What is Ideal Protein?

The Ideal Protein Protocol is a medically developed 4 phase weight loss and weight management protocol containing 2 key components – weight loss and a healthier lifestyle education so that you are empowered to sustain your weight loss results over your life course.

How does Ideal Protein diet work?

The four phases of the Ideal Protein Protocol are designed to help you set, achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. During the weight loss phases of the Protocol, we limit carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to turn to its fat stores for energy. By eating Ideal Protein foods, the Protocol helps to sustain muscle mass while teaching you how to develop smarter eating habits and lifestyle choices, to help maintain your weight after weight loss is achieved.

Is Ideal Protein a ketogenic diet?

Yes, it is. A Ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. For more information, visit idealprotein.com.

Is ketosis safe?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, which refers to the state of metabolism the body is in when it uses fat as a primary energy source.

In fact, we all do a little ‘ketosis” each night when we sleep.  As we fast during the night, our blood sugars drop and our body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. You can learn more about Ketogenic diets by visiting the “Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet” page.

Is the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol safe?

The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol is medically designed and developed and is consistent with evidence-based guidelines, to help obese and overweight patients or clients achieve safe, long-term weight loss and maintain it.

Is Ideal Protein healthy?

The Ideal Protein Protocol features one-on-one coaching and a healthier lifestyle education. Licensed healthcare practitioners and trained Coaches ensure dieters are qualified to follow the Protocol. All dieters will be required to complete a comprehensive Health Profile during their Initial Consultation.


How is the Ideal Protein weight loss Protocol different from other protein diets on the market?

The Ideal Protein weight loss Protocol addresses weight issues at its source; reducing carbohydrates and fats while ensuring adequate daily protein intake. In other words, the goal is to lose fat, not muscle. While on the Protocol, through personalized coaching, you’re also provided with healthier lifestyle education so that you are empowered to sustain your weight loss results over your life course. For more information, watch the Fundamental of Ideal Protein video available on the Ideal Protein website (idealprotein.com).

What is the cost of Ideal Protein?

In North America, the Ideal Protein Protocol cost on average about $15 a day, which includes the cost of the foods, and the supplements. We encourage you to think of the cost of the Protocol as part of your grocery bill. Redirecting average food expenses to different, healthier options often results in the Protocol being neutral in cost. Consultation fees vary from one location to another, depending on the additional services they offer, so feel free to visit many locations around your area. For more information, watch this video that addresses the value of Ideal Protein.

What type of exercise do you recommend for this protocol?

During the weight loss phases of the Protocol, being active is fine. Stretching. Moderate yoga. Walking. Lifting light weights. All of these are good. Simply make sure you’re not out of breath and are able to have a conversation during the activity. Refer to the Fitness Videos available in the IdealSmart Platform.

Can I be on the Protocol if I'm a vegetarian?

Vegetarians can follow the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol and can consume eggs, fish or tofu during their evening meal for their whole protein. As an alternative, vegetarians can have 2 Ideal Protein foods for dinner in replacement of their whole protein. Ensure you review the ingredient list on all boxes before purchasing them.

Can I be on the Protocol if I'm a vegan?

Strict vegans, who do not consume any animal proteins and animal by-products, such as dairy products, honey and so on, do not qualify to follow the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol due to the many dietary restrictions.

What do you eat on the Ideal Protein diet?

During your weight loss journey, you will have the choice to eat from a variety of Ideal Protein foods that are easy to prepare and available in a variety of textures, tastes and flavor. A regular meal day on Phase 1 includes; 3 Ideal Protein foods, 4 cups of select vegetables, and 1 whole protein of your choice, according to the Phase 1 sheet of the Protocol.

Where can I buy Ideal Protein products?

Ideal Protein products can only be purchased in authorized Ideal Protein weight loss Clinic or Center. To locate a Clinic or Center near you and start your Amazing Transformation, visit our website at idealprotein.com/find-a-location/

How much protein should I be eating per day?

Your coach is the best person to help you determine the adequate amount of protein you should be consuming on a daily basis.

Why are protein foods so vital?

Every part of our body needs protein as they are the structural components of body tissues such as nails, hair, skin, your immune system, and muscles. Consuming adequate amount daily protein will help to ensure maintaining proper health and vitality.

What kind of protein is used in Ideal Protein products?

