a day at the beginning
  2. You can eat whatever you want on Saturdays and Sundays in cycle 4
  3. The diet improves digestion and your metabolism
  4. It is relatively easy to follow

How Effective is a 17-Day Diet for Weight Loss?

The 17-day diet is very effective for fast weight loss. But it can be difficult for long-term weight loss if you don’t stick to the diet restrictions.

How Easy is a 17-Day Diet to Follow?

People report the diet is medium as far as effort is involved. The first 17 days are the hardest, and then it steadily gets easier. People say the ability to splurge on the weekends makes the diet much easier to follow.  

What Are the Best Practices to Follow a 17-Day Diet?

  1. Stick to lean meats
  2. Eat as many vegetables as possible
  3. Avoid sweets and sugar at all costs
  4. Exercise at least 1-2 times a week

Who Should Do a 17-Day Diet?

Anyone looking to lose weight quickly should do a 17-day diet plan to see fast results. Both men and women can benefit heavily from this diet, especially if you feel you have poor and irregular digestion. 

However, some people should not do the 17-day diet menu, such as people with diabetes or those with a history of eating disorders. 

But for most other people, it can be a great diet for weight loss that doesn’t make you give up your favorite foods, like donuts and burgers. Instead, it helps you form healthy eating habits. 

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.