The transition to Phase 2 is very easy. It's exactly like Phase 1 with one exception:  

  • You replace one Ideal Protein food with a second meal consisting of regular protein (from the Dinner list). 

Otherwise, everything else is the same. You eat the balance of your usual Ideal Protein foods, the same 4-cups of vegetables, drink the same 64-80 oz. of water, and take all of your supplements. 

Since it can be hard to get two 8-oz servings of protein in each day, Ideal Protein allows us to reduce the amount to 6 oz for each "regular" protein meal in Phase 2.  You are also welcome to substitute a commercial or homemade protein shake (30 g protein, <2 g carbs/serving) instead of one of the portions of meat, if you prefer.

Overall, the idea of Phase 2 is to shift you from eating mainly Ideal Protein foods to eating mostly food from the grocery store. This is practice for Maintenance, where  your menu should center around non-starchy vegetables and protein. 


Someone who was eating 3 IP foods and 1 regular (6-8oz) protein meal would now be eating:

  • 2 IP foods and 2 regular (6-8oz) protein meals.
  • Someone who was eating 5 IP foods and 1 regular (6-8oz) protein meal would now be eating:

  • 4 IP foods and 2 regular (6-8oz) protein meals.
  • The remaining IP foods can be whatever you choose, as long as you still only ever have 1 restricted food a day.

    Phase 3


    Phase 3 - Simplified!

    Phase 3 is probably the most important phase of the Ideal Protein protocol!  It is designed to shift your Pancreas from over-reacting to carbohydrates (the way it did before Phase 1) into a more normal level of responsiveness to carbohydrates. 

    To achieve this, simply choose one or two of our pre-designed, carb-loaded breakfasts (below) and rotate through them for the next two weeks at breakfast.  Keep the rest of your day exactly like it was during Phase 2.


    • Eat your carb meal in the morning if at ALL possible. It is most beneficial to carb-load after an extended period (sleep) of no carb exposure. 

    • Eat all of the food within 1 hour.  You don't want to stretch the carbs out through the day or other meals or it negates the process. 

    • Don't ch eat later in the day!   If you cheat, you'll ruin the effect of the carb-load / carb-deficit contrast this phase is designed to create. Unless you give your body enoug h ti me between carb exposu res, your pancreas won't shift it's insulin response and will stay over-reactive.

    It's that simple. There is really nothing else you need to know or do. 

    If you'd like to know the science and philosophy behind Phase 3, see the end of this section.  Otherwise, we encourage you not to overthink it.  Instead, continue work on your Maintenance homework so you are ready for Maintenance (Phase 4) when the time comes. 

    Choose one or two of our pre-designed breakfasts and eat them for the next two weeks! It’s that simple! No calculations, no spreadsheets, no problem!

    Ideal Complete Shakes

    • Ideal Complete Strawberry Shake
    • 1 cup Strawberries (11g carbs) – with ice, blended with IP Complete Shake
    • ¼ cup dry (= ½ cup cooked) oatmeal(14 g carb)
    • ½ cup half and half (5 g. carb, 13.5 g fat)
    • Walden Farms Maple Syrup
    • 1 IP Complete Vanilla Shake
    • 1/2 cup Muesli(33 g carb)
    • ½ c half and half (5 g carb, 13.5 g fat)
    • 1 Ideal Complete Strawberry Shake
    • Fruit Salad – ½ cup sliced strawberries,
      ½ cup raspberries, ¼ cup blueberries
      - (approx 30 carbs)
    • 3 TBS heavy whipping cream –
      whipped or poured over berries
    • Sweeten to taste with Steviaor Splenda


    • 1 Ideal Complete Chocolate Shake
    • 2 slices Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread (28 carbs)
    • 4 tsp butter (16 g fat)
    • 2 TBS Walden Farms Marmalade


    • 1 IP Complete Chocolate Shake
    • ½ Med Banana (15 g carb)
    • 3 TBS Peanut Butter (18 carbs, 15 g fat)
    • *Blend together with a bit of ice


    • 1 IP Complete Vanilla Shake
    • 1 medium peach, sliced into an oven-safe ramekin (14 carbs)
    • Splenda or Stevia to taste
    • Topping:
    • 4tsp butter (16 g fat)
    • ¼ cup Bear Naked Protein Granola (13 carbs)
    • 1 packet Splenda
    • Bake at 350 till brown and bubbly

