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 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.

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  • Rogocop

    Amber, How about supplements? What are you doing for your vitamins, etc?

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  • Ali @ Peaches and Football

    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.

  • Kris

    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

  • Amber Baldwin

    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.

  • Tatiana

    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!!! :)

  • Amber Baldwin

    Tatiana – You’re so welcome! Hope you and your families weight loss is going well – especially with the holidays among us.

  • Liz

    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.

  • hamm

    Hey what “snack alternative” do you suggest?

  • Niki

    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?

  • Bet

    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?

  • Colleen

    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.

  • Jan

    Where do yu buy premier and quest substitutes?

  • Jan

    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.

  • arwa4u

    Hi Amber,
    Just curious as to what the color coding means on the spreadsheet?

  • Lindsay

    With the Premier Protein drink from Costco being 160 calories and 30g of protein, is that ok to replace the IP drinks?

  • peachykeen

    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!

  • peachykeen

    I know aspartame is not good, what about splenda or stevia?

  • Katherine

    Thank you for being an outside source presenting facts about alternatives. I buy all of my product today exclusively from 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!

  • Betty

    I buy all mine from Diet Direct Free fast shipping all orders 49$ or more. Great customer service

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  • Leelhyn

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

  • Kathy

    I ordered from Diet Direct and got $20 off my $75 order & free shipping! Their referral program is great :)

  • Dimpled Girl

    Hi, I was curious about this too. If you look at her spreadsheet, she lists a Quest bar as Non Restricted.

  • Dimpled Girl

    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.

  • delk

    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

    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!

  • John Luchsinger

    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.

  • Finallylostit

    Definitely restricted. :)