18/04/2011 11:10 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Next Food Fad: The 17 Day Diet

Just when you thought you'd heard it all where diets are concerned, along comes another one that promises to help you shed more weight than you'd ever dreamed of with the least effort imaginable. So if you think you're keeping up to date by following the Dukan diet, forget it. The latest big idea where weight-loss is concerned is arguably The 17 Day Diet.

fruit-carbs-diet No fruit after 2pm if you're on The 17 Day Diet. Photo: Corbis

Created by a Californian family physician, Dr Michael Moreno, The 17 Day Diet is similar to low-carb plans like Dukan, Atkins and South Beach in that it organises your eating in stages. So whereas with some high-protein diets you're advised to eat little to no carbohydrates in the first stage, with The 17 Day Diet each stage encourages varying intakes of fruit, veg, protein and carbs.

And you've guessed it, each stage lasts 17 days. Why? Because, according to Dr Moreno, it takes just 17 days for your body to get used to a diet. After 17 days, your body apparently recognises a diet as an ongoing eating habit, and if you're restricting calories, for instance, your metabolism will slow down.

But is that really the case? Some nutrition experts have already rubbished Dr Moreno's ideas, but there's nothing the weight loss world loves more than a gimmick, so expect to hear more about The 17 Day Diet in the coming months.

So what else do we know about the diet? Well you can't eat fruit and some other carbs after two o'clock in the afternoon. And the only exercise the plan recommends is 17 minutes of walking a day.

Do fad diets drive you mad?

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