Hilton Head Metabolism Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

new-hilton-head-metabolism-dietThe Hilton Head Metabolism Diet derives from Dr. Peter M. Miller’s observation, and evidence from subsequent study, that a person’s metabolism burns 70% of all daily calories – the remainder is burned through physical activity.

So the main problem in people who are overweight is their body’s failure to burn calories efficiently through metabolism.

Metabolism is the action or the result of chemical processes occurring in living organisms and cells that are necessary to maintain life, breaking down some substances to yield energy for vital processes, and synthesizing other substances.

Dr. Miller is the author of the best-selling books The Hilton Head Metabolism Diet and The New Hilton Head Metabolism Diet and the founder in 1976 of the Hilton Head Health Institute on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The Hilton Head Metabolism Diet

This program works by changing your body chemistry to burn fat naturally, so that even though you eat five times a day the weight will drop off.

The program is in two (repeated) stages. The first stage comprises six weeks of weight reduction, and in the second two-week stage you follow a weight maintenance diet.

This cycle is repeated until the ideal weight is achieved. In other words, 6 weeks to drop off pounds, 2 weeks to maintain that weight, then repeat this dietary ‘stair-stepping’ as long as necessary.

How the Hilton Head Diet operates

The weight reduction or low-calorie stage involves eating three meals a day plus two snacks (equivalent to no more than about 1,000 calories a day), in a well-structured, low-fat, high-carbohydrate plan.
Weight loss through metabolic activity is quicker on several ‘mini-meals’ a day than on one or two large meals. On weekends the metabolism can be boosted (and the diet varied) by adding 200 to 250 calories each day.

The maintenance stage (also low-fat, high-carb) bases calorie intake on individual needs as determined by the plan.

In the meal plans, all portions must be measured and nothing skipped, no salt is permitted, and multivitamin/mineral and calcium supplements may be recommended. Daily meal plans restrict calories from fat to under 20% of total, and fat consumption is no more than 15 to 20 g.

Drink daily at least five 8-ounce or 250-ml glasses of water (or other noncaloric and non-caffeinated beverages).

Daily exercise is required (two 20-minute walks or equivalent, substituted two/three times a week by a 20-minute session of muscle-firming exercises).

Sample plan for weekday low-calorie meal

Breakfast 1 oat bran English muffin with 1 tbspn low-sugar jam or jelly
¾ cup skim milk or 1% fat
1 banana
coffee or tea with sugar substitute
Lunch Tuna salad sandwich (¼ cup tuna salad on 2 slices of low-calorie whole wheat bread, with lettuce and 2 slices of tomato)
6 raw baby carrot sticks
choice of any noncaloric or low-calorie beverage
Snack 1 apple
Dinner Pasta (1¼ cups of cooked pasta with ½ cup tomato sauce)
Salad (small dinner salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and 1 tbspn low-fat dressing of choice)
choice of any noncaloric or low-calorie beverage
Snack 4 cups air-popped popcorn (no butter or salt)

Look for more low Calorie recipes here.


The structured plan of the Hilton Head Metabolism Diet suits many people, but may be too rigid or demanding for you personally, especially for a larger-framed man.

If so, the daily calorie intake may be increased (eg use the boosted weekend plan all week, or increase portion sizes), requiring more weight-loss/maintenance cycles to achieve the objective.

See Also

The New Hilton Head Metabolism Diet by Dr. Peter M. Miller. Achieve permanent weight-loss by changing your body’s metabolism to burn fat more efficiently.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Other related books include “The Hilton Head Over-35 Diet” and “The Hilton Head Diet for Children and Teenagers”.


  • Miller, P. M. (2008). The New Hilton Head Metabolism Diet: Revised for the 1990’s and Beyond. Grand Central Publishing.
  • Hickey, J. T., Hickey, L., Yancy Jr, W. S., Hepburn, J., & Westman, E. C. (2003). Clinical use of a carbohydrate-restricted diet to treat the dyslipidemia of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome and related disorders, 1(3), 227-232. link
  • DiGioacchino, R., Sargent, R., Rankin, H. J., Sharpe, P., Miller, P., Hussey, J. R., & Tafakoli, A. S. (1997). Factors associated with weight change among clients of a residential weight control program indicating binge and nonbinge traits. Addictive behaviors, 22(3), 293-303. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: February 2, 2015. Disclaimer


  1. cbb

    I used this diet in the mid-90s and it was so successful that my sister used it and also had success. I’ve thought about it again, but am older and much lazier. Hope I can get the motivation. Really loved the miled aerobic exercise and the timing of this activity. I’ve recommended this diet and still do.

  2. Deniise

    I did this diet 15 years ago to get ready for a Jamica trip, could not believe how I went from a size 12 to a size 4 in 2 months…..I was so happy, trying to start again this week……..

    Denise/Landover MD

  3. MAK

    My doctor recommended this diet to me back in 1991 & it works!!!! The first time I tried it / I was hooked! There is nothing extreme or fad/like about this diet. It’s real food which also by preparing & cooking yourself brings you to a greater awareness & appreciation of your meal. Who knew food could be appreciated? This diet works / try for your first 10 lbs. & you will be hooked!