I am going to do this review in point form... hope you don't mind.
#1. This is a weight loss book, and yes, if you follow its complex 17-day instructions to the letter you will lose weight.
#2. Most people don't follow instructions. The more complex the instructions the less likely they are to actually follow the instructions.
#3. The book does have lots of helpful nutritional and exercise advice, but its the sort of thing you could find for free on a website like Cardio Trek, a free nutritional / exercise website run by a personal trainer in Toronto. So while the advice is good, its nothing special.
#4. The book also has BMI charts. Again, something you can find for free online.
#5. The recipes in the book are okay, although some of them contain weird ingredients that most people wouldn't purchase. Again, you can find that online for free.
#6. The 17 Day Diet isn't really "17 days". It is actually a 17 day cycle which is meant to repeated again and again... forever. So the title is really false advertising.
#7. At the back of the book there is more information on dining out, holiday eating and substitutions for "bad" foods. Again, very helpful and thorough information - but also available for free online.
#8. The 17-Day Diet works on a 17 day phasing cycle and the first cycle is the most restrictive for accelerated weight loss. Then each subsequent cycle introduces new food into the meal plan. If you have not reached your goal at the end of all the cycles, you start again.Yes it is not realistic to be on a diet for 17 days and expect serious results anyway, but I really don't like books that are wishy washy and promise instant results and then fall back on things that you can find for free online in the first place.
#9. The diet isn't exactly revolutionary. The Core Balance Diet and South Beach Diet have a very similar concept in that the first portion is low carb, high protein and vegetables with carbohydrates gradually re-introduced. Same concept, old news.
#10. The meals don't easily work for a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, even though the book claims otherwise. It was obviously written by an omnivore who is clueless about veggie diets. Many of the lunches and dinners are chicken and vegetables. Plain tofu (or high protein alternative) without seasoning and preparation instructions just wouldn't cut it for a Vegan. Using beans as a substitute also wouldn't work due to the high carb content. It would defeat the intention of the initial phases of the cycle.
#11. The diet claims that you will not be hungry. However most people couldn't follow this diet because either their activity levels are too high for the meal plan - or they would find the diet too restrictive. If you start this diet with very little energy output levels, you could remain satiated in between meals. But if you exercise regularly (like the book recommends) then you will definitely end up feeling hungry between meals.
#12. He is trying to push his own brand diet - to make a name for himself. He wrote this book so he could become famous, but while, yes, you would lose weight if you followed this diet, I guarantee if you are living an active lifestyle that you would be feeling starved and miserable by day 17.
#13. Many people need a diet which feels like they are achieving a nutrition goal. Just find a healthy and balanced regimen with small portions that works for you and you will be happy. Fad diets and crappy books like "The 17 Day Diet" will only result in wasted money and yo-yo dieting.
ZERO STARS OUT OF FIVE.