Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet (frequently misspelled as Dr. Siegel’s cookie diet) is one of the most misunderstood diets on the planet – partially due to our own wishful thinking and partly due to exaggerated claims.
Back in 2006 news programs went nuts with scenes of women stuffing goodies from Mrs. Fields and oreos into their mouths while announcers bravely proclaimed weight losses of up to 15 pounds per month. Because who doesn’t want to load up on cookies while losing the fat and promoting our health?
This mania was pumped up by Woman’s World magazine who published a supposed recipe for "thyroid-boosting diet cookies." This nonsense recipe included:
2 1/4 cups (130g.) multi-bran Chex cereal, ground in blender
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup instant fat-free dry milk
2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. iodized table salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large, ripe banana, mashed
4 Tbs. salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 whole large eggs
7 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Dr. Siegal emphatically states that his cookie recipe is nothing like this.
The reality, of course, is far different. The Siegal Cookie diet allows a total of six cookies each day, along with lots of water (an excellent idea) and a dinner of lean meat and one cup of veggies. This results in a daily caloric intake of 800 calories.
The cookies are supposed to contain appetite-reducing substances and come in oatmeal raisin, chocolate, blueberry, banana and coconut.
Siegal later added shakes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, crème brulee and pina colada.
Does The Cookie Diet Really Cause You To Lose Weight?
Yes – for some people. Any diet that allows only 800 calories per day will promote weight loss for most people. Dr. Siegal rocketed to fame with a book called Is Your Thyroid Making Your Fat? which made an underactive thyroid the culprit in failure to lose weight. To discover whether your thyroid was working properly you were supposed to go on an ultra low calorie diet of 800 calories for 21 days. At the end of this time period, your weight loss, or lack thereof, would provide the answer to this important question.
NOTE: it’s hard to imagine anything more discouraging than starving myself for three weeks – only to lose almost no weight!
According to Dr. Siegal, his cookies will boost your thyroid and cause it to work more efficiently.
Is The Cookie Diet Safe?
NO! Eating only 800 calories for an extended period of time is definitely not healthy.
The human body needs 6-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and the puny amount allowed on the Siegal cookie diet is wholly inadequate.
The Cookie Diet doesn’t provide sufficient vitamins, minerals and fiber. Even Dr. Siegal himself has acknowledge that his Cookie Diet isn’t a long term diet plan or way of life.
Any weight loss is likely to be impermanent. Research into the human body suggests that we need a minimum of 1200 calories per day – and that’s for those of us that aren’t active [the classic Couch Potato]. Years ago we didn’t know that our body has a mind of its own. If your body believes that starvation is a possibility, no matter how remote, it will hold on to every single calorie and refuse to cooperate in any weight loss efforts. So, ironically, eating almost nothing in an attempt to lose weight is actually a self-defeating behavior. Enter the famous yo-yo dieting syndrome.
Let’s be blunt: permanent weight loss – which is what you’re looking for, right? – requires new habits. There’s no way around this! And the Dr. Siegal cookie diet doesn’t promote new habits. Instead, we are stuck on a treadmill of cookie eating that never deals with the true underlying causes of overeating and stuffing ourselves when we’re not hungry.
Cost is another factor in this diet. Currently, the cookies cost “$59 per Weekly Box (about $4.20 per meal)" and the shakes are also $59 per week, at a cost of $2.80 each. This is defended as being as economical as a ‘regular’ meal, and perhaps it is. But most of us don’t live in a vacuum – there are kids, spouses, guests, etc., that must be fed, too. And this is a high price, I think. I frequently make my own protein shakes and my cost is much lower than this.
Our Grade On The Siegal Cookie Diet: F
If you’re looking for healthy weight loss plans, go elsewhere. This isn’t it! Dr. Siegal’s Cookie diet is a gimmicky fad that might work short term but will provide no serious, long-term answer to excess weight.
Check here for more diet reviews on popular diets