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The Stillman Diet

The Stillman Diet Review (UPDATED 2023): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

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

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What is it?

The Stillman Diet is a weight loss diet that’s one of the first low carbohydrate diets to become popular. An official book outlines what’s required, and it’s also known as the Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet.

There are very specific recommendations for food options where increased protein is meant to help stimulate weight loss. It’s also a diet that forces the body into ketosis, which is what happens when glucose isn’t a primary fuel source for the body. This diet was created in 1967 when diet fads such as this became popular. Our review experts have analyzed many kinds of weight loss diets and found the 18Shake Diet is the most effective. It combines a wholesome appetite suppressing meal replacement and a fat burning diet pill. For more information about the benefits of the 18Shake Diet, click the link here.

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The Stillman Diet Ingredients and Side Effects

The diet requires eating 6 small meals a day and it recommends the following foods for the initial 1st phase:

         • Lean chicken, beef, veal, turkey, eggs, and fish.

         • Spices, herbs, tabasco sauce, pepper, and salt.

         • Tea, coffee, and diet soda.

         • 8 glasses of water a day are necessary.

         • Fats, oils, condiments, and butter are not allowed.

Exercise is not advised due to the potentially extreme reduction of calories. It also bans any kinds of fruits, carbohydratesvegetables, oils, sugars, and fats. This can be potentially dangerous as there are wholesome nutrients in vegetables and fats are also needed by the body.

The state of ketosis is also a potential issue. Normally the body uses glucose as a fuel source which comes from carbohydrates. When deprived, there is a switch to ketones which are the body’s backup source. This can lead to side effects such as:

         • Nausea, ill feelings, and fatigue.

         • Vomiting, fruity smelling breath, and mood swings.

         • Irritability, loss of appetite, and headaches.

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The main issue with this diet is that both carbohydrates and fats are necessary for sustaining the body. Fats provide energy and they help absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. These are important to help regulate many important body functions. There’s no way for the body to remain healthy when these kinds of nutrients are lacking in a diet.

Carbohydrates are also used by the body to remove waste and to process foods quicker thought the body. It’s also a quick fuel source that is needed to perform physical activities.

Without these two key macronutrients the body becomes susceptible to many harmful complications. There’s no proof that The Stillman Diet would be safe to use, on the contrary it’s likely to cause many serious side effects that include:

         • Malnutrition, muscle pain, and digestive issues.

• Fatigue, increased risk of sickness, and improper body maintenance.

The second phase of the diet introduces small amounts of fats and carbohydrates once one reaches their ideal weight. No proof is offered to show if this would be a safe way to achieve results.

A result of quitting carbohydrates is that the body will lose water weight. This can appear to be a great change in weight loss, but it’s not long lasting as it returns as soon as carbohydrates are eaten. Each gram of carbohydrate requires the body to hold 3 grams of water. It’s not uncommon for people to fluctuate 5 pounds in a day strictly due to water weight.

This is the reason why diets low in carbohydrates can promise quick weight loss, but it’s never in the form of fat unless it’s calorie restricted.

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EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

The Stillman Diet Quality of Ingredients

It’s unlikely that this diet would be a safe and effective weight loss strategy. Since this diet was created back in the late 60’s, information about health and nutrition has changed.

This diet will force the body into a state of ketosis which according to Web MD has issues:

“experts have raised concern about high-protein, low-cab diets”

The possible health complications can include many serious issues:

“this could lead to osteoporosis and kidney stones”

“This could worsen your kidney function”

Other issues may arise due to the lack of quality fats and vitamins and minerals that come from carbohydrate rich foods such as vegetables. Due to the lack of evidence for this diet’s safety, it’s a fairly poor diet. For a list of the best weight loss diets, click on the link here.

The Price and Quality of The Stillman Diet

The official book is sold for $25.95 on Amazon.com, and additional prices depend on what kind of high-protein foods one chooses.

It’s not advised to follow this diet however, as there are extreme changes one needs to do which can be harmful. There are also no clinical studies or proof offered by this diet to help prove it would be safe and effective. There are many potential health risks involved which make this a poor choice for weight loss.

While it’s likely one will lose weight as there are very few foods allowed it’s not an optimal choice. The diet is far too dated and is considered by many to be much too extreme. See which weight loss diets were rated as the best by looking at our experts best of list here.

Business of The Stillman Diet

The diet was created by a Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman, an American physician. While he created this diet, it’s unclear if he had a background in nutrition or weight loss.

No official website is available for this diet and all the information is listed in the official book. It’s unknown if there is any scientific proof to help prove this diet has safe and effective weight loss results. Since this diet has been around since 1967, it’s unlikely that there is any evidence to help support it. Usually diets like these are no longer used as more information on health is available.

