The truth behind the Cookie Diet

Jessica Simpson

Q: Is the Cookie Diet a good way to lose weight?

A: The Cookie Diet has been around since 1975 but it’s recently been making headlines thanks to the number of celebrities who are reportedly fans of the diet, including Jennifer Hudson, Kim Kardashian and Ashlee and Jessica Simpson.

Created by Miami-based doctor Sanford Siegal, the diet is based on eating six of the company’s Hunger-controlling Diet Cookies throughout the day (Shake Mixes are available as well), and having a well-balanced meal for dinner. Dr. Siegal’s diet proposes consuming approximately 1,000 calories a day to lose an average of 10 pounds a month.

“Some people find that having less choices is beneficial to them [when on a diet],” says Kim Arrey, a Montreal-based registered dietitian. “They only have one meal to worry about so they can focus on just that one and not become overwhelmed,” she says. The meal-replacement cookies may also help dieters who are on the road or at a venue where the food choices are limited to fast food and other unhealthy choices, adds Arrey.

If you’re interested in trying this diet, it is essential, as the Cookie Diet specifies, to supplement with a multivitamin and to follow it under the supervision of a doctor or dietitian, she says. They will be able to help determine how many calories per day is appropriate for you while on this weight-loss program.

The biggest drawback of the Cookie Diet? Although it will help you lose weight quickly, the diet doesn’t address how to keep the weight off once you’ve shed the pounds, says Arrey. “You can pick from a number of programs and lose a significant amount of weight, but the issue is how to maintain it,” she says. “The diet is also very all-or-nothing—with it, you either succeed or fail with your weight management—and this is ultimately detrimental thinking.” She strongly believes that losing weight is more of a learning process, and of developing new habits and behaviours, sometimes through trial and error.