Sep 03 2011

17 Day Diet – Cycle 2 Update

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 34 days since starting the diet. Cycle 2 is called “Activate”  – You basically stay on every cycle for 17 days until you reach your goal weight, then you switch to the last Cycle (4) for maintenance. Cycle 2 consists of alternating between Cycle 1 “Accelerate” days and Cycle 2 “Activate” days. No problem.

I was excited to be able to add shellfish, a broader range of lean cuts of meat – including some red meats – flank steak, top sirloin, lean ground beef and some of the leaner cuts of pork. I also got to add in two daily servings of natural starches – my favorites included quinoa, brown rice, couscous, old-fashioned oatmeal, garbanzo beans, black beans and corn. There were lots of other choices, but I basically stuck to those I listed. It was hard to fit in more, since I only had 9 days (18 servings) to include the new things.

Tomato, cucumber and spinach salads remain a favorite “go to” side dish to my proteins. I add a drizzle or two of olive oil, champagne or other flavored vinegar, cracked black pepper, and a little sea salt.

Sometimes I even used some ribbons of fresh basil.

Lots of steamed broccolini and cauliflower – the purple made a second appearance.

Chicken, carrot, bok choy, leek and onion stir fry – using light soy sauce and Dorat garlic and some olive oil.

I’m still drinking a lot of Yakult to satisfy the probiotic requirement, but also added the Dannon Light and Fit – Carb & Sugar Control on a more regular basis… mostly because I needed a change and I missed my vanilla Chobani. While it’s not the same… and it took some getting used to the taste, it works in a pinch. I have also been eating plain Greek with light agave syrup and fresh fruit.

My morning routine changed a bit too. With the addition of a starch – I added oatmeal into my rotation. I bought a container of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats – but also bought some low sugar quick and easy pouches.

Better Oats – Oat Fit. I basically run around every morning before work trying to get everything packed and ready to take on the road… as I chug my morning hot lemon water and drink my green tea. Often times I just grab a packet of oatmeal and make it in the microwave at work.

Another favorite fruit snack has been sliced strawberries, basil and agave syrup – just a small amount. Some sort of “sweet” treat is what I have missed the most. Even though fruit needs to be consumed before 2:00 p.m. – it’s been a nice alternative to my apples, frozen red grapes, and peaches. I’m also still addicted to ruby red grapefruit, I pretty much just peel and eat them like an orange.

All in all – Cycle 2 wasn’t too bad. I stuck to my 17 minute a day workouts, didn’t stray from the plan and still feel as excited about the program as I was after Cycle 1. I did get a little discouraged when the scale didn’t budge for 8 straight days, but I solved that. I decided I needed to stay off the thing until the end of the cycle and that really helped.

I am officially down another 5.3 lbs. for Cycle 2 – bringing my total to 20.5 lbs. in 34 days.

Cycle 3 “Achieve” starts tomorrow and I CAN’T WAIT to sink my teeth into a mock pizza… 1/2 a whole wheat pita pocket or a whole wheat tortilla with a little Parmesan, low-fat mozzarella, homemade sauce, fresh basil, caramelized onion – OMG how I have missed pizza.

Some other add-ons for Cycle 3 – pumpernickle and rye bread – low sugar granola, gluten free cold cereals, whole wheat pasta, zucchini, pineapple, bananas, low fat cheeses – instead of FF cheeses, AVOCADO, nuts and seeds… and optional snacks… and an optional daily serving of alcohol – the first glass of wine is going to taste so damn good!

More food = more exercise, actually looking forward to that! The book says to increase weekly aerobic activity from 17 minutes a day to 150-300 minutes a week. I have to get a feel for things with the increased calories, but I’m aiming for the 250 minute range so I have some wiggle room if I end up back on Cycle 3 a second time or if I hit a plateau. I’m pretty much prepared for the fact that the scale won’t budge much during Cycle 3 and that’s o.k. The extra calories will keep my body guessing before going back on Cycle 1 after the 17 days are over.

It’s so hard to believe that I haven’t had a single piece of bread, cracker, muffin, pretzel, tortilla, cookie, etc. for 34 days. At first it was all I could think about – now I’m pretty much over it. I do occasionally crave things, but nothing compared to before.

