I’ve been pretty quiet about my new “diet” lately. Mostly because I didn’t want the grief or stereotypes or really, people’s input. I have a very low BMR and my physician who is also a metabolism specialist has told me I have to eat lower calorie, higher protein and lower carbs to lose weight. I don’t have a thyroid and it is really really hard to lose and maintain weight. I ignored him for a bit with the carb thing, as it is the love of my life. My husband knows I would marry pizza if I could.

A friend was advertising a diet I thought was just a fly by night fad. I ignored it but had gotten up to about 15 lbs above my happy weight zone. I could live with 10 (and I had for awhile), but not more. Randomly a few months later I saw another friend who looked amazing and had been doing the diet through her physician! Wow! She also has thyroid problems and has a rough time keeping things in check. I was sold because I know what a hard time she had with weight loss and this was working for her.

I contacted my other friend and started right away.

The diet is an unbalanced diet and I need to say that up front. It is called Ideal Protein. It is a low carb diet, but it doesn’t substitute carbs with fats. It is very low calorie as well. The packets make it easy to follow but I was worried because I have a problem with whey. I take digestive enzymes and can get the packets down. And I lost weight! In 11 weeks I have lost 17  lbs. I’m coming into the home stretch and I’m very happy with my progress. Honestly, it isn’t as quick as others on the program, but with my medical issues and how little I have to lose I’m happy with it. I felt guilty at first starting this diet. It seems to be aimed at morbidly obese people, and I didn’t have much to lose. Honestly, I needed 4 lbs to kick me back into the normal weight range for my height. But that’s just it, it is a range, and I had some excess to lose. Don’t worry, I’m not going crazy with the goals either, it is pretty much in the middle of healthy. I need a buffer because I gain so easily with my freaked out metabolism and I was tired of living on the red line, even when eating healthy meals.

Why I like this diet? Well, I’m losing weight, and that is a feat in itself. But I really like the fact that you have to phase out of this diet, and you just don’t balloon back up like some other extreme diets. My health goal is to be able to eat in moderation. After resetting my pancreas I will be able to do this. I already ate quite a healthy diet but it got unbalanced with carbs and sugars at times and I didn’t know how to fix that. Now I have tools that help. Maintenance is more of food combining principles which really makes sense. Mixing fats and carbs every meal doesn’t work for everyone. And yes, it teaches you basic things like “you can have pizza, but not everyday”. More of a duh moment huh? I tend to get obsessed with one food group and go from there. I need to learn more variety 😉

Honestly, this diet is really a last resort for most people. I’d recommend Weight Watchers or even McDougall (if you want to go low fat vegan) over this one, but those systems were not working for me anymore. I know it sounds weird but this diet is hard. Very strict. If you don’t have the perseverance to follow this diet, don’t bother because it will cause more harm to your system than good. It is really expensive and comes in at about f $90-$120 a week. Not very fiscal, especially when you still need to buy fresh veggies and proteins for dinner.

The main thing is: you can’t cheat. At all. It will mess up your whole week or more, and that means that little cookie can cost you $100. You just can’t eat off plan one day, one meal or one snack. It is very expensive but it does work. Some of the food is bad, but some is okay. You have to follow the plan by not skipping water, veggies, oil, or packets. You are not supposed to work out for the first 3 weeks, and believe me, you won’t want to. I got really sick the first week with a very high fever detoxing like crazy. I’m glad I was on a stay-cation when I started, because I was in bed most of it. There are a lot of supplements because you are not getting a ton of vitamins and minerals you need in the small amount of food. It is also really difficult to follow as a vegetarian and you really can’t as a vegan. There are a few soy based packets like the soups, but I can’t get them down. I was eating vegan before this but switched back to vegetarian because of the whey. I wasn’t adding in eggs the first few weeks but I was eating meat analogs. I was losing slowly. After cutting out processed fake meats and using mostly tofu and eggs as my daily dinner protein I have been losing a lot quicker. I plan on adding back meat analogs in moderation but right now the carbs from them plus the carbs in my veggies can push me out of my daily carb range.

I’m confident when I phase off of this diet I can keep a healthy lifestyle up and eat in moderation again. I’m not here being a spokesperson or even to say you should lose weight the way I did. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I would rather see everyone I know eat more cupcakes and be happy in life. This is more of a state of the union, where I want to be up front and honest about myself and my lifestyle. I don’t want to pretend I don’t struggle with weight, or that I eat cookies and baked goods everyday. I’m a real person, with a real job who has real stress and sometimes gets lost. You don’t need to see a playbook of everything I put in my mouth, or every single step I take. I do highlights that I find interesting and that might include some healthy and not healthy choices.

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