Stillman diet

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The Stillman Diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was created in 1967 by physician Irwin Maxwell Stillman (1896–1975).[1]


Stillman and Samm Sinclair Baker authored the book The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet that first advertised the Stillman Diet in 1967. The animal based high-protein diet includes lean beef, veal, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and non-fat cottage cheese. Spices, tabasco sauce, herbs, salt, and pepper are also allowed. Condiments, butter, dressings and any kind of fat or oil are not permitted. Tea, coffee, and non-caloric soft drinks can be consumed, but only in addition to the 8 daily glasses of water required. It's also recommended that dieters eat 6 small meals per day instead of 3 large ones.[2]

The diet is a carbohydrate restriction diet, similar to the Atkins Diet (Atkins Diet encourage fat consumption), although Stillman published his diet book 5 years before Atkins.

Karen Carpenter[edit]

Karen Carpenter began using the diet in her teens. Karen was 5'4" and 145 pounds when she went on the Stillman Diet in 1967. She eventually abandoned the Stillman Diet and limited her caloric intake extremely. By September 1975, Karen's weight dropped to 91 pounds.[3] In 1983 she died of complications related to anorexia nervosa.[4][5]


The Stillman diet has been criticized by medical experts and nutritionists as a fad diet.[6][7][8][9] Physician Terrence T. Kuske wrote regarding the Stillman diet:

It induces a degree of diuresis because of the low carbohydrate, but is a relatively unpalatable diet. Adherence to the diet induces fatigue, nausea and lassitude or exhaustion. Long-term use of this diet, because of its composition, may induce vitamin deficiency. Studies of individuals following the Stillman Diet have demonstrated quite conclusively that it raises the serum cholesterol, with its attendant risks.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dr. Irwin M. Stillman, 79, Dies; Wrote Four Popular Diet Books". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Review of The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet
  3. ^ Randy L. Schmidt, Dionne Warwick Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter
  4. ^ Matheson, Whitney (4 February 2013). "Today in history: Karen Carpenter died 30 years ago". USA Today. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Battling Anorexia: The Story of Karen Carpenter". Archived from the original on January 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Stare, Fredrick J; Witschi, Jelia. (1972). Diet Books: Facts, Fads and Frauds. Medical Opinion 1: 13-18.
  7. ^ Rickman, F; Mitchell, N; Dingman, J; Dalen, J. E. (1974). Changes in serum cholesterol during the Stillman diet. Journal of the American Medical Association 228 (1): 54-58.
  8. ^ a b Kuske, Terrence T. Quackery and Fad Diets. In Elaine B. Feldman. (1983). Nutrition in the Middle and Later Years. John Wright & Sons. p. 297. ISBN 0-7236-7046-3
  9. ^ "Health Experts Advise Against High-Protein Diets". WebMD. Retrieved November 22, 2018.

Further reading[edit]