Ideal Protein Diet - Newbie Intro

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04-28-2012, 05:34 AM
Hi, I've been reading the forum here a bit, reading about the "unbalanced diet" -- calling it that as I'm def too poor to have a coach and order food packs from anywhere -- and I'm thinking of starting this in another week or two.

I had great experience with Atkins 10 years ago. Lost about 45 lbs, went from a size 16-18 to a size 8. That was when I was 28. Now I'm about 30-35 lbs heavier than what I started at when I did Atkins successfully 10 years ago. I've tried Atkins since and it just never works for more than about 5-10 lbs tops. Part of it, I'm sure, is that at 28 I was single and had zero friends to have dinners with, so discipline wasn't that big a deal. I've been married and living within easy driving distance of hubby's family since I was 30, so no matter when I start a diet, there will always be something get-together-wise that will get in the way. The big 3-4 month birthday extravaganza kicks off every year in mid June as almost everyone is a summer birthday. There's Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, Valentines, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. And when I was single, it was simply no big deal as my family lived a plane ride away. As a married woman where hubby's family is close by, not to mention that his family isn't plagued with virtually everyone being overweight with type 2 diabetes by mid 40s, it becomes a drama if I don't take that piece of cake, if I don't eat the potato salad, if I don't have the bun with the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.

Sorry to vent there. Ugh.

So, anyway, onto constructive things that I'd like to ask. I've read the book at Dr Tran's site, but there's a lot of holes that need filling.

1. He lists groups of veggies, but they are comprehensively such a small list. Where's a link to a more comprehensive list of what is good, what isn't good, etc?

2. He seems to strongly imply that people will not be in Phase 1 more than about 3 weeks, yet then goes on to say that people need to be in Phase 1 until they lose 80% of the weight they need to lose to get down into that 20-25% BMI zone. Clearly it will take me many months to lose 65 lbs. So what gives on that?

3. What's the optimal fat/carb/protein breakdown? Like I was surprised to see artichokes as a no-no. I'm not an eater of them per say, yet I wouldn't mind playing with them if it turned out they were ok for weight loss. Obvs potatoes and sweet potatoes are on the no-no list, carrots make me scratch my head as the fiber tends to cancel out the carbs, yet tomatoes are fine. So anyway, just trying to see if there's a formula or methodology here.

4. I'm not a fan of weight loss shakes, protein shakes, whatever you want to call them. Tran seems obsessed to do them for the amino acids. I've been checking out the alternative threads, just wondering if there's a simple supplement to cover the amino acid angle and then I can just eat eggs, lean turkey, etc for the protein side of it?

Thanks in advance for any help.

04-28-2012, 06:54 AM

As far as family goes, you really have to have the mindset in place to do this diet, or an alternative to it, or it won't work. What the family says is just not important, IMHO. It is your body, your future that you need to care about.

Ideal Protein is done in phases, so if you look at the Phase 1 chart under 'stickies' you'll find the list of vegees. It basically lets you have the things that are lower glycemic value, so no potatoes, no carrots or peas. Some vegees are limited to 2 times/week, like tomatoes. The idea is to give the pancreas a rest and let it reset itself, over time. It is a ketosis-based diet and will work, if you follow it, no 'cheating.'

Dr. Tran created 'the protein diet' but IP took it and created their own specific version of it, so they are not one and the same. His book is also several years old. Even IP changes their guidelines frequently, as evidenced by the many conflicting things we hear from our coaches. I was on IP Phase 1 for 14 months and lost 147 pds, so that 3 week thing is dated info.

You can buy soy protein isolate or whey protein isolate at health food stores, and some grocery stores. It is a powder that is almost pure protein with little carbs. Then you could create your own version of the drinks or soups. The trick is to get creative, try new foods and recipes and spices and be committed to a healthy life.

Hope this helps - good luck on your decision!

04-28-2012, 03:26 PM
Wow Sewmam, that's an amazing loss. And to have that much only take 14 months is really impressive.

