The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book Review

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A Step By Step Overview and Review of the new book by Dr. Mike Moreno The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book Overview

On December 28, 2021, Dr. Mike Moreno, the author of the original books, The 17 Day Diet (2010) and The 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition (2013), published a new book called The 17 Day Kickstart Diet: A Doctor’s Plan for Dropping Pounds, Toxins, and Bad Habits!

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet is a brand new diet building on the foundation of the original 17 Day Diet created over a decade ago.

If you’re a die-hard 17 Day Diet fan, no fear – The 17 Day Diet is still its own separate weight loss plan.

The Kickstart “philosophy” as Dr. Mike describes in his new book, is “more of the good, less of the bad.”

Furthermore, The 17 Day Kickstart Diet is more of a “plant forward” type of weight loss plan with eating more vegetables and fruits and less animal proteins.

Fish as well as high-fiber legumes are a predominant protein source in the Kickstart Diet. 

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet is a plant forward type of weight loss plan

Unlike his original 17 Day Diet where animal protein was a key component to weight loss (hello unlimited chicken in Cycle 1!), the new 17 Day Kickstart Diet focuses more on plant powered foods with fish such as salmon, trout and others that are generally low in mercury as well as legumes. 

Keep reading for my in-depth review of the new book and the brand new 17 Day Kickstart Diet.

Quick Overview: What is The 17 Day Kickstart Diet?

As I briefly mentioned above, the 17 Day Kickstart Diet by Dr. Moreno is a plant forward way of eating.

A decade since his original release of the 17 Day Diet, many studies have shown that eating more plants and less animal protein is better for both your health and for the environment.

He brings up important points in his book that it takes a lot of energy and water to raise animals so eating less meat is better for the future ecosystem. 

Plus, animals are fed grains (most of which are GMO), antibiotics and experience other environmental factors that make its meat less healthy for humans.

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet is NOT a full plant powered weight loss diet.

It’s simply eating less animal proteins, more vegetables, fruits and fish and sprinkling in chicken and the occasional beef when you feel like you want it.

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet focuses on less animal protein and more plant based foods. Fish is a good source of protein in this weight loss plan.

I personally agree with this philosophy and happy to hear Dr. Moreno has come to this same conclusion, too.

How is the 17 Day Kickstart Diet Different from the original 17 Day Diet?

While both diets feature a similar name (17 day) and similar foods, they are completely different in terms of structure and philosophy.

While the original 17 Day Diet is a weight loss plan consisting of three cycles of 17 days each (51 days total), each cycle with its own set of rules, food lists, concepts, etc, the 17 Day Kickstart Diet is only 17 days.

Further, the 17 Day Kickstart Diet has three phases within the 17 days and I’ll explain a bit further in a moment.

The original 17 Day Diet focuses more on heavy animal-based proteins, whereas the new Kickstart Diet focuses more on plant based foods with some fish and the occasional chicken or beef.

I tend to think of the new 17 Day Kickstart Diet as a modern version of the original including less processed foods and more whole, plant-based food choices.

How is the 17 Day Kickstart Diet Structured? 

As I mentioned earlier, the 17 Day Kickstart Diet is only 17 days long. 

Within the 17 days, there are three specific phases: 

  1. The 3-Day Scrub (first 3 days of the diet)
  2. The 4-Day Soak Up (days 4 through 7 of the diet)
  3. The 10-Day Stabilize (last 10 days of the diet)

Each phase within this new diet has its own purpose and a set of 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List with approved foods for a very specific result. Let’s dive in, shall we?

A Brief Overview of the Three Phases of Weight Loss with the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

The 3-Day Scrub Phase of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

The first three days of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet is called The 3-Day Scrub and its sole purpose is to “scrub” the toxins from your body.

It’s basically a detox. Sound reminiscent of Cycle 1 of the original 17 Day Diet?

Some of the physical changes you’ll experience during the 3-day scrub phase is less bloating, slimmer waistline, and weight loss.

The main change happening inside your body include releasing of toxins so that you’ll actually feel better.

Dr. Moreno further explains that during this 3-day scrub, you’ll essentially detox from sugar and re-wire your cravings.

The 3-Day Scrub Approved Foods

The first three days of the Kickstart Diet include detoxifying foods that help with bloating and digestive issues.

During this phase the doctor eliminates dairy, grain-based foods such as crackers, breads and pasta.

Approved foods such as leafy, salad and micro greens, many of our favorite vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash and others are predominant in this phase.

