The Stillman Diet

Before Dr. Atkins popular but controversial Atkins Diet became known, there was the Stillman Diet. This was created and named after Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman, M.D. in 1967 and was also known as The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet. A lot of his patients during his years of practice are overweight and obese and with careful analysis and experimentation, he realized that a high-protein diet is the easiest way to gain weight control. This type of diet is considered as one of the fastest way to lose weight.

HOW IT’S DONE. With the Stillman diet, dieters are required to eat 6 small meals a day. This very low carb – high protein diet consists of lean meat, sea food, poultry, eggs (white only) and low-fat cheeses. Unlike the Atkin’s diet, this weight loss program does not only have very little to no carbohydrates intake, the food should also be extremely low in fat. So dairy products (which are good sources of protein) aren’t allowed either and consumption of low-fat cheese should be kept at a minimum. Other foods that are forbidden if you’re on this diet are bread, vegetables, fruit, sugar and alcohol. Condiments that are very important to a meal because they add flavor are also prohibited, samples of these are ketchup (those with starch) and gravy so you should be careful and ask what’s in your condiments when you’re eating out. Dieters are also required to drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day. Tea, coffee and diet drinks are also allowed.

HOW IT WORKS: Stillman’s theory is that about 30% of calories that we consume are used to break down and digest less tractable food like protein so if we increase the intake of such food, for example, times three then the body’s metabolism will have to work harder and (as per Stillman’s terms) melt more fat. Stillman also only recommends doing this for two weeks eventually trying to increase carb intake but only up to an acceptable amount.

PROS. Eliminating carbohydrates in one’s diet makes for a very fast weight loss program. People with or prone to heart diseases and high cholesterol can also benefit from this diet since it’s all low-fat food.

CONS. Consuming mostly protein, a Stillman dieter will be prescribed vitamin supplements (among other things) and although these are available, a nutrient deficiency is still possible. Dieters are advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday because also prone to dehydration since the body also get fluids from glucose which comes from carbohydrates. A lot of the early weight lost during the diet is previous water retention. Another drawback of this program is constipation, when the body is rid of fluids, fiber and other adherents, the digestive system will have a problem getting all the toxic and waste materials out of the system.

Note: Stillman mentioned that he recommends doing this diet for two weeks before going back to normal (and acceptable) consumption. Once the person returns to eating carbohydrates, some weight gain usually occurs due to a return of some normal water retention.

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