    Ideal Complete Bars


    • 1 IP Complete Toffee & Pretzel Bar
    • 3/4 c Blueberries or 15g carb quantity of your favorite fruit (15 carbs)
    • ¼ cup whipping cream (= 1/2 cup whipped) (2 carbs)
    • Splenda or stevia to taste
    • 1 IP Complete Bar
    • ¼ cup dry (= 1/2 cup cooked) oatmeal (14 g carb)
    • ¼ cup half & half (2.5 g carb, 6 g fat)
    • 2 tsp butter (8 g fat)
    • Splenda or stevia to taste


    • 1 IP Complete Bar
    • 1 cup Ice
    • ¼ cup very cold water
    • 1/2 cup whole milk (6 carbs, 4 g fat)
    • 1 TBS Peanut Butter (6 carbs, 5 g fat)
    • 1 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (1g net carb, 1g fat)
    • ½ cup raw baby spinach
    • *Blend together with a bit of ice.
      Add more water or ice for desired consistency.

    The breakdown of Phase 3 

    Each Breakfast should consist of: 

      • 1 Ideal Complete Meal (Choc, Vanilla or Strawberry Shakes, or a Complete Bar)
      • Additional Carbs - 30g added to SHAKE Meals & 15g added to BAR Meals
      • 1 serving of “fat,” - approx. 15 grams from oil, butter, nut butter, etc. 
        (*Yes* it’s the same for both Shakes and Bars. Fat variance is far less
        significant than hitting carb and protein totals). 

      If you don’t choose one of our pre-planned menus, you may design your own breakfast based on the above targets combined with the Complete food of your choice. These targets are estimates, so being a little over or under isn’t too much of a problem.   

      Note: when calculating total carbohydrates, "Net Carbs" SHOULD be used. Net Carbs are calculated by subtracting the total grams of fiber from total carbohydrates.

      As long as you didn't cheat your way through Phase 1, you will have restored a lot of your insulin sensitivity as a result of prolonged, uninterrupted Ketosis.  This should mean you are better able to handle carbohydrates than before...BUT, the one organ that will not have been restored to proper functioning yet is your Pancreas.  Without intervention, it will go right back to overreacting to carbohydrates as soon as you add them back in.  An over-reactive pancreas leads to hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin), insulin resistance, cravings, weight gain and all of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome you have just finished reversing. 

      To restore your normal pancreatic reactions, this phase exposes your body to a higher carb load once a day in order to "spike" your pancreas into releasing insulin, and then the rest of the day lets it rest again. The idea is that over the course of two weeks, this will help the organ become responsive rather than over-reactive. 

      For this to be effective, It’s important to eat your breakfast all at once in one sitting, not spread out through the morning. Otherwise you don’t get the carb load they’re after. It’s also very important to follow the low-carb Phase 2 guidelines PRECISELY the rest of the day. If you cheat during Phase 3, you are wasting the chance to retrain your pancreas – which is what cements in ALL of the metabolic shifts you’ve been making thus far.

      Sounds straight-forward, right?  Wrong!  Ideal Protein's as-written instructions required each dieter to construct two weeks of breakfast meals to hit specific fat, protein and carb targets.  As coaches, we felt this effort was misspent, mainly because it yielded a menu which would only be utilized for 2 short weeks and then become obsolete.  On top of this, a few years ago, Ideal Protein started requiring the use of Ideal Complete meals during Phase 3. The instructions for how to integrate the Complete products were extremely confusing and led many Phase 3 dieters to feel like giving up!

      To help simplify things, our Head Coach developed and pre-calculated this set of delicious meals which hit all of the nutritional requirements Ideal Protein had set forth. This simplified process is unique to our clinic and we hope you find it to be convenient and easy! 

      BUT, don’t get overly attached to these breakfasts. This 2 week period is just to retrain your pancreas. Most maintainers can't have this many carbs at breakfast on a regular basis. It's individual, of course, but for most people, it’s a good idea to begin concentrating on protein-based breakfasts for maintenance (i.e. eggs, ham, quiche, frittatas, protein pancakes, etc.) and leave Phase 3 breakfasts behind.  

      Nutritional Info – Ideal Complete Meal Replacements



      Calories: 210
      Fat: 6 g
      Carbohydrate: 11 g - (5 fiber) = 9 Net Carbs
      Protein:  26 grams


      Calories:  310
      Fat: 12 g
      Carbohydrate: 30 g – (8 fiber) = 22 Net Carbs
      Protein:  26 grams