Stillman Diet: The What, The How, And The Why

by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Are you looking for the perfect low-carb diet to lose those unwanted pounds? Then, the Stillman diet is something you should definitely try out. Want to know how it can help you? Read on!

This low-carb diet doesn’t require you to follow rigorous workouts. You will be having 6 meals and 8 glasses of water per day. The foods you will eat will help you shed fat and build lean muscle mass. So, you can lose a lot of pounds in just a few weeks and maintain your weight as well. But, make sure you strictly follow the Stillman diet plan to prevent weight gain. Without further ado, let’s find out how this diet works, what you should eat, whether there are side effects, and much more.

How The Stillman Diet Works For Weight Loss

Image: Shutterstock

The Stillman Diet was designed by Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman in 1967. Also known as Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet, named after the book written by Dr. Stillman, it is a low-carb high-protein diet. In fact, rumor has it that Dr. Stillman tried this diet himself and lost 50 pounds in just a few weeks. This made him confident about this diet plan, and he started recommending it to obese patients.

The reason it works is it allows you to eat 6 meals per day instead of 3 big meals. This keeps your cells active and metabolism firing. You drink 8 glasses of water per day, so your cells will be hydrated and perform their functions properly. It will also help to flush out the toxins. When you are on this diet, you will mostly consume protein, a moderate amount of fat, and less than a moderate amount of carbs. Carbs get broken down into sugar in the body. And when in excess, they get stored as fat. When your body is on a low-carb diet, it starts using protein as an alternative source of energy. This, in turn, results in weight loss. The Stillman Diet is divided into two phases – Phase 1 and Phase 2. Each phase has different diet requirements, and you need to follow them strictly to lose weight.

Here are the Stillman Diet Charts for Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Stillman Diet Chart – Phase 1

Image: Shutterstock

During the Phase 1 of the Stillman Diet, you need to avoid all sources of carbs, including veggies, fruits, rice, pasta, bread, and alcohol. You need to follow this diet plan for 1 week.

MealsWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8:00 – 9:00 am)1 cup green tea + 2 boiled eggs
Pre-Lunch (10:30 – 11:00 am)1 cup black coffee (without sugar or cream)
Lunch (12:30 – 1:00 pm)Poached chicken breast with herbs
Post-Lunch (3:00 pm)1 cup black coffee (without sugar or cream)
Evening Snack (5:00 pm)1 boiled egg and 1 cup green tea
Dinner (7:00 – 8:00 pm)Fish or lean cut beef with tabasco sauce/spices

Why This Works

Green tea has zero calories. It helps to increase the body’s metabolism and scavenge the free oxygen radicals. Boiled eggs are a good source of protein. Before lunch, have a cup of black coffee as it has an appetite-suppressing effect. Have a light lunch with poached chicken breast, a lean protein source, with herbs for taste and flavor. Since you will be cutting down on your carbs intake, you might feel hungry. So, drinking coffee would be the best way to suppress hunger. Having boiled egg and green tea for your evening snack will keep your hunger pangs at bay. Have a good proteinaceous dinner with fish or lean cut beef and spice it up with spices or tabasco sauce.

Stillman Diet Foods To Eat – Phase 1

  • Proteins – Chicken breast, fish, veal, lean cuts of beef, eggs, and turkey.
  • Beverages – Black coffee, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and water.
  • Others – Herbs, spices, salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce.

Stillman Diet Foods To Avoid – Phase 1

Vegetables, fruits, alcohol, condiments, bread, butter, oil, rice, pasta, aerated drinks, and artificially sweetened drinks.

Stillman Diet Supplements – Phase 1

Consult your doctor or dietitian to know if you need to take supplements while you are on this diet. Typically, you may take vitamin and mineral supplements every two days to support your body and reduce the risk of falling ill.

Stillman Diet Workout Plan – Phase 1

For Phase 1, stick to stretching, meditation, and yoga. Avoid going to the gym, running, or any other rigorous form of exercise. Here is what you can do.

  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Arm circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Ankle rotation – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Stretch

How You Will Feel After Stillman Diet Phase 1

After completing the first week of Stillman Diet, you will lose a lot of water weight. You will kickstart your metabolism, mobilize the fat, and build lean muscle mass. You may feel weak and experience mood swings as you will be on a low-carb diet. You might also feel tired and fatigued all the time. To prevent this, you should do yoga/meditation and stretching exercises. But, you will look forward to the next week as you will move on to the next phase, which allows you to reintroduce carbs into your diet.

Stillman Diet Chart – Phase 2

Image: Shutterstock

During this phase, you will gradually introduce carbs into your daily diet. Here is your Stillman Diet chart for phase 2.

MealsWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8:00 – 9:00 am)1 cup green tea with lemon juice + 2 boiled eggs
Pre-Lunch (10:30 – 11:00 am)½ apple + 1 cup black coffee
Lunch (12:30 – 1:00 pm)Grilled fish without skin + veggies
Post-Lunch (3:00 pm)¼ cup carrots or ¼ cup watermelon
Evening Snack (5:00 pm)Green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit
Dinner (7:00 – 8:00 pm)Chicken stew or mushroom soup

Why This Works

Green tea and lemon juice work wonders when it comes to weight loss. Eggs are a good source of protein and will keep you active throughout the day. Have half an apple to slowly introduce carbs and fruit sugar into your diet. Black coffee is an excellent weight loss agent as it suppresses appetite. Fish skin mostly has fat, so have grilled fish without the skin. Fish is also a great source of lean protein. A few veggies with the grilled fish will provide your body with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and complex carbs. For a post-lunch snack, have half a bowl of fruits or veggies to give your body the nutrients it was deprived of. Green tea suppresses the appetite, and multigrain biscuit is full of dietary fiber, which aids weight loss. Chicken and mushroom are both sources of protein. Include veggies in the stew or soup to make the recipe more palatable and nutritious.

Stillman Diet Foods To Eat – Phase 2

  • Protein – Fish, chicken breast, mushroom, egg, lean cuts of beef, turkey, duck, and veal.
  • Veggies – All veggies but in minimum quantities.
  • Fruits – Peach, grapes, pluot, plum, guava, apple, pear, orange, lemon, grapefruit, watermelon, and muskmelon.
  • Beverages – Green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and black coffee.
  • Others – Herbs, spices, salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce.

Stillman Diet Foods To Avoid – Phase 2

  • Fruits – Mango, banana, and jackfruit.
  • Dairy – Full-fat cream, milk, and yogurt.
  • Beverages – Soda, packaged fruit juice, and alcohol.

Stillman Diet Supplements – Phase 2

You would be eating more nutritious foods as compared to Phase 1, but even then, if you feel weak; consult your doctor to know if you should take supplements.

Stillman Diet Workout Plan – Phase 2

  • During the Phase 2 of the Stillman diet, you can follow the below workout regimen.
  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Arm circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Ankle rotation – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Jumping jacks – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Mountain climbers – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Scissor kicks – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Yoga/ meditation
  • Stretch

How You Will Feel After Stillman Diet Phase 2

Image: Shutterstock

By the end of Phase 2, you will look slimmer, weigh lesser, and your confidence levels will soar high. Following a good lifestyle rewards you with both physical and mental strength. And you will love your new self! Now, the big question is, how much weight can you expect to lose? Here’s your answer.

How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose On The Stillman Diet?

If you adhere to the diet and exercise plan, you can expect to lose 7-10 pounds. However, do not follow it for a prolonged period to lose more weight. It will only make you weak. Check out the list of other foods you are allowed to consume.

Other Foods To Eat

Image: Shutterstock

With so much stress on including only proteins in your daily diet, you must be wondering what exactly you are allowed to eat. The diet recommends the inclusion of some crucial food items. You can safely eat protein-rich food to your heart’s content. Such foods include low-fat cheese, lean meat, soft or hard-boiled eggs, farmer’s cheese, lean fish like flounder, cod, haddock, low-calorie gelatin, and other food such as lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and oysters.

In the next section, we list out other foods you should avoid when you are on the Stillman diet.

Other Foods To Avoid

Image: Shutterstock

1. Foods That Add Flavor

The Stillman diet recommends banishing fat and carb-rich food, such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup, and other similar foods that are used for adding flavor to the dishes. However, the use of spices and herbs to add more flavors to the meal is allowed.

2. Fat-Rich Foods

The diet eliminates all fatty food such as margarine, dense skin poultry, greasy, fried foods, whole-fat dairy products, sauce, gravy, tartar, etc.

3. All Types Of Sugar

All types of sugars, natural or refined, are restricted during this diet. Except for brown sugar, molasses, white sugar, corn syrup, sugar cane syrup, natural sugar and different varieties of refined sugars, such as candy sugar, fruit juices, syrup with sweeteners, sweet desserts, etc., are a big NO in this diet’s blueprint.

4. Starchy Foods

Foods that are rich in starch, including whole wheat, legumes, dried potatoes, white bread, barley, etc., are banished from this diet.

5. Vegetables And Fruits

The Stillman diet plan also banishes the consumption of vegetables and fruits. Lettuce and salad too are struck off your daily diet, which may bring a smile on the face of many!

So, what if you continue to avoid eating veggies, fruits, and other nutritious foods? In the next section, we will discuss the adverse effects of following this diet.

Stillman Diet Side Effects

Image: Shutterstock

Here are the side effects of following the Stillman diet for too long without the supervision of a professional.

  • Malnutrition
  • Digestion problems
  • Fatigue and muscle pain
  • Weak bones
  • Kidney stones
  • High cholesterol levels in the blood
  • Short-term weight loss

This diet is for those who are looking for a quick weight loss plan for an upcoming event or just to kickstart their fat mobilization. Do not follow this diet plan if your doctor or dietitian doesn’t approve of it. Also, take a break of at least 2 weeks before following this diet plan again.

Do let us know how this diet worked for you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.