Burn – Balance – Believe


Authorized Provider of Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol

Learn more about the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol by visiting our dedicated website


Why do we use Sea Salt on Ideal Protein Diet?

Sea salt gives you the appropriate mix of trace minerals in its unrefined form, promotes a healthy pH, electrolyte balance and adrenal health.  Refined sea salt provides too much sodium and is not a healthy option.

How do I get started with Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol?

There are several ways to start.  You can come to a FREE workshop which is held several times a month.  Check out our home page for the next Ideal Protein Free Workshop.  If you already know about Ideal Protein and you are ready to get started call Coach Joyce to book your initial consultation 617-666-1122 or email joyce@totalwellcoach.com.

Do you have hours in the evenings and weekends?

Yes and yes!  My initial consultations and follow-up sessions are by appointment in Nashua and Pepperell, during the week, on weekends and evenings.   We will find a time that works for you!

Do you charge for shipping Ideal Protein foods?  

Yes, shipping is charged at my cost.  If you want to keep your shipping costs down select dry goods over the premade drinks when shipping.

Where can I find information about the nutritional values of Ideal Protein foods?

Here are a few websites that are not affiliated with Ideal Protein where you fill find people chatting about Ideal Protein:


Can I have sugar-free gum on Ideal Protein weight loss protocol?

Sugar-free gum contains sugar alcohols and carbohydrates.  Sugar-free gum is not free and has no nutritional value.  Always consider your food choices with respect to the “cost-benefit”.  Do you want to spend your “carbohydrate allowance” on something that has no nutritional value?

What foods are allowed on the Ideal Protein diet?

This is the most frequently asked question of my clients, even after having attended a workshop and an initial consultation.  There is a lot of information to take in when you begin Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol related to the details and the science behind the diet.  Rule #1 is REFER TO THE PHASE 1 IDEAL PROTEIN SHEET for your answer.  If the food is not listed as “allowed” then the answer is that it is “not allowed” with rare exception.   Before going to your coach with questions about what is allowed review the Phase 1 Ideal Protein sheet for your answer.

Here are more FAQs from Ideal Protein’s resource site:  My.IdealProtein.com.  You gain access to this site for videos, preordering, recipes and more when you sign up with our clinics:  Ideal Weight-Total Well Coach in Nashua, NH, Groton, MA, Concord, MA and Pepperell, MA.

  • What should my ketone indication be while I’m on Phase 1?

    Initially, you’ll likely see deep purple indication on the ketostix results. But don’t be disappointed if this coloring changes as your body gets more used to operating in ketosis. As that happens, it’s more able to keep from spilling as much ketone in the urine while still in ketosis, thus getting a lighter reading.

    For most people, the process of going into ketosis takes about 3-4 days. Some may see ketostix showing a positive reading as soon as the second day, though that’s not routine. But, if you’re eating according to the rules, it shouldn’t take more than 5-7 days, maximum to start seeing a darker indication on the test strip.

  • Can I use cinnamon?

    Yes, you can use cinnamon. In fact, many people find it to be an excellent alternative to sweetener in their coffee.

  • How do I measure fat loss on this program?

    Short of a DXA scan, there’s not a really reliable way to measure the specific amount of your body that is comprised of muscle. But, with the BCA (Body Composition Analysis) scans using bioimpedance, it’s possible to get a reliable measure of your changing body fat – and the ‘lean mass’ (everything other than fat) in your body.

  • Why can’t I have alcohol when I’m in ketosis?

    Alcohol is not permitted while on Phase 1 and must be avoided while you’re in ketosis. During ketosis, your liver is busy converting the fatty acids being released from your fat cells into ketones that can be burned by your body for energy. It’s also busy converting protein (and sometimes fats) into glucose for those organs that have to have glucose to operate. As well as busy doing all of the other functions that it is responsible for. Alcohol is a toxic substance. Your liver immediately focuses on removing it from your body and puts other things on hold – such as creating the glucose your brain and other organs need. Hypoglycemia can result and if it happens while you’re driving, it could be especially dangerous

  • Why can’t I eat fruit?

    Despite the fact that certain fruits have all kinds of healthy vitamins and minerals, most fruits contain enough sugar (carbohydrate) to bring your body out of ketosis and slow down your progress.

