It’s pretty common knowledge that sleep and weight are connected… and the more weight you gain, the less sleep you’re going to get. With weight being such a big factor in a variety of health functions, it’s no wonder people are always on a search for a diet that works.
The ideal protein diet is the newest up and coming diet, but here’s the good news: it’s medically developed to help you achieve your lose weight and sleep better.
What is the Ideal Protein Diet?
It’s good to be skeptical in terms of dieting. There are so many different diets out there that are designed more for making a profit rather than helping you lose weight. So if you’re already questioning this diet, that’s okay! We’re here to explain it for you so you can make an informed decision on the best weight loss plan for you.
The ideal protein diet is a medically developed ketogenic weight loss and weight management protocol, as stated by the website. It contains four phases founded by two major components: weight loss and healthy lifestyle education.
This diet was created by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh and Oliver Benloulou, who were looking to create a safer and easier weight loss regimen.
Since the diet is rendered ketogenic, you might think of it as just another form of the keto diet, which involves reduced carb intake and a spike in fats. However, this diet also reduces fat intake in addition to carbs, creating a safer approach with less nasty side effects commonly associated with the “keto flu.”
So, How Does it Work?
In order to begin this diet, you’ll have to visit an authorized ideal protein clinic or center, because the diet requires one-on-one coaching. Healthcare providers, pharmacists, and others can become authorized, so there is usually a wide range of centers available. You can find sites near you through their website.
The ideal protein diet is divided into 4 phases that are medically designed to help reach your weight loss goals, which we’ll explain below.
Phase One: Weight Loss
This first phase is all about losing the weight. The length of this phase will vary because it’s based on how long it will take you to reach 100% of your weight loss goals; so, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you follow this phase until you’ve lost 20 pounds!
Here’s what you do during this phase:
- Eat 3 Ideal Protein foods per day (i.e. an Ideal Protein breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- Eat an Ideal Protein snack
- Eat 8 ounces of whole protein with dinner
- Eat 4 cups of select vegetables daily
- Allowed to eat unlimited raw veggies and lettuce throughout
The meals that follow this regimen are purchased through the authorized clinics. They provide about 20 grams of protein and are usually less than 200 calories a serving.
Specific supplements are also recommended to take throughout this period, which are also available for purchase at the centers. These supplements include multivitamins, potassium, calcium-magnesium, omega-3s, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and “Ideal Salt.”
Exercise isn’t recommended throughout the first phase because of the significant reduction in caloric intake, which when combined with rigorous exercise, can cause some unpleasant side effects.
Phase Two: 14 Days
The second phase of this diet, as the name suggests, lasts 14 days. It starts after you have reached your weight loss goal.
This phase is somewhat similar to the first, but allows for a bit more food freedom. It involves:
- Eating 2 Ideal Protein meals a day (usually breakfast and dinner)
- A lunch based on whole foods that includes 8 ounces of whole protein
- Eating 8 ounces of whole protein with dinner
- Eating 4 cups of select vegetables daily
- Continued unlimited raw veggies and lettuce
- The same recommended supplements
Phase Three: Pre-Stabilization
This phase begins the transition into a maintenance protocol. It’s based on learning and developing smarter eating habits and overall a better lifestyle and should be followed for two weeks.
The only thing you have to change with this phase is swapping out an Ideal Protein food at breakfast for a whole food. The rest is as follows:
- Eating 1 Ideal Protein food a day
- Eating 8 ounces of protein with breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Phasing out potassium supplement
- Continuing with 4 cups of select vegetables daily and unlimited raw veggies and lettuce
Phase Four: Maintenance
This final phase is a 12-month stabilization period meant to teach you how to keep weight off and live a healthy lifestyle that includes increased food freedom.
The principles in this phase are intended to be followed for life to help maintain your weight loss success. They are:
- Avoiding high intake of carbs and fats throughout day
- Take your body weight in pounds, cut it in half, and aim to consume that number in grams of protein daily
- One day each week is a cheat day where you can eat foods (in moderation) that are normally restricted
Pros and Cons of the Ideal Protein Diet
As there is with everything, there are certain benefits and drawbacks associated with this diet. Let’s take a look at a few.
