Why It Works

Any hypo-caloric diet will result in weight loss since most popular programs base their protocols on a "balanced diet."

For example, if the standard USDA recommendations of approximately 60% of calories derived from "good carbohydrates," 25% from protein and 15% from "healthy fats" are halved (with the same micronutrient ratio), a "balanced diet" with one-half the calories is created and people will lose weight.

But there are a few problems with this seemingly logical approach.

First, if we continue to replenish some of the glycogen stores every day (60% of calories from carbohydrates—most of which will be converted to glucose in vivo), our fat burning will stop, leading to erratic weight loss.

Second, and more importantly, decreasing the minimal daily requirements of protein will lead to muscle loss. As blood glucose drops from the hypo-caloric intake, the body will burn fat but will also break down muscle via gluconeogenesis as a way to maintain proper glucose homeostasis. As we lose muscle our metabolism slows.

When an individual has achieved his or her desired weight, the result is becomes highly predictable—they go return to eating normal meals with a slower metabolism. They regain the weight and often end up heavier than when they started the diet.

The Ideal Protein® Weight Loss protocol takes a different track. For a relatively short time, the dieter uses an "unbalanced diet."
  • The minimum daily protein requirement the same (roughly half a gram of protein per pound of lean body weight) and build the diet around this. This is not a high protein diet; we give only the minimum and we do this to save muscle.
  • Most fats are eliminated from the diet while giving ample amounts of essential fatty acids, resulting in leftover carbohydrates. Because we do not want to replace glycogen stores, we keep these at a bare minimum—approximately 20 grams per day. This forces the body to stay in the "fat-burning mode" all day and is therefore called a "ketogenic diet."
  • Dieters consume four cups of non-starchy vegetables and unlimited salad daily. This will provide fiber to prevent constipation and they will be given multivitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sea salt to ensure proper electrolyte balance.

Ideal Protein® has also developed an alternative protocol which is suitable for Type I diabetics. This program is similar to the ketogenic diet except that a serving of dairy, fruit and grain is incorporated into the program every day to prevent the patient from going into a state of ketosis. Because Type I diabetics do not produce insulin, a risk of ketoacidosis exists and these patients should never be placed on a ketogenic diet. They will still experience similar weight loss rates while sparing muscle.



September 2017
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