What Ideal Protein Alternative Products Do You Use?

Alternative Treats

question markQuestion of the Week:  What Ideal Protein Alternative Products Do You Use?

Great question!  There’s so much information out there that can be confusing, especially if you are still trying to follow the Ideal Protein Protocol – which works!

There are numerous reasons that people have decided to make the switch from Ideal Protein products to “alternatives” which simply are foods that are just like – or very similiar – to Ideal Protein foods.  Reasons why people switch:

  • Cost of Ideal Protein foods are too expensive.
  • Simply looking to save money.
  • More food options.
  • Their Ideal Protein Coach wasn’t coaching anymore and/or the relationship wasn’t a good fit.
  • No Ideal Protein Coach in their area.

For me it was to save money.  My coach was awesome!  I simply needed to save my money and felt strong enough on my own to continue on the Ideal Protein Protocol without having to be coached.  Of course in the beginning I didn’t feel that way at all.

I’m not advocating anybody to jump ship and leave Ideal Protein – only providing an alternative if you are looking for one.

With several months of learning how to eat on the Ideal Protein Protocol and enough weight loss that I felt strong enough to do this on my own, I made the leap to Ideal Protein alternatives.

I’m glad I did.

After quite a bit of research to determine how I would decided which alternative products were comparable to Ideal Protein and followed the Ideal Protein protocol – I started slowly switching from Ideal Protein foods to alternatives.

My weight loss hasn’t skipped a beat.  I’m still losing at about the same pace as I was using 100% Ideal Protein products.

I put together a spreadsheet of the various Ideal Protein foods and alternatives to help me decide which was the best products to buy with the nutritional data and whether it’s restricted or unrestricted for the actual alternatives that I’ve purchased.

This is an interactive document so you can slide up and down and to the side to review all of the information.

Make sure you read “How Do You Decide Which Ideal Protein Alternatives to Use for Weight Loss” to get a better understanding of the numbers and what ingredients to stay away from.

Most of my alternatives come from Nashua Nutrition since they have such a wide variety of brands and free shipping over $99.  If you review the above worksheet you can see which products I actually use by brand:

  1. Proti-Diet
  2. Proti-Thin
  3. Weight Loss Systems
  4. Health Smart
  5. Syntrax

Then I also use Premier Protein Ready Made shakes that I get from Costco in bulk – though I believe you can find these at your local grocery as well.  My favorite is chocolate and it’s not watered down tasting!  Nice and thick and chocolaty.  The beauty is it’s 160 calories and 30 whopping grams of protein.  It’s also unrestricted!

I usually will drink these as is or make a Mocha Frappuccino with it.  YUM!

Premier Protein Chocolate Shake

My other absolute favorite is the Quest Bars that I purchase from Amazon.com since it’s definitely cheaper than purchasing at the store and it’s free shipping.

My favorite Quest Bars so far are the Chocolate Brownie Bars and the Apple Pie Bars – hands down it tastes very darn close to the real thing.

These alternatives are my main staples which you’ll see show up each day in my Daily Food Journal.

What Ideal Protein alternatives are you using?  Leave me a comment below.

Image:  Fitness Treats



  1. Ali @ Peaches and Football says

    I substitute one IP food a day for the premier protein shakes. I actually think since they are bigger and have more protein than the IP shakes they fill me up a bit more. I just log it in my food journal as an IP food and s far my coach hasn’t said anything.

    However, I’m not really needing my coach much now that I’m two months into the program. I’ve also bought IP food in lots on eBay – it’s cheaper and I can mix and match foods for more variety. Through IP, I can only buy in full boxes and sometimes get stuff that’s horrific.

    I looked at the quest bars but due to high carbs (I know supposedly the fiber cancels it out but I’m trying to stick as close as possible) I haven’t done those. The best protein powder – in terms of ingredients and carbs/protein/sugar is Jay Robb. I usually make a JR shake as my snack around 8pm each night.

    • Colleen says

      Are you still using the JR shake and how much weight have you lost so far? Are you still using IP also. I can’t afford it any longer myself and am looking for alternatives. Love the Orange wafer bar with my coffee every morning and the Broccoli soup for lunch.

