Lots of thoughts rolling around in this little brain of mine lately.  Maintenance has been foremost in my mind.  But mostly I have been wanting to be totally done with this diet (or any diet) and never wanting to keep track of what I eat again.  I want to be a “normal” person who doesn’t have to keep track of the food I eat.  I want to be a “normal” person who gets to eat potato chips, cake, cookies & candy bars any time the urge to eat them hits me.  The fact is that I want to be able to eat whatever I want to eat whenever I want to eat it without any restrictions at all!  It upsets me that I CAN’T eat that way without gaining a huge amount of weight and affecting my health in a bad way.  But “normal” needs to look different than that for me.  So what will “normal” look like for me?  I’m still trying to figure that out but I plan to give the Ideal Protein Phase 4 a try to see if I can make it work for me.  I just wish they would give us more direction on what this way of eating needs to look like in order for me to be successful with it. Phases 1 – 3 have been great because I was told exactly how to eat…so many packets, so much protein, so many vegetables…it all was very clear.  Now I feel like I am left to figure it all out by myself.

But I DO want to succeed, so this is the plan I will follow once I am done with Phases 1-3:

 5 days a week:
   -Breakfast: Eat what I am hungry for.  I love breakfast so I won’t have any problem here.
-Lunch: Protein with low-carb veggies & a salad. This meal can have more fat in it.
-Supper: Higher carb with little to no fat.  This one is the difficult one for me to figure out.
-I will need to figure out my BMR (basal metabolic rate) so I can stay at or below that number.  I will need to be better about planning my meals for each day so I don’t get to supper time and find I have no calories available for me to be able to eat.

 1 day a week:
   -Have a more relaxed day where I can eat things I wouldn’t normally eat. This is the day I get to eat that piece of cake or whatever foods I have been craving for.

1 day a week:
   -Phase 1 day, keeping it low fat, low carb & low calorie.

The 5-days-a-week supper is the hardest part of this eating plan for me to figure out.  Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, the originator of the Ideal Protein Diet, recommends not needing much, if any,  protein for this meal.  But all my life, I have been told to eat my most “balanced” meal at the evening meal and this would include protein, vegetables, starch (potatoes/pasta/rice/bread) & fruit.  So no protein (which was the main part of this meal) is difficult for me to get my head around.  And even without the protein aspect it is hard to figure out what to serve at this meal.  How do you have little to no fat when you eat spaghetti or pasta with any kind of sauce? I need ideas and lots of recipes so I can figure out some favorites I can live with for the rest of my life and, so far, it is has been almost impossible.  Even low-fat recipes have more fat in them than what I am assuming we can have.  One of the participants on the Ideal Protein Diet Sparkers Team was told by their coach that 10 grams of fat was the upper limit for this meal.  I’ve been busy trying to locate recipes that will work with this upper limit in mind and it is really tough.  But I won’t give up!

My coach told me that Chef Verati (who created the wonderful “My Ideal Recipes” cookbook) is creating a Phase 4 cookbook and I will be one of the first in line to buy that cookbook as soon as I hear it is available.  But it’s not for sale yet so I am still trying to find some go-to recipes on my own.

I still have some time to get this all figured out because I have actually returned to Phase 1 eating.  I have been floating between 158 and 155 pounds for a while because I would eat Phase 3 type of eating for a few days, eat totally off-protocol a day, eat a Phase 1 day then back to Phase 3 type of eating. I would gain the weight, then lose it only to gain it again while eating this way.  I have 15 additional pounds I want to lose so I decided to suck it up and return to Phase 1 for a while.

Once I start Phase 4, I will post any recipes I end up finding and liking.  I am both excited and scared about what maintenance will look like.  But the fact that this diet has changed my life so much for the better is absolutely amazing so I am sure maintenance will be amazing too!


8 Responses to “01-26-2013”

  1. Nadia Says:

    Good luck maintaining! Just thought I’d share a collection of ideal protein recipes that might help you keep maintaining interesting. I keep my collection on KeepRecipes. They have a page of IP recipes at http://keeprecipes.com/top/dietary-consideration/ideal-protein

    Good luck!

