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Restarting Ideal Protein? Here are 11 of our most commonly asked questions.

Restart is a beautiful way to shed the weight you have gained back after the program or had to quit the Ideal Protein diet unfinished.

If you are restarting the diet, you may notice a few changes in the new Ideal Protein protocol. In late 2019, Ideal Protein made some inspiring updates to the program, relaunching it, complete with a new look.

The new Ideal Protein offers the same remarkable results as it has for nearly 30 years, with fine-tuning that increases efficiency, adds new tastes and ingredients, and reflects the massive advances in ketogenic dieting. Below are a few of the frequently asked questions we receive from past Ideal Protein dieters when they restart the program.

Question 1: Why has the protein amount been lowered in the United States?


This question is the most common inquiry we receive, and many traditional dieters may panic at the idea of the allowable amounts being less. In the United States, the new Ideal Protein protocol reduces the daily protein intake from 8 ounces to 4-6 ounces daily due to the “quality.”

A majority of livestock in the United States are grain-fed rather than pasture-raised as they are in nature. Many commercial farmers in the US use grains as a cost-effective, space-saving solution to raise animals.

The problem with these animals consuming grains and being more confined is twofold.

First, the nutrient composition of grains affects the animal’s physiology, similar to humans’ effect. One of the main differences between protein commercially produced using grains is seen with the animal’s fatty acid composition, creating a protein source higher in fat when grain-fed. Grains are more prevalent.

Our Take:

Continued focus on the evolution of the protocol is essential, and this change emphasizes the difference between Ideal Protein’s low-fat ketogenic approach and the standard Keto diet. This change is fundamental and vital to understand, especially if you are not already consuming grass-fed and pasture-raised proteins.

In Canada, the protein requirement is the same 8 ounces as it has always been.

Surprisingly, many of our dieters find it challenging to eat all of their allowable foods on Phase 1 of Ideal Protein, especially when they also include the advised 1-2 salads a day.

Question 2: Why are carbohydrates and fats no longer introduced only in the morning when phasing off?


This evolution is reflective of Ideal Protein is focusing on customizing individuals’ daily macronutrient needs as a whole in maintenance. The new protocol allows coaches and dieters to create a more individualized daily plan, customizing protein, carbohydrate, and fat macronutrients according to each dieter’s satiety, energy levels, and weight maintenance.

Our Take:

This shift to increasing customization is essential and emphasizes the point that we have known all along. While everyone loses weight on the same Phase 1, maintenance is different for everyone. Each dieter has different physiological requirements for maintenance.

On top of that, each person has different activity levels and lifestyles that further impact one’s caloric and macronutrient needs. This physiologic truth is precisely why we have always included metabolism testing (RMR test) as a part of our Ideal Protein maintenance phase (now Phase 3). Remember that knowing your RMR can reveal vital data on weight gain and hitting plateaus. To learn more about RMR testing, click here.

While the protocol itself continues to evolve, many dieters still benefit from reintroducing carbohydrates in the morning. Initially introducing the carbohydrates in the morning allows many dieters to focus on changing one meal at a time from the safety of Phase 1 eating.

From a physiological standpoint, this allows the pancreas to adapt to insulin secretion, giving the body a chance to replete glycogen stores rather than reigniting the fat storage cycle.

Question 3: Do I have to eat all my protein at dinner as the Phase 1 journal maps it out?


It depends on each dieter’s lifestyle and preferences.

It can be advantageous for dieters who like the structure of eating exactly how the journal maps out the daily intake. Other dieters do better with more flexibility and choose to divide their protein throughout the day.

As long as you consume all of your Ideal Protein products, cups of vegetables, and ounces of protein within the day, you will still maintain your lean mass and not hinder losses.

Our Take:

We like to begin behavior change in Phase 1 when there is a high return on minor changes and allows us to address imbalanced lifestyles that will lead to weight gain down the road.

When they start Ideal Protein, some dieters with a history of dieting may struggle with a little food insecurity, mentally trying to save more food to eat later in the day in fear of running out. Others may have the challenge of breaking the old dieting paradigm, thinking if they eat very little throughout the day, they are doing “good.” This pattern sets many people up to overeat and even binge at night.

Physiologically speaking, this habit may be a big part of the fat storage trigger as the metabolism is fastest in the morning and slows throughout the day.

Most people eat the other way around; they don’t meet their caloric needs in the morning and are later starving, so they end up eating everything when the body is preparing to store. The more one repeats this cycle (and other cycles created by dieting the wrong way), the more hesitant the body becomes to let go of fat stores in fear of survival.

Question 4: What are the new occasional vegetables?


Spaghetti squash, hearts of palm, and snow peas are now allowed in moderation on the new Ideal Protein Phase 1 diet. In addition, leeks and jicama are also now occasional vegetables. Remember, you are limited to a total of 4 cups of occasional vegetables during the course of the week.

Our Take:

We applauded these new occasional vegetables and were happy with this shift. Before the protocol update, our dieters would ask us why these foods were not allowed on phase 1 of the diet if the net carbohydrate met the program requirements and were included in many other low-carb diets.

These are excellent foods to add variety to your Phase 1 diet and include in your maintenance diet. Both hearts of palm and spaghetti squash are great alternatives to pasta, and many of our dieters add these staples to their Phase 3 maintenance diet.

Question 5: Can I juice to get my veggies in?


No. During the process of juicing, dieters will lose many nutrients, along with fiber.

Our Take:

We agree wholeheartedly and for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s important to note the difference between juicing and blending. Most juicers break down nutrients instantly, leaving the fiber behind, which has more to do with the extraction process and alterations to the cellular structure.

