Diet 101: Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet

Lose weight by eating cookies? Really? Well, that’s what Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet claims. These days, there are a variety of “cookie diets,” but we focused on the original version created by Dr. Siegal 35 years ago.

Lose weight by eating cookies? Really? Well, that’s what this diet claims. These days, there are a variety of “cookie diets,” but we focused on the original version created by Dr. Siegal 35 years ago.

An Overview

Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet began in 1975 when this “cookie doctor” (yep, he’s a real man) put his weight-loss patients on a meal plan that featured six cookies a day, along with “hunger-controlling” foods such as lean meats.

In 2007, Siegal began offering his special cookies to the public and, boy, did folks start eating them up! This cookie craze took some time to become popular. If you're curious about the evolution, here's a brief history.

Nowadays, you can’t turn on the TV or radio without hearing about this trendy diet: lose weight by munching on cookies! Dr. Siegal’s original version of the diet recommends that you stick to 1,000 calories per day. Yes, that few. The program does offer an online self-assessment tool, so individuals can make reasonable weight-loss goals. But because the recommended calorie total is so low, you would be wise to see your doctor before you start.

The concept of the cookie diet is simple enough: Eat a specially formulated cookie whenever you feel hungry. Siegal suggests that dieters have six cookies throughout the day, in addition to one sensible meal for dinner (“sensible” means green veggies and a skinless chicken breast). The cookies are available in a variety of flavors, including oatmeal raisin, chocolate, blueberry, banana and coconut. Sure, that sounds tasty, but look at the ingredients list and you might be scared. They are made from a laundry list of bizarre and less-than-healthy ingredients, including beef protein hydrolysate, brown sugar, soybean oil and natural and artificial flavorings.

Here is a look at the nutritional information for one chocolate cookie:

Calories: 90
Total Fat: 2.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 150 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sugar: 2 grams
Protein: 5 grams
The Costs

Well, obviously the main cost here is buying the cookies, but you can order an array of Cookie Diet products online, including shakes, supplements and teas. Dr. Siegal’s also offers a one-month starter kit that includes 168 cookies and the Cookie Diet book for $239.80. After that, you can continue to order cookies for about $60 per week.

The Good

- Suggests that you consult a physician before starting (unlike many other diets).

The Not-So Good

- Rate of weight loss promised (up to 15 pounds in a month) may be unhealthy. (Safe weight loss should be one to two pounds per week at most.)

- This diet restricts too many calories.

- Eating the same food throughout the day can get boring really fast!

- No scientific evidence that the diet is effective.

The Bottom Line:
Unfortunately, no magic cookie will help you lose weight. Although it may seem fun to munch on “cookies,” the novelty will wear off quickly and soon you’ll be begging for fresh, wholesome food. Besides, for that kind of money, wouldn't you rather buy fresh fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and more?
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