Step by Step Overview of the 17 Day Diet

Welcome! This is your crash course on all things 17 Day Diet.

Think of this page as your “central hub” where you can come back to reference the important parts of each cycle.

It’s best if you can bookmark this page so you always have it handy!

Table of contents

The 17 Day Diet is a lifestyle with meal plans, recipes and more!

Are You Ready to Lose Weight With The 17 Day Diet?

The diet is broken down into four cycles of 17 days each  — yes, that’s why it’s called the 17 Day Diet! ;)

Each cycle has a very specific purpose, and I’m going to take you through each one, including how to maximize your weight loss during each phase.

I’m also sharing all the important links to each cycle food list, samples of menus and meal plans, and yummy recipes!

OK, let’s get started!

17 Day Diet Overview (Infographic)

Before we dive in too deep, I want you to get a quick overview look at the 17 Day Diet.

I’ll go into much more detail below, but first check out this pretty infographic for a bird’s eye view!

Cycle 1 Overview (Accelerate Cycle)

Overview of the 17 Day Diet Cycle 1

Quick Overview of Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet is where most experience rapid weight loss.

Cycle 1 is also known as the “detox cycle”.

It’s in this cycle where you’ll remove from your diet added sugars, refined carbs and other starchy vegetables, grains and high-sugar fruits.

You’ll stay on this cycle for no more than 17 days.

What You’ll Eat on Cycle 1

Your 17 Day Diet Cycle 1 Meal Plan  consists of good, clean food.

You’ll load up on unlimited amounts of lean proteins (such as chicken, turkey, and some fish) and cleansing vegetables (such as broccoli, leafy greens, and carrots).

You’ll enjoy two low-sugar fruits per day before 2pm, two probiotics (such as no-sugar added yogurt or certain fermented foods), and limited healthy fats (such as olive and flax oil).

During Cycle 1, you’ll keep yourself hydrated with your hot lemon water first thing in the morning, green tea at meal times and water throughout the day.

Grab the entire 17 Day Diet Cycle 1 Food List.

17 Day Diet Cycle 1 Food List

The Benefits of Cycle 1

The 17 Day Diet Cycle 1 part of the plan is all about detox. As you eliminate sugar and carbs, you’ll flush toxins from your body.

As a result, most experience rapid weight loss during this cycle.

Many on Cycle 1 report losing anywhere from 7 to 11 pounds (and sometimes more). As always, individual results do vary.

Exercise in Cycle 1

In Cycle 1, you’ll keep exercise to a minimum. The doctor recommends at least 17 minutes of low-impact exercise per day (twice per day if you’re using the original 17 Day Diet book).

What to Watch Out For in Cycle 1

In your first three to five days you may experience headaches, lightheadedness, and low energy.

This is likely due to the effects of detox and toxins leaving your body as you remove sugar and carbs from your diet.

Keep your water intake high, and if you’re hungry, make sure you eat plenty of lean proteins and cleansing vegetables.

Quick Tips for Cycle 1

Here’s a quick 10-point checklist on quick tips for Cycle 1 phase of the diet.

Remember, you get to eat unlimited amounts of lean proteins and cleansing veggies during Cycle 1, so make sure you eat if you are hungry!

Free Download for Cycle 1

If you’re getting started for the first time, you can grab my free quick start guide for the 17 Day Diet.

Beginner’s Guide and Overview of Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet

Here’s a quick overview with details in a summary format on every step of the 17 Day Diet Cycle 1.

A Beginner's Guide and Quick Overview of Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet

What’s Next After Cycle 1

Once you’re finished with your 17 days on Cycle 1, there are a few options.

You can either have a Transitional Day Fast (aka smoothie day)  for one day and then move onto Cycle 2, or skip the smoothie day all together and head to your first day of Cycle 2.

Cheated on the 17 Day Diet? Have a Transitional Day Fast (aka Smoothie Day)

Cycle 1 Videos

A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 1

Read the full blog post here: A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 1

Your Weight Loss Checklist for the 17 Day Diet Checklist

Get the FULL 17 Day Diet checklist here: Pre-Diet Checklist for the 17 Day Diet

Why am I not losing weight in Cycle 1?

Read the blog post here: Why am I not losing weight in Cycle 1?

Here are a few recommended recipe book and meal plans that are perfect for Cycle 1.

Yummy! Cycle 1 Recipe Book

The Yummy! Cycle 1 Recipe book is perfect if you want to make one meal for you and your family that all will enjoy (because you’re tired of making two separate meals)! Enjoy over 60+ recipes for cycle 1.

