At first I thought, “no way.” I wasn’t going to start a diet where I had to eat special, packaged products to lose weight.
I had gone to a seminar, sponsored by West Tennessee Healthcare’s Women’s Pavilion, about “your last diet.” I thought I would get a pep talk and good tips on healthy eating and dieting. Instead, I heard Nurse Practitioners LaCinda Butler and Betsy Swindell from the Woman’s Clinic discuss the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method.
The next morning, I changed my mind and called the Woman’s Clinic for an appointment, the first step in starting on the diet. It was a good decision. In three weeks, I lost 11 pounds; in five weeks, I was down 15 pounds and about 10 inches slimmer. I was reaching my goal of losing 23 pounds faster than any other diet I had tried.
“People like the diet because of the rapid weight loss and the energy it gives them,” Butler says.
The Woman’s Clinic decided to offer the Ideal Protein diet to its patients after several staff members tried it and had success with it, said Dr. Brad Adkins, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the clinic. “It offers several benefits besides weight loss. It lowers high cholesterol and high glucose levels and helps to re-establish pancreatic function. Some people are able to get off medications that treat those problems.”
And, because it attacks fat cells instead of muscles, the diet also supports cellulite reduction and fat loss, while it maintains muscle mass.
“Too often, as doctors, we are treating the problems caused by people being overweight, from diabetes to heart disease,” Dr. Adkins explained. “Helping patients stay on this diet is a way to treat that unneeded weight and see health benefits as a result.”
In some ways, the Ideal Protein diet is like the popular Atkins diet. It is low in carbs and sugars and concentrates on protein. The Ideal Protein diet, however, is through a health professional’s care and includes vitamins and minerals to prevent some of the side effects of the dietary restrictions, such as kidney stones, Butler said.
Details Of The Diet
- The first step is a 30- to 45-minute talk with one of the Woman’s Clinic nurse practitioners. Besides getting information, you are weighed and measured. You leave with enough protein packets of food for more than a week, and sea salt, vitamins and minerals for a month.
- For most of the time you are on the diet, you are to consume three of the special protein foods and at least 64 ounces of water a day. The variety of the protein foods includes everything from fruit-type drinks and hot chocolate to puddings and soups. At lunch and dinner, you eat two cups of vegetables from an approved list. At dinner, you can add a protein, such as seven oz. of shrimp or fish or five oz. of steak, pork or chicken. You learn to be creative preparing meals within the diet’s restrictions.
- You cannot have fruits, breads, root vegetables, nuts, pasta, desserts and other foods that are high in fat, sugars and carbohydrates.
- You cannot eat fried or breaded vegetables and meats.
- You cannot have caffeine or soft drinks, but you can drink as much decaffeinated coffee or tea as you want, and you can make that part of your 64 ounces of daily water.
- You can add other foods that are 0 fat, 0 calories, 0 carbohydrates. You’ll find that Walden Farms salad dressings, sauces and other toppings meet those criteria, are available locally at Kroger and Wal-Mart, and taste quite good.
- You can eat unlimited lettuce.
- Each week, you return to the Woman’s Clinic to weigh in, get more protein supplements and see a nurse practitioner for a 10-minute appointment.
- After your reach your weight-loss goal, you gradually reintroduce healthy carbohydrates and fats.
- The diet’s cost includes $100 for the first visit and $150 for foods and supplements, $10 for subsequent visits and about $55 to $100 a week in the special protein products.
How The Diet Works
The body, it seems, has three sources of energy: carbohydrates, which are always burned first; protein and lipids (or fats).
Once the body has depleted its carbohydrate reserves, it will simultaneously draw on its protein and fat reserves for energy. The intake of the diet’s high biological value protein helps maintain lean muscle mass and force the body to turn to its fat reserves for energy.
The diet has many success stories. One woman with abnormal high cholesterol/LDL and triclycerides not only lost 45 pounds in three months, her cholesterol and triclycerides went back to normal. Another patient lost enough weight to reduce the level on the CPAP machine she uses to stop snoring. Many patients are pleased to lose both weight and inches and still have plenty of energy, Butler said.
“The Woman’s Clinic considers the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method as another service we provide our patients,” Adkins says. “It’s always our mission to help keep our patients as healthy as possible.”