These are high biological value proteins and employ six different proteins, varying from products to products: whey isolates, soy isolates, milk protein, pea protein, albumin, and hydrolyzed collagen. This gives many options and is designed for people with sensitivities to dairy, soy or vegetarians, allowing them to participate in the Protocol.


Is plain cocoa permitted on Phase 1?

The list of approved Phase 1 foods doesn’t include cocoa.

How many eggs am I permitted per day on Phase 1?

You’re permitted to have 6 eggs, which 2-4 would be whole, the remainder must be egg whites.

Can I use artificial sweeteners?

Yes, we suggest stevia and sucralose with a maximum of 4 packets per day. We’d recommend talking to your Coach about various options.

Can I use cinnamon?

Yes, you can use cinnamon. In fact, many people find it to be an excellent alternative to sweetener in their coffee. Refer to the Phase Sheets for all approved seasonings.

Where do I find recipes?

There are plenty of places to find delicious recipes that are compliant with the various Phases of the Ideal Protein Protocol. You can visit the Ideal Protein YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialIdealProtein), the Ideal Protein Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/officialidealprotein) or speak to your Clinic or Center about Chef Verati’s Recipe books. You can also visit your my.idealsmart dashboard to watch the Cooking Video Series with Chef Verati.

What vegetables are permitted on Phase 1?

Make sure you’re familiar with your Phase 1 sheet. It lists all permitted vegetables.

Can I eat only unlimited vegetables as my 4 cups per day?

We recommend consuming vegetables from the Select and Occasional Vegetable Groups for your 4 cups per day. Discovering new vegetables is an important part of your journey on the Protocol.

Why can't I eat fruits?

Despite the fact that certain fruits contain healthy vitamins and minerals, most fruits contain enough sugar (carbohydrate) to bring your body out of ketosis and slow down your progress, which is why they are not allowed on Phase 1 and 2.

Is coffee or tea allowed?

Yes, you can have one cup of coffee or tea while on the Protocol. For each additional cup of caffeinated coffee or tea, be sure to offset the diuretic effect of the coffee or tea by drinking an equivalent amount of water. That’s in addition to the daily minimum of 64 ounces of water.

What is defined as regular milk?

All milk that comes from a cow or a goat is allowed, as long as you’re staying within the 1 ounce (30 ml) limit per day. Unsweetened Soy, and Almond milk are also allowed.

Why can't I eat or drink dairy while on Phase 1?

Milk is not on the list of permitted items for Phase 1 and 2, other than the one ounce (30 ml) of regular milk allowed for ‘creamer’ in your coffee or tea. All other dairy is not permitted due to the carbs and fats.

What kind of peppers can I eat while on the Protocol?

You can enjoy all types of peppers, including hot peppers, bell peppers and sweet peppers.

Protein portion and vegetables - do I weigh before or after cooking?

You’ll want to weigh your whole protein and measure your vegetables before cooking.

Why can I only have one restricted item each day?

The restricted products contain more grams of carbohydrates. By having more than one restricted item each day, you’ll likely go above the maximum carb allowance and hinder your weight loss.

Can I have lemons?

Yes, you are able to use lemons for flavoring water and for adding zest to your meal. Just realize that they DO have carbs. Not a lot, but they add up. The best way to use them is to put a slice in a glass of water. Keep your use to 1/2 to a max of 1 lemon per day.

Can I have gum?

The only sugar-free gum specifically approved by Ideal Protein for the Protocol is Xylitol Gum. Keep in mind that it’s only to be used in moderation during the first few weeks of the Protocol. Each piece of gum should be counted towards your maximum allowable sweetener count per day (4).

How many "extras" can I have beside the foods listed on the phase sheets?

We consider extras the sweeteners “permitted” in our phase sheets. These sweeteners include gum, salad dressings, sauces and sweeteners. You must only consume a maximum of 4 servings per day of these. Many products on the market may indicate a zero calorie, zero carbs and zero fat, but in fact may contain hidden sugars. Consuming the maximum allowable of these sweeteners on a daily basis may hinder your weight loss.

How do I know which products are restricted?

There are many ways to find out if a food is restricted. You can visit the ideal Protein website (idealprotein.com), where our restricted foods are identified with the restricted logo. The restricted foods also have this logo on their box. You can also ask your Coach for a list of foods that are restricted.

Can I have unlimited amounts of spinach?

Yes, you can have unlimited raw spinach. However, if you decide to cook your spinach, measure it before you cook it and do not exceed the 4 cups of Select Vegetables per day.

What kind of vinegar's can I have?