Click to Check Out Yummy

Yummy Cycle 1 Recipes for the 17 Day Diet

Set It & Forget It Slow Cooker Recipe Book

Your slow cooker will be your best friend when it’s cold out and when it’s warm – basically all year round!

Enjoy dinner recipes for all cycles of the diet. Dump the ingredients into your slow cooker, and forget all about it!

Click here to learn more.

Set It & Forget It - Slow Cooker Recipes for the 17 Day Diet

Simple N’ Lean 17 Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Simple N’ Lean 17 is a complete done-for-you meal plan for all cycles including menus, recipes + shopping lists for breakfast, lunch and dinner (51 days for a total of 153 meals). Take a peek at Simple N’ Lean 17.

Simple N' Lean 17 Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 2 Overview (Activate Cycle)

Overview of the 17 Day Diet Cycle 2

Quick Overview of Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet is where you’ll switch things up a bit to confuse your metabolism.

Cycle 2 is also known as the “body confusion cycle”. You’ll stay on this cycle no longer than 17 days.

The 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 portion of the plan is all about keeping your body from experiencing a plateau through alternating high and low caloric days.

It’s in this cycle where you’ll start adding in other lean proteins and starchy vegetables, grains and legumes from an expanded food list.

What You’ll Eat On Cycle 2

Your 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 Meal Plan will be similar to the last cycle, but you’ll add in other types of proteins and starchy foods every other day.  

So you’ll alternate between Cycle 2 days and Cycle 1 days. 

Cycle 2, Day 1 Example

For instance, on day 1 you’ll add in other types of lean proteins (such as beef, pork and certain shellfish), and you’ll enjoy two natural starches before 2pm (such as oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes).

You’ll continue to eat two servings of low-sugar fruits by 2pm, two probiotics, and limited healthy fats.

Cycle 2, Day 2 Example

On your second day of Cycle 2, you’ll revert back to a Cycle 1 menu.

You’ll load up on unlimited amounts of lean proteins (such as chicken) and cleansing vegetables (such as broccoli), and continue with the limited low-sugar fruits, probiotics, and so on.

Cycle 2, Day 3 Example

On day 3 of Cycle 2, you’ll go back to a cycle 2 menu with the expanded food list. And on day 4, you’ll go back to a cycle 1 menu, and so on.

During Cycle 2, you’ll continue to keep yourself hydrated with your hot lemon water first thing in the morning, green tea at meal times and water throughout the day.

Grab the complete 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 Food List.

Get the complete 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 Food list

The Benefits of Cycle 2

As I mentioned earlier, the 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 portion of this plan is designed to keep you from that dreaded plateau with alternating menus with expanded food items every other day.

Exercise in Cycle 2

In Cycle 2, you’ll continue to keep exercise to a minimum.

The doctor recommends at least 17 minutes of low-impact exercise per day(twice per day if you’re using the original 17 Day Diet book).

17 Minutes of Low Impact Exercise on Cycles 1 and 2 of the 17 Day Diet twice a day

What to Watch Out For in Cycle 2

As you alternate between high and low caloric days, you’ll start to see changes in your body.  Most people report seeing more inches than pounds lost during this cycle.

Make sure you take measurements before starting Cycle 2 so you can keep track of changes in your body composition just in case the scale doesn’t move as quickly as you’d like it to during this cycle.

Quick Tips for Cycle 2

It may be difficult to stay on track with all of the extra food choices in Cycle 2.

Remember, you get to choose how you incorporate the diet into your weight loss journey.

If you feel like the temptation is too much, try alternating to your cycle 2 day after having two cycle 1 days.

I explain how to customize the 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 portion of the plan to fit into your lifestyle.  

Free 17 Day Diet Recipes for Cycle 2

Grab my free Top 10 Most Popular Recipes for the 17 Day Diet. This will help you keep the momentum going with yummy food in Cycle 2!

My Top 10 Most Popular Recipes for the 17 Day Diet!

Beginner’s Guide and Overview of Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet

Here’s a quick overview with details in a summary format on every step of this phase in this Beginner’s Guide for Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet.

A Beginner's Guide and Overview of Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet

What’s Next After Cycle 2

Once you’re finished with your 17 days on Cycle 2, you can either have a Transitional Day Fast (aka smoothie day) for one day, then start your first day of Cycle 3, or skip the smoothie day all together and move to your first day of Cycle 3.