  • Why do some products use Sucralose as the sweetener?
  • Why can’t I eat or drink dairy while on Phase 1?

    Milk is not on the list of permitted items for phase 1 or 2, other than the one ounce of skim milk allowed for ‘creamer’ in your coffee. It’s largely related to the carbs in milk in the form of lactose (milk sugar).

  • Protein portion – do I weigh before or after cooking?

    You’ll want to measure the protein before cooking.

  • How can this program affect my menstrual cycle?

    It’s not unusual for there to be a disturbance of the hormonal status because of the release of the hormones in the fat. Exactly what those symptoms might be depends on the unique makeup of the individual. So, irregular menstrual cycles can happen. If you are having unusual or persistent symptoms, you will want to discuss them with your own physician so that she/he can advise you specifically.

    For some women, the released hormones can be more predominantly androgenic (male-type) and their effect might be to decrease the strength of the birth control pill. For that reason, if you’re taking birth control pills to avoid pregnancy, it’s a good idea while on the diet to use an additional method of contraception (foam, condom, etc.). It would be best to do that until you’ve had two normal cycles in Phase 4, just to be sure.

  • I’m taking blood pressure medications. Is this okay to be doing this protocol?

    It is impossible for us to give you individualized health care advice through this website or otherwise. We do not attempt to delve into a dieter’s personal health for a number of reasons.  Consult with your Coach.

  • What is the difference between total carbs and net carbs?

    For purposes of metabolic use – the use of the calories in the body – it is the net carbs that count. Whether with regard to weight loss (Phase 1) or weight maintenance (Phase 4), it’s the net carbs that you want to pay attention to. To calculate net carbs, simply subtract the amount of dietary fiber from the total amount of carbs.

  • Is the total carb allowance per day “total” or “net”?

    The total carb allowance per day is based on net carbs.

  • Why aren’t my ketostix showing that I am in ketosis when I am losing weight?

    Keep in mind that the most important issue is whether your body is burning off the fat that you want to lose. If it is, almost by definition, you’re in ketosis. So, if you’re losing and it’s not showing that you’re in ketosis, the issue has to do with the test not your body. There are several reasons you may not see it on the test strip. First, the strip may be outdated or improperly stored, so it’s lost its ability to react properly in the test. Second, as your body gets more and more used to being in ketosis, it can decrease the amount of ketones that “spill over” into the urine. It may have gotten low enough that the test strip response is so slight that you’re not seeing it. Third, the concentration of ketones in the urine will vary during the day, so you may have tested at a point you’re least likely to see a positive response (try first thing in the morning). Finally, if the amounts of ketone being spilled are low and you’re drinking a lot of water (as you’ve been encouraged to do), those ketones may be so diluted that there’s simply not enough to result in a reading. So, keep in mind that if you’re successfully losing, you shouldn’t worry about what the test strip shows. If you’re not losing and the test strip is negative, it MAY be an indication that you’re not in ketosis and, working with your coach, you can look for ways to tighten up your adherence to the protocol and see if the test goes positive – along with a resumption of fat loss.

  • Ketosis and cancer?

    Current science suggests that if ketosis has any impact on cancer it is probably quite positive. This is for at least two reasons. First, the fuel for cancer cells is glucose (sugar). They thrive on glucose. Although blood glucose continues to be present while you’re in ketosis, it doesn’t have the potentially negative surges that it would with a ‘normal carb diet’. Second, insulin promotes growth due to its similarity to ‘insulin-like growth factor’ (IGF).

    In ketosis, insulin is kept quiet, without the surging present otherwise. If you’d like to read more about this, you can read articles here and here.

    One final note: Ideal Protein requests that your doctor or oncologist approve your participation in the diet if you’ve had active cancer within the past three years. This is out of an abundance of caution. On a theoretical level, there is the possibility that during weight loss the release of hormones stored in the fatty tissue could stimulate estrogen-receptor positive cancer. If this applies to you, it’s something you should discuss with your doctor.

  • What kind of protein is used in Ideal Protein products?
  • What can I do about skin loosening?