Both the apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are allowed on the Protocol, as they have a low carb content. Other vinegars available on the market are not permitted on the weight loss phases of the Protocol.

What kind of cooking oil is permitted?

The two permitted oils on the Protocol are Olive Oil and Grape Seed Extract Oil. We recommend cooking with Grape Seed Extract Oil only, as it has a higher smoke point than other oils.

How important is that evening protein packet?

You simply want to get in the three packets in each day. As long as you accomplish that, you’re right on track. It’s best if you can do it in the recommended time frames. Speak to your Coach if you feel that some adjustment need to be made.

Why can't I have nuts and seeds?

Nuts and seeds are packed with energy and contain a large amount of fats and carbohydrates for their small size. A handful of nuts or seeds will more than likely hinder your weight loss as they contain many calories even in a small serving.

What is sucralose?

Sucralose is a sweetener derived from sugar cane. It has zero (0) calories and is completely cleared from the body within a day, which means that it has very little impact on the blood and its glycemia.

What are the leanest cuts of meat?

The Phase 1 sheet lists all acceptable cuts of whole protein. Ask your butcher if you have any questions and they should be able to point out the leaner cuts of meat. In addition, pre-packed meats that are found in your supermarket will contain nutritional facts on their package. Review the nutritional facts before purchasing.

Can I split the whole protein throughout the day?

Yes. You can split the whole protein throughout the day, but only with a meal, not as a snack and not between meals. You may also consume leaner proteins.

Why can't I have cooked onions?

When you’re on Ideal Protein protocol, cooked onions are not permitted. The reason is that when onions are cooked, that process breaks down the complex carbs into more of a sugar that will stimulate insulin. You may eat the onions boiled or raw.

What products contain collagen protein?

It is important to carefully review the ingredient list on all boxes before purchasing them. If you have any question about a specific ingredient, you can speak to your Coach for additional information.

Are water flavorings permitted?

Yes, you may ask your Coach about our various water enhancers, which you can use to flavor your water at any time. Our ‘water enhancers’ are truly zero sugar , zero calories but beware of commercially available products as they may contain ‘hidden sugars’. Therefore always check with your Coach.

Can I add creamer to my coffee?

No, creamers are not permitted. However, regular milk is allowed, as long as you’re staying within the 1 ounce (30 ml) limit per day. Unsweetened Soy, and Almond milk are also allowed. Keep in mind that your Ready-to-Serve Chocolate, Vanilla or Cappuccino Ideal Protein shakes are OK to use in your coffee as creamers.

Can I have more than 4 cups of veggies per day?

Yes, you can. You may eat from the Unlimited Raw Vegetables and Lettuce category, listed on the Phase 1 sheet.

Do I have to eat all 4 cups of vegetables every day?

Yes, the vegetables are very important. If you’re struggling to consume 4 cups of vegetables, check with your Coach for some specific ideas on how to make sure you’re getting all the veggies you need. Try different preparation styles and explore the possibilities with some tasty soups or purees.

Why isn't diet soda recommend?

Diet sodas are higher in phosphoric acids and aspartame. We recommend selecting sparkling water instead, to which you may add our water enhancer.

How much water should I be drinking per day?

Drink a minimum 64 ounces (2 L) of water every day. Water is especially important during weight loss because water is part of the fat burning process. And remember to drink additional water if you have coffee or a caffeinated beverage.

Why do some products use Sucralose as the sweetener?

Ideal Protein uses sucralose as a sweetener in some foods. Sucralose is derived from sugar cane, it tastes like sugar and only minimum amounts are required to make the food taste great. However, we also offer many foods without sucralose, therefore, you can be on the Protocol, achieve your weight objective and avoid consuming sucralose.

Does popcorn count as a vegetable?

No, popcorn does not count as a vegetable and is not permitted during the weight loss phases of the Protocol.

How is the Ideal Salt different from my regular salt?

The Ideal Salt contains the balance of potassium and sodium that is not provided from the foods you eat during the weight loss phases of the Protocol. Ideal Salt is part of the mandatory supplements of the Protocol.

Why is there so much sodium (salt) in your soups?

We need sodium (salt) to replenish what’s lost in urine, sweat, and through diuretics during the day. Ideal Protein Protocol is a low-sodium program, therefore sodium is added to our soups and some of our other foods.

Can I use Shirataki noodles as a pasta alternative?

Yes, Shirataki (or Konjac) noodles can be consumed while on the Protocol, however, it is important to limit consumption up to one serving per day (3.5 ounces/100 grams).

