Cookie Diets: Which Cookie Diet is Best?

Cookie Diets: Which Cookie Diet is Best?

Every time you turn around, it seems like a new cookie diet fad has exploded onto store shelves. The diets promise easy weight loss thanks to an indulgent food regimen, but are the claims just hype? There are several enduring cookie diets on the market today, but Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet and the Smart for Life Diet have enjoyed the most popularity.

Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet Vs Smart for Life

Both cookie diets use cookies to entice people with a roaring sweet tooth into easy weight loss. And for those that fell off the Atkins bandwagon two days after life without sugar, a diet where eating treats is mandatory certainly has its appeal. But these aren’t your mama’s cookies. Designed to take the place of regular meals, these treats are filled with protein, fiber, and other ingredients designed to ward off hunger. The cookies are portable, convenient, and don’t require refrigeration (perfect for dieters on the go or the anti-cooking set). There are no magic weight loss ingredients in the cookies—simply a blend of amino acids and satiating fiber.

The cookie diet trend can be attributed to weight-loss expert and physician Dr. Siegal, who created the concept in 1975. But both Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet and the Smart for Life Cookie Diet follow the same principle: replace the majority of meals with the special cookies, eat a reasonable healthy dinner of your choosing, and watch the pounds fly off.

On Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet program, cookies come in 5 flavors: blueberry, oatmeal raisin, chocolate, coconut, and banana. On the Smart for Life Cookie Diet customers are limited to 3 flavors: chocolate, oatmeal, and blueberry.

And now the question all sugar addicts are wondering: How do these health cookies taste? According to the latest tallies at dietsinreview, the Smart for Life cookies have an 88% test rating—not bad for a treat devoid of preservatives. One Smart for Life fan suggests heating the cookies in the microwave for 8 seconds and adding spray butter, Splenda, or cinnamon to enhance the flavor. Dr. Siegal’s cookies fared worse with a 65% taste test rating. While one user enthused that the chocolate cookies tasted like brownies, another said the coconut flavor tasted so bad she couldn’t bring herself to finish it and immediately “downed several glasses of water to flush out the chemical aftertaste.”

The downside? These cookies aren’t the same price as Oreos. A week’s supply of Dr. Siegal’s cookies (7 daily bags containing 6 cookies each) or a 21-pouch box of shakes will set you back $59.95. A 1-month starter kit, which includes a copy of Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet book, is $239.80. On the Smart for Life Cookie Diet, cookies can only be purchased in 9-day, 2-week, or 5-week supplies. A 9-day supply clocks in at $96.90, while a 5-week supply costs $279.00. And on both programs you’ll still need to factor in the weekly cost of you non-cookie dinners.

The downside to the cookie diet eating plan is that it isn’t a long-term solution. Once you reach your goal weight, although you may want to continue using the cookies for the occasional meal substitute, you’re going to have to learn how to eat regular food without regaining the weight. And although existing on cookies may sound fun, the truth is that it can get boring eating them every day, making it hard for some dieters to stay motivated. Unlike support-based programs that teach behavior modification (like Weight Watchers), cookie diets leave you high and dry when it comes to living in the real world. Another flaw in both diets is the lack of an exercise regimen. Physical activity is imperative for weight loss, and neither diet emphasizes physical activity. Without exercise and healthy eating guidance to help dieters make long-term changes, people that reach their ideal weight munching the cookies may see the pounds creep back on once the diet is over.  

For many people looking to drop pounds, being vigilant about selecting diet-appropriate meals is tough, and when you can simply munch a cookie instead of a meal it simplifies healthy eating and helps some dieters maintain control. Both the Cookie Diet and the Smart for Life Diet feature products in proportioned packs, making them a good choice for people on the go. Once you reach your goal weight, dieticians recommend that you increase your intake of healthy foods and, if you want to keep the cookies as part of your new long-term lifestyle, rely on the cookies as meal replacements once per day. So if you’ve got weight to lose and you’d rather sell a kidney than give up carbs, go ahead and grab a cookie—just make sure you’ve got a battle plan for when the box is empty.

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