Monday, March 14, 2011

The 17 Day Diet

I grew up eating rice all my life.  I remember when I was young, I'd sometimes just scoop up some rice and add soy sauce and sesame oil, mix it into the rice and call that a good meal.  I'm also a pasta and bread lover.  Italian food is in the running with Japanese food as my favorite cuisine and it was one of the hardest things to let go when the hubby and I decided that we'd try the new craze diet...The 17 Day Diet. 

A lot of critics of this diet have called it a fad and concluded that any weight loss where you only diet for 17 days is not going to give you the results you want.  But if one don't read into it more, one will be mislead.  The 17 Day Diet consists of actually FOUR 17 day cycles:

Days 1 – 17 are to “Accelerate” on a low carbohydrate diet that provides around 1200 calories.  Eat unlimited lean meat and no-starch vegetables, two fat-free plain yogurts and two low-sugar fruits, a bit of oil, green tea, and 64 ounces of water a day.  Typical for any low carb diet, fat-burning and fluid loss is favored during those days.

Days 18 – 34 are to “Activate” by calorie cycling (aka calorie shifting or calorie zigzagging), which means that the daily calorie intake cycles and recycles from low to high over the course of several days.  The goal is to trick the metabolism to prevent it from slowing down.  Two servings of whole grains are added to the above to raise the average calorie intake to 1500 a day.    

Days 35 – 51 are to “Achieve” good eating habits that last a lifetime.  This phase is the same as “Activate” except that lean meat is no longer unlimited and more grains and fruit are added, along with an optional serving of alcohol and a 100-calorie snack.  In other words, the low carb diet is 'Out' and a balanced low-calorie diet is 'In' sans the processed food.

Day 52 and on are to “Arrive” at a lifelong eating plan, which is a constant cycling through phases 1, 2 and 3 - until the weekends when you can splurge.  But don’t binge, says Dr. Mike, and if you gain more than 5 pounds, return immediately to phase 2.
The hubby and I just finished our first 17 days and much to my surprise, it was not hard at all for the first 15.  The last couple of days was hard not because I was craving carbs, but because I was getting so sick of chicken breast!  We're moving onto Cycle 2 tomorrow and we're super excited to be able to reintroduce other meats, carbs, and starches. 

So what were the results?  The hubby has lost 10 pounds and I didn't weigh myself but I know I've lost at least 5 lbs because my clothes feel different.  As much as losing weight is nice, but the main reason why I'm doing this is because I want to educate myself in healthy eating.  For years, I've been taught that meat was bad...that saturated fats are bad...and a low calorie diet consisting mostly of whole grains was the way to go.  I've tried that for years in the journey towards healthier eating and every time I restrict myself to those rules, I get so upset because I feel...well horrible!  I'm definitely not advocating an irresponsible high fat/fast food diet, but trust me when I say that saturated fats are not as evil as the public makes it seem.  Our brains consist of fat, and in order to feed it, we need fats in our diet.  Carefully choosing which fats to eat is more important to me at this point than a low calorie/high whole grains diet.  If anyone has Netflix Instant, a great documentary to watch is Fat Head.  This guy tries to debunk the Super Size Me guy...but towards the latter half of the movie, he gives some great information about saturated fats, heart disease and how carbs and sugar affects people differently, which may help you understand why carbs are the number one culprit in weight gain.

Now that I'm done ranting, you're probably wondering what I've been eating?  No?  Well, even if you're not wondering, I'll show you some pics anyway!

Turkey meatballs with home made tomato sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and roasted brussel sprouts

Pan fried cat fish lettuce tacos with mango salsa and cilantro

Cauliflower crust pizza!  Yes folks, this crust is made out of cauliflower!  Find the recipe here.

Roasted chicken breast with home made tzatziki sauce and strawberry field greens salad with blue cheese and home made honey mustard

Snack: roasted organic baby beets with organic tangelloes, shallots and blue cheese

Turkey meatballs with home made tzatziki sauce and mango salad

Turkey sausage egg scramble but two yolks and four egg whites

And there are much more that I didn't take pictures of but as you can see from these pictures, I'm not starving here.  In fact, I have not felt hungry on the first 17 days and it's because my blood sugar didn't rise and I didn't experience that "crash" I typically would if I ate a bowl of pasta or a sandwich and chips for lunch.  I also was more alert during the afternoon "lag" hours of 2-4 pm.  Needless to say, it was quite a great, but interesting cycle 1 period.  Now...onto cycle 2!  

More pics to come!  


  1. Wow, every dish looks delicious! Yay for real food (non-processed) and fat! I have been trying to eat more protein for breakfast recently and I can absolutely see a difference during the afternoon - no more "crashing". I'm really enjoying Mark Bittman right now - his ideas about food really resonate with me (articles like this one: Love the pictures! Keep us updated:)

  2. you are such an inspiration! really... i am in awe of your cooking abilities and also the drive you have to do something wonderful for yourself and Chris! each and every single one of those photos made me want to try out the dish depicted. way to go! can't wait to see more of this scrumtiousness!

  3. You should be proud to complete the first 17 days. I should try this. I'm not a starch person but but my family don't like chicken....

  4. So glad you have been able to fit some delicious meals into your diet plan. The dish with beets, tangelo, shallots, and blue cheese looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pic : )

    I'm trying to be a bit more aware of what I eat -- still allowing myself to eat basically whatever I want, but trying to be more conscious of how much I really NEED to eat. I can usually overindulge a bit without it showing too much, but I know it's wasteful to eat when it's not necessary, so I'm trying to take a more balanced, holistic approach.

  5. Um, you look to be a very good cook...wowie, those dishes look pretty!

  6. Wow, those dishes look fantastic! I can't believe that these are all low carb/low cal... they look too yummy.

    I need to try this. I successfully lost some weight over the fall, but the holidays and side effect of falling into some poor eating habits have made me gain back some of those pounds.

  7. Hi Cindi - I remember when i was little and used to LOVE soy sauce on plain white rice!! I still add soy sauce to most things these days like stir fry :-)
    Good on you for looking after yourself. I think the key is to focus on healthy eating habits. I believe in eating right and in moderation..although i do fall off the bandwagon everyday!

  8. hey cindi :) i just stumbled across your blog and i have and am currently doing this diet my first 17 days i lost 15.6 lbs im struggling coming up with new ways to eat food i have done chicken chili which is a good alternative :) im so doing this pizza how did it turn out did you like it?