The Cookie Diet. Yes, It's Real.

Cookie DietIf you haven't heard of this before, you can thank me now. Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet allows you to eat cookies and lose weight. True story.



In the 1970s, Dr. Siegal, bless his heart, engineered a food to specifically control hunger and help his patients stick to a low calorie diet. After a lot of trial and error, he came up with a secret protein formula and baked it into a cookie. The results were excellent. His patients were able to stick to their diet and lose weight without experiencing any significant adverse reactions. That was 34 years ago, and now more than 500,000 patients, including celebrities Jennifer Hudson, Mandy Moore, and Kelly Clarkson, follow his cookie diet. I talked to Dr. Siegal to find out more about this...miracle (eat cookies and lose weight, come on, that's miraculous).

How does the cookie diet work?

After first checking with your doctor and getting the green light to go on a diet, you eat six cookies during the day to control hunger and no other food. For dinner, you have a reasonable quantity of chicken, fish, turkey, or other lean protein and a cup of non-starchy green vegetables prepared without oil. The total recommended daily calorie intake is 1,000. On 1,000 calories a day, everyone loses weight. There are no failures.

How long does it take before you can start seeing results?

When you eat a low calorie diet, results are immediate.

Is it harder for women to lose weight after giving birth? Why?

There is no medical explanation for this, and in fact, that is not the experience I have had with women who have given birth. However, there seems to be an unexplained tendency for women to gain weight more easily after they have given birth as compared to before.

Why is it so damn hard to lose those last 10-20 pounds?

The last ten pounds are the hardest. But it’s not quite that simple. A more accurate way of putting it would be “The next pound is harder to lose than the previous one.” The explanation for this is that the less you weigh, the fewer calories you burn up just carrying your own weight. In other words, your own weight helps you lose it; the more you weigh, the more calories you need just to get around, and the easier it is to lose weight. How’s that for irony?

Is there a quicker way to lose it?

It all boils down to calorie intake and calorie output. Less food combined with more exercise is, of course, the answer. But there’s a limit. I have found that 800 to 1,000 calories works very well. But if you go below 800, you actually lose weight more slowly. What usually stands in the way of all diets is hunger. That’s where Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet cookies come in.

What's the biggest mistake women make when dieting?

That’s an easy one. They take a break from their diet before they have reached their goal. In my experience with hundreds of thousands of patients, when someone falls off the wagon before reaching her goal weight, she will gain back most of what she had lost before she decides to resume her diet.

Why do you think celebrities are attracted to this diet?

For the same reasons that everyone else is attracted to it: it works, it’s fast, and it’s safe, and the cookie controls their hunger. I’ve had many very famous patients over the years, and more recently, celebrities have purchased the cookies on or in our Beverly Hills store. After speaking to enough of them, I’ve come to realize that their weight issues are no different than anyone else’s.

Why does this diet make sense to the average mother?

The diet makes sense principally because it works. It has worked for over half a million people. It works because it addresses the single most negative influence on successful dieting: hunger.

What are the health benefits? Risks?

The health benefit: attaining a normal weight. The risks? Becoming a new person and having to confront the world with an entirely new self-image. Another risk: Not having to use one’s weight as an excuse for one’s dissatisfaction with one’s life experience.

What's your favorite diet program? Have you tried the Cookie Diet?

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