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The Stillman Diet

An early form of the Atkins Diet with a low-fat twist.

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Back before there was the Atkins Diet, there was The Stillman Diet. Also known as The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet, created by Irwin Maxwell Stillman, M.D. in 1967, this high protein, low carbohydrate and low fat diet was used for rapid and dramatic weight loss.

Differing from subsequent high protein diets, The Stillman Diet kept fat at reduced amounts while relying on consistent protein spread out over six meals a day to push the body into a ketogenic state where it burned fat rather than carbohydrates.

The Stillman Diet today has been replaced by countless other low-carb, high-protein diets. Throughout his career as a physician, Dr. Stillman helped thousands of overweight and obese patients lose weight by following this trademark diet plan. He later introduced a near-vegetarian version of his Stillman Diet.

You can expect to lose 7 to 15 pounds during the first week of the Stillman Diet and five pounds each additional week that you are on the diet.

  • Will result in weight loss
  • Organized diet plan that is easy to follow
  • Created by a medical doctor
  • Less reliance on fatty protein sources than other low-carb diets
  • Considered a fad diet
  • Weight loss will quickly be regained once carbohydrates are reintroduced
  • Cannot be sustained for a long period of time
  • Will likely result in food cravings
  • Lacks a complete variety of nutrients
  • Lack of fiber will likely result in constipation

This high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet prescribes eating an unlimited amount of lean protein like seafood, skinless poultry, lean red meat, eggs and low-fat cheese. Vegetables, fruit, bread, sugars and alcohol are strictly forbidden, as are fats like oils and butters. Tea, coffee and water are all allowed as is diet soda.

Rather than eating three large meals during the day, you are encouraged to nosh on six small meals in addition to taking a daily vitamin supplement to offset the lack of nutrients you are not receiving through fruits and vegetables.


There are no specific exercise guidelines.


The Stilman Diet is an extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet that pushes the body into a ketogenic state where it begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. Therefore, weight loss will likely be quick and dramatic.

But keep in mind that this diet should not be used as a long-term solution to weight loss. Once carbs are reintroduced into the body, weight gain will likely ensue. In addition, the diet's overall lack of nutrients from fresh foods will cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as constipation.

Even Dr. Stillman advised that anyone interested in following his diet to speak to their medical doctor first.

Common Misspellings

stillmen diet, stillmin diet, stilman diet, dr. stillman diet, the doctor's quick weight loss diet

Related Diets: Atkins Advantage, Atkins Diet, High Protein Diet, Low-Carb Diet, Crack the Fat Loss Code

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(Page 1 of 1, 11 total comments)


Last year I went on this program for a month and lost 20 lbs. I re-started the program eight weeks ago and have lost an additional 45 lbs. After 7 weeks I was hitting plateus, so I took a weekend to enjoy the foods I crave (in moderation). That kick started the loss again. I start week nine tomorrow. My start weight was 370 lbs. and my goal is 165 lbs. I still have 140 more pounds to lose, but am confident I will do it with this program.

I do not get hungry on this program and am eating an average of 500 to 700 calories per day.

posted Apr 27th, 2015 3:32 am


I've been on this diet for 40 days and have lost 28 pounds. I feel great. My advice is to use a lot of spices , hot sauce, and a sugar free chili sauce. I disagree with the weight gain if you stop the diet. What most people do is move to a Atkins style diet where vegetables are introduced.. Portion control, and sugar elimination is the key once you reach your desired weight.

posted Jan 4th, 2015 1:34 am


I started the Stillman diet weighing 200lbs. By day 3 I was down 6lbs. Day 6 down 12lbs. Day 8 down 14lbs!!!! i LOVE THIS DIET!!!!

posted Feb 19th, 2014 3:31 pm


It was always hard for me to get the last 15 pounds off. Then I heard about Stillman's and it's the BEST! I lost the last 15 pounds in 3 weeks! I have nice muscle tone and I feel awesome. I wish I knew about it earlier!

posted Nov 11th, 2013 10:28 am


This is an extreme diet but it works! You will lose fast and without hunger. It is hard core but if you want to be rid of your excess weight at the speed of light (lol) and don't mind living off lean protein/water/diet drinks until your goal, this is for you. I lose about 8 the first week and 5 each week after. It will be hard to have much of a social life that's for sure...I mean eating only lean meat/fish and fat free cheese/no but if like me you don't want to lose slowly because it takes much more time, then do stillman and watch the pounds disappear quick! I strongly suggest taking a multivitamin everyday while on this diet. Drink a lot of water too. The first few days are the hardest but after, it's smooth sailing and it's very motivating to shrink so fast:). Don't cheat will slow your loss quite a bit. It must be followed to the letter. When you are satisfied with your results, you can move slowly to a balanced diet adding carbs back starting with veggies, fruits, milk/yogurt etc and then grains/sweets in moderation. If you overdo carbs/rich food/treats and gain back, go on stillman a few days....Don't let it become more than a few pounds gain! Well, I hope this review helped:).

posted Nov 8th, 2013 1:20 am


Best diet for me. I lost 10 lbs without any feelings of hunger or cravings. It took 3 weeks to lose the weight. The first few days were hard (fatigue, headache), but after that I had to FORCE myself to eat food. I've done it a few times since (when the scale has started to creep up) and it always gets me right back to my good weight very quickly.

posted Apr 8th, 2013 2:26 pm


Miracle Diet that really works!

posted Feb 5th, 2013 1:08 am


have tried this diet and lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks, it is fantastic but not long term and you dont put the weight on UNLESS you go back to your old ways

posted May 6th, 2011 8:29 am

Kim Bartholomew

I tried this diet in 1977 and lost 35 pounds. I never put in on in30 years, till I had back surgery and didn't move around for months. I am starting the diet again today, to loose a quick 10!

posted Jan 17th, 2011 4:08 pm


Your review is not totally on target in a couple of comments.

First, after a couple of days on the Stillman Diet the cravings for carbs in the majority of dieters disappears.

Second, the return to carbs will likely stop weight loss-- not cause weight gain unless of course the dieter goes back to exactly the same foods that caused the fat in the first place.

Stillman also had his Stay Slim eating--a sensible plan which included plenty of vegetables and good carbs which I transitioned to after going from 225 to 165 in about six months-- I have stabilized at 175 for years now--35 to be exact.

The cons about this diet are vastly overstated-- but you might expect that if coming from so called "balanced" diet gurus.

Stillman's diet is not forever..but if you ever read the story of Villhamur Steffanson-- the first white man to winter with the Eskimos -- you'll see that it is possible to exist very well on a diet of just protein and fats. While carbs are NOT essential for our survival,

Another note-- not everyone can eat a high protein diet--just as not everyone can metabolize carbs well--so while I believe this was the perfect regimen for me, it may not be for you.

posted Sep 16th, 2010 10:19 am

anne rector

I lost from 189 pounds to 99 pounds in 8 months. I also lost my hair, eyebrows, etc. BUT!!! It works. Try in for the short-run, to loose a lot quickly. Don't stay on it as long as I did. It won't hurt you for awhile. Nothing is as bad as all that weight around your heart and on your legs and knees.

posted May 27th, 2010 2:06 pm


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