Monday, February 22, 2010

Atkins and Ideal Protein - what's the difference?

I'll start by saying that I didn't make it to the gym yesterday as previously planned. Instead I decided to cuddle up on the couch with some freshly brewed coffee, surf the internet and watch the Olympics - after all, it was Sunday! So, today will be my first day back in the saddle.

I was talking to my boyfriend last night about the Ideal Protein plan. We were trying to identify specific differences between this diet and the ever so popular Atkins diet. I did a little research online this morning and after reading between the lines of the scientific studies and research for both programs, here's what I have:

Atkins Diet Program

In a nutshell, the Atkins Diet allows unlimited calorie and fat consumption while limiting the carb intake. Dieters are permitted to eat "regular" meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And when I say regular, I mean those that are not protein shakes or pre-packaged dried soups. Atkins does offer shakes and bars for snacks, but they are not to be used as one of your three meals for the day.
  • 4 phase program (Induction, OWL, Pre-Maintenance, Lifetime Maintenance)
  • Food pyramid guide promotes eating from the bottom to the top - as you get closer to your weight loss goal begin to add back in grains, fruits, nuts and cheeses
  • Advertises potential weight loss of up to 15 pounds in two weeks
  • Plan is designed to burn fat for energy instead of carbs
  • Carb intake is measured in grams, rather than in ounces or cups
  • Listing of allowed foods is almost all encompassing - yes, you can eat cheese, fruits, mayonnaise and even bacon! Hmmm.....
  • Serving size suggestions are based on post cooked product rather than raw measurements
  • Alcohol is not allowed during the first two weeks of program
  • Encourages exercise, vitamin supplements and at least 64 ounces of water per day

In a nutshell, the Ideal Protein Program limits the dieter's carb, sugar, fat and caloric intake. Breakfast includes one packaged protein meal (you need to mix with water), lunch also includes one packaged protein meal with the addition of 2 cups of approved vegetables and dinner allows for one protein selection (meat, seafood or eggs) and 2 cups of vegetables. Lettuce consumption is unlimited and low carb, non-sugar, non-fat dressings are allowed.    
  • 4 phase program, with the first phase encompassing 90 percent of your weight loss goal. The following three phases are for transition and maintenance, where the dieter will be transitioned back into grains, fruits and other good carbs.  
  • Advertises potential weight loss of approximately 2 to 7 pounds per week
  • The program teaches the body to live off of its current fat reserves rather than on carbohydrates that are normally consumed on a daily basis
  • Protects the body's muscles by building a protein barrier around the muscle mass
  • More pricey than the Atkins Diet, due to expenses on supplements and the packaged protein meals
  • Daily exercise is promoted, but to get results it is not necessary
  • Ideal Protein supplements and at least 64 ounces of water are required
  • Alcohol is not permitted
Some diets are not for everyone - it is a personal and individual choice that you need to make for yourself. I have not used the Atkins Diet Program, but I can say that I am a complete believer in the Ideal Protein Plan. I feel great, have more energy than before and I've lost close to 11 pounds in the first three weeks. I can say, from the information available on both plans, the Ideal Protein Plan looks to be the diet that will give results sooner due its emphasis on all three weight loss inhibitors (calories, carbs and fats). And, I've shed a total of 10 inches from my body!

The other night I had breakfast for dinner and wanted to share my recipe.

Tomato and Leek Frittata

2 teaspoons, olive oil
1 vine ripe tomato, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 eggs beaten, plus one tablespoon water
1 teaspoon fine herbes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a small oven safe skillet on medium heat. Add the leeks and saute for 10-12 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and fine herbes. Cover the vegetables with the egg mixture and allow the mixture to set. Place the skillet in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the frittata is nicely browned. Allow the frittata to cool for about 5 minutes, season with sea salt and black pepper and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the differences between these two diet programs. Personally, I've chose the Ideal Protein Ajax, because it was also recommended by a nutritionist, who is my friend and he told me that I won't regret anything, because the results are very satisfying.