In an attempt to shed unwanted pounds as quickly and as easily as possible, we often look for the latest diet plan that promises impressive results. One of the diets that has become extremely popular lately is the 17 day diet plan. Created by Dr Mike Moreno, the diet was initially designed to help people maintain a healthy weight and prevent holiday weight gain. The diet plan, which actually consists of three stages plus a forth one which is designed to maintain the weight loss result, has quickly become a bestseller as the author appeared on a series of well known TV shows.

Designed to be fairly varied and precise, the concepts and theories that supposedly help accelerate weight loss are different for every stage. Still, the main idea behind the diet seems to be speeding up the metabolism by creating a “metabolic confusion” which eventually raises the basal metabolic rate, accelerating fat burn. In addition, the book also has 17 minutes daily exercise sessions, which can help reshape one’s body. To understand what the weight loss plan is all about, first we must take a closer look at the rules and principles contained in every cycle of the diet.

Cycle 1 – “Accelerate”(days 1-17) is the strictest one in terms of calorie intake. With a daily 1200 calorie allowance, the plan follows the main requirements of a low carb diet. Lean meats, low fat dairy, fruits, non-starch vegetables and green tea and water consumption is encouraged in order to accelerate weight loss as much as possible. During this stage, water weight is easily lost and the basal metabolic rate raises.

Cycle 2 – “Activate”(days 18-34) focuses on varying the daily calorie intake from high to low over the course of several days. This technique is said to prevent the metabolism from slowing down and to avoid weight loss plateau. If in the first cycle the lost weight is mostly water weight, in this stage fat burn is accelerated. In this stage approximately 1500 calories should be consumed daily.

Cycle 3 – “Achieve”(days 35-51) is a stabilization period which focuses on developing healthy eating habits. In this stage the weight loss is more modest compared to the previous two cycles. In this stage, more fruits and whole grains are added, while the unlimited consumption of lean meats is no longer encouraged. Moreover, a 100 calorie snack daily and a serving of alcohol are also permitted.

Cycle 4 – “Arrive”(days 52-68) is the final stage, in which the focus on eating healthy is still maintained and the meal plans are similar to those from the previous cycles, however, controlled splurges during the weekends are now permitted. In this stage, the assumption is that the desired weight loss goal has already been reached.

Now that we’ve learned more about this popular diet plan, it’s time to look at the pros and cons of it in order to establish if it is truly worth trying. Among the strong points of this diet plan is the fact that it doesn’t cut any of the major food groups like other diets. The emphasis on daily exercise is another positive aspect, especially if we take into account the fact that not many diets have clearly established recommendations in this sense. Another important fact is that this diet plan is far from being monotonous. However, the fact that it delivers fast results is perhaps the most persuasive argument among dieters.

If we are to analyze the cons of the diet, the possibility of developing irregular eating habits, the overall expense of the diet and the branded products that are recommended and the possibility of regaining the lost pounds are perhaps the most noteworthy. Another rule “no fruity after 2 p.m” is seen with suspicion by nutrition experts who think that it is the overall number of calories, not the time of the day when they are consumed that matters the most. All in all, however, this diet plan is fairly balanced.

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