There are quite a few benefits to this diet that make it so popular:
- Can help lose weight
- Because the diet is based on a ketogenic regimen, which is proven to promote weight loss, it is beneficial to achieving weight loss goals.
- Easy and convenient
- This diet is designed for people with limited time to allot for dieting and/or exercise. Most Ideal Protein meals are premade, in exception to dinner, and the diet doesn’t require exercise.
- Professional support
- Having professional support actually helps you to stick with a weight loss program because it holds you accountable.
- Can improve blood sugar control
- Obesity and excess fat has a strong link to diabetes and other health conditions. Ketogenic diets are shown to reduce insulin resistance and help improve blood sugar control.
- Can reduce risk for heart disease
- Ketogenic diets are also shown to reduce risk for heart disease by cutting down excess fat and cholesterol levels.
While there are many benefits to this diet, there are still going to be a few drawbacks that should be considered before making a decision:
- Can be costly
- The Ideal Protein diet isn’t the most conducive to a tight budget; most clinics offer services to get started ranging from $320-$450 and once begun, the diet costs roughly $15 a day.
- Ideal Protein foods are processed
- If you are trying to avoid prepackaged, highly processed foods, this diet might not be best for you. The Ideal Protein foods are prepackaged and may contain a variety of additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners.
- People with a history of eating disorders or those who just prefer more freedom with their food might not be a good fit for this diet due to its initial restrictiveness.
- Not vegan-friendly
- Because this diet relies on protein, you’ll find eggs, dairy products, and meats in its normal regimen. It is customizable for vegetarians, but not for vegans.
- May experience unwanted symptoms
- While this diet is considered safer than your normal keto diet, that doesn’t mean you won’t experience and symptoms in the first phase because of the reduction in calories. Some symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches, hunger, fatigue, and constipation.
- This diet isn’t recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and adults over the age of 65 due to the risk of these symptoms.
What to Eat and Avoid
To better understand what the ideal protein diet can entail, here’s a list of foods to eat and avoid.
What to Eat
The diet is highly reliant on protein. Here are some protein options for the meals you need to make:
- Fish and other seafood like oysters, lobster, or crab
- Vegetarian options like eggs or tofu
- Other options like venison and lamb
You’re also directed to eat around 4 cups of select vegetables that can include:
- Bean sprouts
After the first two phases, you can introduce:
- Complex carbs like whole-grain breads
- Dairy products like butter, milk, and cheese
- Some fats like healthy oils, avocados, and nuts
What to Avoid
These foods are not allowed during the first two phases of the ideal protein diet:
- Pasta, rice, legumes, breads and cereals
- All root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.)
- Sweet peas and corn
- All fruit
- All dairy except one ounce of milk in either coffee or tea daily
- All nuts
- All sodas and juices
- All junk foods
- All alcohol products
Weight Loss and Sleep
Poor sleep can impact every portion of your life. There are many different costs to sleep deprivation and poor sleep can hinder your success.
Unfortunately, weight and sleep is a two-way street.
Sleep affects insulin and glucose production, regulates appetite, and impacts appetite-controlling hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which cause feelings of fullness and hunger, respectively.
Excess weight, on the other hand, can lead to problems with your sleep, including snoring or the development of sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
So, you might wonder, how can you win?
- Create and stick to a sleeping schedule
- Limit blue-light exposure (no electronics) before bed
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
- Set up a bedtime routine to promote relaxation
- Try a melatonin supplement
- Limit napping
Beat the Cycle Today
The truth of the matter is: getting quality sleep is vital to weight loss!
If you’re struggling regularly with your sleep, help is available. At Advanced Sleep Centers of Virginia, we have a highly trained team of sleep professionals dedicated to your health. Your comfort and convenience is our first priority. That’s why we make improving sleep as easy as possible for you with at-home sleep tests, online scheduling, and a secure telemedicine portal where you can connect with a sleep professional anytime, anywhere.
Interested in the Ideal Protein Diet? Looking to enhance your lifestyle? Start your journey to weight loss and improved sleep today with us. We will be happy to refer you to our curated list of Ideal Protein Health Professionals and Coaches. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (703) 689-2480.