You can take a look at the entire 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List for the 3-Day Scrub phase

Eating more plant based foods on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet is better for health

Lower glycemic index foods such as sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin and others make the approved list, too!

Low sugar fruits such as all types of berries, apples and grapes make their way into your 3-day scrub phase.

Dr. Moreno utilizes healthy plant powered fats such as avocado, certain seed butters, and seeds such as hemp, chia and flax.

A variety of beans (black, navy, etc) as well as some fish low in mercury (salmon, sardines, trout) are added in for high-fiber, plant based proteins and fish-based protein sources, respectively.

A nice variety of seasonings, spices, and natural sweeteners such as pure maple syrup and raw honey are added to the list.

Honey is one of the natural sweeteners on the approved list for the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

The 3-Day Scrub Foods to Avoid

While in this detoxifying 3-day phase, Dr. Moreno has a list of foods to avoid including all beef, pork and any other land-animal protein (except chicken to be eaten occasionally).

Others to avoid include shellfish, processed meats (deli), any processed meats or meat alternatives (Beyond Burger, Impossible Foods), eggs, all dairy, all grains, all starchy vegetables such as potatoes (except sweet potatoes), nuts, dried fruit, artificial sweeteners, and natural sugar (with the exception of maple syrup and honey).

Inflammatory oils such as canola and soybean are also to be avoided during the 3-day scrub phase.

I have all the foods to avoid listed over at the 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List (you’ll see a table of contents near the beginning for easy navigation).

Daily Scrub Rhythm 

Dr. Moreno includes a list of techniques to use during your 3-day scrub that he calls your “Daily Scrub Rhythm”.

Here they are in a nutshell:

  1. Start your day with 12 oz of warm water with lemon or organic tea
  2. Wait 30 minutes to have breakfast (if not hungry, it’s OK to skip and eat at lunch time)
  3. Front load your day with movement to help with fat burning (walking, yoga, low impact)
  4. Have one snack either mid-morning or mid-afternoon (whichever time you’re most hungry)
  5. Try to have lunch three to four hours after breakfast
  6. Rule of 2’s – only two servings of low sugar fruit and starchy carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes) before 2pm
  7. Water intake in between meals for a total of 64-100 oz per day
  8. Have your dinner approximately three to four hours after lunch
  9. Don’t eat anything within two hours of bedtime to allow your body to “scrub” rather than digest 

3-Day Scrub Serving Sizes

Non Starchy Vegetables – During this 3-day scrub phase, eat as many vegetables you want. This includes NON starchy vegetables and more like the variety of greens, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Higher Starch Vegetables and Fruits – Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and low sugar fruits such as berries are limited to two servings each before 2pm.

While berries are allowed on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, they follow the rule of 2's. Only 2 servings of fruit by 2pm

This is what Dr. Moreno calls the “Rule of 2’s” in this book. I’ll explain a bit more further down.

Specific Serving Sizes for Protein and Starchy Vegetables and Carbohydrates – The serving sizes for these types of foods are very specific. Directly from his book, Dr. Moreno writes:

…protein in your meal should be the size of your whole hand, from the base of your palm to your fingertips. With the nonstarchy vegetables, as I mentioned, you can go crazy, so don’t worry about a specific portion size on those. And when you do introduce a starchy vegetable, or another carbohydrate, think of just the palm of your hand as a guide for that portion size

Salt/Sodium – Dr. Moreno touches a bit on salt and recommends using it in moderation.

However, he does recommend using sea salt (sparingly) to flavor your foods. Sea salt, by the way, helps with digestion according to his book.

Coffee – Finally, coffee! Coffee is fine to drink BLACK, but it is dehydrating!

Coffee is a “negative water” so for every cup of coffee you drink, you have to drink the same amount of plain water to replace it.

So for the 3-day scrub phase, one cup of BLACK coffee is approved (no sugar or cream).

While coffee is allowed on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, limit it to black and 1 cup per day, if possible

He does, however, recommend replacing your coffee with a cup of organic green tea in the morning, if possible.

Green tea contains 1/3 of the caffeine of coffee and can give you a steady stream of energy rather than the “peaks and valleys” coffee will give you, as he explains in his new book.

Dr. Moreno further mentions that consuming too much caffeine during the scrub phase will only make matters worse.

At the end of the day, the more plain water you can drink, the easier your body will flush out the toxins and the less side effects of detox will be experienced.

The 4-Day Soak Up Phase of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

After you complete the first three days of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, you’ll move into the next phase called the 4-Day Soak Up.

It’s during the next four days you’ll focus on loading up on phytonutrients from plants.

