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Don't be hatin'

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I had a ton of things to do at my work today, so I decided to take some time off and surf the Sparkpeople site instead LOL! But seriously, I was looking up some more information on the Ideal Protein program, just to see if there was any information and helpful tips floating around that I could use.

What surprised me were the number of people who responded so negatively when someone in their forum asked about the Ideal Protein program. Many of them used erroneous information to back up their arguments against it, and the overwhelming majority seemed to feel it was a scam.

Having been on the program now for a little under 8 weeks and having dropped a little over 30 pounds, it is not a scam. However, it is not for everyone. Just like trying to lose weight by exercising more isn't for everyone. Just like simply trying to cut back on portions isn't for everyone. There is no "one-size-fits-all" diet/program for everyone, and I think people need to keep that in mind.

Most of us on the Ideal Protein program have been overweight all or most of our lives. Most of us have tried several other ways to shed our excess weight. Some may still not be successful with IP, some are having life-changing success with it. I'd like to address a few of the things that I read and answer them here, although I know none of the people who made the comments will ever see these. It just lets me vent!

- Quick weight loss plans are a scam. Variations on the theme are: You only have to start eating healthier. If you lose weight quickly, you'll just gain it back. Any diet that tells you not to exercise is bogus.

First off, Ideal Protein is not a scam. I think we can establish that by just checking out the Ideal Protein SparkTeam here and read the success and success-in-the-making posts. It works! Does it work for everyone? Unfortunately, no. Yes, it can be expensive, but really? Check out the cost of going out to eat, or buying the groceries to support an unhealthy eating habit. I think you might found out that it's definitely cheaper than that.

I only have to start eating healthier? Oh man, why didn't someone tell me that before?? I would have quit wasting my time! Okay, sorry for the sarcasm, but if all we had to do was eat healthier to lose weight, don't you think we would have? I know so many overweight people who like healthy foods -- so it has to be something else. Exercise? Try moving a 300-pound frame to the beat. A whole new meaning to the words, "Sweatin' to the Oldies"!

I need to lose some weight "quickly" or I will lose my motivation. Losing two pounds a month isn't going to keep me on track or help me see that light at the end of a very long tunnel. A quick drop does help, quite a bit, actually. Keeps me going, keeps me thinking, "I CAN DO THIS!" And that is really, really important.

Ideal Protein tells you not to exercise for a very good reason -- you are taking in very few calories, and you are being purposefully put on an "unbalanced" diet in order to do some rather science-y things to your body. Their reasoning about weight loss being more hormonal than physical (I think that's the way I want to put it) makes a lot of sense.

In the end, we all have to listen to our bodies. There is a reason that when you are on the Ideal Protein protocol you have to be under a doctor's care or checking in with your coach on a weekly basis. If you are feeling weak or sick or not losing weight, there is most likely a very valid reason, and together you will find out what it is. Some people are able to 'simply' exercise more and eat less and lose weight. I say "Good for them! Many cheers and congratulations!". Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.

For the first time in nearly 30 overweight years, I am under 200 pounds. I am not fat because I WANT to be. I am fat because I could not help myself but to make bad choices, try to lose weight, fail, fall back to those bad habits and run that treadmill of failure over and over. I'm ready to get off. And WHEN I reach my goal, THEN I will be able to MAINTAIN my weight-loss with eating healthier and exercising more.

I just hope everyone realizes that there isn't a clear-cut solution to weight loss. Some programs work for some and not for others. You have to find the one that works for you, and the only way you will find that will be to ask around. But keep an open mind and listen to your body.


Good luck on your journey! I wish you success!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi, Michele,

    thanks for being so honest about your experiences. It helps put things in perspective for the rest of us, who have had similar ups and downs.

    In the Weekly Threads of the Ideal Protein Team, we often read about people's cravings and temptations to "cheat". We do expect that we'll find it difficult to switch to new eating habits, at the beginning of the diet. It makes sense that our bodies will "demand" the foods that seemed to work for us before, i.e. sugar and starches. It's understandable that going off protocol will just ignite those cravings again.

    However, 9 weeks into this diet, having followed it faithfully with great success, you wouldn't expect your body to act like an unruly child. So, it's worth giving some thought to why this is happening, not just to you, but to many of us, as well.

    I read Dr. Tran's book that explained how he developed the diet on which the IP protocol is based. I stated that Phase 1 was supposed to be "relatively short". This is also repeated in documents issued by IP's Chief Science Officer.

    I came away with the impression that "relatively short" might mean about 2 months. However, when I asked the IP company directly for a time limit, they replied that it is "safe to remain on Phase 1 until the desired weight loss is achieved".

    Call me argumentative (I prefer to consider myself a "critical thinker), but "safe" seems to just mean the opposite of "unsafe". As long as Phase 1 doesn't kill us or cause some irreversible damage, one could call it safe, but not necessarily "healthy".

    What does keep us safe are our cravings. Once we are deficient in certain types of nutrients, our bodies will send us signals to go get some of those. Eventually, the cravings will become too strong, and we will follow our urges, thus putting a stop to Phase 1 "safely".

