When you think about foods that you absolutely love, you can usually find cookies at the top of the list. Even if you were to somehow develop an allergy to cookies, you would probably risk danger for the occasional cookie. Unfortunately, a lot of us eat too many of them, which can lead to some extra pounds. After all, eating just three small Oreo cookies will add 160 calories with a couple of grams of saturated fat and a lot of carbohydrates.
With that said, those that are trying to lose weight would probably think that staying away from a food like a cookie would be imperative. However, that’s not the case with that is known as the Cookie Diet. Now you’re probably thinking that something called the Cookie Diet is too good to be true. It’s a fair thought process, but before you dismiss it, let’s take a deeper look into the Cookie Diet to see how effective it can be for weight loss.
Behind the Cookie Diet
The Cookie Diet that has garnered a lot of attention in the national media was created by Dr. Sanford Siegal. Siegal started his medical practice all the way back in the 1950’s, and then turned his attention to helping patients lose weight in the 1960’s. After 15 years in the business, Siegal came up with a formula that would help his patients indulge their sweet tooth while still being able to lose weight.
That’s when Siegal got the idea to come up with a cookie that was high in amino acids and protein, starting a bakery and giving the cookies to his patients in 1975. For more than a quarter century, these types of cookies were only available through doctors offices, and then they became publicly available in the mid 2000’s. The cookies were then available in stores and online, with hundreds of thousands of orders being made.
How does the Cookie Diet Work?
Upon first glance at the Cookie Diet, you might think that it’s a typical diet where you end up eating a low calorie cookie for dessert. It’s actually quite the opposite as the Cookie Diet is focused mainly on the cookies. The diet calls for a minimum of four cookies per day, with those that have more weight to lose eating anywhere between six and eight. Each cookie contains about 60 calories, meaning that you will be getting between 240 to 480 calories per day from the cookies.
That’s obviously not enough to keep going throughout the day, so you have to make up the rest of the calories from somewhere else. The cookies are to be eaten throughout the times where you would usually eat breakfast and lunch, taking in one cookie every two hours. For dinner, you eat a sensible meal of about 300 calories, though you should bring your daily total to a minimum of 1,000 calories and a maximum of 1,200.
Siegal has said that his cookies are specially formulated so that you don’t get hungry at all, with enough protein to keep you full for two hours until it’s time for another cookie. You might end up craving something that isn’t a cookie in the end, which is where the dinner comes in and usually consists of just about whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t exceed 700 calories. As for the cookie flavors, the options are actually pretty varied as you can choose between chocolate brownie, maple granola, cinnamon oatmeal, blueberry, banana, coconut and oatmeal raisin.
If you get tired of the cookies, there are also shakes available that you can substitute for two of the cookies. For those that aren’t sure about what foods they should be eating at dinner, Siegal has also created a guide that contains recipes to keep you within the calorie range. The variety in foods and even cookie flavors is there, but you must make sure you’re getting enough calories to help sustain your metabolism.
What to Know About the Cookie Diet
Unless you really, really like cookies (and we know that most of us do), then it’s not suggested that you jump into this as a weight loss plan. The cookies have a decent taste, but it’s something that you might get sick of after a couple of days. It can also be pretty expensive to get into the Cookie Diet, as a week’s worth of cookies can run you about $50 while a month’s package (that also comes with the cookbook and vitamins) is more than $200. If you opt for the shakes instead of the cookies, that will run you about $60.
Another thing that you should know is that the cookies can actually be hard to find at the moment. Very recently, Siegal retired from his business, so there is a temporary hiatus on new batches. You can still find them in stores like GNC, but don’t expect any shipments for at least a few weeks. Siegal is transitioning his company into the next generation as he plans on keeping it in the family, so new shipments should be heading out shortly.
Once you have reached your goal weight, Siegal suggests that you still eat the cookies to maintain your weight loss. Instead of replacing two meals per day with the cookies, you should cut it down to just one while taking in between 1,300 to 1,700 calories depending on your size, gender and other vital statistics.
This is a decent plan for those that are on the go, but there aren’t many options for eating out unless you do it at dinner time. Another question that a lot of people ask is about alcohol, and it’s suggested that you avoid booze while on the cookie diet. For those that have gluten or lactose allergies, it’s also not suggested that you go on the plan as the cookies aren’t really friendly for those types of diets.
Siegal’s Cookie Diet is also not the only of its kind on the market, as there have been many imitations since then. Some of the newer cookie diets out there have cookies that are more friendly for those with allergies, but the idea of replacing meals with cookies is the same in the end. Siegal doesn’t mention exercise as part of his diet, though you should still be getting 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Summing it Up
The idea of the Cookie Diet is pretty much the same thing that you would expect from Slim-Fast, but instead of drinks and small snack packs, you’re limited to shakes and cookies. Though Siegal has said that the cookies are filling, people that have tried out the diet have found themselves hungry shortly after eating them. It also doesn’t make for a good balanced diet unless you are packing nutrients from vitamins and your non-cookie meal each day.
If Siegal’s plan isn’t up your alley, but you still want to try a Cookie Diet, there are plenty out there that include Lenny & Larry’s, Smart for Life, The Hollywood Cookie Diet and NutriWise. We would get deeper into those, but a lot of it would be the same information where the only difference is the nutritional value and ingredients of the cookies. No matter which plan you pick, it’s not going to be the cheapest as a dozen cookies (about two days worth) is going to cost around $20.
Most Cookie Diet-related plans last around 30 days, though they say you can stick to the program for longer if you still have weight to lose. However, you will probably find yourself craving other foods that aren’t cookies to the point where you’ll swear off any baked goods for a long time after trying the diet out. It’s good for some short term weight loss if you need to shed pounds quickly for a special occasion, but it’s not as easy to stick to long term as Cookie Diet creators have claimed.
Instead of the Cookie Diet, you should be looking for a better all-around eating plan and injecting exercise into your daily routine. The calorie count for the Cookie Diet is going to be low, but just imagine spending your life eating small cookies that don’t taste like Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. It sounds nice at first, but it gets old.