The Cookie Diet was developed by a physician, Dr. Segal, and their website boasts that their diet has helped more than a half million people lose weight since 1975.
How does it work?
It’s pretty simple. Eat six Cookie Diet cookies during the day and have a regular meal for dinner. The daily cookie allotment gets you to about 500 calories. Add 500-700 calories for the evening meal, and you end your day at 1000-1200 calories. They offer a recipe book on their website that will help you with plan your dinner.
The proposition is straight forward: reduce your calories and you WILL lose weight.
At first glance, the cookies seem to have a decent nutrient value. Each cookie contains 90 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
But, like all things, the devil is in the details. So what’s in those cookies?
Here’s the ingredient list for the Classic Oatmeal Raisin cookies, their most popular choice:
GLYCERIN, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, BEEF PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE, RICE CRISPS (RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, MALT EXTRACT, SALT, DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES AND MALT EXTRACT ADED AS PROCESSING AIDS), OATS, SOYBEAL OIL, MICROCHRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, RAISINS, MILK PROTEIN, FRACTIONATED PALM OIL, VINEGAR, BROWN SUGAR, WATER, EGG WHITE SOLIDS, WHEY, CANE SUGAR, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLEACHED ENRICHED BROMATED FLOUR (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, POTASSIUM BROMATE, THAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, ENZYME), WHEAT BRAN, BAKING SODA, LEAVENING (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BICARBONATE OF SOA, CORNSHARTCH, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SALT, CINNAMON, NUTMEG, CALCIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVE), FD&C YELLOW #5.
Seems like a pretty complicated way to get your protein and your fiber. Plus their cookie offering isn’t particularly unique. You’d consume the same amount of calories and protein if you substituted two Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip cookies for every Cookie Diet cookie.
And the cost? $59.95 for a one week supply of cookies. That’s $8.56 per day for cookies that have about the same nutritional value as cookies from your grocery store.
This diet is pretty easy to debunk. It’s based on calorie control, not overall health impact and sustainability. It may work to lose weight at first but long term failure is inevitable. And eating cookies gets pretty monotonous. One possible positive side effect? You’ll never want to look at another cookie ever again!
Our take? If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.