What are the Side Effects of the Ideal Protein Diet?

Because of the various no-carb, low-carb, and slow carb diets on the market today, clients often ask if there are any side effects of the Ideal Protein Diet. The question is usually centered on the side effects of eating a low-carb, high-protein diet, and they want to know what effect the Ideal Protein Diet will have on their body.

Ideal Protein Diet Side Effects

What are the side effects of the Ideal Protein Diet?

I’m not going to sugar coat things for you…because, well, we don’t use a lot of sugar around here, but chances are you may feel some side effects in the first few days of being in the Ideal Protein Weight Loss protocol. I’m guessing that you probably haven’t been feeding your body the best foods. What have you been eating? Do you take a sugary, flavored creamer in your morning coffee? Have you been eating a lot of processed, refined carbohydrates like white flour, pasta and breads? What about your intake of pre-packaged foods like snack foods and frozen dinners? What’s really in those? Can you read the ingredients?

 

 

There will always be side effects and discomfort to any dramatic dietary change. Not only does your body have to adjust to the new foods you are feeding it, it must also release and eliminate the toxins present in many of the foods you were eating prior to starting the Ideal Protein Diet. The good news is that these side effects will occur in the first few days of the diet as your body makes the transition and are temporary.

Hunger: A Rare Side Effect Since You Can Eat Unlimited Greens

Hunger will be a temporary side effect of the Ideal Protein Diet. How many calories have you been eating per day? On the Ideal Protein diet your caloric intake will be restricted, and this will cause you to feel hungry until your body adjusts. In the first few days of the diet you may eat up to 5 Ideal Protein foods (but only one restricted) if you feel hungry. Throughout the diet, you can also eat unlimited salad greens, which will add fiber to your diet and will help you feel full. By the fourth day on the diet, your body should start producing ketonic bodies and the hunger pangs will subside as long as you stick to the protocol. No cheating!

Headaches: A Side Effect of Reduced Sugar Intake

When you dramatically reduce your sugar intake as you will on the Ideal Protein diet, one of the side effects is headaches. Headaches occur when insulin secretion is abruptly reduced. Again, this is the body adjusting to the foods you’re providing it and the headaches will subside after the first few days. Personally, I experienced what I’ll call “withdrawal headaches” years ago when I tried to jumpstart my weight loss with an intestinal cleanse. I went cold-turkey, no sugars, no alcohol. Oh Lord! I had massive headaches.

 

Having learned my lesson from that experience, I tapered off my sugar and alcohol intake before I started the Ideal Protein diet in attempt to ward off the side effect of headaches. For me, it worked. If you feel dizzy or light-headed or have headaches in the first few days on the Ideal Protein Diet, you can take 1/3 of a teaspoon of sea-salt in 8 oz. of water and it will usually alleviate the headache in about 15 minutes.

 

 

Headaches later in the protocol are cause by lack of water and can be eliminated simply by making sure you get your water intake each day.

Nausea: Use Lighter Ideal Protein Foods First to Avoid This Side Effect

When you start the Ideal Protein diet, nausea is another side effect. The Ideal Protein Diet includes a morning meal of protein and if you are not used to eating breakfast, the body may react with nausea. There are several light Ideal Protein foods such as the Cappuccino Drink Mix or Chocolate Drink Mix, with which it is best to start. If you’re not used to having a big breakfast, breakfast foods like the pancake or omelet may make you nauseous. Wait to try those until the end of your first week on the diet if you normally haven’t eaten breakfast in the past. Then experiment with several of the different Ideal Protein foods on the breakfast list and see which ones work the best for you.

Bad Breath: A Happy Side Effect of the Ideal Protein Diet

Another side effect of the Ideal Protein Diet is bad breath. Although this may be a socially negative thing, it is actually a positive sign for your body and your diet. It means your body is in ketosis, meaning that the body has used up its stores of carbohydrates. At that point, the body switches to burning fat to produce energy. That’s a very good thing!

 

Remember NO GUM!!! Gum can have “hidden” carbs. Food companies don’t have to list carbohydrates if there is less than 1 gram, so gum can have .9 carbs and be listed as ZERO CARB. If you chew a few sticks of gum, it could kick you out of ketosis!

 

Listerine Breath Strips/Spray and Binaca Spray are acceptable alternatives to gum.