This phase is designed to help you feel full and satisfied.

As side effects from detoxing begin to dissipate, you can add in mild exercise during the 4-Day Soak Up.

Some examples of mild exercise include stretching and resistance training using exercise bands. 

Exercise during this time is not meant to burn 1,000 calories as he describes in the book. Dr. Moreno mentions that it’s basically “testing things out to see how you feel”.

As you progress through this phase and into the next one, you’ll slowly ramp up the “length and rigor” of your exercise. 

The 4-Day Soak Up Approved Foods

You’ll enjoy all the foods from the 3-Day Scrub Phase, plus the addition of other foods.

Some of the additions include foods such as dark chocolate, eggs, mushrooms, carrots, beets, and others.

Dark Chocolate is allowed starting on day 4 of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

An emphasis is placed on fermented foods with naturally occurring probiotics such as sauerkraut (from previous phase) and new addition of kimchi.

While protein is mainly of the plant variety and some fish and certain legumes, you are allowed to continue to eat chicken “as needed” during this phase.

You can check out the 4-Day Soak Up foods over at my 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List post.

Daily Soak Up Rhythm 

The daily routine for this phase is exactly the same as the scrub phase.

They are reiterated below for consistency:

  • Start your day with 12 oz of warm water with lemon or organic tea
  • Wait 30 minutes to have breakfast (if not hungry, it’s OK to skip and eat at lunch time)
  • Front load your day with movement to help with fat burning (walking, yoga, low impact)
  • Have one snack either mid-morning or mid-afternoon (whichever time you’re most hungry)
  • Try to have lunch three to four hours after breakfast
  • Rule of 2’s – only two servings of low sugar fruit and starchy carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes) before 2pm
  • Water intake in between meals for a total of 64-100 oz per day
  • Have your dinner approximately three to four hours after lunch
  • Don’t eat anything within two hours of bedtime to allow your body to “scrub” rather than digest 

The 10-Day Stabilize Phase of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

The last 10 days of your 17 Day Kickstart Diet is all about stabilizing your health, lifestyle and eating habits.

The 10-Day Stabilize phase is all about letting your brain know that this is a doable lifestyle for the rest of your life.

The 10-Day Stabilize Approved Foods

During this last 10-day sprint of the Kickstart Diet, you’ll enjoy all the foods from the previous first two phases as well as additions of new foods!

Foods like cooked whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and barley are added to this phase as well as sprouted whole wheat or multi grain breads and whole wheat pastas.

Oats and other certain grains are allowed on day 10 of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

New fruits such as oranges and peaches can now be consumed before 2pm.

Protein sources such as shellfish, eggs, beef, pork and lamb are added in for extra variety.

Very specific dairy foods such as whole-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, and Kefir are introduced as great probiotics.

Finally, grass fed butter, ghee and some cheeses are introduced into this 10-Day Stabilize phase.

Check out my completely reorganized 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List for the 10-Day Stabilize phase.

The 10-Day Stabilize Foods to Eat Less Of

Dr. Moreno makes it a point to take the word “never” off the table when it comes to describing foods he’d like you to eat less of during this phase.

Some of the foods he’d like you to eat less of include:

  • Fast food you’d get at a drive thru
  • Fried foods (including anything breaded with a white-flour based batter)
  • Foods containing white flour such as breads and pastas
  • Milk and cream
  • All sugars (with the exception of those he listed as approved in each phase)
  • Excessive caffeine (more than 200mg/day which amounts to about two cups of coffee)
  • Alcohol (a drink or two after your first 17 days is OK if you absolutely need it)

What’s Next After the First 17 Days?

In his new book, Dr. Mike explains there are three options to choose from when you complete your 17 Day Kickstart Diet. 

Directly from his book, the doctor writes:

 If you still have twenty-plus pounds to lose, you can return to Scrub and begin the seventeen-day program again.

 If you have ten to twenty pounds more to lose, you can toggle between Soak Up and Stabilize until you’ve reached your desired weight loss. 

If you have ten or fewer pounds to lose, you can repeat the Stabilize phase until you’ve reached your goal weight.

Rule of 2’s Further Explored

You might have read about this rule during the 3-Day Scrub phase up above. Let’s explain it a bit more.

Directly from Dr. Moreno in his new book, he explains this rule of thumb as follows:

It’s called the Rule of 2’s, and it means eating no more than two servings of fruit or starchy carbohydrates (such as sweet potatoes) each day, and only eating them before 2 p.m.

