9 Things You Need To Know About The Stillman Diet

This diet is designed for quick weight loss

This diet was introduced by Dr. Irwin Stillman in 1967. It was detailed in his book “Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet”. It is a low-carb diet that includes lots of lean protein instead. The aim of the diet is to promote quick weight loss. It was recommended by Dr. Stillman to obese patients to aid their weight loss regime. The diet has two phases where there are slight differences in the menu. Here are some things the diet entails.

1. Absolutely No Carbs

This diet takes out carbs from the menu


Carbs in any form are strictly prohibited in the first week of the diet. This takes out potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, whole wheat, and other grains like barley. Even legumes are out of the picture. The diet allows you to slowly reintroduce them in the second phase in the form of multigrain crackers and some vegetables.

2. No Sugar

Sugar is prohibited on this diet


The diet doesn’t allow you to have sugar in any form, except for small amounts of brown sugar. So refined white sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup, are strictly off the list. And so are foods that contain them in any form. This takes out most forms of processed foods as well.

3. Only Lean Proteins

This diet allows lean proteins like eggs, fish, and chicken.


Most of the meals are constructed around lean proteins like eggs, lean beef, as well as chicken and fish without their skins. As long as they are lean cuts, most meats are allowed on this diet.

4. No Fruits Or Vegetables

This diet doesn’t have large amounts of fruits and vegetables


The first phase of this diet actually doesn’t allow any form of vegetables. This can be risky since you won’t have any sources of fiber. Your dietitian may prescribe supplements to counter this. In the second phase, you are allowed minimum quantities of most fruits and veggies except banana, mango, and jackfruit which are naturally very high in sugar.

5. Lots Of Water

This diet requires you to drink plenty of water


On this diet, it is mandatory to have at least 8 glasses of water every single day. Other than this, only tea and coffee are allowed but without milk or sugar. The diet recommends green tea for its effects on metabolism. It also recommends black coffee before meals as it acts as an appetite suppressant.

6. No Intense Exercise

Vigorous exercise may make one weak while on this diet.


Since this diet can make you low on energy, it’s recommended that you stick to low-intensity activity like stretching and body rotations. Avoid any running, going to the gym or vigorous exercise of any sort.

7. No Condiments

Condiments contain oil and sugar which are not allowed.


The diet takes out any form of condiments that contain oil or sugar. So, salad dressings, ketchup, and mayonnaise are all off the menu. The diet recommends using pepper, spices, and herbs to add flavor instead.

8. No Saturated Fats

Full fat dairy products contain too many saturated fats

The diet only allows a small amount of fats, mostly from the minimal amount of cooking oil that can be used. But, foods with high amounts of saturated fats like whole milk, full-fat yogurt, butter, margarine are also taken out.

9. Six Meals A Day

Six smaller meals keep your metabolism higher throughout the day

The diet breaks down the three meals into six small ones throughout the day. This keeps your cells active and your metabolism fired up.

How It Works

The diet induces ketosis in the body which is the process of using fat for energy purposes. The body is also forced to burn more energy to digest proteins than easily digested carbs. However, this can lead to a buildup of acid in the body which is why it is extremely important to drink enough water while on this diet. You can expect to lose about 7-10 pounds while on the diet but it is not designed for you to follow in the long term.

Cautionary Note

  • Do not undertake this diet without the supervision of a dietitian.
  • Do not stay on this diet for a long period of time
  • If you feel weak or lethargic while on this diet, tell your dietitian so they can prescribe supplements that you need
  • This diet can cause digestion problems, fatigue, and malnutrition

This diet may be a quick fix for those who want to lose weight for an event or want to start up their fat burning metabolism. But remember that it is not a long term solution.