About Ideal Protein
If you’ve been wondering how to lose weight and keep it off for good, you may have run across Ideal Protein. This company claims to take a “scientific approach to weight loss” by focusing on improving your insulin function, which is accomplished by restricting simple and complex sugars, while also increasing high-quality protein and boosting essential nutrients.
But does the company ultimately accomplish this? Let’s take a closer look.
Quick Facts About Ideal Protein
Originally developed by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh more than 20 years ago, Ideal Protein claims to be a comprehensive, personalized, step-by-step weight loss method that helps you learn to eat smarter, and to reach your targeted goal weight without losing muscle mass. The company claims to accomplish this by providing balanced meal plans and lifestyle education, where you’ll learn how your body fat is burned, the best foods for healthy weight management, which combination carbohydrates, fats, and proteins should be eaten in, and much more.
After joining Ideal Protein, you’ll gain access to weekly one-on-one support from a personal weight loss coach located at one of the more than 3,000 centers located throughout the U.S. and Canada, who will guide you through the 4 phases of the program:
- Phases 1 & 2: Set your weight loss goals, and be on your way to achieving them.
- Phases 3 & 4: Focused on stabilizing your weight and teaching you the right methods of keeping the weight off.
On top of this, Ideal Protein offers the following supplement and product categories:
- Drinks – Offered in a variety of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, orange, pineapple, banana, piña colada, and more.
- Breakfasts – Cereals, pancake mixes, omelet mixes, and more.
- Entrées – A variety of meal options including soups, purées, pastas, and more.
- Desserts – Bars, wafers, pudding mixes, and more.
- Pudding & Jelly – Banana, chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, and more.
- Soy Snacks – Intended to take the place of chips, these are available in a wide variety of flavors, such as BBQ, sea salt & vinegar, white cheddar, and more.
- Bars – Lemon poppyseed, peanut butter, chocolate, cookie dough, and more.
- Ready to Serve – Includes bars, soy snacks, desserts, and more.
- Meal Replacements – Shakes available in chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry flavors.
- Other Products – Mangosteen Powdered Water Enhancer
Ideal Protein Pricing
While were weren’t able to locate any pricing information on the Ideal Protein website, we did find one customer review claiming that it costs $350 to sign up, and $90 per week for the supplements and meal replacements. However, this review was more than a year old, and we were unable to verify its accuracy.
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Ideal Protein?
Ideal Protein is based in Gatineau, Quebec, and is not rated with the Better Business Bureau. Online reviews regarding the program appear to be mixed, with the most common complaints citing high price, lack of effectiveness, and constipation.
What’s the Bottom Line About Ideal Protein?
When it comes down to it, Ideal Protein is simply a low-carb, high protein diet program. While we found numerous customer reviews claiming that the program is easy to follow and keeps you hungry, there were a few concerns we uncovered during our research.
First, keep in mind that you’ll be taking in less than 1,000 calories per day with the Ideal Protein diet, which could be dangerous for some individuals. On top of this, because you’ll be ingesting so few calories, numerous users reported difficulty exercising (which is important on any weight loss program), as well as constipation from the high protein intake.
Furthermore, keep in mind that there are a wide variety of low-carb, high protein diets that you can follow without having to pay additional money. Granted, you’ll have to cook the recipes, but you’ll also be avoided prepackaged meals and the associated preservatives.
Finally, when losing weight, most physicians will recommend losing no more than 1-2 pounds per week. However, the Ideal Protein diet claims to help you lose up to 5 pounds per week, which, in combination with the low caloric intake, could present some danger. Because of this, we strongly recommend consulting with your physician beforehand.
Bottom line: Although the Ideal Protein diet claims to help you lose weight and keep it off, it’s often the case that you’ll immediately begin gaining weight again as soon as you re-introduce carbohydrates and/or begin eating a normal amount of calories.
