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Stillman Diet

Is the Stillman Diet Right For You?

Stillman Diet 300x300 Stillman Diet

The Stillman diet is a high protein diet similar in practice to the Atkins diet. People on the Stillman diet rapidly lose weight, often losing five to ten percent of their body-weight per week. The diet accomplishes this through restricting carbohydrates and forcing the body to burn fat. This leads to record-setting weight-loss, though it can lead to negative effects on health when undertaken for long periods. The Stillman Diet was invented in 1967 by Dr. Irwin Stillman based on his research and experience treating overweight patients.

What Can I Eat on the Stillman Diet?

The Stillman Diet has similar food requirements as the Atkins diet, which is also a protein rich diet. People following the Stillman Diet can eat as much poultry, eggs, seafood, low-fat cheese, and lean meat as they desire. Vegetables, sugar, alcohol, bread, and fruit are restricted as much as possible. The diet works through burning fat, a process that creates a lot of toxins in the body. A minimum of eight glasses of water a day is required to flush the system of these toxins. Supplementing with vitamins is often required as well (Conjecture Corporation, 2003).

How fast will I lose Weight on the Stillman Diet?

Weight-loss varies from person to person. That said, experts estimate seven to fifteen pounds of weight-loss over the course of the first week on the Stillman diet, and approximately five pounds each week after that. Put another way a dieter will typically lose anywhere from five to ten percent of their body weight each week on the Stillman diet. The diet is meant as a short term program to aggressively lose weight, so people often miss essential vitamins and minerals while on the diet which is why supplementation is highly recommended (Conjecture Corporation, 2003).

How does the Stillman Diet Work?

The Stillman Diet is effective because it forces the body to use more calories for digestion while starving it of carbohydrates. This forces the body to get its energy through Ketosis. Ketosis is a process by which the body burns fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. The body will do this when there is a lack of carbohydrates in the diet. The Stillman diet takes advantage of this fact by severely restricting carbohydrate intake while increasing the consumption of protein. Protein takes more energy for the body to break down than carbohydrates. This combination of more energy needed for digestion and less energy easily available from food kicks fat loss into overdrive (Busch, 2011).

What is the History of the Stillman Diet?

The Stillman Diet was invented by Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman in 1967 with the release of “The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet.” He invented the diet by using Dr. Eugene Duboise’s “cost of digestion” model of weight-loss on his patients. This model states simply that it takes “up to 30% of the calories consumed…to break down protein. By increasing the amount of protein consumed up to 90% of the diet, the ‘fires of metabolism’ are raised and fat is ‘melted out’ of bodily storage centers at a rapid rate” (Wallechinsky & Wallace, 1975). Stillman used this to great success helping some ten-thousand patients lose weight in his private practice and losing fifty pounds himself. After this success Stillman along with Dr. Samm Sinclair Baker wrote “The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet” and the Stillman diet was born.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Stillman Diet?

The main advantage of the Stillman diet is rapid weight-loss. By restricting intake of fats and carbohydrates the body sheds weight as fast as the leading diet programs. The disadvantages of the Stillman diet are related to the difficulty of following the diet, and the short term impacts on health. The diet is difficult to follow because it restricts almost all foods one encounters when eating out. It also restricts many necessary healthy fats and vitamins. The lack of these necessary nutrients found in grains can “lead to weakness, dizziness, and fatigue” (Diet Choices, Inc., 2008).


The Stillman diet is one of the first high protein diets to hit the American market. The diet was invented by Dr. Irwin Stillman based on his experience treating thousands of overweight patients. It offers rapid weight loss with people reporting a loss of five to ten percent of their body-weight per week. This rapid weight loss is accomplished by forcing the body into ketosis by restricting calories and increasing the intake of protein. This makes the diet ideal for short term weight-loss, though extended time on the program can lead to unhealthy side effects.


Busch, S. (2011, March 15). Stillman’s Diet. Retrieved February 1, 2013, from

Conjecture Corporation. (2003). What is The Stillman Diet? Retrieved February 1, 2013, from wiseGEEK:

Diet Choices, Inc. (2008). The Stillman Diet. Retrieved February 1, 2013, from Diet Choices:

Wallechinsky, D., & Wallace, I. (1975). History and benefits of stillman diets. Retrieved from
Stillman Diet

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