What are "good" carbs that I should look for on maintenance?

Good carbs are whole foods. Try to avoid the processed foods and eat whole foods, such as; fruits, brown rice, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as they do not contain any processed white flour or added sugar. They will keep you full longer due to their fiber content.

Can I have sparkling water?

Yes, calorie-free, carbohydrate-free, sugar-free sparkling water can be counted toward the minimum daily requirements of 2 L of water per day.

How can I freshen my breath while in Ketosis?

You can add fresh mint and/or lemon to your water, or drink peppermint tea to freshen your breath. You can also chew cinnamon sticks and different fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, and basil. The only sugar-free gum specifically approved by Ideal Protein for the Protocol is Xylitol Gum. Keep in mind that it’s only to be used in moderation during the first few weeks of the Protocol. Each piece of gum should be counted towards your maximum allowable sweetener count per day (4). Don’t hesitate to speak to your Coach who may have other suggestions.

Can I eat “sugar-free” candy only containing sugar alcohol?

No, any type of candy are not permitted while on the weight loss phases of the Protocol, as they may hinder your weight loss.

Is tofu allowed on the diet?

Yes, plain tofu is allowed on the Ideal Protein Protocol. Plain Tofu has about 7-8 grams of protein per ounce of raw product, so you will need about 3 to 4 ounces to create a meal. Be careful with some of the “flavored tofu” because they might have too many carbohydrates (total carbs should be less than 5 grams per serving). Ensure you read the nutrition facts before purchasing a product and if you have any doubts, speak with your Coach.

Are the Edamame soy beans permitted on the Weight Loss Protocol?

Edamame does contain some carbohydrates as all legumes do and are not allowed in Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Protocol. Similar to nuts, you can consume a lot very quickly and the carbohydrates can add up!

Is the gum Xylitol (only available at health food stores)

The only sugar-free gum specifically approved by Ideal Protein for the Protocol is Xylitol Gum. Keep in mind that it’s only to be used in moderation during the first few weeks of the Protocol. Each piece of gum should be counted towards your maximum allowable sweetener count per day (4). However, if you notice that the rate of weight loss is not continuing then stop using it completely until Phase 4.

What is the Whey Protein source? Is it from cows which are not given Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH) and are the cows grass fed/organic?

The milk used in processing our whey isolates doesn’t contain Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH) or antibiotics. The cows are fed as per industry standards.

Is the sugar-free wine allowed on the Weight Loss Protocol?

Alcohol is not permitted while on Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the Protocol. Remember that alcohol – in any form- will inhibit your body’s ability to produce glucose. This is an absolute necessity when carbohydrates are greatly restricted. If any alcohol is consumed during this ‘carb-restricted period’ loss of conscientiousness could occur suddenly and without warning due to severe hypoglycemia. Therefore any alcohol during Phases 1,2 and 3 is strictly prohibited.

Why is the total amount of sugar and fiber doesn't always match the total carb on your box?

In the presence of “other carbohydrates” such as gums or starches, the amount of sugars plus the amount of fibers may not equal the total amount of carbohydrates. In the absence of significant amount of “other carbohydrates” rounding rules, as prescribed in the Food and Drug Regulation, can also bring a bias in the addition of sugars and fibers.

Why does it says "(beef)" in the ingredient list of some IP product when there is apparently no meat ingredients ?

Some Ideal Protein foods contain gelatin or hydrolyzed collagen. Gelatin, a raw material is commonly extracted from animals, mainly pigs or cattle. Since the source of the gelatin or collagen was a frequently asked question, we decided to include it in the ingredient list of our foods. Look for this information on our boxes when you purchase your Ideal Protein foods.

What is the difference between total carbs and net carbs?

“Total carbs” include the total amount of carbohydrates in a specific food, including fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohol. “Net carbs” describe the number of grams of carbohydrates minus the fiber and the sugar alcohol.  Fiber and sugar alcohol do not have a negative impact on blood sugar or insulin response. Therefore, they can be removed from the equation when you are calculating your carbohydrate intake. Either in weight loss (Phase 1) or weight stabilization (Phase 4), it’s the net carbs that you want to pay attention to.

Is the total carb allowance per day "total" or "net"?

The total carb allowance per day is based on net carbs.

Why do I have to fill out my food journal?

