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How CH Lost 80 Pounds in 6 Months [Oh, It’s Tuesday]

Funnily enough, the number one response to my post about how I lost (and kept off) 40 pounds in a practical way and over a reasonable time period (a year), as opposed to my husband, CH, who lost 80 pounds in a dramatic way over the course of six months was … folks wanting know how CH lost the weight.

Okay, okay, fine, here’s the Ideal Protein diet that he used. I’ll give you a moment to go to the site and decide not to do it, b/c though it requires no exercise and gets amazing results, it’s hardcore, and requires a ton of personal responsibility and follow-through to pull off. I’ll meet you back here when you’re done.

If you’re like me and rarely click through, here’s why it’s a bear of diet:

Emmys 2009

1. You can only eat a small portion of meat, vegetables, and Ideal Protein meal replacement products. You know how vampires feel an uncontrollable craving for blood, and the “good ones” have to fight to control it all the time? That’s how you’ll feel about carbs on the Ideal Protein diet, like even when you’re full, you’re craving something. So, if you have issues with impulse control…

2. This diet isn’t Hollywood expensive, but it ain’t Weight Watchers cheap either. There’s a start-up fee, and you’ll have to pay for Ideal Protein products and a ton of vitamins along the way. So if you’re on a budget…

3. This is a medically prescribed diet and you must check in with a certified doctor or clinic every week at first, then every 2 weeks after you get to a certain weight loss point. So if you travel a lot and/or are super-busy…

4. They really don’t want you to stop until you hit your ideal weight. So, if you have problems with follow-through…

That all said, it really does work. And unlike a lot of diets that say they’ll be your last diet, almost three months after CH’s stop date, he’s keeping the weight off. So instead of telling you about the pros and cons of the Ideal Protein diet, I figured I’d give you a combination of CH’s and my tips for sticking to the diet.

Emmys 2011

1. If you don’t cook for yourself, make sure that whoever is doing the cooking understands what you can eat on it. If you do cook for yourself, plan your meals out ahead of time, so that you don’t have to depend on after-work willpower to stay on plan. In fact, just assume that you have no after work will power.

2. While on the diet, do not hang out with friends who aren’t heavily supportive of the diet.

3. In fact, be aware that this diet will have a negative impact on your social life and plan accordingly. CH started the diet right after Valentines Day and ended it before our family vacation in July. That’s pretty much the perfect period for the least amount of social activity.

4. However, have a plan for how to handle social events. You will have to eat out occasionally and/or go to parties. For parties: Eat beforehand and leave as early as possible. For meet-ups: Ask to meet for coffee as opposed to meals. For restaurants: Choose your meal item according to what you can eat on the Ideal Protein diet. If you can, check out the menu online beforehand, so that you’ll know if you’re going to be in trouble.

5. As for food, actively try to make your food plan less boring, seriously turn it into a hobby and use the plan as an opportunity to experiment and try foods that you haven’t eaten in the past.

6. Stash on-plan food everywhere. In your car, in your back pack or purse, at your work desk — don’t ever be without it. Set your life up, so that you never have an excuse to go off-plan.

7. Know that the first couple of weeks will be the worst. You know how folks clear their calendar for rehab? Clear your calendar for the first two weeks of this diet. It’s some serious withdrawal — so apologize to your loved ones ahead of time, because you’ll more than likely snap on them.

8. Have a sponsor, someone you can call and talk to when you’re tempted to go off plan. Kind of like AA. If your spouse is supportive, he or she will work in this position. Otherwise just choose a friend who wants to see you succeed.

9. Speaking of AA. Take it one day at a time. Focus on the day you’re in, not tomorrow or yesterday.

10. Set an end date (your doctor or clinician can help you with this) and give yourself a huge reward on that date. We went to Hawaii at the end of CH’s diet. I can’t tell you how many times CH used imagining what he would eat in Hawaii at the end of his diet to get him through the current plan day.

CH and I hope this is helpful. Also, thank you for making me write this all down. Now whenever someone asks me about CH’s diet (which they do all the time), I can refer them to this post.

And if you’re still interested and live in L.A., CH highly recommend’s his IP practitioner, Dr. Cynthia Thaik.


UPDATE – Response from the Ideal Protein FaceBook Page:

Ideal Protein Thank you for sharing your thoughts concerning the Ideal Protein diet. To some our protocol may seem ‘hardcore’ as you state in your blog but there are a couple of key points that you do not cover. First, we are treating the route cause of obesity which is a pancreas that is overproducing insulin. In order to do so there are certain phases a dieter must go through. Most dieters claim that our program is easy to follow and not ‘hardcore’. Second, every diet has a beginning and an end. The short term pain of restricting your foods and re-educating your mind and body about food… is worth the long term benefit of keeping the weight off for as long as you want. Thousands of dieters have changed their lives and long term health due to our program and we are very proud of that fact. Thank you again for sharing your story with us.

So do with that what you will. When I asked CH about this, he agreed that the diet wasn’t hard after the first few weeks. He didn’t really mind the social life restrictions, and liked that the all the products that IP offers made it easy to stay on plan. He also liked that he didn’t have to track his calorie intake.

I’d still describe it as hardcore myself, and one of the big reasons I wouldn’t pursue a diet like this is because of the social life restrictions. I’d also argue that losing the weight slowly and re-educating your mind and body about food over a longer period of time is a great road to take. At this point, though I’m still on an eating plan, I consider it more of a general lifestyle plan as opposed to a diet. Basically, I’ve been eating well so long, that I’ve gotten used to it and like CH will probably never go back to my old size.