The Cookie Diet is a Real Thing

Yes, you too can lose weight by eating cookies. All the flavors are here, chocolate, banana, oatmeal raisin, blueberry, and eating just nine of them will help curb your hunger throughout the day. The secret is eating, and eating often, according to Dr. Siegal. He prescribes a regimen of nine small snacks and one substantial meal from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Those nine snacks are where the cookies come into the picture, each of them is just 60 calories, and enjoying one every two hours, combined with a standard meal that consists of between 500-700 calories equals weight loss.

Among all the fad diets out there, from the Cabbage Soup to the Baby Food Diet, this one certainly sounds the most enticing. Who wouldn’t want to eat cookies all day as a road map to shedding those extra pounds? The Cookie Diet is the brainchild of Dr. Sanford Siegal, a bariatric physician out of Florida who originated the cookies back in 1975 and is still selling them today, though his diet plan now includes shakes too. Though Siegal isn’t entirely forthcoming about every ingredient in each of his cookies, they do contain wheat bran, white solids, eggs, and key nutrients such as potassium, vitamins B-12 and D, along with fiber and protein. Those last two are some of the biggest contributors to the intended purpose of the cookies, as studies have shown both protein and fiber can be very useful in helping to suppress hunger.

But do they really work, how do they work, and more importantly, do they taste any good? There has to be a catch. Eating cookies all day in order to lose weight doesn’t sound like it should work. While there have been many claims of weight loss, the question remains as to their effectiveness over the long term. Do they keep the pounds off or are they a quick fix?

Dr. Siegal’s proprietary cookie recipe (which he still personally mixes in his private Miami, Florida bakery!) is filled with a combination of exclusive proteins that are only found in his cookies, despite the rise of imitators, according to the Cookie Diet website, these are the ONLY cookies to help you lose weight!  The main diet regimen that Dr. Siegal’s website suggests you follow is their “Plan 10X”, which requires you to eat nine small size cookies over the course of your day then a sensible meal of just 500-700 calories. This version of the diet is the only Kosher and vegetarian option and the cookies come in four different flavors, Chocolate Brownie, Cinnamon Oatmeal, Maple Granola, and Butterscotch.  The older version of the plan, the “Classic” has you eating six cookies, larger in size than the newer ones and with a slightly different recipe that is not Kosher or vegetarian. The flavors sound better than the new batch, with chocolate, blueberry, banana, coconut, and oatmeal raisin as your choices. The 500-700 calorie meal is necessary with this version as well. Perhaps, you’re starting to get a little “cookied out”, Dr. Siegal thought of that possibility, so he offers delicious hunger suppressing shakes that can be substituted periodically. One shake equals two cookies and they come in five flavors.

All told, in each of the two plans, if you remain faithful to the regimen, you’re going to lose 10 to 15 pounds a month. This low-calorie plan resembles other popular diet strategies like Slim-Fast, Nutrisystem, the Raw Food, and the Fast Diet. These plans are all based around an intake of fewer calories than the body uses which, in turn, leads to weight loss. However, this can be a double-edged sword, you are getting fewer calories than recommended so you’re losing the weight, but you’re also losing nutrition. In fact, the Cookie Diet comes in well short of dietary guidelines in almost every major category. While it meets the suggested 35% of calories derived from fats, the Cookie Diet comes in woefully under or in the low end of the recommended standards. You get only 15% of your daily protein intake within a suggested 10-35% range per day, which isn’t great, but there isn’t much sodium to be found either so you can consider that one a mark in the pro column. Unfortunately, major nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and calcium are in low supply here, with only 10 grams of fiber and 843 milligrams of potassium, both of these in particular are well under the 22-34 grams and 4,700 milligrams suggested daily. By the way, did I mention these key nutrients aren’t in the cookies themselves? Dr. Siegal sells nutritional supplements as part of the cookie plan, to give you those low doses of nutritional value to go along with the cookies. So the plan requires you to purchase the cookies and the vitamins and take them in conjunction with one another.

The Cookie Diet will definitely provide some amount of weight loss each month for as long as you decide to live by it, but with the limited nutritional value it’s probably not something you want to stick to in the long term. This might be what some would call a “quick fix”, but for the long term there really isn’t any substitute for old fashioned exercise and healthy eating. Consider the amount of money you’ll spend on buying diet cookies, just one box under the Plan 10X regimen retails for $59.95 through the company’s website and will last you one week, or 54 cookies. Doing the math, that breaks down to almost a dollar per cookie. Compare that to the money you could spend on something like a rowing machine at a website like Home Rower which offers a more challenging yet likely more effective way to get in shape and you have a decision to make when it comes to spending your hard-earned cash on a weight loss solution.

There are obvious pros and cons to the Cookie Diet, but the negative probably outweighs the positive for the most part. The advantages here are the convenience, obviously. It’s pretty simple to remember to eat nine (or six) cookies throughout the day, and there’s the exciting novelty that all you’re eating are cookies. While the secret formula of each cookie and the dietary benefits associated with it are not disseminated by Dr. Siegal, theories tend to the idea that the cookie relies on proteins to help suppress hunger and lose weight. Researchers around the globe have explored many possible keys to weight loss and the findings have consistently shown an intake of protein before a meal is highly effective with helping people feel fuller, longer. They are far more potent than carbs and fats in fulfilling the weight loss goal, with respect to the amount of calories consumed.