What's So Ideal About The Ideal Protein Diet?

Jorg Mardian By Jorg Mardian, 12th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

A diet that has been floated about in the USA since February 2008, but has been available in Canada for 10 years and in Europe for 20 years is called the "Ideal Protein Diet." It was developed by a French doctor, Dr Tran Tien Chanh, initially intended for French Olympic athletes, allowing them to drop weight quickly.

What Is The Ideal Protein Diet?

A diet that has been floated about in the USA since February 2008, but has been available in Canada for 10 years and in Europe for 20 years is called the "Ideal Protein Diet." It was developed by a French doctor, Dr Tran Tien Chanh, initially intended for French Olympic athletes, allowing them to drop weight quickly.

There are four phases to this diet. The first phase is an Induction phase, where carbohydrates are limited to a tiny amount a day. Three pre-packaged protein meals are used daily, as well as additional protein of your choice. It lasts until 90% of your weight loss is achieved.

The second phase (a minimum of two weeks or until all weight loss goal is achieved) allows a pre-packaged protein meal to be replaced with one of your choice. Carbs are still severely limited. Phase three allows a 14 day gradual re-indroduction of healthy carbs and fats in the morning only.

Weight loss has been dramatic in some people (3-7 pounds weekly) as it did with the Atkins diet, though the Ideal protein diet does not advocate as much protein and is healthier by excluding fatty foods.

The theory is simple: cut out carbs and the body is forced into burning fat stores to provide energy. By cutting out carbs, blood sugar levels remain more stable throughout the day, giving the pancreas a rest. It's also supposed to reduce fat loss, enhance muscle tone and promote cellulite reduction.

While all this sounds lofty, let me throw some caution into the winds of excitement. Much of the weight loss of a low carb diet is because it depletes healthy glycogen (the storage form of glucose) stores in your muscles and liver. This leads to dehydration, causing a significant weight loss in the first week or two of the diet, usually falsely interpreted as fat loss.

The diet founder says people do not get tired on this diet, but many do, and there are good reasons for that. Depletion of muscle glycogen causes fatigue, as it's the fuel of choice for muscles. Without being able to contract the muscles properly, exercise becomes a miserable experience. This all leads to time away from the gym, a decrease in your basal metabolic rate (fewer calories burned) and ultimately saggy muscle tone.

Another danger is a state called ketosis, which is one of the body's last-ditch emergency responses and deliberately inducing this state can lead to nausea, dehydration, headaches, light-headedness, irritability, bad breath, and kidney problems.

With mixed reviews among the experts, where does good for you end and danger begin? It appears that being in ketosis for 14 days seems to be fine but it's not ideal for the long-term. Phase 1 of this diet severely restricts carbohydrate intake, leading to that rapid weight loss which so encouraging. It's easy to see that many would want to continue on the "Induction Phase," especially if severely overweight. However, at this point they may run the risk of placing an extra burden on the kidneys. Ketosis the body deflects protein and releases nitrogen into the system, making the kidneys work harder to keep up with excessive urinary water resulting from sodium loss.

Supporters of the Ideal Protein diet overly concentrate on the fat burning capability of this diet, while failing to realize the long-term side effects of nutritional deficiencies from low calorie intake and problems from pancreatic alteration. As a Registered Nutritionist,I believe this diet flies directly in the face of proper eating guidelines, and after having spent years trying to encourage people to eat healthy, I find the idea of limiting healthy foods repugnant.

In Canada, you should also be aware that the person administering the products to you might not be a real nutritionist. You see, the Ideal Protein Company only supplies the products to people who start their own "diet business", making it little more than a supplier of product. So, you basically may have people who are NOT competent nutritionists operating a "wellness clinic" without proper credentials. But if something goes wrong, how will your "diet guru coach" cope with a real health problem?

Every credible nutritionist will tell you than a diet program which reduces weight permanently and healthily involves gradual weight loss - an average of 2-3 pounds a week. This diet program must also retrain your eating habits so that you'll not easily fall back into behavior that made you overweight in the first place.

Instead of a costly diet, try regular exercise, healthy foods and smaller portions. There is no magic bullet - only dedication to long-term health. It's not as popular as the latest fad diet, but it's healthy and never fails to work in the long run.


Carbohydrates, Ideal Protein Diet, Nutrition, Protein, Registered Nutritionist, Weight Loss

Meet the author

author avatar Jorg Mardian
I am a Certified Fitness Trainer, Kinesiology Specialist, Myoskeletal Therapist and Registered Nutritionist. My writing will focus on nutrition, fitness and pain therapy.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
12th Sep 2011 (#)

I totally agree with your last point, just eat less, and eat healthier.

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author avatar Funom Makama
9th Oct 2011 (#)

wow~~~~ Very educative... Great article. Reading a piece like this makes me feel lucky to be part of this community. Keep up with the good work.

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author avatar Kira
3rd Jan 2013 (#)

This article is patently incorrect in several areas. It's really not cool to be spreading blatant misinformation e.g. "this diet is healthier than that diet because it has less fat." Bullsh*t. Crack a freaking book, dude. There is no downside to eating healthy fats. Up-to-date research consistently shows that clogged arteries are indirectly caused by inflammation, not by eating fat and cholesterol. If you want to gripe about fat being unhealthy, stick to trans fats.

Similarly, your assertion that ketosis is basically a step away from death is utter nonsense. How dare you attempt to sell people a lie like that in a semi-authoritative context such as this one? You're abusing the trust of the ill-informed and the downright stupid, pumping the internet full of more dangerously off-base opinions masquerading as fact. How f*cking depressing. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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author avatar Michelle M.
22nd Apr 2013 (#)

There is no need for cussing and name-calling. Who are you and what are your credentials?

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