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The Stillman Diet

Designed in 1967 the Stillman diet is probably one of the older and more common low-carb/high-protein diets that you will find in modern times. It was created by Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman and follows the very simple premise of increasing lean protein, while decreasing the amount of carbohydrates in a persons daily diet. Though it sounds similar to other diets of this nature, the Stillman diet differs in that, unlike other low-carbohydrate diets it focuses on lean and "clean" protein which also makes it a low-fat diet.

The diet itself follows quite a strict regime and takes a lot of carbohydrates of the table, in fact for the most part they're practically non-existent as from the beginning of the diet, participants must follow a set list of acceptable foods, mainly focussing around lean meats. One of the recommendations to the diet is that meals in the day should be broken up into 6 smaller portions rather than 3 main servings, this is because of the nature of protein breakdown in the body.

Not unlike many other low-carbohydrate diets, the Stillman diet will give rapid weight loss in the beginning and gradually slow after 2 weeks when the bodys metabolism adjusts to its new diet.  It follows two basic stages, the first focusing on the replacement foods and the second focussing on long term changes being put into place for further weight loss. Though not as comprehensive as the more recent versions it provides the fundamentals of many low-carbohydrate diets.

Phase 1 - This is where most change is put into place and is the main reduction stage. All carbohydrates, sugar and alchohol should be removed from your diet, including bread, rice, pasta, vegetables and fruits. It is recommended that meals be broken up into smaller portions through the day and eaten more frequently rather than at 3 set times, using only the ingredients listed below as an exchange for carbohydrates.

The allowances for the diet are as follows;

  • Any lean meats with the fat trimmed, skinless chicken or turkey, lean fish and seafood containing very little oil, eggs preferably boiled (try to avoid using oils), low-fat cheese and moderate zero-fat sauces.
  • All of the above are allowed in replacement and should not be cooked with any oils or fats, seasoning is permitted in moderate amounts as are cocktail sauces no fat.
  • The dieter will also be required to drink a MINIMUM of 8 glasses(10 oz.) of water a day, which is absolutely essential in keeping the body healthy.
  • The dieter will also have to take a vitamin supplement every 1/2days.
  • Sugared drinks including fruit juices should be removed, tea and coffee should be drunk with skimmed or no milk and without sugar.

This stage of the diet can last until your goal weight is close, when the diet has roughly 10 pounds to go, then move onto stage 2.

Phase 2 - The diets maintenance stage in which you gradually reintroduce carbohydrates and sugars back into your meals. This should be done at a gradual pace with constant maintenance to weight gain. Though there is very little in guidance to this stage, it is best to begin with clean-carbs, such as wholemeal foods, vegetables and the occasional fruit as dessert. Slowly increase your carbohydrates until an equilibrium is reached and weight is neither being lost nor gained.

The diet is not without its flaws and does not consider long term change, also because of the severe reduction in nutrients, it is highly recommended that a medically revised list of nutritional supplements is obtained from your Doctor.