Blenders and machines like Vitamix are slightly different because you will still be consuming the whole food. You’ll lose nutrients from the food through oxygen exposure when you break down the foods’ cellular structure by blending.

Next, it’s vital to note that when we drink rather than chewing our vegetables, we miss out on increasing satiety through chewing (mastication) and the valuable enzyme production that happens when we chew. Enzymes help break down our food further, allowing the body to maximize the nutrition from the foods we eat.

Lastly, developing a habit of eating vegetables rather than drinking them in Phase 1 will create a practice that will help dieters in maintenance.

Question 6: Will I get the keto flu again when I restart the Ideal Protein diet?


Everyone is an individual, so this answer varies from person to person. Certain people may never experience the keto flu, while others only feel the effects the first time entering ketosis, and some each time starting the diet.

Our Take:

We’ve noticed that the diet you are transitioning from when you start the Phase 1 diet will often ease or exacerbate the flu-like symptoms. Other conditions, such as hyperglycemia, can compound this reaction.

One thing that seems to reduce the symptoms is a slight reduction in carbohydrates in the few days before restarting the Ideal Protein Phase 1.

Many restart dieters dread giving up their comforts and will often have a “last supper,” which for most is overeating high carb foods, and many times the meal extends to days or weeks. This “carb loading” will typically increase the keto flu symptoms if you are prone, and avoiding this pattern will help you reduce the flu-like symptoms when restarting the diet.

If you still have questions about keto-flu symptoms and what can be done to stave them off, check out this article.

Question 7: Why are some Ideal Protein products unrestricted that were restricted before?


Certain Ideal Protein products that were formerly restricted are back on the menu with a lower net carbohydrate and calorie content. Therefore, they are no longer restricted.

Our Take:

We encourage dieters to treat snacks as snacks and not use them to replace meals. In fact, many dieters lose best when they limit these types of foods to 1 or 2 servings daily.

A crispy square for breakfast, a bag of chips at lunch, and sweet treats for afternoon cravings won’t support maintenance. Phase 1 is the perfect time to create new habits, and this also makes maintaining easier as there is less to work on later.

Question 8: How do I stay motivated another time around?


Mindset is a huge factor in successful weight loss. It is essential to keep certain aspects at the forefront of one’s mind.

For example, focus on WHY you are making the lifestyle change while reflecting on how you felt the first time you successfully did Ideal Protein. Also, acknowledging any excuses that you may be making and then reflect on what helped you stay on track and let go of any reasons before.

Our Take:

At our Ideal Protein clinic, we have a specific program track for restarting the diet that includes a mindset component and creates a beginning and an end. If, at the end of the first four weeks, you’re happy with your losses and aren’t slipping or reverting to sabotaging behavior, you can keep going. Otherwise, this restart program creates a beginning and an end, focusing on transition and maintenance.

Oftentimes, Phase 3 is trickier than Phase 1, so remember this when you restart the diet. We like to say committing only to Phase 1 will likely lead you to find yourself, “stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.”

Here are some tips that could be very helpful no matter if you are restarting  Ideal Protein or joining freshly.

Question 9: Is measuring protein and vegetables essential?



Our Take:

The protocol is scientific. Being as accurate with your portions is very important to one’s success. Consuming more or less than what is “on protocol” can hinder losses.

Many people who are restarting the diet report “eyeballing” their portions rather than measuring. That approach can add up in either direction, too much or not enough.

The recipe for success with Ideal Protein is very much like baking – you need to follow the recipe exactly to yield the desired results. When put in these terms, most people realize they measure their flour accurately when baking a cake; otherwise, the results are disastrous.

Question 10: Will being older this time around affect losses?


Although weight loss is entirely achievable at any age, there are certain factors as you age that may slow losses.

Our Take:

Your lean mass will dictate metabolism, so this doesn’t have to be the case. Some people may experience age-related muscle mass loss, contributing to the slowing of one’s metabolism.

Regular hormonal changes may also play a role, as well as lifestyle changes and decreased activity levels.

Even with these potential age-related shifts, weight loss is achievable with Ideal Protein. More than other diets, Ideal Protein also focuses on fat loss rather than just weight loss by retaining muscle. This focus helps sustain weight loss results and is supportive of maintaining.

Question 11: Is it possible to not gain the weight back again?


Yes. Ideal Protein aims to help you lose weight and instill education and healthy habits throughout the process to maintain. These healthy habits are as important as the weight loss itself. If one transitions to each phase correctly and commits to the lifestyle changes in Phase 3, maintaining is entirely possible.

Our Take:

In our experience, the number one reason people regain the weight back is not transitioning through all phases. Many people focus only on Phase 1 and reaching their goal. Ideal Protein has always said that weight loss is one contract and maintenance is another.

Many dieters are anxious to stop the diet cold when they near their goal and quit. Some dieters end up staying on Ideal Protein while deviating weekly and get burned out. In both cases, we find that they don’t realize they are doing themselves a disservice.

This phenomenon is also part of why the new Ideal Protein is now 3-phases rather than 4-phases.

By shortening the trek to maintenance, more people stay engaged to complete the transition.

Once in maintenance, we still need to effectively navigate a whole food environment and create new habits and patterns to support our hard work. Suppose you are thinking about restarting Ideal Protein and did not transition. In that case, you will want to work with your coach to analyze the variables that contribute to regaining weight and create a plan that will be fully supportive of your short and long-term goals.

Restarting your Ideal Protein diet

As you know, Ideal Protein works, and that is why people who have regained after losing on Ideal Protein usually come back. We try to emphasize that if you are restarting the Ideal Protein diet, you’ll want to make sure you have the right support and tools on your journey to make this time your last diet.

If you want to learn more about our Ideal Protein Restart program or are ready to reset – get in touch for a complimentary consultation.

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