Over a half million people have gone on the COOKIE DIET™ to lose weight
You've probably seen the ads like the one above while you have been surfing around the Internet about this new diet plan that claims you can eat cookies to lose weight. It's called the Dr. Sanford Siegal's COOKIE DIET™ and it has seen phenomenal early success in a national marketing campaign that has far exceeded the expectations of most market analysts within the diet industry.
Actually, I first blogged about the COOKIE DIET™ two years ago when this rather unique weight loss plan caught my attention for the first time. My initial reaction was one of incredulity that a diet based on cookies could be any help at all to those seeking to lose weight and get healthy.
My biggest concern was the fact that people had no idea what was in these mysterious cookies that were supposed to be "nutritious, filling, hunger-suppressing." That bothered me along with several other questions at the time. So I decided to contact Siegal Weight Management for myself to get the answers I was looking for.
Unfortunately, the response was quite cold from a man purporting to be the COOKIE DIET™ doctor named Dr. Scott Greenburg. He gave me the most apathetic and cranky responses to my concerns accusing me of spreading "misinformation" about HIS diet citing seven "facts" where he felt I got it wrong about his program.
Again, I was simply asking him to answer some simple questions, but he instead chose to evade my quest for information about the ingredients in the cookies, the sugar content, total carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, etc. His snotty response was that "anyone who calls our office can have access" to this information.
So I needed to call him rather than e-mail him, eh? This dude is a real piece of work! The telling sign to me that he was trying to hide something was when I asked for a sample of the cookies to tell my blog readers about how they taste.
"We do not mail samples of cookies for you to taste," Dr. Greenberg declared.
I was left perplexed and confused about why this man trying to promote a diet based on cookies would be so belligerent towards someone like me who simply had a few legitimate questions and concerns about this unorthodox diet plan. At that point, I totally dropped it and moved on.
But then a couple of months ago, I received correspondence from Matthew Siegal, President and CEO of Dr. Siegal's Direct Nutritionals, LLC who wanted to apologize for the way his company was represented to me back in 2005.
"Dr. Scott Greenberg is not the "Cookie Diet Doctor," Siegal explained. "Dr. Greenberg had nothing to do with the creation of the Cookie Diet; he was merely an employee of a former sub-franchisee (called Smart For Life) of Dr. Sanford Siegal who created the Cookie Diet in 1975."
Siegal went on to explain that the business relationship with this former franchisee had ended in 2006, although the REAL Cookie Diet Doctor had to take the matter to court to have them stop using his trademarked names. A federal court recently ruled in Dr. Sanford Siegal's favor and completely exonerated his good name in the process.
Additionally, Siegal was kind enough to send me some samples of his cookies to try for myself and examine the nutritional content as I had originally requested in 2005. In other words, there was nothing but respect for my request and I appreciated the gesture since I merely wanted the truth to be shared about these cookies.
For the record, I have now tried these cookies in the COOKIE DIET™and read the full list of ingredients and nutritional label. Although they are indeed very delicious (especially the banana--LOVED 'EM!), moist, and hunger-satisfying cookies, I cannot recommend these to people who are losing weight on livin' la vida low-carb because the carb counts are much too high.
Here are the ingredients as found on the package of oatmeal raisin cookies:
WATER, GLYCERIN, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, CRISP RICE (RICE, SUGAR, SALT, MALT), OATS, SOYBEAN OIL, MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, RAISINS, MILK PROTEIN, VINEGAR, MODIFIED PALM OIL, BROWN SUGAR, BEEF PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE, EGG WHITE SOLIDS, WHEY, CANE SUGAR, WHEAT FLOUR, LEAVENING (SODIUM BICARBONATE, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, CORNSTARCH, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM SULFATE), WHEAT BRAN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, CINNAMON, NUTMEG, FD & C YELLOW #5, CALCIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVE).
ALLERGY WARNING: CONTAINS MILK, EGGS, SOY, AND WHEAT.
As for the nutritional label, here's the pertinent information:
Serving Size: 1 cookie (24g)
Servings Per Container: 6 cookies
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 11g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
I was a bit surprised at how low the fiber and protein in these cookies were since they are supposed to ward off hunger. There are many other sugar-free products out there with much higher protein and fiber to keep you satisfied for hours.
There was also a sample daily diet menu on the packaging to follow:
Consult your doctor before starting any diet. Your doctor may have reasons why you should not be on a diet, or why one diet may be more appropriate for you than another. Under his or her direction only, follow these or alternative steps as directed by your doctor:
1. Eat six Dr. Siegal's COOKIE DIET™ cookies a day, not at fixed times but when needed to control hunger. Have one cookie and a glass of water and wait fifteen minutes. If still hungry, eat a second cookie. You should not need a third.
2. In addition to six cookies (which provide about 500 calories), eat one reasonable dinner containing about 900 calories (or a different amount as directed by your doctor).
3. To maintain flavor, this product is not fortified with vitamins or minerals. IMPORTANT: You must take a multivitamin as prescribed by your doctor while using this product as part of a calorie-restricted diet.
4. Drink about two quarts (8 glasses) of water or diet beverages every day.
So, it looks like this COOKIE DIET™ is in essence a low-calorie, portion-control diet. If a low-carber were to follow this diet and count the net carbs in just six of these cookies, that would quickly add up to 54g with just the cookies. That many carbs will kick you out of ketosis and the principles of low-carb living will not be in effect.
You may or may not lose weight this way, but I sure wouldn't want to just have cookies for the rest of my life for breakfast, lunch, and snack. However, I don't see having one or two of these in low-carb maintenance every once in a while as a bad thing if you prefer not to eat high-sugar or artificially-sweetened cookies.
I'd like to publicly thank Matthew Siegal for his generosity in allowing me to review his company's products openly and honestly. He was a true gentleman and should not be judged based on the actions of those who previously misrepresented his company in the past. I for one have a greater respect for this company today although I do not subscribe to the COOKIE DIET™ itself.
If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Sanford Siegal's COOKIE DIET™ and think it might work for you, then visit their web site and check it out for yourself.