Your Coach will give you specific data that they’d like to see you track each week. It is a mandatory part of the Protocol. As simple as it may sound, keeping track of what you eat is critical to your success. Consider this: Studies show that keeping a food journal can double a person’s weight loss according to a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research. Most of us don’t fully realize what we eat during the day. The simple act of writing everything down brings it to your attention. You have many ways to keep a food journal while on the Protocol – you can use the IdealSmart Platform or App, and the paper version of the Daily Journal.

Do I have to follow the Phase sheet schedule exactly?

You can have some flexibility in your meal schedule. The key is to make sure you’re eating the required amount of vegetables, whole protein, Ideal Protein foods, mandatory supplements, water and oil throughout the day.

Is the Ideal Protein weight loss protocol considered a high, medium or low calorie diet?

The weight loss phases of the Protocol would be considered a medium to low calorie diet whereas the Alternative Protocol, which incorporates additional foods, would be considered a medium calorie diet.

My religion prevents me to eat specific foods. How can I avoid them while on the Protocol?

If you wish to avoid any ingredients, ensure you review the ingredient list on all the boxes before purchasing them. If you are unsure about ingredients, speak with your Coach.

Is the Ideal Protein weight loss Protocol safe for children and what is the minimum age for following the protocol?

Children under 17 may be eligible to do the Alternative Protocol, provided their parents or guardians obtain prior approval from the child’s pediatrician.

Why can't I have alcohol when I'm in ketosis?

Alcohol is not permitted while on Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the Protocol. Consuming alcohol during our Protocol can dramatically inhibit the liver’s ability to make glucose (sugar), potentially causing severe hypoglycemia resulting in “passing out”. Alcohol is a toxic substance. Your liver immediately focuses on removing it from your body and puts other things on hold – such as creating the glucose your brain and other organs need. Consuming alcohol in any form, even cough & cold medicines, is strictly prohibited as it could be potentially very dangerous.

Is it important to do the Phases sequentially?

Yes, the Protocol is designed to do the phases in sequence. Phase 1 is to be followed until your weight objective is achieve. Phase 2 is to be followed for two weeks, to slowly re-introduce more whole protein to your diet. Phase 3 is to be followed for two weeks, to re-introduce carbohydrates and fats to your diet. Phase 4 is our structured approach to stabilization and maintenance. It’s a 12-month stabilization period, with ongoing support to help you maintain your weight loss success. To effectively maintain you weight, you must follow the Phases sequentially.

What will cheating do?

The Ideal Protein Protocol is an uncompromised personal transformation Protocol. Deviating will only inhibit your results. Refer to our Value of Health video, available on the Ideal Protein YouTube Channel.

Is it normal for weight loss to plateau?

It is possible to experience a weight loss plateau in any weight loss program. Some possible reasons for plateauing could be constipation, menstruation, deviation (intentional and unintentional), medications, and so on. Don’t worry, if this happens, your Coach can review your Daily Journal and guide you to through this plateau.

What is the "Alternative Protocol"?

The Alternative Protocol is used for specific situations, such as Type 1 Diabetics, and children. While on the Alternative Protocol, a person will have the choice to consume from three Group Choices throughout the day: carbohydrates, fruits, and fats.

What is the difference between the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol and the Alternative Protocol?

Both protocols have 4 phases: Phase 1 is followed until the Patient or Client’s weight objective is achieved. Phase 2 is to be followed for 2 weeks, which during this time will supply more calories to help ease the body’s metabolism into stabilization. Phase 3 is the pre-stabilization phase, which also lasts two weeks. Phase 4: Stabilization. However, the Alternative Protocol was designed for Type 1 Diabetics and children. The main difference is the addition of three food group choices throughout the day for the Alternative Protocol. Your Coach will be able to discuss with you and help you decide which Protocol is best suited for your needs.

Why is it important for dieters to go through all four phases adding foods slowly back into their diet?

The four phases of the Ideal Protein Protocol are designed to help you set, achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. Once a dieter has achieved his or her weight loss goal, we want to increase the caloric intake slowly by going through Phases 2 and 3 before starting the stabilization phase. This is a critical part of their long-term success.

Do you have suggestions for getting rid of cellulite?

Cellulite is subcutaneous fat and may result from a complex combination of factors ranging from hormones to heredity. The Ideal Protein Protocol focuses on weight loss and weight maintenance. Your healthcare provider will be the best person to provide you with recommendations.

Where can I find the Ideal Smart Scale warranty?

You can locate a copy of the Ideal Smart Scale warranty here.