The Stillman Diet is a weight loss program that works through strict restriction of carbohydrates and fat, which leads to ketosis, where the body is forced to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. The only types of food allowed on the diet are lean proteins such as poultry, fish, and low fat cottage cheese, while things like bread, alcohol, and butter must be completely avoided. Another critical piece of the program is drinking plenty of water, though certain other types of drinks are allowed as well. Some types of spices are also allowed to provide some variety in the tastes of the available foods.
Those following the Stillman Diet are limited to eating foods with minimal carbohydrates and fats; this means they cannot have any fruits or vegetables, grain-based foods like rice or pasta, and products like oil or butter. The dieter's primary form of sustenance is lean protein, which can include lean meats like beef or veal, skinless chicken or turkey, and fish or other seafood. Eggs and light cottage cheese are also allowed under the plan. Though one can consume as much of these foods as he or she wants, it is recommended that a day's worth of food be spread across six smaller meals rather than three larger ones. A vitamin supplement can also be included to compensate for any nutrients that are not being obtained from food.
The other part of the Stillman Diet considered critical for weight loss is drinking a large quantity of water. Eight glasses is typically considered the optimal amount, and dieters should aim to consume at least that much each day. Other calorie-free drinks may also be included, but should only be consumed in addition to the necessary water; these can include coffee, tea, and diet soda.
Though condiments that can add fat or carbohydrates, such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and salad dressing, are all prohibited on the Stillman Diet, certain products that improve flavor are allowed. Both salt and pepper may be used to flavor the meats and other proteins, as can herbs and spices such as oregano, basil, or rosemary. Tabasco sauce is also allowed to add some spice. Due to the limited variety allowed by the plan, dieters may find inclusion of these products very helpful for adding some variety, which may in turn help them stick with the diet.