Cheated on the 17 Day Diet? Have a Transitional Day Fast (aka Smoothie Day)

Cycle 2 Videos

A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet

Read the full blog post here: A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 2

The Biggest Mistakes on Cycles 1 and 2

Read the full blog post here: The Biggest Mistakes on Cycles 1 and 2 of the 17 Day Diet

3 Reasons Keeping a Food Journal Helps You Lose Weight

Read full blog post here: 3 Reasons for Keeping a Food Journal Helps you Lose Weight

Here are a few recommendations for meal plans and recipes books for Cycle 2.

Mooove Over Chicken 2 and 3 Recipe Book

You gained momentum in Cycle 1 and you’re ready to kick it up a notch in Cycle 2 and 3. You’re craving yummy and interesting dinner entrees – a feast your family will enjoy while you’re able to continue losing weight during Cycles 2 and 3.

Click here to checkout Mooove Over Chicken. 

Simple N’ Lean 17 Meal Plan for the Diet

Simple N’ Lean 17 is a complete done-for-you meal plan for all cycles including menus, recipes + shopping lists for breakfast, lunch and dinner (51 days for a total of 153 meals). Take a peek at Simple N’ Lean 17.

Simple N' Lean 17 Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 3 Overview (Achieve Cycle)

Overview of the 17 Day Diet Cycle 3

Quick Overview of Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet is all about making better choices, keeping food portions in check, increasing exercise and maintaining healthy eating habits.

You’ll have the option to stay on this cycle as long as you need to in order to lose weight, or you can stay on Cycle 3 for 17 days before returning to a previous cycle to continue another round of the diet.

The 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 portion of the plan is about increasing your food choices, including breads, pastas and higher-sugar fruits by 2pm.

As you expand your starchy foods, you’ll also increase your exercise. 

What You’ll Eat on Cycle 3

Your 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 Meal Plan for this phase will consist of more bread, pasta and starchy vegetables.

As you increase your starches, you’ll reduce the amount of protein to the size of a kitchen sponge per meal.  

During Cycle 3 you may also enjoy up to one alcoholic drink per day (5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1 1/2 oz hard liquor).

During Cycle 3, you’ll continue to keep yourself hydrated with your hot lemon water first thing in the morning, green tea at meal times and water throughout the day.

Grab the 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 Food List.

Get the complete 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 Food List

The Benefits of Cycle 3

As I mentioned earlier, the 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 portion of this plan is designed to form better eating habits, you’ll learn to make better food choices, and you’ll start watching portions.

You may or may not reach your weight loss goal during this cycle, so if you need to lose more weight during the 17 Day Diet Cycle 3 portion of this plan, there are a few options to choose from.

Exercise in Cycle 3

In Cycle 3, you’ll ramp up your exercise during this cycle.

You’ll want to increase your exercise to 45 to 60 minutes most days of the week.

Here is the doctor’s recommendations for exercise on cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet.

What to Watch Out For in Cycle 3

You may notice your weight loss slows down in Cycle 3.

However, changes in body composition occur, so make sure you take measurements before you start this cycle.

So while the scale doesn’t move that much for most, you’re likely to see your dress size go down!

If you can remember that Cycle 3 is more of a mental game, you’re good to go.

 If you stick faithfully to this cycle, you’ll likely lose more weight once you go back to Cycle 1.

Quick Tips for Cycle 3

During Cycle 3, you’re allowed to eat your starches after 2pm.

However, if you want to continue to lose weight during this cycle, it’s best to eat all starches before 2pm.

Avoid alcohol if you want to see the weight continue to drop off, too!

A quick tip for Cycle 3 includes the use of the Transitional Day Fast (aka smoothie day) every 7 days during this cycle. 

Free Printables for Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet

OK, so you’ve been through the diet for a round and you need a bit more help with meal planning!

Learn my 3-step system for creating a 5-dinner meal plan for the 17 Day Diet.

How to Create a 5-Dinner Meal Plan in 3 Easy Steps

Beginner’s Guide and Overview of Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet

Here’s a quick overview with details in a summary format on every step of the Beginner’s Guide and Overview of Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet portion of the plan.

A Beginner's Guide and Overview of Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet

What’s Next After Cycle 3

When you’re finished with your 17 days of Cycle 3, and you have more weight to lose, you have a few options to choose from.

They vary from staying on Cycle 3 until you reach your goal, or going back to a previous cycle. I explain each option in detail here.

What happens if I have more weight to lose after I finish Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet?

Cycle 3 Videos

A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet

Read the full blog post here: A Beginners Guide and Overview of Cycle 3

What if I Have More Weight To Lose After Cycle 3?

Read full blog post here: What if I Have More Weight to Lose After Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet?

Transitional Day Fast for the 17 Day Diet

Read the full blog post here: Transitional Day Fast (aka smoothie day)

Here are a few recipe books and meal plans I recommend for Cycle 3 of the 17 Day Diet.

