October 15, 2011

Losing Weight: 17 Day Diet and Meal Ideas


1. Day 2 lunch... Fruit and bacon. Pretty sure I'm breakin' some rules. Sue me. #4eu, 2. Day 1 - Lunch... 17 Day Diet #4EU (4ever Unfrumpy), 3. Last night's dinner: day 1, 17day diet. #4eu, 4. Day 2 breakfast, 17 day diet, cheating with the refried beans. #4eu, 5. Day 3 - 17 day diet, chicken sausage with peas, jalapeƱo sour kraut and a beet. #4eu ... lost 5 lbs so far!, 6. Day 4 #4eu sausage, egg scramble with cheese, onion and pico. Served w/ blackberries & yoghurt, 7. Grilled Tuna and chopped egg salad #4eu #incourage, 8. Day 8 #4eu cheating at @chickfila with sugary dressing and breaded spicy chicken #oops #lost6lbs #incourage, 9. Day 8 #4eu #17daydiet Chicken & veggies never tasted so good., 10. Asian Salad with Pan Fried Rotisserie #incourage #17daydiet #4eu, 11. Day 9 of #17daydiet #4eu : Chicken Satay, 12. Mt. St. Helens Cake #incourage #whateverworks

A friend of mine started the 17 Day Diet a few months ago and I didn't think anything of it. She had more weight to lose than I did, and I have always been one of those people who believed what I had heard from some health care professionals: "dieting doesn't work - you gain it all back - just change what you eat as a lifestyle and you'll be able to keep it off". Changing what I ate meant giving up chocolate and cookies... and I wasn't ever going to do that.

Then I got older. I'll be 39 not long from now, and my metabolism hasn't been keeping his end of the bargain lately. Maybe it is the 3 pregnancies in the past 4 years? I don't know. I have felt more like the Stay Puff Man than myself for a long time, though. I felt fat enough for long enough that I decided to really DO something about it this time. I gave up the usual culprits: Cokes and excessive fries. That usually did the trick before - at least 5 lbs. worth, right? Nothing this time. Maybe I really was getting old.

Then my friend started looking thinner. She started sharing about her diet with me and told me she and her husband both had lost 20 lbs. in just a month and a half. I decided to buy the book.

The 17 Day Diet is more of a lifestyle cycle of eating. There are three cycles... Activate, Accelerate, and Achieve.

Activate is really strict and more like a "diet". You eat very little carbs (all in the form of vegetable and fruits), no sugary fruits like banana or watermelon, only eat your fruits before 2pm, eat as much chicken or fish as you want, eat eggs for breakfast (this is the one tip that really works to set your daily metabolism - no carb-filled breakfasts), drink green tea (which is said to help people lose weight) and water only, use no sugar - besides Stevia, use very little oil besides flax seed or olive oil, and exercise 17 minutes a day.

It is designed to give you fast results so you won't quit dieting and give up... and it works. It helps cleanse your body, improves your digestion, cleans the sugar from your blood so you start burning fat, and helps you pay attention to how much you eat and move your body. I couldn't make it through the first 17 days. I lost 7 lbs that first week and quit the cycle at about day 12.

I moved on to the next cycle for a little bit and lost another 3 lbs. The next cycle adds whole grains, red meat, more fruits and veggies... and sweet potatoes back in to the diet - and increases your exercise. You also add probiotics to your diet to keep your gut healthy : which can be in the form of Yogurt, Kefir, or vegetables in probiotic liquid (think brine pickles - yum). Part of the inability for some folks to lose weight is just an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract.

Good thing? Hormonal women (for whatever reason - be it periods, pregnant, nursing, or just cranky) can have a handful of dark chocolate chips every day. You better believe I took advantage of that rule!

After a while I fell off the bandwagon because of life circumstances and not enough money for organic produce. We have 4 kids and it gets busy around here, so we tend to eat out more than we should if we have to go places. Two of my kids got braces, too - and we resorted to chocolate Atkins shakes and soft foods that weren't on the diet for a while. Then we had one or two weeks in there where there was ice cream, pizza, burgers, and more. All the while, though - we tried to eat more responsibly (maybe not eating the 4th piece of pizza, skipping the chocolate sauce, having oatmeal cookies instead of chocolate pie, and not pouring the sugar in our tea...).

I have to be honest, though... it was sometimes hard to come up with food ideas that weren't already sort of burned out. My friend and I shared some recipes and ideas with each other. It is always better to diet with support. I was encouraged that she was sticking to it. She and her husband have lost about 26 lbs each now. I'm amazingly still at 10 - even with about a month totally OFF the diet. Which means - I really did reset my metabolism and plateau at this weight - which is what they say will happen when you reach the last phase of the diet - you stay at that weight and then can "cheat" on weekends and not regain the pounds.

You might not be able to stay on a burger and fry diet and keep your weight off, but if you are willing to make some changes to how you eat and only have the "bad" stuff on the weekends, you really can change your metabolism and lose the weight. It can be done. I never exercised when I was on the diet last time, so I'm looking forward (hoping) to losing more the next time I do cycle 1. Right now we're back at the "I can't afford all that produce" stage.

Check out some of my photos to help you get ideas on what you might be eating. This diet is really similar to the gestational diabetic diet that I was on during the last few months of my pregnancy (on which I lost a lot of weight - managed to not gain any weight for 3 months while pregnant!).

10 lbs down for me, another 15 or so to go! I look forward to getting back on the 17 Day Diet soon.

Have any questions? I'd love to encourage you on your journey to a thinner and HEALTHIER you!

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The 'Smarty Pants' Family said...

Great Post! thank you for sharing this. Me and my two older daughters have been dieting for a couple of weeks and running out of ideas. You rock!

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