  2. Kris says

    Help – I did one week of IP and thought I was going to kill someone one ! I can’t do it – the restriction of food and other Liquid killed me – how can I matain some sort of IP diet so that I can loose weight and feel good ! Can I just have a pritien bar for lunch and a shake for breakfast and normal dinner – IP made me feel like anything with sugar will make me fatter ! Ex bananas etc 400 down the drain : ( kris

    • says

      Kris – The first week is the worst, but then it will normal out and your body will go into ketosis within 5-7 days after starting the protocol. What you went through is normal. Once you’re in ketosis, you’ll feel so much better and most of your cravings and hunger pangs will subside. good luck.

      • Acely says

        Hi, I just wanted to find out if this diet works on a long term. If I try it, can I go straight to the alternatives? Would it work?

    • says

      My first week on ip was awful as well but after the first week I felt great, I too am looking for some cheaper alternatives, I just ordered from wonder slim, read good reveiws on taste and protein and carbs are about same as ip, will still go to ip and get some food there, want to go through all 4 phases, don’t want to regain, lost 16 lbs in 4 weeks

  3. Tatiana says

    Thanks for some info on alternatives. Some family members and I are on the IP diet. We’ve been on it for a month, and we love it! However, we do not love the price. I’ve been looking around for some alternative product to save us some money. So thanks again for some great information!!! :)

  4. Liz says

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information! I have lost 70 lbs in 6.2 months and have 30 to go so I need alternatives. I will go back to my coach in january but am taking a few week sabbatical. I can’t seem to go off the diet by much – just a holiday goody here and there. Hopefully I will not gain hugely in 3 weeks.

  5. Niki says

    Do u think the 30 grams of protien is too much if u have two shakes a day? For a girl? Is there such a thing as too much?

    • says

      Be cautious of the protein grams you’re consuming in a day. The shakes with the larger amount of protein are for those that are working out. As we knoe, on IP they don’t recommend exercise in the first few phases. I too found an alternative, I’m using ideal shape and I love them. Tried wonderslim, however it always left me so bloated.

  6. Bet says

    Hi Amber, Ive been on IP for 1 month but Ive set back so far that I feel like starting all over again. During the 1st week is it ok to have the quest bar and the premier protein. The cost has gotten expensive and I travel 1 hr to see my coach. What do you think?

  7. Jan says

    I bought from Costco today protein bars
    they are called Detour protein bars, would like some of the snacky things from IP. I think I have the right amount of things in here.

  8. peachykeen says

    I love the Walden Farms dressing – Balsamic – I put it on everything….salad, chicken breast, veggie’s, use it to make chicken lettuce wraps or turkey lettuce wraps ..Yummy!

  9. Katherine says

    Thank you for being an outside source presenting facts about alternatives. I buy all of my product today exclusively from thrive4wellness.com and agree, my weight loss hasn’t skipped a beat. Love the savings for my family, half of the price,shipped to my door. Great feeling!

  10. Leelhyn says

    Hi, shouldn’t it questbar be considered restricted? I saw in your older post, you mentioned that it’s unrestricted?

  11. Dimpled Girl says

    Thank you for this information! It is SUPER helpful. I too am leaving IP because of cost. I also invested in a scale that measures body fat, hydration level and muscle mass.

  12. delk says

    Premier protein is crap. Low bioavailabilty. You think you are getting 30 grams but cheap protein is not absorbed. Cheap alternatives are often loaded with fillers, hf corn syrup or aspertaime. So u try to save a few bucks by finding cheaper products? How much is your muscle mass worth? IP products are 98% absorbed and used by your body unlike lower cost protein substitutes. WY don’t you just go down to GNC and get crummy filter supplements too? Who needs the pharmaceutical grade supplements from IP??? Who needs the weekly sessions, measurements and encouragement? Cut corners…u will loose weiggt. It will be your muscle mass too. Plus the products don’t taste as good and you will go looking for flavor.. trust me… you’ll look….you’ll be cable Rob Lowe!!!