    Cravings for salt, fat, and sugar are relatively easy to interpret. It's more difficult when we are deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. Then our cravings may be more non-specific, and it may seem that anything not on the IP protocol might be fair game.

    It's difficult to navigate the territory of cravings. Our weight-loss coaches may tell us to eat an additional IP package - but what if we are deficient in something not found in the IP products? That's probably why we have cravings, in the first place, so many weeks into the diet.

    On Day 71 I noted in my weight-loss journal that I started to feel sightly depressed, without any apparent reason. I felt also lightheaded and weak, with very dry eyes and skin outbreaks. At the time, I wondered whether I needed to increase my fat intake, and whether I might be low on iron, since I hadn't had red meat, in a while.

    All those problems went away within a few days after adding half an avocado to my salad, every second day, and adding 1 ounce of nuts every other day.

    There are days when I feel hungrier than normal. On those days, I increase my calorie intake. I always stay below 30g of carbs (35g max), but I make sure I get about 66g of fat, and somewhere between 100 - 130g of protein. This is not what the IP diet recommends, but this is what my body demands.

    To be honest, my body does not care about IP's interests. It wants me to provide the nutrition it requires, whether the protein comes from IP packages or other sources. And it rewards me with a continued weight loss of about 2 pounds a week.

    Any time I go strictly by the IP protocol, I feel weak and unwell, and my weight loss slows down. As soon as I add fat and calories, I feel fine, and my weight loss picks up again.

    In 118 days I have not eaten a single starchy or sugary food, and I have had no cravings for them either. I am convinced it's because I have increased my fat intake and because I am supplying enough vitamins and minerals through eating the entire range of allowed vegetables and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs.

    My recommendation to you: Listen to your cravings. See what can satisfy them, short of starches or refined sugar. Find what calorie intake works best for you, to keep you craving-free and still able to lose weight.

    Best of luck !



    1966 days ago
    you are correct that each of us loose weight differently, and what works for ine person may not work for another. after all, we all managed to get overweight differently.
    1971 days ago
    Gailsey - You said it so much better than me. I think that is the thing that really peeves me, is that people who are dissin' the protocol don't read past Phase 1 and totally toss it away. I saw comments like, "No way someone could stay on that forever!" Well, of course not! It's not meant to be 'forever'! It's meant to be one of many tools to get to a healthy weight and a healthy way of eating, as you go along FOUR phases! Haters did that about Atkins, too.

    I happened to lose a lot on Atkins, and actually felt really good on it -- problem was I couldn't move on to the veggie stage (you know all about that if you read my blog!), and so there was no way I could stay on induction for months on end.

    I don't know what is different about IP or the weight loss attempt this time around. All I know is that I am actually attempting to find ways to include vegetables in my diet, as limited as they may be at the moment. My hope is that one day it will 'click'. My mother said she hated broccoli until she was in her 50's. Now she thinks it's a food of the gods and can eat it almost any way that it's fixed. I still reserve the 'food of the gods' label for potatoes, but I will eventually learn how to eat them healthier and not as much. :)

    Thank you for your kind acknowledgement of my blog post!
    1974 days ago
    Hi Michelle -

    Wow! I could not agree with you more! I have been really tied up on a project and have not been following the weekly threads as closely, but your blog title caught my eye and I'm so glad I read it.

    I cannot believe the consistent success that each one of us on this group has had, and we are just a tiny representation of the thousands of people across the US and Canada that are on IP. What made it different for me is the science behind it. You underscored the concept that weight loss is mostly hormonal and less physical. As we look around at what is happening and how bodies are exploding around us - little kids, adults, men with pregnant-looking bellies. It's crazy. yes, there is something to be said for us being less physical than we used to be, but that cannot be the only problem - the evidence is too staggering.

    I totally got it when I understood how our bodies are constantly shooting insulin into our system with everything eaten from the processed cereals to the hfcs sweetened everything in our diets. I personally had what I thought was a "healthy" diet - but I was definitely on track to becoming a "fat old lady" - and I'm not old!

    Here's an additional thought about the expense - not only comparing it to eating out, and eating poorly. What about the longterm expense of the health complications - diabetes, heart disease, cancer. Those are expenses I really didn't want to face in my life!

    People seem to think it is willpower that kept me on track on IP. Totally true and false statement. Yes, I did have to have the willpower to cook and eat all of those veggies, and certainly the willpower to want to do something about my situation to begin with. But don't you also find that once we are on track, it is so much easier because the cravings are gone and the results are exciting.

    People confuse IP with just being a low calorie fad diet. And when they hear what we do, no sugar, no carbs, no alcohol, etc. they put up blocks and say "I could never do that". If they only knew how easy it is and how quickly the results happen. If they only could understand that it is a matter of re-setting the machine in our bodies to work properly again. I am grateful every day - despite the cost - that I found IP and I found this Spark People group. The two have gone hand in hand in my success.


    1975 days ago
    1975 days ago
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