h1>The 17 Day Diet
What is it?
This diet claims that it is possible to lose 12lbs over just 17 days. But you have to follow the diet to the letter!
It is based on four cycles of 17 days with each cycle having a different meal plan and differing calorie levels. Apparently this causes ‘metabolic confusion’, ie the body is confused about the amount of food it is getting and so it kicks the metabolism in to action? There is no scientific proof of this and I think the actual principle of cycle one and two is based on a high protein, low carb, low fat diet and lots of exercise. Then a lot of alternating between differing carbohydrate options (a bit convoluted for my liking).
- Based on 4 cycles.
- First 17 days: High protein, low carb, low fat. Unlimited lean protein, fish, meat, poultry and eggs: Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, small amount of good fats (fish oils, olive oil, flaxseed) and some probiotics. But quite prescriptive as to what fruit and veg can be eaten and when) and basically it is a low calorie cycle of about 1200 kcals per day. It’s effectively a detoxing diet.
- Second 17 day cycle: . Alternate between cycle 1 (low calorie) and cycle 2 (higher calorie) causing confusion and thus fat burning potential higher. You can add in some healthy starchy carbs, grains, pulses and potatoes
- Third 17 day cycle: Add in some other healthy foods and you are allowed some ‘normal’ foods, like pasta, bacon and sausages and one glass of alcohol.
- Fourth 17day cycle: Return to semi-normal eating habits, but with your newly acquired healthy eating habits but you are allowed weekends off…otherwise you’ll die of boredom, confusion and pile the weight back on again.
How does it work?
It is claimed that the differing calorie levels and differing meal plans for each cycle of 17 days, cause Metabolic Confusion which raises the body’s metabolic rate and thus enhances fat burning.
I think the actual mechanism is based on the fact that your body gets most of its energy from carbohydrates, so because you are not giving your body enough carbohydrates for daily living it has to get its energy from you fat stores…hence rapid weight loss. Also, proteins increase metabolic rate and are much harder for the body to metabolise, and therefore they make you feel satisfied for longer. This means you are very unlikely to over eat if you stick strictly to its principles.
How does it compare to other diets (Atkins and Dukan)?
The difference between this diet and other well known high protein diets is that it includes a good quantity of high quality, complex carbohydrates, such as fresh green vegetables and fresh low fructose fruit such as berries and apples and citrus fruit. This means that you will get a good level of fibre, vitamins and anti-oxidants, essential for wellbeing and good health. It also includes only good omega 3 fats and some probiotics for good digestive health.
But it is quite complicated and convoluted and you do have to follow it to the letter to get the results it claims and for quite a long time. 68 days. It excludes starchy carbohydrates for at least a month which are often the foods that people miss the most. But it is not a bad diet given that it contains lots of healthy items and if it works it is probably worth giving it a try.
Are there any down sides to it?
- As it is basically a calorie controlled diet it can set the body into starvation mode which in actual fact can lower metabolic rate and thus encourage weight gain.
- It is quite complicated to follow as the meal plans change and it is very prescriptive so you must not eat carbohydrates after 2pm.
- High protein diets such as this and the Atkins diet can damage the kidneys, especially if the protein sources are animal fats, because it increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which leads to kidney stones and osteoporosis
- It can increase cholesterol levels. Saturated fat found in meat can lead to an increase in the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can lead to cardio-vascular diseases.
- Constipation is a very likely side effect, and that is why 1 to 2 spoons of oatbran is included on a daily basis. If you suffer from constipation this diet is not recommended at all.
The simplest and safest weight loss programme involves a short term high protein, low carb, low fat diet, followed by a healthy diet for life which involves choosing low GI carbohydrates.
For more information on the Food for Life Diet: contact Heather Mountney 0115 9825018 or www.heathermountneynutrition.co.uk