What is the Cookie Diet?
In 1975, Dr. Sanford Siegal developed the Cookie Diet to help his patients lose weight. The Cookie Diet is a simple low-calorie diet that controls hunger with meal replacement cookies. One regular meal a day supplements the cookies.
Under Dr. Siegal’s Classic Cookie Diet you eat six cookies a day whenever you feel hungry. Dr. Siegal made the cookies not too tasty in order to discourage dieters from eating too many. Each Classic Cookie has 90 calories.
Dr. Siegal unveiled Plan 10X in April 2011. The 60-calorie Plan 10X cookies are natural, Kosher, vegetarian, and tastier. Because they take less time to bake and package, they are less expensive than the Classic Cookies. Dr. Siegal says he could make these cookies better tasting because you eat them at set times a day, not whenever you want, so there is no temptation factor. Because you eat every two hours during your waking hours you never get hungry.
The Plan 10X cookies come in three flavors: chocolate brownie, cinnamon oatmeal, and maple granola. Plan 10X conforms to the 2010 USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The schedule for eating the Plan 10X cookies is fixed. You can adjust the schedule if you get up earlier or later, you can eat your meal at another time of the day (although dinner is preferred), and you can substitute a Cookie Diet bran shake for two cookies. Other than that, your meal plan is quite rigid.
What’s in the cookies? Well, Dr. Siegal won’t say exactly. The most he will reveal is that he uses a proprietary amino acid mixture that fights hunger. He calls it a “proprietary combination of grains and other natural ingredients” and “a hunger-controlling amino acid protein.” Whatever is in them, the Classic Cookies cost $60 a week and the Plan 10x cookies cost $50.00 a week. Discounts are available.
You can expect to lose 10-15 pounds per month under either the Classic Plan or the Plan 10X.
Other Cookie Diets
While Dr. Siegal is credited with creating the original cookie diet, his is not the only cookie diet. Dr. Sasson Moulavi, who worked for Dr. Siegal for a while, has a program called The Smart for Life Cookie Diet. His cookies have 100 calories each, are 60 percent organic, have no preservatives, and cost $1.00 each. A two-week program costs $129. Smart for Life also has muffins, shakes, and soups. Expected weight loss is 10-15 pounds per month.
The Hollywood Cookie Diet features four high-protein, high-fiber cookies to be eaten between breakfast and lunch. A box of twelve cookies (a three-day supply) sells for $20.00 and is available in retail groceries and pharmacies.
How the Cookie Diet Works
Because your choices are so limited, Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet is easy to follow. It has three steps.
Step 1. See your doctor. Dr. Siegal wants his dieters to see their personal physicians before starting the diet to make sure there is no reason they should not follow the Cookie Diet.
Step 2. Order cookies. The cookies are not available in stores. A four-week starter kit contains enough cookies for a month plus the Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet books: The Cookie Doctor Cookbook: Countless Combinations of Delicious Meals for Any Calorie-Controlled Lifestyle and Dr. Siegal’s Diet Book.
Step 3. Eat your cookies according to the following schedule:
- 8:00 AM: 2 cookies
- 10:00 AM: 1 cookie
- 12:00 N: 1 cookie
- 2:00 PM: 2 cookies
- 4:00 PM: 1 cookie
- 6:00 PM: 500-700 calorie meal
- 8:00 PM: 1 cookie
- 10:00 PM: 1 cookie
For your one daily meal you can have six ounces of chicken, fish, turkey, or seafood and one cup of vegetables. You should drink at least eight glasses of water, black coffee, or tea a day, but no alcohol or sweet drinks. Fruit, dairy, and any foods not listed above out prohibited.
Benefits of the Cookie Diet
The Cookie Diet is a low-calorie diet that should result in weight loss.
Consultation with your doctor before you start the program (and during it if needed) is part of Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet. This is a good idea with any diet, but is particularly important with a low-calorie meal replacement program such as the Cookie Diet.
Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet meets the needs of vegetarians and people who follow a Kosher diet.
Not having to make food decisions is an advantage for many dieters. Also, the rigid program allows no opportunities for slip-ups. Both of these features of the Cookie Diet could make the diet appealing to people who have been unsuccessful with other weight-loss diets.
Concerns about the Cookie Diet
The Cookie Diet does not have an exercise component, nor is there a maintenance or transition phase. Dietitians generally recommend that individuals on meal replacement diets transition to limiting their meal replacements and eating two meals a day before they go back to regular diets.
The Cookie Diet does not educate dieters about healthy eating or teach them how to plan and prepare healthy meals.
The Cookie Diet is expensive.
The Cookie Diet may not provide enough fiber, calcium, carbohydrates, and vitamin D. Two flavors of Dr. Siegal’s new cookies are high in saturated fat.
Talk to Your Doctor
A limited-time meal replacement diet like the Cookie Diet can be a good way to lose weight quickly. As Dr. Siegal points out, it is important to consult with your own physician before starting the Cookie Diet. He or she will be able to assess if the Cookie Diet is a safe and effective weight loss program for you. You can also talk to your doctor while you are on the Cookie Diet if you have any questions or concerns about your weight or your health.