17 Day Diet: Diet Review (cont.)

"This phase cleanses, hydrates, removes unhealthy carbs, improves unhealthy eating habits, and stimulates fat metabolism," Moreno says.

In cycle 2 (called "Activate,") the food plan is alternated with a slightly higher-calorie activate plan. Moreno says the zig-zag between cycles keeps the metabolism guessing, helps prevent boredom, and continues to stimulate fat burning to yield about a 5-6 pound weight loss.

Cycle 3, called "Achieve," is the stabilization period that allows healthier foods with a slower rate of weight loss of about 2-3 pounds, Moreno says.

Cycle 4 -- the final phase, called "Arrive" -- is when you arrive at your goal weight. In cycle 4, follow meal plans from one of the earlier cycles during the week with controlled splurges on weekends to maintain your new weight.

Exercise at least 17 minutes a day during the first two cycles -- primarily walking because of the limited calorie intake. In the later cycles, ramp up exercise to 150-300 minutes per week for continued weight loss.

The book, which is only available online, contains recipes and tips for eating out and handling your diet during the holidays.

The 17 Day Diet: What You Can Eat

The 17 Day Diet promotes a diet of clean eating, devoid of sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and other unhealthy foods.

Cycle 1 allows an unlimited amount of nonstarchy vegetables and lean protein (including 2 eggs per day, if you have normal cholesterol level), along with limited amounts of fruits, probiotics (such as yogurt), and a little bit of "friendly" fat, such as olive oil or flaxseed oil.

Registered dietitian Melissa Nodvin, MS, RD estimates this plan to be about 1,200 calories per day, or the minimum recommended calorie level.