The 17 Day Diet is a great, healthy, simple diet to follow because it allows you to eat plenty of food without feeling deprived, requires minimal exercise, achieves rapid weight loss, and helps you feel great both mentally and physically. The philosophy of the diet is based on eliminating sugar and processed foods, limiting fats and sodium, eating lots of vegetables and lean protein. It also includes exercising for at least 17 minutes a day and avoiding alcohol. Drinking a cup of green tea with meals and ensuring you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day are also important on this diet. It may sound difficult, but once you are prepared, it is actually quite simple to follow the program. The diet consists of four 17-day cycles, beginning with Cycle 1 which has a more limited selection of food with an emphasis on restricting carbs. The food lists expand with each subsequent cycle until you reach Cycle 4 which allows for a widely-varied, well-balanced, healthy way of eating for a lifetime.
The 17 Day Diet is not hard to follow at all - if you take the necessary steps to succeed. I say this from experience after going on the diet and having great success for the first two cycles with a loss of 18 pounds in 34 days. Things were going well, then it all fell apart...because I got so busy, I was unprepared, and I did not do some very simple things to ensure my continued success. After learning what caused me to fail to stick to the diet (lack of preparation), I am once again back on the program and things are going much more smoothly now. Because I whole-heartedly believe this is an excellent program that can truly help people achieve phenomenal results with weight loss that they have never been able to obtain with other programs, I wanted to share some simple tips that will help ensure your success.
TIP #1: MAKE A LIST OF INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE MEALS.
Since this diet requires you to eliminate sugar and processed foods and allows only olive oil or flax seed oil as your fat source in the first cycle, most of your traditional seasoning, dressings, and condiments will not work. You need to be able to have the ingredients to make your meals on hand in order to make it simple to stick to the diet. Otherwise, it becomes too tedious and difficult to follow. When making your list, be sure to review the recipes provided in the book because they contain many things not included in the "List of Foods" in Cycle 1, such as parmesan cheese, lowfat sour cream, or barbecue sauce. After making a complete list, you are ready to go to the store in search of these items.
TIP #2: GO SCOUR YOUR LOCAL GROCERY AND HEALTH FOOD STORES TO FIND INGREDIENTS.
When I started looking for the ingredients I needed to make meals, I was shocked to find out how difficult it was to find items that did not contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup, canola oil, or other unhealthy ingredients. It can be done, and once they are found it is simply a matter of purchasing the items, but I was literally spending hours searching store aisles for salad dressings, ketchup, bbq sauce, marinara sauce, soups, salsas etc. This is an unavoidable and necessary evil critical to your success. Imagine if you get off work, starving for dinner, stop by the store to pick up ingredients to make a meal, and it takes you 2 hours to find ingredients that you can actually use to stick to this program! That could make anyone give up. It is absolutely critical to your success to already have the products you need on hand or, at the very least, to know what to buy and where to get it. It all boils down to investing some initial time to research and find the items that can be purchased already prepared and discovering which items you will need to make from scratch since there are none commercially available.
I was absolutely dumbfounded how many food products had unhealthy ingredients that I didn't even consider before being educated on this diet, like finding sugar in Worchestershire sauce, spices, or marinara sauce. Sugar was found in so many grocery items, even when it was completely unnecessary and unexpected. So be prepared to be extremely frustrated by having to put hundreds of items back on the shelf after reading the ingredient list. But be patient. You will be able find many items, and will also discover to ways to make your own condiments quickly and easily from a few simple ingredients. Remember to look closely at the ingredients and nutrition label as they may be deceiving. Marinara sauce that has no sugar may show a high sugar content in the nutrition label, however if no sugar is added, that means the grams of sugar listed are those naturally occuring in the tomatos. Also, some products will have sugar listed in the ingredients, but on the nutrition label it may show zero grams of sugar. While not specified in the book, I deduced that these items showing zero or just a few grams of sugar were okay to use since it was so minimal. Find the products and ingredients you need and purchase them before starting the diet. Having your pantry and fridge stocked will significantly improve your odds of succeeding.
TIP #3: PREPARE MEALS AND MAIN INGREDIENTS AHEAD OF TIME
Diets are most difficult when we allow ourselves to get too hungry and we are tempted to grab anything that is convenient, readily available, and quick. That is the cornerstone of the success of fast food in our country. So, to stick to this diet, it is important to have items that meet that criteria. It is actually pretty simple to do with just a little preparation. I found it is very convenient to make chili and other soups for something quick to heat up. Keeping single servings in the fridge and freezer make it a snap to grab and eat or take to work. Also, having grilled, baked, or boiled chicken breast already cooked in the fridge make it easy to whip up a quick meal. You can add this to your soups or salad for a protein-packed, satisfying meal. Since I found it easier to stick to the diet by eating savory, flavorful food, I also liked to make "taco" meat by using lean ground turkey seasoned with onion,chili powder and Ms. Dash's chili lime seasoning. I could add this to my eggs for a mexican omelet, make a taco salad, or lettuce wraps to make a tasty meal in minutes. I also made salad dressing, vegetable dips, and barbecue sauce ahead of time and kept them ready to go in the fridge. This really only requires a time investment of a couple of hours once a week to keep you going strong on the program. By having all of these items ready to go, and allowing you to have a meal ready in minutes, it can keep you on track even when you are at your weakest point of hunger. I found this step to be absolutely critical to succeeding on this program. This step will help you incorporate the 17 Day Diet into your busy lifestyle. Without advanced food prep, I don't believe I could realistically stick to this diet for any length of time.
These 3 simple tips will go a long a way to helping you succeed on the 17 Day Diet. Set yourself up for success by preparing for the diet before you start. It is said that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Every day you have an opportunity to change your life; prepare for this diet and you will have great luck on the 17 Day Diet.