The Cookie Diet was originally devised by Dr Siegal.
Florida diet doctor Sanford Siegal is author of the 2001 book “Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?”, which suggested going on a very strict diet of about 800 calories a day to see if you suffer from a thyroid problem.
It sounds like a dieter’s food fantasy come true: eat cookies to lose weight! Is that even possible?
In this article, we’ll present the facts and expose the fiction behind this popular weight loss program. Dieters say that it has definitely helped them shed those excess pounds, but the experts warn that this 1000 calories a day diet may be nutritionally unsound.
The Cookie Diet program
In addition to drinking plenty of water, Cookie Diet followers eat six specially developed 90-cal cookies a day, followed by a low calorie dinner of 6 ounces of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish or seafood only) and one cup of vegetables. This special regime is very strict, and can be very successful for those who can stick to it.
Siegal’s plan is actually an extremely low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet, in which you are advised to drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses) and eat very little (only one meal is eaten, in addition to the 6 signature cookies). The total calorie count of the diet comes out to approximately 800-1000 calories per day, and total carbohydrate intake is about 70 grams per day.
The idea is to promote weight loss by consuming a cookie when hunger strikes. Dr. Siegal’s cookies are a unique blend of proteins that can reduce appetite when eaten. The instructions included with the cookies are very simple: “When hungry, eat a cookie”!
Does it work?
Diet and nutrition experts agree that any diet that provides only 800-1000 calories a day is bound to make you lose weight. But at what price?
Critics of Dr Siegal’s Cookie Diet say that this regime is too low in calories to maintain good energy levels and lacks fruits and vegetables that provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and many other nutrients. Even Dr Siegal admits that the Cookie Diet is not meant to be used for long periods of time.
Should you go on Dr Siegal’s Cookie Diet?
According to weight loss experts, Dr Siegal’s Cookie Diet’s basic flaw is that it doesn’t teach you a new, healthier way of eating. This can be a problem if you put on your excess weight due to poor, unhealthy eating habits: you may end up gaining all the weight back after a few months, if after dieting you don’t follow a sound maintenance diet program.
Registered dietitian Anne Fletcher, author of “Thin for Life” and “Weight Loss Confidential”, says: “If you lose weight through diet and exercise alone and don’t change anything else in your life, you’re probably going to gain the weight back. When you don’t deal with the underlying reasons for why you’re overeating, you’re definitely more likely to gain weight.”
Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, is concerned that Dr Siegal’s Cookie Diet may lack important nutrients: “I am concerned that if someone were to follow this over the long term, there are many different nutrients that they would be missing that you would normally get by eating regular food,” he advised on “Good Morning America.”
Reducing your daily calorie intake is a good way to drop the excess weight, but doing so eating cookies may end up damaging your health. After the diet, you need to embrace long-term changes such as adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your menus and choosing healthy, low-fat alternatives to your favorite dishes.
Still, it may be a good idea to get your thyroid tested. Experts say that many Americans may suffer from thyroid imbalances, the vast majority being undiagnosed. As Dr Siegal wisely brought to the public’s attention, thyroid problems may greatly impair weight loss, no matter what diet program you choose to follow.
Official Cookie Diet website, http://www.cookiediet.com/
Dr. Siegal Medical Group, official website, http://www.drsiegal.com/
Sanford Siegal, DO, MD, “Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet Book. How a Doctor and His Cookie Helped 500,000 People Lose Weight Fast”
ABC News, “Can You Shed Pounds on the Cookie Diet?”, http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/cookie-diet-lose-weight-dr-siegals-plan/story?id=8837084