Things I’ve learned…

  • TV was a problem for me. I liked to snack when I watched TV. I also liked to eat my meals in front of the TV. 1/2 the time I didn’t even pay attention to what I was eating or the amount. I’ve cut down on TV – I’m watching an hour at most a night and I’ve stopped watching TV on my lunch hour. I am eating all of my meals at the dining room table.
  • A lot of times I think I’m hungry, when I’m actually thirsty. The water and green tea have really helped to leave me feeling full.
  • Speed workouts on the treadmill are fun. Seeing how far I can get in 17 minutes has become a game. My fastest has been 2.1 miles and I was jammin’. That was a one time thing. I actually like to stick to between 10 and 11 minute miles with the incline set between 3-5.
  • There is always at least one thing that can be modified on a restaurant menu to fit any diet.
  • It was a brilliant idea to keep all of my “skinny” clothes, because I’m going to need them. I’m down 2 whole sizes.
  • I have incredible willpower and when I put my mind to something, I do well. Hurting my back pulling weeds was a true wake-up call for me. I know the extra weight is not good for my back. It was time and I’m treating this like a doctor’s prescription – even though I prescribed it myself.
  • It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns… some days are tougher than others. I have turned to reading, blogging, side graphic design work, home decorating, craft projects and lots of other things to distract myself from thinking about food and things I miss eating.
  • Rewards are important. This cycle I got a spa pedicure and chose OPI Ink Suede – sparkly purple polish to match my hair. It’s the little things…
  • I miss blogging about sinful foods… almost as much as I miss eating them on occasion.

I’m excited to see what the next 17 days bring. I’m also excited to have even more options to create meals from.

Let’s Do This!

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    • Dave2 on September 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    You really must post photos of this “pizza” you’ll be making. I don’t know whether it sounds good or terrible. Whole wheat pita? Pizza sacralidge!

    • sizzle on September 4, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I’m interested in this diet. I need something to reset my way of eating as I feel like I have been unconscious about it. I still work out 5 times a week but there needs to be something more, you know?

      • foodiddy on September 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      I was working out a lot and not paying much attention to nutrition before this. Cycle 1 is brutal, but I think it really helped me with my carb addiction and cravings. Cycle 2 was still pretty intense, but 2 days into cycle 3 and I honestly feel like I could eat this way without feeling deprived. Cycle 4 really makes sense to me too! Weekend indulgences and back on track M-F. You can always email if you have questions about the program. 🙂

  1. seriously…Cycle 1 is intense and clearly, you have been a rock start!!!

    i didn’t realize how restrictive the first cycle is, but it’s doable like everything else.

    congrats on the awesome loss!

    • Erica on September 4, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Way to go girl! You have done an awesome job…keep up the good work! Cycle 3 feels like such a treat after going through Cycles 1 and 2. It is nice to have wheat toast and tortillas, wheat pasta and my favorite addition is AVOCADO!!! Counting today, I have 5 days left on Cycle 3 and only 1.5 pounds to go to my ultimate goal. This is my second go round with the 17 day diet and have lost 20.5 pounds total. Like foo, I have never felt better and look forward to each new day!

    • Marnie on September 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

    You rock, GF! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    • Joanne on September 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Foo you inspired me to try this diet too. I am on Day 2 of cycle 1. I’ll admit it’s pretty hard but today was better than yesterday. One day at a time. I feel weak from not having carbs. But i’m going to stick with it. Congrats on your weight loss. xoxo

      • foodiddy on September 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks Joanne! I’m interested to see how you like it… Super restrictive at first, but I feel great now! It’s worth the sacrifices.

    • Jessica on March 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    It’s my first time on your blog..I am just perusing the net looking for cycle 1 recipes and I fell upon your page. I am on Day 8 of cycle 1 and have dropped almost 10 pounds.. (haven’t moved my bowels so could be more…:( ).
    But I just wanted to say how awesome and proud you should be! When everyone around you is happily enjoying their breads, sweets, and everything else yummy and unhealthy it’s not always easy to keep those blinders on.. So best to you and congrats on the progress you made. 20 pounds is INSANE!!

    p.s. I would love some of your recipes. The bokchoy chicken looks so good!!

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