Stillman Diet

The Stillman Diet, also known as the Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet, was created by Dr. Irwin Stillman in 1967. The Stillman Diet is a primitive form of a low-carb diet. The Atkins Diet is another well-known low-carb approach to dieting; however, the Stillman Diet differs in that it is also a low-fat diet.

Dr. Stillman was a doctor in New York who developed this eating plan to help severely overweight patients lose weight quickly. The basis of his philosophy was that by losing weight quickly, other organs, particularly the heart, would be able to function more easily and thus improve an individual’s overall health. There are variations of the diet targeted at specific groups including one for teenagers that has added carbohydrates and one that includes an exercise regimen.

Basic Principles

The Stillman Diet allows dieters to consume unlimited amounts of poultry, seafood, lean meat, eggs and non-fat cottage cheese. Foods that must be cooked should be baked, broiled or boiled. Since all types of oil are banned, foods cannot be fried. To add variety, spices are permitted but all condiments that contain oils are forbidden. Other forbidden foods include vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, fats, butter, sugar and alcohol.

The diet suggests that meals should be split into 6 small meals, rather than 3 large meals. Throughout the day, you should drink at least 8, 10 ounce glasses of water. You may also drink coffee, tea and diet soda, but only if you have met the required amount of water.

This diet creates rapid weight loss through ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body uses stored fat for energy rather than using carbohydrates. This process produces acidic bodies called ketones which are released into the bloodstream.

It is important to drink enough water so that the ketones do not build up excessively in the blood stream, which can lead to complications. The diet also fuels weight loss because it is high in protein, and it takes more energy to break down protein than it does to break down carbohydrates which ultimately boost the metabolism. The combination of high amounts of protein and ketosis create this fast weight loss process.

Considerations

The Stillman Diet has indeed shown to offer quick results. In fact, the diet promises that people will lose between 7 to 15 pounds in the first week and then up to 5 pounds per week after that. However, the diet is very restrictive, and many people have a difficult time maintaining this plan.

While studies have confirmed that low-carb diets are successful in creating weight loss, dieticians warn that much of this is created through lost water weight and lost muscle mass and that weight loss achieved through these means is not a long-term solution to keeping weight off.

Furthermore, health professionals question whether the diet is safe. This is considered an extreme form of a ketogenic diet that has significant potential side effects. Many people experience a fuzzy feeling mentally which occurs because the brain must have carbohydrates to function. The Stillman Diet pushes the boundaries and goes beyond low-carb. In fact, it contains no carbohydrates.

Dieticians warn that this can be dangerous to your body chemistry. Excessive ketones in the blood can lead to ketoacidosis, which creates a scenario similar to what is observed in type 1 diabetes. Additional side effects could include headache, vomiting, constipation, bad breath and fatigue.

A final consideration is that the Stillman Diet lacks fiber. Because fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates are not allowed, you must take a supplement while on this plan. Additional supplements should be considered because the diet lacks nutritional values typically supplied by fruits and vegetables.

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