Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

What Is the Ideal Protein Diet?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
What Is the Ideal Protein Diet?
The Ideal Protein diet helps protect muscle during weight loss. Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

A variety of methods exist for achieving weight loss, and some methods can help when you've been unsuccessful in the past. The Ideal Protein diet is a medically prescribed weight loss program meant for individuals who either have a lot of weight to lose or failed to lose weight from diet and exercise alone. This type of diet is only available through licensed clinics and health care professionals. Consult your doctor to determine if this plan's right for you.

Video of the Day

The Premise

Keep track of your diet.
Keep track of your diet. Photo Credit: george tsartsianidis/iStock/Getty Images

The goal of the Ideal Protein diet is to stabilize blood sugar and promote weight loss by providing your body with an optimal amount of protein. The program involves purchasing preportioned, prepackaged Ideal Protein foods specifically formulated so they're low in carbohydrates and fat. The Ideal Protein diet restricts carbohydrate intake to deplete your body's stored glucose in an effort to encourage your body to burn fat for fuel. Within about three days on the diet, your glucose reserves run out, and your body begins burning fat, according to the Hans D Gruenn Medical Center.

Phase One

Phase one contains fresh vegetables of choice.
Phase one contains fresh vegetables of choice. Photo Credit: Images

The average weight loss for women following the Ideal Protein diet is 3 to 5 pounds per week and 5 to 7 pounds for men, according to the Hans D Gruenn Medical Center. The Ideal Protein diet employs a four-phase protocol. During stage one, you consume three Ideal Protein meals and one regular meal that you prepare yourself. The self-prepared meal must be low carb, low fat and comprised of fresh vegetables, lettuce and the protein of your choice. You remain in phase one until you reach 70 to 80 percent of your weight loss goal.

Phases Two to Four

Salmon is high in protein.
Salmon is high in protein. Photo Credit: indigolotos/iStock/Getty Images

In phase two, you decrease the amount of Ideal Protein meals you consume and increase self-prepared meals. You reduce to two Ideal Protein meals and increase to two self-made meals, which follow the same composition guidelines as in phase one. Then you remain in phase two until you reach 100 percent of your weight loss goal. In phase three, you reintroduce moderate amounts of carbohydrates and fat and decrease your Ideal Protein meals to one per day and have two regular meals. When you reach phase four, you return to normal eating and maintain your weight loss by making healthier food choices.

Ideal Protein Meals and Considerations

Beef stew is a meal option.
Beef stew is a meal option. Photo Credit: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Ideal Protein provides a variety of prepackaged meals. Breakfast items include cheese omelet, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, muffins and crepes. Available lunch foods include vegetable chili, spaghetti, beef stew, chicken soup, leek soup and mushroom soup. For snacks you can choose from various flavors of bars, puddings, nuts, puffs and yogurt drinks. You shouldn't use Ideal Protein if you have Type 1 diabetes, liver disease, soy allergies or kidney disease. Ideal Protein may not be appropriate for other conditions not listed here, so consult your physician first.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media