    The answer to this question depends on so many individual factors; sun exposure, amount of collagen and elasticity left in the skin, the extent to which it was stretched during the obesity stage and for how long it remained like this. The collagen is a great way to increase the health of your skin, as is protein in general, however we cannot give you a more concrete answer. It would be hard for even a dermatologist to give you this answer.
    We do know it takes some time after losing weight for the skin to adjust to its new framework. How much time? It could be 3, 6, 9 months or more depending on the factors listed above. If it does not go away you may have to consider alternative options, your dermatologist or doctor can give you a clearer idea of what you are personally eligible for. Of the few dieters that have had this issue, they’ve considered, certain creams, personal training, additional collagen supplementation, laser treatments and or surgery. As you’ll learn, your skin should do well in the long term from the weight loss process.  Just be sure to give it some time after the active loss process to get back to what it will be for the long term; 3-6 months of stabilization is a good time frame for skin loosening, but should be substantially less.

  • I have diabetes. Can I do the program?

    Diabetics have so much to gain from our protocol because regulating glycemia is at the very heart of our method. While we cannot reverse Type I Diabetes , we can help those afflicted to lose weight. However, our Ideal Protein weight loss method can help reverse Type II Diabetes or, at the very least, diminish the condition’s vulnerabilities. People who suffer from hypoglycemia can also follow our weight loss method or our alternative plan.

    Still, diabetics need be particularly vigilant on our protocol. In the first few weeks, people suffering from hypoglycemia should not exercise as much as usual in order to facilitate the reeducation of their pancreas and give their body a chance to readjust to its new eating habits. As well, they should stock up on the Ideal Protein Peach Mango drink, in case they find themselves in the midst of a low blood sugar crisis, which is predictable in their case. When it happens, they should sit down, breathe deeply and reach for an Ideal Protein Peach Mango drink. It will calm them instantly. They must be confident in the knowledge that their body, more specifically their pancreas, will, in time, soon, readjust itself to function as it was originally intended by nature.

  • Can I do the program if I have elevated liver enzymes?

    The actual decision whether it’s a good idea to do the diet with elevated enzymes is one you’d make with your treating physician. They’re the only ones who are in a position to know how to balance all the factors to make the right decision for you.

    That said, it’s unlikely that an incidental, modest elevation of a liver enzyme would signal a problem that would make it inappropriate to undergo the diet. Indeed, the liver is often impaired by fat collection in the liver (“fatty liver”) and may have associated elevation of enzymes. The Ideal Protein diet, in general, is excellent for improving a fatty liver condition. On the other hand, if there’s an active hepatitis and/or jaundice, it’s unlikely that your doctor will want you to do the program.

    Bottom line, be sure to check with your treating physician.

  • What is the “Alternative Phase”?

    Simply put, the alternative Phase 1 protocol doesn’t take you into ketosis. It’s used for specific situations where ketosis may not be the best option.

    The only difference between them is that on the Alternative Plan dieters are permitted up to three (3) additional food items per day, one from each of the three different food groups: carbohydrates (Group I), fruits (Group II) and fats (Group III). The Alternative Plan reduces potential cravings and makes it easier to be faithful to the diet and still lose weight, only a little slower than on our weight loss method. The Alternative plan is for people who simply are not willing to forego their morning toast or daily fruit, for example. Please note that the chances of not regaining the lost weight are greatly increased by following the Ideal Protein weight loss method, the pancreas is given the unequivocal chance of restoring its proper regulation of glycemia. The alternative plan does not keep the body in ketogenic state and therefore is safe for Type I diabetics who could be at risk for developing ketoacidosis if placed on a ketogenic diet.

    Talk to your coach about the Alternative Phase. Here is a link to download the plan for the Alternative Phase 1.

  • Why do I need to supplement the protocol with salt?

    The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide) recommends that people consume 2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon) of salt, per day. That quantity is often exceeded by the mere presence of the bulk of industrial foods consumed each and every day in North America, including breads, pastas and cheeses, all saturated with salt. That’s why most doctors tell their patients to away from salt, generally speaking. With all that salt, you need not add more salt to your food. The Ideal Protein weight loss method has none of these industrial foods. And even if choices of the Ideal Protein envelopes are salted, you need to add sea salt to your diet: lightly sprinkle your vegetables and your protein source, whatever it may be, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs or tofu, with sea salt to ensure that your body has all the sodium it needs to function properly.

  • What products contain collagen protein?

    The products that contain collagen protein are the Cranberry- Blueberry Drink Mix and the Raspberry Jelly.

  • Do you have suggestions for getting rid of cellulite?