Naturally, you’d think to include legumes into the “starchy” list to consume before 2pm because if you’re a long-time fan of the 17 Day Diet, then that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do.

In the brand new 17 Day Kickstart Diet, Dr. Moreno specifically mentions sweet potatoes as an example of a starchy carbohydrate.

In the sample meal plan in the book, dinner features legumes throughout.  Now, you might be thinking, “But I thought we had to eat legumes before 2pm!”

Eating legumes before 2pm is a part of the original 17 Day Diet.

Is there inconsistency in this new book or is this more of a plant forward way of thinking when it comes to plant-based protein sources?

I’ll take a guess and say the latter.

Legumes are one of the best sources of resistance starch and they contain a high amount of fiber and provide protein for those who are cutting down on meat intake.

At the end of the day, making a diet work for you is always best.

If you find you’re eating a lot of legumes for dinner (rather than other animal based proteins) and you’re having difficulty losing weight on this diet, consider eating more legumes for lunch instead.

Other Notable Chapters in the 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book

Dr. Moreno’s new book, The 17 Day Kickstart Diet, includes the usual chapters on exercise, supplements, sleep and navigating stress.

He gives us practical advice and techniques to help create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

17 Day Kickstart Diet Recipes and Meal Plan

In this new book, Dr. Moreno is giving you 54 delicious recipes to be used in the various three phases along with a short list of Water Infusion Recipes transforming plain water into something special using a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices.

He also lays out a 17 Day Meal Plan, including ideas for all three of the phases of this diet.

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book by Dr. Mike Moreno comes with a complete 17 day meal plan to get you started

Full disclosure: at the time of this writing, I obviously have not tried any of the recipes due to the book being published the same day, but after a quick glance, they look inviting, full of variety and fairly easy to make.

You’ll find a lot of plant powered recipes with a few animal based protein recipes to give you a solid range of choices when starting the 17 Day Kickstart Diet!

A Simple 17 Day Kickstart Diet Meal Plan

My brand new meal plan called, A Simple 17 Day Kickstart Diet Meal Plan, is now available.

It follows Dr. Mike’s new Kickstart diet!

When you purchase the plan, you’ll receive a BRAND NEW meal plan complete with menus, recipes, prep guide and shopping lists!

Click here to check out the Kickstart Meal Plan

The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Challenge and meal plan

When you click through to the page, you can take a peek at the 17 day menu! For now, you can take a peek at the first 3 days!

Click here to take a closer look at all 17 days of the new 17 Day Kickstart Diet Meal Plan

Want to take a closer look at the menu for the entire 17 days?

Click here to visit the page and you’ll see a link at the top to jump you down to the menus.

Simply Veggie: A 4-Week Dinner Meal Plan with Recipes for the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

If you’re looking for more plant-powered dinner recipes to start your 17 Day Kickstart Diet, make sure you check out my vegetarian dinner meal plan, Simply Veggie.

Simply Veggie, a 4-Week Plant-Based Dinner Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet
A Four-Week Plant Based Dinner Meal Plan originally created due to high demand from vegetarians on the original 17 Day Diet, can be used for the new Kickstart Diet!

I originally created my Simply Veggie dinner meal plan for vegetarians on the 17 Day Diet who didn’t have a lot of options when it came to a plant-based menu. 

I kept getting requests for plant-based recipes and that’s how Simply Veggie was born!

Even though Simply Veggie was created for the original 17 Day Diet, the recipes can definitely be used for the new 17 Day Kickstart Diet.

Click here to check out the Simply Veggie dinner meal plan.

You can check out the menu below to get an idea of the recipes available for dinner time.

There may need to be a few tweaks here and there with ingredients (i.e. use tempeh instead of tofu)

Simply Veggie 4-Week Calendar to use for either the 17 Day Diet or the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

Chapter 11: The CBD Revolution 

I do want to specifically point out that he dedicates an entire chapter on the health benefits of CBD (short for Cannabidiol).

If you’re not sure what CBD is, you can read about it my step-by-step post over on my Busy Bee’s Wellness Blog titled, “What is CBD? A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabidiol” written a few years ago.

CBD is often misunderstood and carries a stigma as Dr. Moreno points out in his new book. 

I’m very happy to hear that he included this in his book because it’s such a wonderful plant-based, natural routine you can include into your lifestyle to help with joint pain, help calm your mind, help you sleep better, and even lose weight! 

I’ve been taking CBD for a number of years now (and even started my Busy Bee’s Wellness Co. to help spread the word!).

