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What is the Cookie Diet?

Niki Acker
Updated Feb 29, 2024
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There are a few diet plans that may be referred to as the "Cookie Diet." In general a cookie diet uses hunger-controlling cookies to replace meals as part of a low calorie diet. Cookie diets are typically very low calorie and designed for significant weight loss, often over a short-term period.

The oldest cookie diet is Dr. Siegel's® Cookie Diet™, developed by South Florida physician Dr. Sanford Siegal for his patients in 1975. His plan consists of six cookies a day and a dinner or chicken or fish with vegetables. Because it is very low calorie, people who wish to follow Dr. Siegel's® Cookie Diet™ must consult a doctor and develop their diet plan with his or her help. However, one may simply use the cookies to replace less healthy snacks. Dr. Siegel now offers soups and shakes in addition to his cookies.

Another weight loss program that uses cookies is Smart for Life™. It was founded by Dr. Sasson Moulavi in partnership with Dr. Siegel in 2002, but has not been affiliated with Dr. Siegel since 2006. The cookies used in Smart for Life™ do not use Dr. Siegel's recipe, but the diet plan itself is nearly identical.

Smart for Life™ differs from Dr. Siegel's® Cookie Diet™ in that it emphasizes developing healthy behaviors and attitudes about food that will last one's lifetime. It also incorporates exercise, supplements, and vitamin injections in addition to the diet itself. Medical supervision is required for the Smart for Life™ program.

The newest cookie diet on the scene is the Hollywood Cookie Diet®, endorsed by celebrities and on popular television shows. The Hollywood Cookie Diet® plan is similar to the two described above, consisting of four cookies a day and a dinner of lean protein and vegetables. The cookies are available without a prescription through the Internet and at pharmacies. The Hollywood Cookie Diet® website offers free dinner recipes and free diet coaching. As with Dr. Siegel's® Cookie Diet™, there is no exercise component to the Hollywood Cookie Diet®.

All of the diets described above should only be begun after consultation with a doctor. The fact that they are extremely restrictive, not to mention expensive, means that they are only suitable for short-term weight loss. Smart for Life™ offers a maintenance program after the initial loss of weight. Both diet and exercise are required for healthy weight loss, so make sure to include an exercise plan with any diet you embark upon.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By anon77596 — On Apr 14, 2010

The cookie diet doesn't have to be expensive! I am using the R&D Diet Cookies. They are kind of a “generic” version of the Cookie Diet. They are cheaper and I think they taste better.

I lost 30 pounds in 40 days. The weight loss slowed down a little after that but it was consistent and easy to stick to.

I ended up losing a total of 55 lbs and kept it off almost two years now. They really work! The first couple of days were the hardest -- not because I was hungry but because it took some time to get used to eating the cookies instead of a meal. After a couple of days I was never hungry, I felt great, and I usually had to remind myself to eat one. They are nutritious and keep the hunger away.

You eat five or six cookies throughout the day and eat a healthy dinner (lean protein, vegetables, fruits, diet pudding, etc.) of around 350 calories. It is basically a very low calorie diet, so of course you lose weight, but the cookies take care of the hunger so they allow you to stick to your diet.

I've kept the weight off for two years now. The R&D Diet Cookie taught me portion control. They have a really good maintenance program that I used a few times during the last two years. I think they are the best cookie diet out there!

By ThinAtLast — On Dec 30, 2008

Smart For Life cookies are not the same as Dr Siegal's cookies. I lost 99 pounds in 6 1/2 months on the SmartForLife Diet and went from a size 22 to a size 0. The program is easy to follow and the cookies are natural and organic with NO preservatives. The Dr Siegal cookie has microcrystalline cellulose,a filler that isn't completely digestible except by termites and other critters. I will tell everyone that asks, Smart For Life works, for life. I have maintained the loss for over 6 months now and will never let food control me again. Go to a local center if you can, You'll be glad you did.

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of...
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