    If cellulite is a concern for you, sit down with your coach and talk about using the Ideal Protein cellulite protocol. During weight loss, as the skin is trying to recreate itself, be sure you’re using the collagen rich packets every other day.

  • What is sucralose?

    Sucralose is a sweetener derived from sugar cane. It tastes like sugar, but thanks to a process, sucralose has zero (0) calories and is not assimilated by the body, which means that it has zero (0) impact on the blood and its glycemia. If you find an Ideal Protein food too sweet, simply stretch it with a little more water.

  • Is the Ideal Protein weight loss method considered a high, medium or low calorie diet?

    The protocol would be considered a medium to low calorie diet whereas the Alternative Plan, which incorporates additional foods, would be considered a medium calorie diet. Neither protocol is considered a hypo protein diet or a hyper protein diet. The Ideal Protein weight loss method offers the optimal quantity of proteins, vitamins and minerals required to ensure the proper functioning of all body systems.

  • Why are the supplements required?

    You normally get all the nutrients your body needs in the foods you eat. For example, you’ll get a lot of calcium from dairy products and magnesium from grain. But, you’re not eating these as you’re on the Phase 1 protocol. They’re important to your body, so during the time you’re on the diet you’ll get them from the supplements. As you return to your normal diet, the supplements will become less necessary as long as you’re eating a nutritious diet.

  • If on medication, is the Ideal Protein weight loss method safe?

    Our protocol is most likely safe. However, we recommend that your physician is consulted prior to beginning the protocol. Remember, Ideal Protein foods are real foods, drug-free with no stimulants. Each Ideal Protein envelope is the equivalent, nutritionally, to a chicken breast, a small filet mignon or a filet of fish.

  • Is the Ideal Protein weight loss method safe for children and what is the minimum age for following the protocol?

    Growing children should not be on any diet. If a parent wants to replace his child’s unhealthy snacks with healthy foods, including Ideal Protein foods, the parent must ensure that the child understands the reasons why they are being deprived of these foods. If not, the child may react adversely by wanting those unhealthy foods even more than before.

  • What if I have had a history of gout?

    There is no problem with a person being on the protocol who has had a history of gout. High uric acid levels are a part of Syndrome X and the program will help them long term. As stated in the “Explanation of the Health Profile,” if you have a history of gout it would be prudent to discuss the protocol with your physician.

  • Can Gastric Bypass patients go on the Ideal Protein weight loss method?

    The diet is fine for gastric bypass and lapband patients, both for losing weight and to provide a great source of protein in a very small volume of food.

  • Is the protocol safe for a post-chemo breast cancer survivor?

    Yes. However, we would recommend the dieter get approval from their primary care MD. Estrogen levels can fluctuate and we don’t want to stimulate a hormone receptor positive cancer.

  • Can I do this diet if I’m on Coumadin?


    Keep in mind, however, certain vegetables (due to their high vitamin K content) can cause certain clotting factors to increase thus necessitating a need for an increased dose of Coumadin (Warfarin). Good recommendations would be: mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, garlic, only iceberg lettuce, celery, etc.

    Throughout the diet, be sure to work closely with your prescriber to assure that you’re maintaining the desired results from the prescribed medication.

  • Is ketosis safe?

    Many people (medical professionals included) have a wrong idea about “ketosis”. They confuse this with the pathological condition of “ketoacidosis”, which can be a life- threatening condition. Ketosis just refers to the state of metabolism the body is in when it is using fat for the primary energy source. This is how our ancestors survived during times of famine (we live off our fat reserves). It is perfectly normal and healthy. We all do a little “ketosis” every night when we sleep. As we fast during the night, blood sugar drops. To maintain proper glucose homeostasis, the body does a couple of things: The liver can release some glycogen which is converted to glucose. Some muscle can be catabolized and glucose can be produced via gluconeogenesis. Fat cells can release some of their contents (triglycerides) and these can be metabolized in the liver to ketonic bodies (a high energy fuel source) and glucose. We simply, through the diet, keep the dieter in the state where the body is using its stored energy (fat) for the primary fuel source. We give the MINIMUM adequate amount of high quality protein only to spare the muscle (remember the body can break down muscle to get glucose and this is what happens in many other diets and is the main reason why deters typically yo-yo. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows and you are more likely to regain your weight.

