Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition

     This is a review of the 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition, released in late 2013.

     As some of you know, back in October 2013, myself and one other person that I am aware of were contacted by the Publisher for Dr. Mike’s new book to see if we wanted an advance copy of it for review and feedback.

     I was glad to be given the opportunity to do this, as he and I had discussed back in January 2013 some aspects of the diet that needed to be clarified; I was hoping that some of these things would be “fixed” in the new version of the book, along with flat-out errors, such as sugar-free yogurt, which does not exist, but no sugar added yogurt does exist.

     In mid-November I received the advance copy and went about reading the book to see what is different not only in the way of additions, but what in the original version had been updated.

     We are not recommending this book. If you have the original book and it has worked for you, you may want to stick with that version of the book.  Be aware that the new book is simply the entire original book with a few things added, and none of the errors corrected.

     Basically the contents of the original book are contained in their entirety in the new “Breakthrough” edition of the book. The only change is using 1 whole lemon for the Morning Wake-Up Drink and not ½. We recommend sticking with ½, as 1 whole lemon’s juice in 8 ounce of water will be pretty intolerable for most.

     The Breakthrough Edition claims faster weight loss with two optional items and contains some ideas for 17 minutes of exercises.  The two optional items are:
  • An optional Transitional Day Fast which includes smoothies totaling 900 calories. 
  • Optional supplements which claim to speed up your weightloss.
The following items are some of my concerns, and why I cautiously recommend the new book.

New Recipes: 
While the book boasts 50 new recipes “that meet the weight loss plan’s guidelines,” this is not quite true at the first printing.  About 30% of the new recipes in the book are not correct, either from an ingredient standpoint or a cycle standpoint.  The list of those non-compliant/non-compliant-to-stated-cycle recipes is listed at the end of this review.
Transitional Day Fast:
  • Most who have been on this diet understand the need to eat enough and have been eating 1200-1500 calories a day. To cut your food intake down to 900 and by drinking meals only is a drastic change (albeit for one day only) to your eating.  I tried this for one day (mostly just to say I’d tried it!) and was nauseous and lightheaded the entire day.
  • This also goes against what Dr. Mike has told us when he said “EAT your meals, do not DRINK them.”
  • There needs to be some clarification on guidelines for using this for non-Transitional Day purposes other than “gain weight” or a “bad weekend.”  Some will take “gain weight” to mean permission to use it if they gain 2/10ths of a pound or some minor amount and we will be putting out fires with people using the Fast Day several times a week.  I have already had quite a few Facebook messages telling me that dieters are using this at any time they gain a little bit of weight (1/2 lb on up).
     On the other hand, there is some excellent information about the Whys and Wherefores, as I call it. This information was scattered in the appropriate sections (as it should be) and was excellent information that we were not provided in the original 17 Day Diet book.

     NONE of the modifications that Dr. Mike made in the last 3 years were included in the new book, so we can only assume that they are no longer allowed.  This makes Dr. Mike look wishy washy and for those of us that run groups for this diet, it makes a lot more work for us; most of us do not make any money off of our groups or blogs, although some do derive an income from the concepts in the book. We run the groups because we believe in the diet.

     Overall, for those starting this diet for the first time or those who already have the original book, I would be cautious about purchasing it for some of the reasons stated in this post.

  • Real Bacon Bits as a product is listed in several recipes.  This product is not compliant in any way – it is made with real bacon and real sugar is added, neither of which are allowed.  Turkey bacon is allowed.
  • Nectresse is a product listed in several recipes which is not compliant! It is made with processed sugar, along with monk fruit, as shown in the photo below.

The following itemizes the recipes, first by non-compliant recipes, followed by compliant recipes.


Incorrect Cycle and Ingredients:

New Book:

