So, the day has come and I am in the process of phasing off of the Ideal Protein diet. A lot of factors went into my decision:
- I have been on the diet for a while now…over 3 years.
- The cost associated with it wasn’t fitting into my budget (hello new HVAC system.)
- I need a minute to reflect back on what I have learned and how my life has changed.
Because of all of this I have decided that stepping back for a minute is what is best for me. So, with the help of my Ideal Protein coaches, I am in the process of just maintaining my weight loss.
In the Ideal Protein world phasing off entails going stepwise through the rest of the program. Phase 1 is the weight loss phase, you stay there until you have hit your goal/you are ready to move on. Phase 2 is only for 2 weeks and you add more protein at lunch. Then, phases 3/4 are learning how to eat without Ideal Protein packets and maintain your weight loss.
I am technically in Phase 4 at this point, but there are some days…especially after I have eaten a little heavy that I still go back to Phase 1. That is the tactic that will help maintain your weight loss for the long haul…no food is off limits, but if you go a little overboard, reset with a day of low-carb, low-fat, and high protein foods.
I think the biggest thing I am doing at this point is reflecting back on all the things I have learned over the past few years. I have lost over 100 pounds and the whole thing really seems surreal. I look back at my old habits and I don’t know how I ever got there…I certainly won’t go back. I will enjoy all the things I want to enjoy but remember that there is a balance with everything!
Here are my key takeaways:
- Eat everything in moderation and with balance. You can have a “beverage” but you better plan for it and eat “lighter” the next day. Or make sure you pair a beverage with a hike or bike ride.
- Vegetables are my best friend and are always a better choice compared to rice, pasta, bread, etc.
- Tracking my food is a best practice. It helps to hold me accountable.
- Meal prep and planning is a best practice and also helps to hold me accountable.
- Just because I don’t eat or drink something doesn’t mean I am missing out on anything! I have had plenty of fun over the last few years without candy, cakes, pies, etc.
- My health is important and maintaining it is now a core component of my lifestyle.
- Ideal Protein will always be there. Even now, I go to my weekly weigh-ins. I am not buying any protein packs and my coach still wants to see me and make sure I am on the right track. I appreciate that even though my Ideal Protein journey is “phasing off” they still care about my success.
To wrap up this post, you may be wondering what do I eat now that I’m in Phase 4? I am sticking with having a lot of vegetables and then I add one serving of fruit, one serving of bread (or beans or whole wheat pasta, etc.), and one serving of dairy. Here is what a typical day of eating looks like for me:
Breakfast: Oikos Greek Yogurt, one cup of berries OR 2 eggs, low carb toast (Aldi has a great low carb bread option)
Lunch: 2 cups roasted veggies, grilled chicken OR a salad with tuna
Snack: Pure Protein Bar
Dinner: 8oz of protein, 2 cups veggies, and sometimes the occasional whole wheat pasta OR low carb bread.
All of that, plus I am still getting in my 2+ liters of water per day.
To me, this just looks like a balanced diet…who knew eating a balanced diet could look so good?!? I would call this my version of eating “clean.” I feel good eating like this and I prescribe to a similar meal plan every week.
Have any of you made it to Ideal Protein Phase 4? Or are you maintaining weight loss? How has it been going so far? What have you learned?