'17 Day Diet' Weight Loss Plan Explodes On Scene

04/07/2011 12:38 pm ET | Updated Jun 07, 2011

On the heels of the uber-controversial hCG diet and French Dukan plan, yet another new diet has exploded on the scene. The 17 Day Diet has been featured on "The Doctors" and "Dr. Phil" and has skyrocketed up the bestsellers list.

The 17 Day Diet's creator, Dr. Mike Moreno -- a San Diego-based physician -- devised the clean eating plan, which is broken into four cycles. Each cycle or phase represents 17 days in which dieters vary what they're eating, whether it's the amount of carbs, proteins or fruit.

Cycle one, dubbed the "accelerate" phase of the diet, is reportedly the toughest section. Its goal is rapid weight loss, and dieters restrict their calorie intake to around 1,200 calories per day.

Cycle two, the so-called "activate" portion, is centered on alternating low-and high-calorie days to help the body shed yet even more fat -- somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds.

The third cycle, or "achieve" section focuses on portion control, while the final cycle -- dubbed "arrive" -- is about combining the lessons learned in the first three to establish good, long-term habits.

Though each cycle has dieters eating different foods, there are a few constants: No fruit or starchy carbs after 2 p.m. and daily, 17-minute walks, which can ramp up into more intense workouts once dieters have completed the rapid weight loss phase.

So why 17 days?

The time span was settled on because -- Moreno believes -- it is just before the body begins to recognize a diet as habit and the metabolism slows as a result.

But some experts think the idea of metabolic confusion is bunk. Keri Gans, a registered dietician, told Web MD that the weight loss that results from the diet isn't from the 17-day cycles, but from calorie restriction.

"There is no evidence that you can fool your metabolism by calorie-shifting but the low-calorie plans featuring healthy foods are a good approach to weight loss," she said.

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