    • The Vixter says

      Almost 12:00pm and I’m cracking up! You’ll look like cable guy Rob Lowe! IP has turned my life around with the battle of the bulge. I’m not taking the cheap way out, I ain’t no Rob Lowe!

  13. John Luchsinger says

    I think the IP is a great program to learn about the mistakes we make in food choices, and gives us a coach to help keep the weekly routine in check. I found that once the weight started to come off, that the price was a bit prohibited, and figured since I knew ‘the secret’…oh how I despise headlines with the secret we all know but forgot to remember…to use, which really is common sense. But sometimes common sense comes at a price, and needs to be re-remembered! IP forces one to look at themselves, to watch what they now put into the body to keep it going, and to lose weight while doing it. If we can get through the first few weeks, it is a life changing alternative to the body we put up with.

    • says

      John – Absolutely well said! Not only do you learn on IP what foods are healthy and not healthy, but also I think it helps to bring a sense of happiness we’re always looking for as the weight comes off. Through my experience I’ve learned that my happiness has nothing to do with my weight. When I lost all the weight, I was happy doing it and happy afterwards, but then life happened and I didn’t know what to do. I went back to my old eating habits and well, if you’ve read any of my latest posts, you know what happened.

      But I’m thankful for the experience, because without it, I wouldn’t be in my happy place today! Much love to you all on this journey. It’s definitely a learning process of self discovery.

  14. Trish says

    I did the IP diet a year ago and loved it. The only thing stopping me again is the price and the fact that my hair fell out like crazy! Did this happen to anyone else???

  15. Sammie says

    I just started IP on Monday. I told them I am gluten and lactose intolerant. I spent $136 on Monday then went back today to get some more variety and spent another $86.00 . When I finish these golden products I will do it on my own. Any ‘diet’ that makes you drink fruitty sugary drinks and doesn’t allow you real fruit, is not the plan for me. I was a Center Director for LA Weight Loss for 6 years, I used to think $14.00 for a box of protein bars was a little steep, IP charges $28 a box (and you need 21 a week – LA weight loss was 14 a week??) That’s insane! I wish I would have googled before I started. I know I can take lactaid pills but honestly eating pudding (which I’ve never done) and drinking fruitty sugary drinks (which I’ve also never done) just isn’t natural. I’ll just continue working out, up my protein, and water intake and I think I’ll be good. I’ll see how much I lose in my two weeks it’ll take me to finished the products :-(

    • says

      I did IP for 4 months. Lost 54# :) once you buy just the healthy things you are supposed to buy at the grocery store, you will actually feel like you are money ahead. My grocery bill plummeted. So incredibly thankful for this program. I can’t tell you how many thousands I spent over the years just to yoyo back to where I was. I bet I did over 30 diet programs. Each worked initially but keeping it iff was tough! LA weight loss was a joke (for me) lost 17 and gained it back a few months later. IP is the only diet that protects muscle mass. Other diets make the body lose muscle and fat, but when you gain it back, it’s in the form if all fat. So actually a person is “fatter” when the weight returns because of the muscle mass lost on the first (or second or third) diet merry go round! I will stick with IP. Money well invested! I have been on Phase 4 for 4 months now and only put 2 pounds on. I am starting back next week to go after the final 50#. So excited!

  16. says

    I never saw a reply to the color coding you had on the great Ideal Protein alternatives. We are just starting all this. Your list of favorites will help.

  17. Laurie says

    I started IP to loose about 40 lbs, started in march and I’m almost there. My 20 yr old son started May 11, 2015 and he’s lost over 60lbs and lots of inches. It is outrageously expensive for both of us to be on it. I’m scared to try an alternative because I know I’m getting great results with IP. My son will be returning to college soon so I was happy we were able to find an IP office near campus. I’m still open to the alternative for me.

  18. Joe says

    If anyone needs an IP retailer in the Orlando area checkout Winter Springs Pharmacy. We offer the individual products that are available so you don’t need to buy a whole box before you try it.

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