  1. Brown Rice with Mushrooms incorrectly shows C2-4: turkey bacon makes this a C3 recipe.
  2. Cactus Salad incorrectly shows C1-4: Cactus, serrano peppers and cilantro make this C3.
  3. Ceviche incorrectly shows C1-4: Cilantro and chiles make this C3
  4. Cream of Pumpkin Soup incorrectly shows C2-4: 8 oz cream cheese/4 servings=4Tbsp per serving which goes over for C2; this should be C3
  5. Full-licious Salad incorrectly shows C1-4: Olives make this C4
  6. Guiltless Potato Salad incorrectly shows C2-4: REAL bacon is not allowed; turkey bacon pieces would make this C3.
  7. Harvest French Toast incorrectly shows C2-4: C3 due to bread
  8. Mexican Huevos incorrectly shows C1-4: C3 due to jalapenos
  9. Mint Choco Chip Soft Serve incorrectly shows C1-4: Calls for Nectresse which has both sugar and molasses in it. The Nectresse should be replaced with Stevia or Agave Nectar. If Nectresse is used, it becomes C4.
  10. Mom's Apple Pie incorrectly shows C4: All items are C3 compliant; 1 cup ground almonds for 6 servings is 2/3 of a Friendly Fat per serving. I'd call this good for C3 as an occasional treat.
  11. Oven Roasted Veggies incorrectly shows C1-4: Zucchini makes this C3
  12. Picnic Beans incorrectly shows C2-4: turkey bacon makes this a C3 recipe; also Nectresse should be replaced with Stevia or Agave Nectar as Nectresse has added sugar & molasses and would be considered a C4 ingredient.
  13. Southwest Slaw incorrectly shows C1-4: Bacon makes this C3, but needs to be turkey bacon and not REAL bacon pieces as the recipe states.
  14. Stewed Zucchini incorrectly shows C1-4: Zucchini makes this C3
  15. Sweet Potato Apple Casserole incorrectly shows use of Nectresse which has added sugar and molasses.  Use Stevia or Agave Nectar instead.
  16. Tropical Pistachio Pudding incorrectly shows C2-4: Both sf pudding and pineapple are Cycle 3!!

From the Original Book:
  1. Low-Carb Primavera Delight incorrectly shows C1-4: Spaghetti Squash is a C2 starch!
  2. Sesame Fish: incorrectly shows C1-4; sesame seeds make this a C3 recipe


New Book
  1. Apricot-Glazed Lamb Chops
  2. Asparagus Tarragon Salad
  3. Avocado Stuffed with Scallops
  4. Bacon Wrapped Scallops
  5. Banana Ice Cream
  6. Beef Fajita Salad
  7. Blueberry Griddle Cakes
  8. Breakfast Crisp  NOTE that this is 4 starch servings, not 2.
  9. Catalina Grilled Steak
  10. Chicken Kiev
  11. Chicken with Orange Sauce
  12. Chocolate Candies
  13. Creamy Light Fettucine Alfredo
  14. Crunch Salad
  15. Drunken Pork Chops
  16. Easy Gourmet Chicken
  17. Elegant Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce
  18. Fried Fish
  19. Garlic Shrimp
  20. General Slim's Chicken
  21. Greek Chicken Stew
  22. Mango Sorbet
  23. Meat and Bean Burrito
  24. Mexican-Style Shrimp
  25. Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
  26. Onion-Leek Soup
  27. Pasta Caesar Salad
  28. Poached Pears and Oranges
  29. Salad in a Sandwich
  30. Salmon Burgers
  31. Shrimp Cocktail with Avocado Dressing
  32. Smoked Salmon Rolls
  33. South of the Border Scramble
  34. Spinach Salad
  35. Taco Salad
  36. Tortilla Soup
  37. Village Salad
  38. White Bean Hummus

From the Original Book

  1. Balsamic Artichoke
  2. Chicken Vegetable Soup
  3. Dr Mike's Power Cookie
  4. Eggplant Parmesan
  5. Egg-White Veggie Frittata
  6. Greek Egg Scramble
  7. Kefir Smoothie
  8. Lettuce Wraps
  9. Marinated Vegetable Salad
  10. Oven Barbecued Chicken
  11. Salad Nicoise
  12. Salmon Lemenato
  13. Spanish Omelet
  14. Spicy Yogurt Dip and Veggies
  15. Super Salad
  16. Turkey Black Bean Chili
  17. Yogurt Fruitshake


  1. fantastic review and very honest

  2. Thanks for taking the time to post here about the new book. As a vegetarian I am very disappointed that the book does not include the information you posted on FB.

  3. Amazing blog thanks for share with us

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  8. Question for you: Are the 38 compliant recipes in the Breakthrough edition found in the 17 Day Diet cookbook published by him?
    Also -- are you serious about jalapenos/chiles/serranos not being allowed in cycle 1? If bell peppers are allowed, then these should be too - no reason to exclude a veggie for that, to be sure?