Mooove Over Chicken 2 and 3 Recipe Book

You gained momentum in Cycle 1 and you’re ready to kick it up a notch in Cycle 2 and 3. You’re craving yummy and interesting dinner entrees – a feast your family will enjoy while you’re able to continue losing weight during Cycles 2 and 3.

Click here to checkout Mooove Over Chicken. 

Simple N’ Lean 17 Meal Plan for the Diet

Simple N’ Lean 17 is a complete done-for-you meal plan for all cycles including menus, recipes + shopping lists for breakfast, lunch and dinner (51 days for a total of 153 meals). Take a peek at Simple N’ Lean 17.

Simple N' Lean 17 Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 4 Overview (Arrive Cycle)

Cycle 4 of the diet is the “arrive cycle”.

By now you’ve reached your weight loss goal and you’re now on maintenance.

I go into detail of how the 17 Day Diet Cycle 4 of the weight loss plan works.  For more information, go here.

Other Important Stuff & Goodies

Free Digital Downloads and More Information for the Diet

Here are a few important things to grab, sign up for or read so you’re on top of your weight loss game!

Quick Start Guide for the 17 Day Diet

I recommend purchasing the 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition.

However, while you wait for your book to arrive, grab my free quick start guide to get you going right away. This guide is 24 pages and gives you exactly what you need to get started tomorrow! 

Quick Start Guide for the 17 Day Diet

I’ll break down the 17 Day Diet by cycle with an overview of Cycles 1 through 4, complete food lists, a run-down of the Transitional Day Fast (aka smoothie day), 13 of the most commonly asked questions, and a few weight loss tools to get you started!

Click here to sign up for your free guide!

Nobody likes a boring meal!

If you’re looking for a hand full of yummy dinner recipes to get you started, then check out my Top 10 Most Popular Recipes for the 17 Day Diet.

These recipes are going to help you gain some momentum during any cycle! Plus, they’re so yummy that your entire family will love them!

My Top 10 Most Popular Recipes for the 17 Day Diet!

Yep, say goodbye to making two separate dinners every night!​

Click here to grab my Top 10 Recipes!

17 Day Diet Cycle Food Index

17 Day Diet Food Index in Alphabetical Order – I organized every single food item from the diet in a nifty index sorted alphabetically.

For each food item, I’ll tell you which cycle it’s approved for.

You can now search all cycle-approved foods by food type and alphabetically

Hot Topics for the 17 Day Diet

Here are a few “hot” topics regarding the 17 Day Diet.

Some of these are somewhat new-ish (with the Breakthrough Edition), some are my own guidelines, and others are some added benefits (aka my own published food journal!!).

Transitional Day Fast For the 17 Day Diet

The Transitional Day Fast for the 17 Day Diet is relatively new and was added in the Breakthrough Edition of the diet.

You can read all about how to use this smoothie day in between each cycle, or every seven days while in Cycle 3.

Transitional Day Fast for the 17 Day Diet

17 Day Diet Vegetarian

There’s not a lot of information in either the books, so I’ve scoured the Internet for additional information, plus added my own thoughts about how to best tackle this diet if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

You can start with this post on vegetarian guidelines for the 17 Day Diet.

Can I be on the 17 Day Diet if I'm Vegetarian or Vegan?

You can also grab a vegetarian sample menu for the 17 Day Diet. I’ll give you a full day so you get an idea of what it might look like if you want to eat real food versus the processed fake meat burgers. 

Vegetarian Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Daily Food Journal for the 17 Day Diet

I published a paperback food journal called Simply Me. It’s available on Amazon. 

​Click here to check out the Simply Me Daily Food Journal for the 17 Day Diet – This is a paperback journal I published that is designed specifically for this diet and gives you a daily journal for the entire round (cycles 1-3).

Reviews of the 17 Day Diet

Here are a few pages where I’ve either reviewed products for the 17 Day Diet, or you can read user reviews of the diet itself.

Healthy Meals Delivered by BistroMD

I’ve had the opportunity to feast on BistroMD prepared meals a few times. 

You can read my review of the 17 Day Diet Delivery service by BistroMD.

This is a good option if you’re too busy to cook, or don’t like to cook for one person.

Healthy Meals Delivered by BistroMD

17 Day Diet Reviews & Weight Loss Stories

If you’re just starting out, head on over and read a few 17 Day Diet reviews and Weight Los Stories from several real people who have found success on this lifestyle.

Have Any Questions about the Diet?

Leave a comment below with your question and I’d be happy to help!

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Want a FREE quick start guide for the 17 Day Diet?