So the isolates you mention, is that still a mix-with-water and drink sort of thing or is it capsules?


04-28-2012, 04:34 PM
yes, all the Ip packets are mixed with water, you can buy a shaker if you like.
They also sell RTD (ready to drink) drinks too.

Not sure if you researched this website yet but here is the foods they carry.

04-28-2012, 07:45 PM
Hi Fe,

The IP powdered products use either the soy or whey powder, so if you buy the powder in a big jar at a health food store, you can sort of make your own drinks and soups. It may also come in capsules, not sure, but I use it to thicken soups or make smoothies, to get in extra protein. I am actually in Phase 4 now, where you just maintain for the rest of your life, so I don't eat the IP packets 3/day. I get tired of meat all the time, and these powders are a great way to get my protein in. If you are on IP, you mix with water. I sometimes use almond milk, but that's not allowed on Phase 1.

04-28-2012, 08:13 PM
Thanks, that info helps. I might just look at the stuff at Walmart then maybe as just a once a day thing. When I would do SlimFast to have a light quick breakfast (not for dieting really), I just mixed half a pack of Starbucks via into the vanilla powder to give it more of a frappaccino feel to it. I saw one or two commenting on doing something similar with vanilla EAS, so that sounds like the way to go.

05-01-2012, 02:57 AM
I bought the EAS vanilla powder (I tried a half recipe and it is really gross, so maybe I can make a mini pudding and spoon it down? IDK). Got a roast turkey breast from the grocery deli and dismantled it, so I have a few ready to go turkey servings. Zucchini, mushrooms, and lettuce in the fridge. Green chai tea with splenda to brew and drink to satisfy that need to be drinking something. Lots of chicken and white fish fillets in the freezer. No multivitamin yet, but I can get that tomorrow when I figure out what exactly I want to get.

I've been feeling impatient enough that I just want to start tomorrow. I drank a last Dr Pepper, ate up my Indian food that def isn't diet friendly, enjoyed the last croissant I'll be able to have indefinitely. Just wanted to get a last bit in for a good morale send off. Still not sure how I'll treat things like the summer birthdays, Mothers Day in a week and a half (I'm one of 3 moms for the celebration, so it's not like I can be tyrannical about food choices), etc.. I'll just have to figure it out and if necessary, just tell everyone I'm being this way to become healthier.

Oh, that brings up a question to alternative folks. Those sugar free puddings I see on the shelf, are any of them ok? I know aspartame is a no-no, other than that is there anything I should look for?

Also, is there a fat/carb/protein ratio for the overall day I should be shooting for? Only thing I ever see is stay between 20-30g of carbs. Knowing the fat budget can give me a better idea for meal planning.

05-01-2012, 07:21 AM
I like the sugar-free puddings, and the fat-free too, but they are still loaded with carbs, so they won't work for a low-carb diet. If your goal is to get into ketosis, just not using IP, then you need to stay with low/no carb and low/no fat foods. Also, there are a bunch of alternatives to IP that are cheaper and some swear they taste just as good - I think has a bunch, and there are threads here on alternatives.

Just having the protein powder by itself may not be appetizing, but add stuff to it. Even though it is 'vanilla' the flavor is usually very mild, so you can use it in soups and other things. There are threads here for IP packet recipes and you could just substitute your powder for the IP packet in the recipe.

Spinach smoothies are a great way to get vegees in with a sweet tooth. I make them now with a couple handfuls of spinach and kale, a scoop of the powder, Walden Farms chocolate dip, ice, water and blend or use the food processor to get a sort of milk shake or ice cream. You don't taste the vegees. I've also used the WF caramel dip in it and that was tasty too. It'll be great in the summer...

I don't know the totals required for fat/carbs/cal/protein - IP did all that for us, but if you get a book on protein diets that is more specific than Dr. Tran's book, that may help.

One more thing - get lots of water, minimum 72 oz. It literally helps flush away the fat. If you drink caffeine, drink enough water to replace it.

Good luck!