WHY I DID IT:
My 12-year-old daughter and I were looking through pictures one day, and we came across a photo of me in a bright orange sweater in which I looked very overweight. I recall asking her if I really was that fat or was it just the angle of the picture. As nicely as she could, she informed me that IS how I looked to others. It was then that I knew this had to be the time in my life where I got my weight and eating/exercising lifestyle under control.
Add to this photo revelation the fact that I had been under a doctor’s care for loss of cartilage in both knees — the extra weight was not helping my physical therapy efforts for that health issue. I kept using my bad knees as an excuse NOT to exercise, and I realized I could not hide behind that any longer.
HOW I DID IT:
I was with several girlfriends one night, and one of them mentioned that she lost a lot of weight and kept it off with a book titled “The 17 Day Diet.” As I listened to her explain the basics of physician Mike Moreno’s philosophy, it all clicked, and I just knew this was going to be the key to helping me change my lifestyle habits. (Not to mention that 17 days seemed like a very realistic and manageable amount of time to “behave” with my food and drink!)
I got online that night, researched the book more, and I read what many others wrote about their successes. The next day I found myself buying the book because I wanted to highlight the parts that applied to me. Here is what I followed for the first 17 days — called the Accelerate Cycle — that helped me lose my first 12 pounds:
Only healthy carbs and consume all before 2 p.m. (low sugar fruit)
Cleansing vegetables (as much as you want)
Lots of protein all day — fish, chicken, turkey, eggs (2 per day)
Eight servings of water and two servings of green tea
No alcohol (hard for me because my husband works for a winery)
Minimum of 17 minutes of exercise daily (though I had better results with 30- to 45-minute brisk walks six out of seven days)
I really never felt hungry. I never felt deprived. Sure, I missed my couscous, baked potatoes and rice, but I knew that I was changing the course of my health future, and 17 days is nothing in the scheme of things!
Having to cook something different for myself than the rest of my family was a little challenging. My family was a big circle of cheerleaders for me taking this regimen on, so they made it as easy as they possibly could. It helps when your family and friends don’t try teasing you or tempting you with the food items you need to omit for 17 days.
My husband was so impressed with my initial weight loss that he decided to join me. We did the next round of 17 days that Moreno refers to as the Activate Cycle. It shakes things up a bit with your metabolism, plus allows you in bring back in limited carbs, a glass of wine here and there, and lean cuts of meat. I found this cycle not so successful for me because my husband was not sticking to the rules 100 percent, and I found myself cheating once in a while. He lost a total of 18 pounds in just 17 days and has kept that plus a few more pounds off as well.
I lost 5 more pounds during that cycle with my husband, but it was not as easy as the first 17 days because I experienced an injury that prevented me from walking for exercise for eight days. Staying active is one of the big keys to success with weight loss, and I had not done that for years (since college).
If you get the book you will see how the author guides you back into living a regular life with dinners out, vacations and social events that always seem to center around food and still maintain a great weight for you.
GOING THE DISTANCE:
I have found pleasure in walking at a brisk pace daily for a 45-minute period. I have changed the way I approach food and am super aware of the benefits of the many foods I have now made part of my routine and the negatives of the foods I used to consume almost daily. I have not given up anything. I simply enjoy those desserts and high-carb items less frequently and with exaggerated delight!
I stopped “dieting” years ago, and I was very skeptical of this “17 Day Diet” because I had been told that if you lose a lot of weight quickly you will surely gain it back. Dr. Moreno explains why and how that is a myth. My advice is to find a new regimen for your eating and exercise lifestyle so that you shake up your metabolism. Whatever new lifestyle regimen you decide to take on, do it with an excited sense of commitment and be proud that you are changing the course of your future!