The Stillman diet is a low-carb, high-protein diet that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
This carbohydrate-restrictive diet is one that has been largely criticized for the creation of negative eating habits in people, as it so greatly restricts their caloric intake each day.
An Early Low-Carb Diet
Considered one of the first examples of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, the Stillman diet was created in 1967 by Irwin Maxwell Stillman. Stillman wrote the premise of the diet into his book “The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet”.
The Stillman diet was developed after Stillman worked with overweight patients. He prescribed low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets to these patients, who then saw marked weight loss.
The diet was popular through the 1960s and 1970s but ended up getting bad press after the death of Karen Carpenter, who started using the diet as a teenager. Though she eventually stopped the Stillman diet, she continued to limit her calorie intake until she died of anorexia in 1983.
A Carb Restriction Diet
When following the Sillman diet, participants are recommended to eat 6 small meals per day and drink at least 8 glasses of water. The food that is acceptable for those on the diet includes
- Non-fat cottage cheese
- Lean beef
Things that must be avoided are condiments, butter, fat, and other oils. Additionally, it is recommended that followers maintain the same eating schedule every single day.
Because of how strict the diet is, there is very little room for variation. If you are looking to change up the diet, you can really only do so by drinking more water or setting up larger windows of time in which to eat during the day.
A Diet Of The Past
Though the diet was quite popular in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the bad press that came out after the death of Karen Carpenter was a really tough blow for the popularity of the diet.
Because of this, the Stillman diet is rarely mentioned in the news with the exception of being named as a fad diet of the late 20th century.
What To Know About The Diet
The Stillman diet has been known to come with a variety of unpleasant side effects, including fatigue, nausea, and gas. Additionally, it is referred to as “unpalatable” as it is such a low-carb diet that is restrictive of many foods.
This makes the diet very difficult to follow and means that it isn’t one that is considered beneficial in the longterm.
Known As A Dieting Spiral
Unfortunately, the only real pop-cultural references to the Stillman diet have to do with the controversy surrounding Karen Carpenter’s death. The diet has since been shown to be quite difficult to maintain and potentially dangerous for the human body and has therefore not been publicly tried by any celebrities or public figures in recent decades.
A Dangerous Diet Of The Late 20th Century
The Stillman diet isn’t usually practiced anymore, but it is certainly an important stepping stone in the history of fad dieting. This diet is one that may have had short-term positive benefits, but was ultimately one that had more issues than successes with the people who tried it.