  • I’m lactose intolerant. Do you have any suggestions?

    People who are lactose intolerant do not produce the enzyme lactase are therefore cannot digest the sugar lactose (a disaccharide composed of a molecule of galactose and glucose). If they ingest lactose they typically can get cramps or gas. This is NOT an allergy, so they wouldn’t have a life threatening anaphylactic reaction. Our products that contain whey isolates (most of the drinks) only contain about 0.05% lactose and this small amount usually does not cause any problems with these folks. We would have them avoid the products that contain whole milk protein (the cappuccino, the chocolate drink, the omelet, the crispy cereal, puddings, etc). The other option is to let them try a “small amount” of some of these foods and to see if they in fact do experience any discomfort. They can take one of the many products for lactose intolerant people that contain lactase (i.e “Dairy-Eze” or “Lactaid”). But most of these folks just opt to avoid the foods containing the whole milk protein.

  • Is there any problem caused by heating Asulfame-K in IP foods?

    ASULFAME-K  (acesulfame potassium)

    Discovered in 1967 by a German chemist, acesulfame potassium has been extensively studied.  In 1988, the U.S. FDA approved “ace-k” as a sweetener, although it was approved in Europe and Australia much earlier.   Contrary to what “appears on the Internet”, ace-K is heat stable.  That is it does not get transformed into any other substance nor do any toxic reagents (which are NOT there) get released on heating.  This is in contrast to “aspartame” (NutraSweet, Equal) which upon heating may release methanol (wood alcohol) and formaldehyde.

    The reason “IP” uses small quantities of ace-K (5-6 mg/ packet) in some of our products is this.  When combined with sucralose the sweetness of the food is increased many fold, allowing us to  only use (on average) about 20 mg of sucralose in our sweet foods. Therefore sucralose and ace-K are synergistic; when combined the total sweetness is increased many fold than would the sweetness of the individual ingredients would produce.  In our new Mangosteen Water Enhancer, we only use sucralose and to get the “taste right” we need 80 mg of sucralose.

    Finally (from a pharmacist’s perspective) the average terminal half-life (T ½) is 2-2.5 hours.  Furthermore 100% of the ingested ‘dose’ is eliminated in the urine as unchanged..it is not metabolized or converted into ANYTHING else as some Internet sites would have you believe.  In pharmacy, 7 half-lives mean the drug, toxin, or other entity is completely removed from the body.  So with Ace-K, if the half-life is 2.5 hours, that means the entire amount consumed is eliminated in your urine “unchanged” (i.e. did not react with anything) within 17.5 hours!  It is NOT stored in at cells or any other organ.  The “pharmacokinetics” (the half-life and such has been extensively studied in rats, dogs, as well as human volunteers.  This is completely safe and after decades of use in millions of people worldwide, if something “came up” the product would have been recalled.

    Mike Ciell, RPh.

    Senior Science Advisor, Ideal Protein of America

  • Is it OK to heat the Ideal Protein foods?

    First, cooking carbohydrates does not “increase the amounts of carbohydrates” in that particular food.  What cooking may do is to break down long-chain polysaccharides into smaller saccharides (sugars) which could compromise your weight loss (basically you are taking “fibers” and making some of them into “sugars”).  This is why grilled or cooked onions taste so good, you have converted some of these fibers into sugar and that’s why we do not use cooked onions in Phases 1 and 2 of our protocol.   So cooking does not increase the TOTAL amount of carbohydrates, BUT may transform some of them into simple sugars that have a much higher Glycemic Index, which would cause higher amounts of insulin to be secreted and could possibly affect your weight loss in a negative manner.

    As far as changes to the protein content of a packet if it’s heated (like making a waffle), it would be no different than cooking the protein in a steak or other protein source. In other words, cooking the protein is OK.


Buy Supplements Online & Save!

Wellevate Logo
Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.

Buy Go Boston Cards

Buy Metagenics

Ulta Lab Tests

Buy Xymogen

XYMOGEN’s Exclusive Professional Formulas are available through select licensed health care professionals. The internet sale and discounting of XYMOGEN formulas are strictly prohibited. TotalWellCoach.com makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients of our clinic. If you are a patient of Joyce Strong, RN, BSN, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by emailing joyce@TotalWellCoach.com.

Wellevate.me Buy Supplements Online

Wellevate Logo

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)