Ideal Protein Diet 101: Pros, Cons, Pricing, What to Eat, and More

Here are some of the downsides to consider before you try the Ideal Protein diet.

A Long Period of Dieting Usually Isn’t Sustainable

Strict diets can help with weight loss, but the results may not last. “In terms of low-carb diets for weight loss, studies reveal that it produces short-term weight loss; more long-term studies are needed to account for its effectiveness,” says Anderson-Haynes. For example, one review, published in the Medical Clinics of North America in January 2018, noted that while a person can lose weight through a number of methods, keeping the weight off is the real challenge, and that a typical cycle is weight loss, weight plateau, and weight regain.

People May Unnecessarily Restrict Healthy Foods

Certain foods contain important nutrients (hello, produce!), but may be too high in carbohydrates for a low-carb diet. “A low-carb diet requires restriction of fruits, whole grains like rice and pasta, and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and corn, all of which are packed with important nutrients like antioxidants, fiber, and micronutrients like magnesium,” says Anderson-Haynes.

And although protein is encouraged on Ideal Protein, many plant-based proteins are discouraged. Take plant sources like legumes, for example, which are associated with a healthy metabolism, past research notes. Those nutrient-packed foods are on the do-not-eat list for Ideal Protein.

You Need to Buy Their Packaged Products

An integral part of the Ideal Protein plan is the company’s packaged foods. For people who may be trying to limit their packaged and processed food consumption, this can be a real problem. Also, packaged food purchases will spike your grocery bill (more on that later).

Ultraprocessed Foods May Be Unhealthy in the Long Run

Indeed, many health professionals encourage a shift away from highly processed packaged foods, which are a key part of the Ideal Protein diet.

A review published in the January 2020 Nutrition noted that if you’re trying to lose weight for better health, good, high-quality foods such as whole fruits and vegetables are key. Another study, in the May 2019 BMJ, found that a diet high in ultraprocessed foods, which are…

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