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Is the Cookie Diet too good to be true?

June 2nd 2014 / Emma Jones


We find out if this is the dream diet or just another fad

If there’s one thing we miss more than anything else when dieting, it’s a nice, crunchy biscuit. So imagine our surprise when we heard about the diet from weight-loss expert and author Dr Siegal, which allows you to eat NINE cookies a day.

The diet of our dreams was baked up by the Miami-based author, and involves swapping breakfast, lunch and all that’s inbetween for nine specially formulated, low-calorie cookies. You are permitted to eat one meal a day too, providing that it is healthy and does not exceed 700 calories.

The cookies, which rumour has it also reside in the star-studded cupboards of Guy Ritchie and Jennifer Hudson, are made from fibre-heavy grains such as oats and fruit, and claim to help you shed 10lbs a month. There’s only one catch: you’re not allowed to stray from the brand’s own formula, which means our usual chocolatey favourites are a no-no.

Despite its A-list origins, Dr Siegal’s diet has hopped across the pond and has been on trial over the past 10 weeks by five fad dieters in England and Wales who have tried (and failed) at every weight loss plan under the sun. So far, the ladies have lost an impressive 5.2 stone between them with two weeks still to go.

The women, who range both in age and for their reasons for wanting to lose weight, cite the aspect of convenience that the diet provides as one of their main reasons for success.

But is it a good idea? Our go-to nutritional expert Rhian Stephenson believes diets like this one give us a false perspective of healthy eating, saying: ‘Focusing on the number of calories that are consumed without considering where those calories are coming from gives a false sense of security and will result in an imbalance of nutrients.’

‘Replacing two meals a day with ‘cookies’ can put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to low energy, altered immunity, thyroid dysfunction and other metabolic imbalances. There are 32 grams of sugar per two cookies meaning that with nine a day you are taking in 144g of sugar! So many people are already confused about what to eat, and getting back to real, natural whole foods is what we should be focusing on.’

In terms of being a ‘fad’, Rhian says: ‘Although the Cookie Diet may seem convenient in the short term as a quick fix, relying on cookies to restrict calories is not sustainable long term, and more importantly it doesn't help us learn about healthy portion control, foods that naturally balance blood sugar and promote satiety (feeling full), or nutrient rich choices. I believe that following this kind of a regime is massively compromising to our health. We need to move towards nourishing ourselves with whole foods and away from the processed, prepackaged stuff.’

Looks like the cookies are staying firmly in the jar. We must admit we’re a little disappointed - but when something sounds a little too good to be true, it usually is…

Would you try the Cookie Diet? Let us know in the comments below!

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