    • Nan Says:

      Thanks for the link Nadia. People are always looking for acceptable IP recipes and some of them look pretty good.

  2. liz Says:

    i am on phase one of the ideal protein diet and so far so good – I have been thinking about the end of my journey and was planning to incorporate excersise into my schedule when i get there – I have not read all your posts and you may have mentioned it else where but i was just curious as you seem really focused still on what you can and can’t eat and when – I was hoping that if i ate a sensible diet without restrictions, no IPs and use excersise to keep the weight off. Is that plausible? or will i be maintaining forever?

    • Nan Says:

      Hi Liz! Thanks for stopping by. I believe that if we want to maintain the weight we have lost, we absolutely can’t go back to eating the way we formerly ate or the weight will pile right back on.

      If you end up following Phase 4, it is fairly straight forward but it still requires some focus on what we eat. Like figuring out what our resting metabolism is and then tracking our calories for a while until we get the hang of it. Putting exercise into the mix does help maintain the losses. Some people decide to go low-carb on an on-going basis but I don’t think I could maintain that type of eating for very long.

      I happen to be a stress-eater and it has caused some problems for me so I am back on Phase 1 trying to lose the weight I have regained. I have not gotten to the point where I can even try to do Phase 4 yet because I keep sabotaging myself (lots of stress around here lately!). But I know this diet works when no other diet has worked for me in the past and once I reach my goal weight I plan to follow the Phase 4 protocol.

      Good luck on your weightloss journey!

  3. Bliss Says:

    Hi Nan, i just did a quick google search on IP Phase 4 recipes and found a bunch of links. You may have done this already, too. But in case you find something new here is the link to the results. https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=ideal+protein+phase+4+recipes&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GZGN_enUS513US514&q=ideal+protein+phase+4+recipes&gs_l=hp….………..0.SkQ7T2r2jJo

    I wish you ALL the very best! You are an inspiration and thank you for sharing your journey – Bliss! 🙂

    • Nan Says:

      Hi Bliss,
      I looked at the links google came up with but find that most of the recipes are actually not the Phase 4 type I am looking for. Even though they all say they are Phase 4 recipes, they are mostly low-carb recipes. I have no trouble finding low-carb recipes. The problem I was having was finding recipes for the Phase 4 carb-rich evening meal that had little to no fat in it.

      Dr Tran suggests not having any protein for the evening meal so I was discounting any recipe that included protein. But every recipe I found seemed to have more than the 10 grams of fat I was allowing for that meal. I expanded my search to include some type of protein in the meal and I started looking through some of my diet cookbooks. Since I did that, I have been finding more recipes that I might be able to use.

      Don’t know why it’s so much easier to find low-fat recipes with protein than it is to find low-fat recipes with just carbs…makes no sense to me. But that’s the way it is. Which may help explain why we are having such a problem with our weight to begin with. The combination of carbs with fats promotes fat storage and I certainly don’t want to promote that anymore!

      Thanks for taking the time to look this up. I appreciate you!

  4. Arly Says:

    I have been researching the Ideal Protein plan for a few days now and I happened to find your blog. We could be twins…I currently weigh close to your starting weight but would like to be closer to 150. I am a bit taller though. I see myself in your starting photos. I am curious how you handle dinners and food for your husband while you have been on this program. Also have you gotten support from the online community? Would there be any way to communicate with you directly if I start this program and need support. You’re an inspiration to me to start the journey. Thanks, Arly

    • Nan Says:

      Hi Arly!

      You can find me on SparkPeople leading the Ideal Protein Diet Sparkers team here. SparkPeople is a free site and we would love to have you join us!

      My husband, bless his heart, has been fantastic through this whole process! I buy him frozen dinners and lots of raw vegetables and he fixes his own meals so I have not had to worry about him. That has made it super easy for me to stay on-protocol because I haven’t had to cook stuff I am not able to eat. Once I get to maintenance, he will need to change his eating habits if he wants me to cook for him….which I think he will.

      Thanks for your kind words. And good luck on your own weightloss journey!

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