The personal website of Chris Coyier

Archive for July, 2021

Review of Ideal Protein

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

As a fat person, whenever I’m seen by any other person, my mind assumes they are thinking one of two things. 🅰 Ew a fat. They should eat less junk food. I’m (roll 1d100)% disgusted by their presence. 🅱 Ew a fat. They should eat less junk food. (Twang of guilt.) Wait no they are people too. I’m going to smile extra hard so they know I’m OK with their fatness.

That’s not reality, but such is my mind. Seeded by the fact that I’m fat quite literally because of the junk food. Have you tried it? Junk food is amazing. I lack the long-term fortitude to stop eating it forever.

Yet, of course, I desire to be a thin. It’s tempting to blame society, but the desire also comes from wanting to be an active dad, go waterskiing (metaphor), and not break both my arms just from falling a few feet off a bike.

As such, I’m susceptible to every weight loss methodology that has ever existed. EAT LIKE CAVE MAN? Hell yes, let’s give it a spin! Whole 30? Sounds amazing—I’ll do Whole-six-months. South Beach? Can’t be any worse than north beach amirite? Oreos are vegan? Can-do.

In my latest foray into fad diets, I have been doing Ideal Protein.

I’m doing it because:

Short review: it’s a crash diet. It also has one of the biggest hallmarks of a perfect crash diet: if you criticize it for being a crash diet, there is a ready-made answer on why it isn’t. The answer for this one: it’s actually a 3-phase plan where Phase 3 is “the rest of your life”. And of course every success story they show you is of someone who was on the diet quite long-term. You’ll succeed if you never quit. Naturally.

But of course the crashing Phase 1 is first. On that day, you’re eating sub-1,000 calories a day, and stay there until you reach your goal. The suggested goals being: stop being a fat.

So how do you live on 1,000 calories a day? Surely that’s not a good long-term plan? They call it a Ketogenic diet. Meaning that you’re not feeding your body carbohydrates, it’s go-to food source, and teaching it to use fat for energy instead. You can confirm this by pissing onto a stick and watching it turn brown. So while I’m surviving on 1,000 calories, my body is getting energy from the heaps of fat it has access to.

I mean, it works.

I started at about 267lbs 6 weeks ago and I’ve managed to hit 232lbs at a low, so that’s literally 35lbs, which honestly feels great. That includes a vacation where I drank a bunch of beers and even *ahem* mixed an Ideal Protein berry shake into a White Claw for breakfast.

They would, I wouldn’t call it a traditional Ketogenic diet. Everything you read about Ketogenic diets calls them “high fat” — and this is most certainly not high fat. It’s more focused on protein, but even then, I wouldn’t call it high-protein. For a “sedentary man”, I should be on 0.36 grams of protein per pound, which would be well over 100 grams of protein per day. I actually do exercise, so it should be higher still, and I’d say on this diet I get well under 100 grams of protein. So if anything it’s a low-everything diet.

With the low food intake, there are also a bunch of pills you have to take to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. That’s another thing that slightly validates the very low-calorie count — at least you’re staying on top of all that.

The food is the whole point of Ideal Protein: The Business™. They exist to sell you food. The cost is negligible. If you’re really doing this, it’s a replacement for other food you’d be buying anyway, so if anything it’s probably cheaper. Less than $100 a week kind of thing.

The food is stuff like replica Doritos. Replica candy bars. Replica milkshakes. Replica chocolate malted milk balls. My biggest worry is that so much of the food is replica junk food that if I slip off this diet, I’m right back to eating the real version of those things.

“Doratos” — lol.

You’re supposed to eat a ton of greens and other veggies. We do that. You’re supposed to eat meat once a day. We do that. You drink a bunch of water. You take the pills. We do that. It’s not bad, but we’ve both gotten plenty sick of essentially eating super-processed food constantly. It’s a lot of shaking food-powder up in a shaker (that they give you) and microwaving it.

Ideal Protein: The Business™ wants to sell you food. They literally make money no other way. They are 100% incentivized to keep you buying that food for as long as you can. And if you absolutely don’t need it anymore, at least you’ve done well enough to convince other people to buy that food. I’m not sure I have a big problem with that — it’s just good to understand motivation. They are going to do and say what it takes to sell more Ideal Protein food, as that’s what makes their business tick.

Should you try Ideal Protein? You’d think I could answer that clearly but I just don’t know. There is only one real method for losing weight and it’s eat less and move more. Ideal Protein might help you do that. It might not. It might take you on a typical journey for a crash diet where it works and then you bail and you re-gain. It might not. I can tell you that I don’t regret it so far. If I can manage to keep going (it’s going to be hard), I might just get my real glimpse into what a more ideal me is like. But I have all the typical worry that I’ll eventually end up back in my natural state: fat.