This diet was also famously used by Karen Carpenter, who wound up dying due to health complications caused by extreme weight loss.

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Customer Opinions of The Stillman Diet

Here are some direct quotes taken from online users of the diet:

“I found this diet to be dangerous. I honestly thought I was going to die”

“don’t do stupiddiets like this”

“I felt very dizzy, I lasted a week& a half & felt so bad”

Some people did manage to lose weight, but it was often described as difficult and unappetizing. There were issues with the limited food menu and the fact that there were side effects. Extreme fatigue and mood swings were a major issue that many have experienced. This is likely to occur when one is not eating the nutrients and vitamins that come from a diverse diet. 

Certain users did enjoy the diet as it produced immediate results, but this is likely the result of water weight and not actual fat loss. When the body does not get any carbohydrates it releases stores of glycogen which can be anywhere up to 20 pounds of pure water weight.

Overall there were many issues from people who tried to follow this diet. To see a comprehensive best of list of weight loss diets, click on the link here.

Conclusion - Does The Stillman DietWork?

The Stillman Diet was a pioneer once famous diet that emphasized eating high protein while avoiding carbohydrates and fats to begin with. While this diet can lead to weight loss as water weight is lost, it’s also not a secure and healthy way to lose weight.

It’s far too restrictive and doesn’t allow for important fats and carbohydrates the body needs for optimal health. There’s no evidence that this is a safe way to achieve weight loss. From reviewing the customer reviews it’s clear that many felt it was not a healthy weight loss diet. There are fartoo many potential risks that can arise from limiting important food groups. A major complaint from users is thatthey felt awful and some have even described it as feeling like they were going to die.

Our review experts have reviewed many different types of diets and the most effective one for weight loss was found to be the 18Shake Diet. This diet has a meal replacement that suppresses appetite for hours alongside a weight loss diet pill that burns fat and raises metabolism. When they are combined they optimize weight loss without the need for stimulants, preservatives, colors, binders, fillersor any unwanted additives. Many customers have left glowing reviews and testimonials on their official website as well.

The 18Shake Diet is also backed by an entire 30 day money back guarantee. Returns are allowed on all purchases with no questions asked. Learn more information about the 18Shake Diet when you click the link here.

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User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 17 total comments)

Crystal D Thompson

It works, fast. Perfect for getting to goal them transitioning to regular low carb, or keto.
Boring as all get out but if you can power through the results are worth it. Similar to protein sparing modified fast

posted Feb 24th, 2018 11:35 pm

Joanne Taylor Lawson

QWL diet has been my go-to diet for 40+ years. Originally I went from 172 to 136 in less than 5 months. I have maintained that weight within 5-10 pounds for over 39 years. On those rare occasions, When My weight loss compass lands on what I call the 10-pound ALERT, I jump on the QWL diet for a week to 10 days to achieve my perfect weight. The philosophy of Dr. Stillman’s diet plan has been incorporated into my very active, 72 year-old lifestyle. I’m 5’1”, size 6 and I walk 4-5 miles five days a week.

posted Jan 28th, 2018 7:34 am


I used this diet on the recommendations of my doctor. I went from 280 to 240 in three months. That was three years ago and I basically all kept it off. I range from 240 to 245, when I hit 246 I go back on for a week and knock off the weight to keep my average at 240. You need to stay away from sugar of all kinds. I still occasionally have a cookie or cake, but not a lot. Also pasta and carbs you need to staw away from. Vegetables and protein. are all you need.

posted Nov 29th, 2017 11:51 am

Sparkle Granny

I've used this diet since 1972.
It is the only diet that works for me.
I've used it to gain back my body after 2 children.
I went from 260lbs down to 149lbs in 6 months.
I highly recomend it!

posted Aug 4th, 2017 10:10 am

Louis Seawekk

Went on this diet and lost 70 pounds and am not list as pre-diabetic anymore. Kept the weight off for 10 years. Every time I start to put a few pounds back on, go back on the diet for a week or so.

posted Jun 7th, 2017 4:06 pm


My first try was in 1974. Three month akter my son was born, I liked to get rid of my "baby ponds" My purpose was to loose 20 pound. it gave myself 6 weeks to reach that goal. After 3 weeks, all the extra weight was gone! It was easy. The first two days I has some headache. The portions of my meals became smaller and smaller, because I had enough very soon. I have stayed more than 40 years on my perfect weight. Now, in 2017, I like to get rid of 6 ponds. Lately I had a long vacantion and many rich dinners etc. So I expect to reach my perfect weight easely within two weeks. I love this diet. it is perfect for me. I use dayly a multivitamin wirh it, and feel healty and full of energy.

posted Jun 3rd, 2017 11:03 am



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 alcohol...lol 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 ...it 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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BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

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.

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  • 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 MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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