It’s Friday – which means another weigh-in on the new diet I’m following: Ideal Protein.
The first week I lost an incredible 6.8# and this week was a more modest 2.8# – bringing my two week total to 9.6#. I’ll take it! Since I’m shooting to lose 40lbs before the wedding next May, I’m pretty excited that I’m already about 25% of the way there. Woo Hoo!
I thought I would take some time today to go over more Q&A about this diet. I’ve answered some of the questions in comments but I’ll recap the main ones and if you have other questions, let me know!
What are you doing, exactly?
The diet is called Ideal Protein (IP). It’s a ketogenic diet meaning you consume very few carbs and work to get your body into ketosis. Carbs are the first fuel your body uses and by reducing them, the body turns to either fat or muscle for energy. This diet is not exactly high-protein, instead it’s “just enough”. The idea is your body will have adequate protein to support the current muscle in your body and will instead break down fat for fuel, thereby maintaining muscle mass.
There are 4 phases to the diet. The first is where you lose the weight, by eating a specific food protocol and guzzling a ton of water. From there they have 2 phases which slowly introduce more carbs into your diet. Your pancreas gets a significant break while on phase 1 since there are not tons of carbs to break down, so the idea behind phases 2 and 3 is to wake up the pancreas gently. Phase 4 is the maintenance phase where you adopt your healthy living principles and apply those for the rest of your life (and keep the weight off!).
Why can’t you exercise?
In short, because I’m not eating enough carbs. I tracked a few days of eats in my sparkpeople account and saw that I’m eating around 50g of carbs a day. If I were to do some cardio or weight lifting, I’d probably be too weak, tire easily, and my body wouldn’t have the easy glycogen stores to help get me through. So… it would likely break down muscle tissues instead. People on the IP diet are told NOT to do any kind of cardio while they are on the first phase of the diet.
Light exercise is ok though. I can go for slow walks around the neighborhood, leisurely bike rides, and participate in yoga or BodyFlow classes. I just need to make sure I’m not elevating my heart rate too much or overtaxing myself. This can actually slow your weight loss down. However, I have been enjoying the leisurely walks without having to worry about being fast. It’s nice. 🙂
What are you eating?
I could write a lot about this, and you’ll see more and more as the weeks go by, but the short version is that they have a list of foods you can purchase – all correctly formulated with very bio-available protein (meaning your body readily absorbs it). Any food can be eaten at any meal, which means you can have some freedom in what you feel like eating.
Breakfast is one of their food items. I typically will drink one of their drink mixes because it is easy when I’m at work. Some of my current favs are the chocolate drink, wildberry yogurt, and pina colada mixes.
Lunch is another one of their foods along with approved vegetables. Dinner is your own lean protein (eggs, beef, chicken, etc…) and more select veggies. You also get another IP food as a snack, which you can eat at anytime during the day. I typically am hungry when I get home and we eat right at 5pm, so I like my snack around 7:30pm.
The foods range from the drinks to bars, soups, puddings, omelets, and crunchy snack-type foods. Some are “restricted” meaning they are a little higher in carbs. You are limited to one restricted food item per day.
Once a week I chat with my IP coach. We review my food journal, measurements, and how I’m feeling. They help to make tweaks as needed.
So for right now I’m chugging along and hanging in there. I like how dinner is not an IP food, because Ben and I have been able to eat the same dinner each night. Makes things a lot easier.
Hopefully that answers some of the main questions. I’m looking forward to a great week 3!