Selecting Alternative Products

I started my dieting process using Ideal Protein products.  I enjoyed them, and had no difficulties or complaints about them. However after reading posts at the 3FatChicks.com dieting forum from dieters who were successfully using alternative products to do The Ideal Protein Diet, I grew interested in doing this myself.  It was obvious that they were saving a considerable amount of money by using alternative products – and seemed to be experiencing equal success with their weight loss.  I explored the best way of choosing the most suitable alternative products for the Ideal Protein Diet Plan, and switched after a couple of weeks.

There was a significant difference with the cost.  At the clinic in the Canadian city where I live they were charging CA$3.86 + tax for each Ideal Protein food ‘packet’ and CA$7.38 + tax for each bottle of the Walden Farms products (pancake syrups, sauces, salad dressings).  After a bit of research,  I realized I could purchase the Walden Farms products online from thelowcarbgrocery.com for CA$4.59 + taxes. I’ve also more recently discovered some Walden Farms products at a local supermarket chain for around that same lower price point.  And as I read and learned more, it seemed that several sources offered suitable alternative food options for protein drinks, puddings, entrees, bars, snack food items, etc. at a considerably lower price.

My recommended Ideal Protein weekly plan called for me consuming 4 ‘packet’s of Ideal Protein product each day, in addition to a meal of ‘real protein’ with veggies and salad.  I was required to eat four cups of vegetables from their unrestricted list each day, as well as unlimited lettuce if I wished. It became obvious that the weekly bill for the 28 required ‘packets’ and the other ‘real food’ grocery items I would need could easily be in excess of $150.00.  And that was without the cost of a few bottles of the Walden Farms products.  It was strongly recommended that I purchase their preferred brand of multivitamins, cal-mag supplements, and potassium-calcium supplements, at an additional cost. I have no doubt they are excellent quality products and supplements, but I do feel there are other less expensive products on the market equally as suitable.

It became apparent that I could cut the cost at least in half by choosing good alternative products, and using comparable multivitamins and supplements.

The first thing I did was thoroughly review the nutritional details of the Ideal Protein products I wanted to replace with alternatives.  This information was available for many products on a spreadsheet which several 3FatChick members had already compiled.  Click on Nutritional Fact Sheet  and you’ll go to this spreadsheet which shows the nutritional values of many of the of Ideal Protein food items.

I’d been logging my daily food intake into my Diet Calendar at FatSecret.com, and tested by plugging in the nutritional values for several Ideal Protein foods and possible replacement alternative products to see how the alternatives would compare.  FatSecret membership is free, and it’s a very good way to keep track of your daily food intake, including things like sodium, potassium, fat, cholesterol, etc.

Their are a couple of good threads where the members using alternative products discuss them and give reviews at 3FatChicks.com.  I reviewed all this information, checked out the recommended sources, and ordered alternative products that were good matches. You’ll see other pages on this site where I’m more specific about how I selected suitable alternative protein bars, breakfast items, soups, protein powders, etc.

The essential thing is to thoroughly review the Ideal Protein product’s nutritional details, and choose an alternative product that matches it as closely as possible. It’s also important to review the ingredients. For example, on this protocol it’s recommended to avoid aspartame, and it’s important to check the ingredients list to ensure that it’s not in the alternative product.