 

Fighting the Side Effect of Fatigue

Two things can cause fatigue while on the Ideal Protein Diet. You may either have low blood pressure or low blood sugar.

The Side Effect of Fatigue Due to Low Blood Pressure Is Easy to Fix

Low blood pressure can cause fatigue as a side effect, and can be particularly noticeable if you are taking a prescription diuretic. The best thing to do if you are experiencing fatigue while on the Ideal Protein Diet is to make sure you are getting enough sea salt and increase the amount of water you drink each day.

 

Check your blood pressure daily, and see your doctor if your BP is consistently low.

 

Low Blood Sugar is the Most Common Side Effect

Typically fatigue associated with low blood sugar will only occur within the first five days of starting the Ideal Protein Diet. If this side effect occurs, eat an additional packet of unrestricted Ideal Protein food. Once you’ve been on the diet for at least a week, you should only experience fatigue if you have cheated or consumed too many carbohydrates. If that happens, figure out where you went wrong, strengthen your resolve, listen to your coach, and get yourself back on track.

Constipation: Don’t Drink Your Water and You May Experience This Side Effect

As unpleasant as it sounds, you may experience constipation as a side effect of the Ideal Protein Diet. If this occurs, it’s important to make sure you’re getting AT LEAST 2 liters of water per day and eating four cups of vegetables in addition to a green salad each day. The veggies will provide the fiber your body needs to eliminate.

 

 

Those are the typical Ideal Protein Diet side effects. The good news is; they’re temporary! Stick to the protocol, drink enough water, eat your veggies, and get your sea salt, and you shouldn’t experience any of these side effects after the first few days, if at all.

Comments: 37
  • #37

    Tammy (Monday, 06 March 2017 15:44)

    Brandy,

    Any salt will do, but the sea salt tastes the best!

    Tammy

  • #36

    Brandy (Monday, 06 March 2017 11:24)

    Day #1 and I am starting to get a headache. I do NOT have my seasalt with me. Is there any substitute I can use for now?

  • #35

    Tammy Benner (Monday, 19 September 2016 10:55)

    Carrie,

    The salt trick is fine twice a day. Some of our dieters just shoot salt in the morning to prevent headaches!

    It's totally okay to split up your protein. A few ounces of chicken, lean ham, or tuna on your salad at lunch is great.

    Also 1 egg = 1.3oz, not 2oz.

    Good luck! Tammy

  • #34

    Tammy Benner (Monday, 19 September 2016 10:47)

    LL,

    Did you take vitamins on an empty stomach? Was is right after you ate a certain food? Do you have the stomach flu? Are you allergic to anything?

    I'm not a physician so I can't diagnose your issue. Go see your doctor, and CALL YOUR COACH!

    Some dieters suffer from severe detox symptoms. I was VERY nauseous - but I don't throw up easily, so I was never sick.

    However, when I moved the vitamins to lunch when I had more food in my stomach, I felt much better.

    On day 4 I felt like a million bucks!

    I am hoping that it is a coincidence that your illness is timed with the diet. Please email me what the doctor says! everettidealweightloss@gmail.com

    Good luck!

    Tammy

  • #33

    LL (Sunday, 18 September 2016 17:07)

    I am on my first day. I became nauseous about 2 hours ago and I just threw up a few times. How can I make this stop and why is it happening?

  • #32

    Carrie (Saturday, 17 September 2016 13:16)

    Hi! I have two questions. I'm on day 2 and have had a wicked headache. Yesterday afternoon, I added 1/4 tsp ideal salt to water and drank it and then did it again at 3am when I woke up with a pounding headache. It it ok that I did it twice?

    When I ate dinner it felt like too much. Is it ok to eat 4-6oz of protein at dinner and then eat a boiled egg in the afternoon to get up to 8oz? Also, each egg is 2oz right? Oops! That's 3 questions!

  • #31

    Tammy Benner (Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:46)

    Alex,

    Don't worry, you're detoxing. It will go away after a few days.

    A nervous dieter is the best to coach because you follow to a tee!

    Good luck!

    Tammy

  • #30

    Alex (Wednesday, 07 September 2016 13:46)

    Is it normal to feel flushed on day 1? I feel really dizzy and warm almost like I'm sweating. Is this normal or is it just my anxiety popping up because I'm doing something new?

  • #29

    Tammy Benner (Friday, 02 September 2016 12:27)

    Mary,

    While this temporary condition only occurs in a relatively small percentage of females, it can be very traumatic if you don't understand what is happening here. Any sudden change in certain hormone levels can "stun" the hair follicle (these are very sensitive to hormones) and sort of sends it into a period of 'hibernation'. This temporary state of 'dormancy' may last up to nine months but, more often than not, usually resolves within six months.

    Moreover, it only affects the hairs that are in the Telogen Phase (or final stage) of the hair growth cycle and are in the process of eventually falling out. The new hair shaft that will replace the old hair is temporarily thwarted in its development. This phenomenon is known as 'Telogen Effluvium' and is TOTALLY REVERSIBLE (unlike male pattern baldness). The condition of Telogen Effluvium may also occur during 3 pregnancy or more commonly at post-partum. Again during pregnancy and right after delivery, the mother's hormonal balance changes significantly. This is why OB/GYNs employing the Ideal Protein Protocol in the practices never get concerned about this..it is relatively common in obstetrics.

    There is good news for Ideal Protein dieters experiencing this condition. Your new hair will be thicker, shinier and healthier when it comes in. Why? Hair is made of protein, primarily keratin. During pregnancy much of the mother's nutrition is used to "make a baby grow' so there might not be enough protein to keep the rest of her body in optimal repair. Similarly, many of our dieters have had poor eating habits, commonly too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. Now with the adequate amount of these nutrients, she will not only love her 'new figure' but will also see positive changes in her hair, skin, and nails! Finally, Dr. Tran developed this diet over 20 years ago, if Ideal Protein caused women to lose their hair they would have not remained in business all of these years!

  • #28

    Mary (Thursday, 01 September 2016 15:28)

    Has anyone experienced hair loss. Been on diet for 4 months and lost 23 #. Now when I wash my hair, it's scarry the amount of hair
    That comes out. Took vitamins religiously.. Ant input.. My thyroid is fine..it's just been this last month that this has been happening. Thanks

  • #27

    Tammy Benner (Thursday, 14 July 2016 17:58)

    Ten,

    Make sure you're eating all of your food AND taking the supplements religiously!

    Personally, I'd eat some salt...I get lightheaded if I don't have enough salt. You can shoot a 1/4 tsp of sea salt or IP salt and chase it with water.

    Good Luck!
    Tammy

  • #26

    Ten (Thursday, 14 July 2016 17:50)

    Hi I'm on week 10 and I've started to notice if I'm doing something squatting to the ground then get up I'm very light headed every thing gets very dark and I get week in the knees and wobbly as well as every thing gets very quiet for just a few seconds. And ideas what I may need more of? I'm away on vacation and won't see my coach for 2 weeks?! Thank you

  • #25

    Tammy Benner (Thursday, 14 July 2016 14:20)

    Erin,

    The Ideal Protein diet is based on .5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass - this is NOT HIGH PROTEIN! This is the minimum your body needs to maintain your muscle mass. You aren't eating too much protein if you are following protocol.

    If you feel dizzy or light-headed or have headaches in the first few days on the Ideal Protein Diet, you can take 1/3 of a teaspoon of sea-salt in 8 oz. of water and it will usually alleviate the headache in about 15 minutes.

    Discuss exercise with your Coach! I frown on exercise the first two weeks of the diet because I want to establish a lean mass benchmark with my dieters. YOU DO NOT NEED TO EXERCISE TO LOSE WEIGHT! Exercise while on this diet should be to reduce stress, and clear your mind.

    Good Luck!

    Tammy

  • #24

    Erin (Thursday, 14 July 2016 10:13)

    So I just started the diet, I have had the worst headaches and I feel extremely light headed in the morning which is making me super nervous. I was told to eat a protein bar a day before excercise but I feel as if I'm taking in too much protein causing dizziness . Could this be possible?

  • #23

    Tammy Benner (Thursday, 09 June 2016 17:38)

    Thanks Kate!
    HERBAL TEAS ARE FINE!!!

    You can also have more coffee - the rule is for every oz of coffee over your first cup you need to match water oz for oz. If you email me, I'll send you the detailed sheet about caffeine.
    everettidealweightloss@gmail.com
    Tammy

  • #22

    Kate (Thursday, 09 June 2016 13:03)

    Wow! This page is great and has a lot of useful information!

    I am only on day 3 now, but I notice that someone has mentioned that they are drinking four cups of coffee a day (my plan is only allowing one cup each day). As well, my plan only allows 1/4 tsp of sea salt a day.

    I was also told Green Tea only -- which just about kills me because I LOVE herbal tea and would love peppermint tea. But, now I see posting that people are drinking peppermint tea with success.

    Thanks for any suggestions or advice.

  • #21

    Tammy Benner (Friday, 08 April 2016 10:21)

    Kelsey, The 1 splenda per day is okay, but cut out everything else. Food companies can say something has ZERO carbs when it has less than 1. So if you pile all that stuff together you may be getting enough carbs to keep you out of ketosis, and that fogginess will NOT go away.

  • #20

    Tammy Benner (Friday, 08 April 2016 08:24)

    Kelsey,

    You are suffering from withdrawals from sugar. It takes some time for your body to switch from glucose to fat as a fuel. Stay the course and you will feel better. If your symptoms don't improve by then end of day 7, call your coach! (Salt should help the headache....I put some in my palm and throw it into my mouth and then chase it with water.)

    How much meat are you eating? If 8oz is too much at dinner, then have 2oz at breakfast, 2 oz at lunch and 4 oz at dinner.

    If you EAT ANY SUGAR, you just wasted 4 days feeling icky. And ALCOHOL is DANGEROUS - so NO NO NO vodka or birthday cake.

    This will seem harsh - but if I were coaching you, I would be questioning whether you're ready for this diet. It takes hard work and commitment. Hang in there! If you're muscular like me - you'll just LOVE how you look when you get to your goal!

  • #19

    Kelsey (Friday, 08 April 2016 00:12)

    One more question.. My coach okayed Splenda, mini altoids, and trident cinnamon gum. Is there a limit to these?? I've only been using a pack of Splenda a day. But I pop the altoids out of the mini can like I have a mint addiction. I think I'm tricking myself into making myself believe they'll help with the light headed dizzy feeling.

  • #18

    Kelsey (Friday, 08 April 2016 00:09)

    VANESSA---
    YES! I'm on day 4 and I'm so foggy. Today I've shaken up a bottle of dressing and then a meal replacement shake without the lid on it, covering my apartment in a mess twice. I feel like a chunk of my brain packed up and went on vacation when I started IP. I will open a shake or a bottle of salad dressing then remember oh I need to shake this up and then do it without putting the lid back on--- struggling with simple tasks. I'm ADD. ... But I take medicine for it and I'm NEVER this bad even when I'm off my meds. I will completely forget what I meant to be doing while I walk to another room.. I'm extremely tired too but unable to sleep. I feel a weird light headed shake pretty much throughout the entire day, like I'm a zombie. Surprisingly tho, I've been so absent minded that I've been really easily goofy and friendly with everyone, like my brain has a mini high. I measure my meat and veggies very closely and it makes me borderline nauseous to eat that much at each meal. It makes me wonder if I could cut out the snack? It's honestly too much food for me.. I struggle to drink 2 L of water a day because I'm so full that it makes me sick to add that much water on top of it all. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm SO BLOATED by the time I go to bed. I was kind of baffled to see hunger as a common side effect honestly. I'm 22 5 feet tall and 170 pounds. My goal weight is 135. I look best at 135 because I have a naturally muscular build. I'm already getting discouraged though because of how horrible I feel all day. Like I've been hit by a train... HELP!
    Ps-- My friend is turning 21 Saturday and I want to celebrate with her and all of my other close friends from home. I was wondering how bad it would be for me to have ONE slice of birthday cake at dinner, followed by a few vodka drinks with crystal light. I'm scared to ask my coach because quite frankly I'm worried she will forbid it! Haha

  • #17

    Tammy Benner (Monday, 04 April 2016 12:48)

    Carol,

    I don't see any carbs in the nutritional info, so I think they're okay. However, I'd take them in to your coach for clarification.

    Tammy

  • #16

    Carol lebel (Friday, 01 April 2016 22:51)

    Can I take a purple rice derived phytoceramide supplement while on ideal protein? . I'm 56 and need to loose 55 lbs. I'm in my 4th week, and I'm concerned about wrinkles. Thanks,
    Carol

  • #15

    Heidi (Wednesday, 30 December 2015 22:44)

    For people who experience constipation on this diet try using Organic Smooth Move Tea. It is an herbal supplement that you can find at the health food store or in the organic section of your grocery store. It is a senna based herbal tea.

  • #14

    Tammy Benner (Monday, 28 December 2015 11:51)

    Teri,

    Drink loads peppermint tea, or if you can find it add peppermint essential oil to your water! I use the Young Living brand of oils. (Email me coach@idealweightlossclinic.com for a link to buy peppermint oil.)

    Ketosis breath is a great thing because it means you are burning fat fat fat! Hang in there - it's only short term!

    Tammy

  • #13

    Teri (Friday, 25 December 2015 08:30)

    Merry Christmas. Ok I have been on the diet since October 26. Loses 30lbs so far yippee but now I have the worst breath my Husband says. It's so embarrassing but he understands the process and this bad thing is a good thing. So I am so embarrassed that I am afraid to go to his family's for the holidays. I have the listerine strip but he tells me well that didn't work. LOL not anyway how long does this last and what can I do besides not talk.

  • #12

    Tammy (Monday, 09 November 2015 11:20)

    Kimm,
    Hang in there. You are going through sugar detox! It is normal to feel anxious - it is your body trying to get you to eat sugar. Stay the course! Talk to your coach! Email me if you need to coach@idealweightlossclinic.com! You GOT THIS!
    Tammy

  • #11

    Kimm (Saturday, 07 November 2015 19:24)

    I started this on Wednesday Nov 4 and I am so scared and anxiety ridden right now and I don't no why? I fight panic attacks horrible all I what is to make my self feel better and look better..and I don't what to quit what is going on?

  • #10

    Tammy Benner (Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:44)

    Tiffany,
    We have loads of real foods....There is a full food list here on the site. This is not a liquid diet (although some of our dieters like to do only drinks) so you can eat regular meals ---they're just infused with high quality protein which is great fuel for your body!
    http://www.idealweightlossclinic.com/weekly-food-order/ Download the Food List pdf, and you can see what there is to offer.

  • #9

    Tiffany (Wednesday, 12 August 2015 11:56)

    I went to the website where they only have shakes? I did not know there was other food?

  • #8

    Tammy Benner (Monday, 13 July 2015 10:54)

    Kathy, you can use a Ducolax stool softener if you like. I use the Ideal Protein Senna product because it's all natural. I would also suggest that you take the Ideal Protein Probiotic, Flora. It's got 1.5B cultures and it's not very expensive compared to other probiotics on the market. My dieters that tend toward constipation feel MUCH better when they're on a regular probiotic regimen.

  • #7

    Kathy Parenti (Saturday, 11 July 2015 20:55)

    I eat plenty of veggies and drink 2 liters or more of water. I still suffer from constipation. Before IP it was normal for me to go 3 - 4 days without a bowel movement. I was hoping the IP diet would help, but it hasn't. Is there an over the counter stool softener I can use to relieve this problem?
    Thanks

  • #6

    Tammy Benner (Tuesday, 14 April 2015 17:22)

    Jackie, As long as you're in ketosis you might have the bad breath. Use listerine breath strips, or listerine spray. When you hit your goal, you can have your good breath back. It's a small price to pay to get to your goal! Good luck!

  • #5

    jackie (Tuesday, 14 April 2015 16:39)

    ? so long does the bad breath last I dont want it forever, Im only on day 4 and need to know Thanks othre then that Im all good

  • #4

    Tammy Benner (Tuesday, 06 January 2015 03:38)

    Vanessa, What is your BP? Why aren't you taking the vitamins? Do you take meds for diabetes? What does your coach say - have you talked to him/her about this?

  • #3

    Vanessa (Tuesday, 06 January 2015 01:25)

    I am on day 5 and absolutely lifeless.... I am not taking the vitamins that r recommended but I am take a multi vitamin, I just feel like I can't function... Foggy thinking.... I am drinking about 2L water daily and prob 4 cups coffee a day just to stay awake, it's a very uncomfortable feeling to be dizzy and whipped all the time , I am down 4lbs so far , but I'm discouraged with the symptoms

  • #2

    Tammy Benner (Wednesday, 19 November 2014 01:33)

    Are you using your sea salt? If not - USE IT! Please email me privately, and I can help you...coach@idealweightlossclinic.com

  • #1

    chris (Tuesday, 18 November 2014 07:38)

    Has anyone become dehyrated on this diet? I went to the Dr. and she said I was very dehyrated and I drink water all day. What should I do?

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