If you want to check out the details while you wait for your Kickstart book to arrive, make sure you check out my What is CBD blog post as it goes into detail, just like Dr. Mike’s book, and then some, including links to science-backed research!

My Overall Thoughts and Review of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book

I honestly did not know what to expect from Dr. Moreno’s new book.

I was secretly hoping he’d revamp the original 17 Day Diet (just a few things to help modernize the diet).

However, after reading his new book, I am really excited about this BRAND NEW diet!

I’m equally excited that he left the original 17 Day Diet in tact as it’s been more of a lifestyle than a diet to many people for well over a decade now and has, for the most part, stood the test of time and helped transform thousands of lives.

Plant-Forward Approach

I love the concept of using a plant-forward approach for this new diet – I mostly eat chicken (and some fish) for one meal a day. Most of my other meals do not contain meat.

Although, I do love my eggs, too!

Reducing the amount of animal-based protein was a nice surprise and certainly a big change from the original 17 Day Diet.

Eating more plants and less animal based proteins is the focus of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

The Original 17 Day Diet as a Foundation for the 17 Day Kickstart Diet 

I like the concept of using the original 17 Day Diet as a foundation and building upon it.

Making the diet last only 17 days (rather than three cycles of 17 days each), somehow makes this new 17 Day Kickstart Diet seem less intimidating and achievable, especially if you’re starting this new diet for the first time!  

If you’ve been around the original 17 Day Diet for any length of time, you might remember when Dr. Moreno wrote “you can do anything for 17 days!”

Well, this famous line from his original book has a renewed meaning with his new 17 Day Kickstart Diet.

It’s literally only 17 days (rather than the original 51 days).

I love that the new diet is broken into three separate phases (sort of like the original diet), but within the 17 day allotment.  

This makes the 17 Day Kickstart Diet that much more do-able!

Same Foods, New Foods

Continuing to build upon the foundation of the original diet, I’m happy to see a lot of familiar foods and the addition of new foods as well as clarification on previous foods we might have been confused about (i.e. how many grams of sugar to limit in a 6oz yogurt).

Final thoughts on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet

Overall, I feel this book is a bit more organized than his previous 17 Day Diet and 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition books and fairly easy to grasp this new diet (it might be because I’ve spent the last decade learning and teaching others about the original 17 Day Diet).

I will point out that the food lists are a bit unorganized, so I may organize them for readers so it’s easier to navigate! 

Do you want to know what I thought the best part of the book is?

For me, it was 100% the introduction. I know, right?

Dr. Mike (as many of us affectionately call him), opened up and was extremely vulnerable.

His story kept me reading, it showed me that even though he is an MD, he struggles just like us!

From the challenges from his marriage ending to losing both his sister and mother in the same year to his own weight gain and health struggles, I saw him in a new light. 

A decade ago when I was first introduced to the original 17 Day Diet, Dr. Moreno was sort of this authority figure with “MD” behind his name teaching us about the 17 Day Diet.  

After reading the introduction in his new book, I connected with him as a human being rather than a “doctor” probably for the first time ever.

And that left an impact on me.

If he can overcome his weight and health struggles, I know I can, too!

In his new book, 17 Day Kickstart Diet, Dr. Moreno is relatable with his own health struggles

Where to Buy The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book


The 17 Day Kickstart Diet book may be purchased where books are sold.

The easiest and quickest way to purchase and receive the book is through Amazon.

You may purchase The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book here.

What do you think about the new 17 Day Kickstart Diet?

I’ll admit I’m sort of digging this modernized spin off of the 17 Day Diet and the new philosophy of a plant-forward way of eating!

What do you think? 

Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

A Step-by-Step review and look at The 17 Day Kickstart Diet

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4 thoughts on “The 17 Day Kickstart Diet Book Review”

  1. Loved the new kickstart and can’t wait to start on Monday! I would love for you to create your reference sheets like you did for the 17 day … so helpful! Love your blog and your summary… kickstart seems to really focus on more GOOD and less BAD! Great way of life!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Ann! I loved it, too! Some of the features of the new diet I’ve been preaching for years (whole fat vs non fat), and I love the idea of eating less animal proteins (I try to limit it to dinner only). This new diet is a welcome new addition, and if I get enough positive feedback, I’ll definitely expand my blog to include more resources!

      Reply
  2. I love your 17dd plans and food lists. It makes meal planning AND grocery shopping so much easier! I bought Dr Mikes book and will give it “a go”. However, I do LOVE the way you organize everything! I would purchase 💯!!!

    Reply

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