9 out 11 people found this review helpful
Ideal Protein Weight Loss - it's fast but you need to be prepared
I wanted a program that would help me lose weight fast and be sustainable. I chose the IP program after a referral from a trusted friend who has done well on the program after 2 years. The IP protocol is based on the concept that by depleting your sugar stores and supporting your muscle mass through high absorption protein food, you force your body to burn fat for its energy instead of sugar – this process is called ketosis. I rated IP pretty good at this stage as I’m not sure about it being sustainable long-term and because it requires a lot of commitment and dedication in order to achieve results.
I’m in phase 1 of the program; began 7 weeks ago @ 170lbs (the heaviest I have ever weighed), needing to lose 30lbs; have lost 17 to date. I’m aged 54. About a year ago I crossed into the obese weight and body mass index range after experiencing a little weight gain each year over the past 10. Earlier this year I hit menopause and the weight gain around my middle was significant for no other reason than menopause i.e. no changes to my diet (considered mostly healthy) or exercise routines (moderate, regular). Obesity, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer run in my family. From a health perspective I’m worried about developing metabolic syndrome (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20027243) and needed to take action now to gain control and hopefully avoid the health risks.
The IP program requires complete commitment - NO cheating - or you won't achieve your goal(s) as expected. The IP foods help provide variety and convenience :) but I dislike that they are sweetened with sucralose as I prefer natural foods. In phase 2, after you reach your goal, you begin transitioning off the IP foods and continue working with your Coach to identify trigger foods that you may need to avoid forever :(
I LOVE veggies (cooked more than raw), eat mostly quality and/or organic foods, lean meats and fish, don’t eat much dairy or fruits, dislike fried food and sodas, drink alcohol only occasionally, drink decaf coffee/tea, like bread, pasta, sauces, have a sweet tooth, and like to eat out. So, the biggest “sacrifice” for me has been temporarily (I hope) giving up bread, pasta, grains, nuts, legumes, wine, and sweets. I have also had to train myself to drink 2L (8x8oz glasses) of water per day.
For anyone NOT a fan of veggies and who enjoys all those other food groups or travels for a living/goes to lots of parties/events, the IP program may be much harder to adapt to than it has been for me. It shouldn’t be impossible if you are committed and willing to spend time planning. My own experience has meant needing to BYO Food or say “no” for awhile to office pot lucks or meetings with food. Lunches and dinners out have been minimized as it can be harder/more expensive to find a place that can serve high quality food and accommodate the dietary restrictions, not to mention the temptations on the menu. Again, it’s not impossible to deal with but you have to be creative and think ahead.
Like most diets, another challenge you have to be prepared for is spending time planning your meals, shopping, preparing your meals, and finding acceptable recipes to provide variety – you MUST be organized and somewhat regimented. Following your program while having to cook for your family and run a busy household adds another dimension of challenge. I’m fortunate as my husband pretty much eats what I eat for dinner. I do still prepare food he likes e.g. potatoes, rice, yogurt, cheese, rye bread. One way you could meet the challenge is to get your kids and your significant other involved in the shopping, prepping and cooking or getting them to take over other household activities to give you time to focus on the meals. They may grow to like it and can help support you as you make positive changes.
I’m satisfied with my IP program results so far but it has required lots of effort and dedication on my part, as well as support from my family and friends. Things to consider:
- Consult with your doctor about the program to ensure it’s safe for you.
- Consult with your family to explain some of the changes and support you will need.
- You need to be willing and able to commit to the program. Pick a good time, when you have very few events going on, and find creative ways to meet the challenges.
- You need to understand that it is a lifestyle change not just a quick fix.
- You need to be prepared to spend time AND money on the program, meal planning, and prep: I pay about $105/week which covers the weekly weigh-in/consult, IP foods, and basic combo of vitamins you will need to keep on-hand in your pantry. Groceries may cost more than you are used to because of the amount of vegetables and the need to buy good quality, lean meats and fish.
- Find an IP location that is convenient and a coach you can work well with. I like my Coach because she is a Registered Nurse with clinical knowledge of obesity and the health aspects of the IP program. I can ask questions at the weigh-in or by email. She has a website and Facebook page where people share recipes and other info.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend