Frequently Asked Questions
The three phases of the Ideal Protein Protocol are designed to help you set, achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. During the Weight Loss Phase of the Protocol, we limit carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to turn to its fat stores for energy. By eating Ideal Protein foods, the Protocol helps to sustain muscle mass while teaching you how to develop smarter eating habits and lifestyle choices, to help maintain your weight after weight loss is achieved.
In North America, the Ideal Protein Protocol cost on average about $15 a day, which includes the cost of the foods and the supplements. We encourage you to think of the cost of the Protocol as part of your grocery bill. Redirecting average food expenses to different, healthier options often results in the Protocol being neutral in cost. Consultation fees vary from one location to another, depending on the additional services they offer, so feel free to visit many locations around your area.
Vegetarians can follow the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol and can consume eggs, fish or tofu during their evening meal for their whole protein. As an alternative, vegetarians can have 2 Ideal Protein foods for dinner in replacement of their whole protein. Ensure you review the ingredient list on all boxes before purchasing them. Strict vegans, who do not consume any animal proteins and animal by-products, such as dairy products, honey and so on, do not qualify to follow the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol due to the many dietary restrictions.
The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol addresses weight issues at their source; reducing carbohydrates and fats while ensuring adequate daily protein intake. In other words, the goal is to lose fat, not muscle. While on the Protocol, through personalized coaching, you’re also provided with healthier lifestyle education so that you are empowered to sustain your weight loss results over your life course.
Our protocol is safe for everyone, except those with dysfunctional liver or kidneys. Type I diabetics should only do the Alternative protocol and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should only use the Ideal Protein’s protein foods to supplement their diet. Potential Dieters with other chronic medical conditions may require prior approval of their physician.
Both protocols have 4 phases: Phase 1: 100% Success Phase 2: Maximum 2 weeks Phase 3: Maintenance Phase 4: Stabilization The only difference between them is that on the Alternative Plan dieters are permitted up to three (3) additional food items per day, one from each of the three different food groups: carbohydrates (Group I), fruits (Group II) and fats (Group III). The Alternative Plan reduces potential cravings and makes it easier to be faithful to the protocol and still lose weight, only a little slower than on our weight loss method. The Alternative plan is for people who simply are not willing to forego their morning toast or daily fruit, for example. Please not that the chances of not regaining the lost weight are greatly increased by following the Ideal Protein Weight loss method, the pancreas is given the unequivocal chance of restoring its proper regulation of glycemia. The alternative plan does not keep the body in ketogenic state and therefore is safe for Type 1 diabetics who could be at risk for developing ketacidosis if placed on a ketogenic diet.
Dieters on the protocol are on a very low caloric diet, yet their body is actually "getting more calories" than they were prior to starting our protocol. Why? Because they are burning (using their fat stores) fat. They are getting about 900 Kcals per day from the foods they are eating (on Phase 1) but if they lose 3 lbs per week (on average) 3 x 4000 Kcal/lb of fat means 12,000 Kcal/week, divide by 7 equals over 1700 Kcals per day. They are actually consuming 900 Kcal + 1700 Kcals = 2600 Kcals per day. Understand their bodies must make the necessary enzymes to fully burn the ketonic bodies that are produced from fat metabolism (beta oxidation). It takes about two weeks for this to happen. During the first 3 weeks, your body is getting the necessary "enzymatic machinery" in place so it can use 100% of the ketonic bodies (for cellular fuel) that your body is producing from burning the fat. In the first couple of weeks, it cannot use all of them and you breath them out (acetone breath), "pee them out" (ketostix turn purple when you dip them in your urine) or you excrete excess ketones in your feces. If your blood sugar gets too low during this time period, the proteins we supply and the muscle you have can undergo gluconeogenesis and glucose can be produced. If you increase the glucose demand (i.e. exercise vigorously during these first 3 weeks) you will increase gluconeogensis markedly. This CAN result in muscle loss, SOMETHING WE WANT TO AVOID!!!! If you MUST exercise during the first 3 weeks, please do it lightly, (1/3 to 1/2 your normal intensity) or not at all. Here's the beauty of the program: During this period...you literally are "peeing out calories" without having to exercise!!! You will lose the same amount of weight, but will not risk losing muscle. This is not about calories in - calories out, it's about hormones and metabolism. They were fighting a hormone (Insulin) before and you can't exercise your way out of that, the hormone always wins. After the first 3 weeks, you may exercise, but please keep in mind: Can dieters eat "sugar-free" candy only containing sugar alcohol? Do not get overly tired Supplement are a must! (Serious cardiac problems can result; arrythmias, tachycardia, etc. Keep well hydrated, if exercising you must increase your water
Although many people do not experience any discomfort and feel utterly satisfied throughout the protocol, some may experience “withdrawal” symptoms during the first few days of the diet. This is absolutely normal and should even be anticipated, especially by those who are used to consuming a lot of processed foods, sweets and salty foods (the 4 common symptoms are headaches, fatigue, mild nausea, and hunger).
Yes. If the protocol is followed without any deviations and weight loss is not achieved in any given week it is due one of the following 4 reasons: Intentional or unintentional deviations from the program (cheats) Pre- or Post- menopausal women Constipation Muscle gain vs. fat loss (The BCA will determine this)
The protocol would be considered a medium to low calorie diet whereas the Alternative Plan, which incorporates additional foods from Groups I, II and III, would be considered a medium calorie diet. Neither protocol are considered a hypo protein diet, nor a hyper protein diet. The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method offers the optimal quantity of proteins, vitamins and minerals required to ensure the proper functioning of all body systems.
The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is based on the NAASCO (North American Association for the Study of Obesity) guidelines. It states that "a loss of 2% of body weight per week is totally healthy”. The USDA Food Pyramid recommends that 20% of calories should come from protein. Based on a 2,000 Kcal diet per day, this equates to 400 Kcals coming from protein (protein = 4 grams / Kcal) so 100 grams of protein is the recommended daily allowance according the USDA.Let’s suppose you have a 150 lb female. She will probably lose on average 3 lb per week. It means exactly 2%. If she eats only the very "low-carb foods" she will add 850 Kcal/day. If the average weight loss is 3 lb of fat per week (1 lb of fat =4000 Kcal) the body consumes 3 X 4000 Kcal = 12,000 Kcal / week. Now divided by 7 = 1700+ Kcal per day from body fat. So now add 850 Kcal (from our food) + 1700 Kcals from body fat and you will see that our protocol provides 2550 Kcals / day (at a bare minimum). We triggered the physiological mechanism for them to lose fat, while giving the body this seemingly enormous amount of calories.
Phase 3 is not a weight loss phase; dieters are on a phase that maintains their weight. We are going to re-introduce carbohydrates in Phase 3 "to wake up the pancreas" but also to limit the intake to less than 30 grams at this meal. Two slices of Whole Grain bread (about 70 Kcals), 1 egg (75 cal, 6 grams of protein) and a serving of lean breakfast meat (3-4 ozs of ham or Canadian bacon, probably about 10 grams of absorbable protein) are fine. Then, a Phase 2 lunch and dinner plus a protein snack at bedtime. You won't gain weight on this, but you will stop losing weight. Dieters will re-charge their glycogen during this phase. At the end of the 2 weeks a regain of 3 to 4 lbs. of water/glycogen that was lost during the first week of the diet will occur. Make sure you prepare them for this!!! Explain that this is NOT fat and they may probably continue to lose inches.
Some people do experience nausea. To remedy this, they should have "familiar food" for breakfast: 2 eggs and some lean ham (Canadian bacon) (no toast of course). Also, consume only 1/2 of a shake at a time; drink the other half an hour or so later. This generally happens with women who eat a lot of carbohydrates/sugar. It usually occurs during the first week then resolves. If this doesn't help, offer the Alternative Protocol for 1 or 2 weeks. This will "ease the dieter’s off the sugar"..
We introduce more real food in Phase 2 to "help bring the gut (digestive process) back on line". If we just jump into eating 4 "real meals a day" after Phase 1, many people will get bloated, cramps, etc. In Phase 3 we introduce complex carbohydrates in the morning meal only "to help bring the pancreas back on line". If we suddenly add carbohydrates although the day, the pancreas will be "shocked" and probably over-produce insulin like it was before the protocol. So, with the pancreas, we want to slowly let it get used to producing the right amount of insulin in response to the carbohydrates we eat. I liken this to a course of prednisone. We know if we give a patient prednisone (a steroidal anti-inflammatory) for over 2 weeks, the adrenals will stop producing cortisol. Therefore if we abruptly stop the prednisone, the patient will go through a crisis as the adrenals need time to "get the production of cortisol back on line". Therefore we always taper the dose down slowly to give the adrenals time to begin production of these necessary substances. We never want to "shock" the system. "Easy does it!". Furthermore we want to increase the dieter’s caloric intake slowly. If we go from Phase 1 (about 850 Kcal) right to Phase 4 (which could be 2000 Kcal or more), we may “overwhelm” the body and cause it to store the food. It is imperative we gradually ramp-up the caloric intake by going through Phases 2 and 3 before settling in on the maintenance phase. This is a critical part of their long- term success. .
Bloated feeling may come from not having all the appropriate enzymes available for complete digestion; this is particularly true if they weren't getting enough protein / day prior to the protocol. Recommend they supplement with our enzymes (2 with each meal). As they continue on the program, their bodies will start to produce more of the proteases (enzymes to digest protein). Also ask if they are lactose intolerant, should that be the case, avoid our foods made with whole milk protein (whey isolates are OK). Adding a lactase supplement ("Dairy-Eze" or "Lactaid") is often helpful with these folks.
Our protocol provides enough carbohydrates for the brain and other glucose dependant tissues. The "fuzzy thinking" (brain fog) is mostly likely due to low sodium levels resulting in low BP. One-half to one third of a teaspoonful of sea salt, dissolved in 5 oz. water quickly rectifies this. The only time a person would really get hypoglycemic is if they cheat, thus “spiking their insulin” which causes reactive hypoglycemia, OR they are on hypoglycemic agents (or insulin) and have to have their doses cut back or discontinued. A quick way to differentiate this is to have the patient lie down with his / her feet elevated. If they feel better doing this, it's usually the sodium / low BP causing the problem, if they don't feel better, then it's possibly low blood sugar and they may also show other signs of hypoglycemia which include a ‘tingling’ or numbness in the fingertips or lips, a rapid heart rate, hunger, nervousness and sweating).