The Cookie Diet
The Cookie Diet: What It Is
Being hungry and craving sweets are two of the main reasons people fall off
their diets. But what if eating cookies and not being hungry was part of your
loss. After all, what could be more appealing than losing weight while
indulging in one of our favorite treats?
But these are not your grandmother’s cookies. Instead they're designed to be
meal replacements -- made with fiber, protein, and other ingredients intended
to keep you full. They're not nearly as sweet as Grandma's, though they're
certainly palatable. They contain no drugs or secret ingredients, other than
amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and fiber that act to suppress
Several cookie diet plans exist; the most popular are the Hollywood Cookie
Diet, the Smart for Life diet, and Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet. Sanford Siegal,
MD, a Miami obesity physician who developed a cookie formula in 1975 to help
his patients lose weight, is considered the originator of the cookie diet
Some of the cookie diets are designed for people to follow on their own with
some online guidance; others are done under medical supervision.
The Cookie Diet: How it Works
On the Cookie Diet, there are no decisions about what to eat except which
flavor cookie to eat, and what to have for dinner. It's a relatively mindless
diet strategy that has reportedly helped half a million of Siegal’s patients
The cookies contain select amino acids thought to suppress hunger, fiber,
and other ingredients that digest slowly to help keep you feeling full. Eating
4-6 of the cookies a day will give you somewhere around 500 calories.
Dinners are simple: Lean protein and veggies, or a light frozen dinner and a
salad. The dinners range from a low of 300 to a high of about 1,000 calories
each, meaning the diet has a grand total of 800-1,500 calories per day.
Anyone following an 800-calorie per day plan is sure to lose weight, but
medical supervision is recommended for people following very low-calorie diets
(less than 1,200 per day), as they are likely to be deficient in nutrients.
Most of the very low-calorie cookie diet plans recommend a daily multivitamin
to fill in the nutritional gaps. (The self-administered cookie diet plans found
online recommend higher levels, of 1,400 or more calories per day).
Siegal says his patients have no problems sticking to the 800-calorie limit,
and usually drop about 15 pounds per month.
"One of the greatest motivators to sticking to a diet is when you manage
hunger, decrease cravings, and watch the weight come off, and virtually
everyone will lose weight at 800 calories," he says.