What is the Cookie Diet?

It sounds like the best diet in the world — the name “Cookie Diet” makes you think you’re eating nothing but Oreos and somehow losing weight. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate.

There are a ton of different “cookie diets” out there — Hollywood being the most well known. The fact is that all of these cookie diets are exactly the same. Basic plan — you eat a few low calorie cookies during the day in place of regular food, and you have a “sensible dinner” (whatever that means) in the evening.

These cookies are expensive. Obviously if a company invented a super diet cookie that makes you lose weight fast, they’re not just gonna hand out the recipe. Depending on the plan, these diet cookies can cost up to $10 a day. If you did the cookie diet for two months, you could easily spend over $500.

Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet

Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet creator, Dr. Sanford Siegal, is famous for his theory that most people who are overweight have undiagnosed thyroid problems. His weight loss clinic is famous for suggesting that people go on a crash three week diet in which they only eat 800 calories a day. The theory is that if you don’t lose enough weight during this very stark dieting period, there’s something going on with your thyroid that is keeping you from losing weight.

When Dr. Siegal announced that he’d invented cookies made with a special recipe to help boost your thyroid function and help you lose weight, recipes based on his top-secret version of diet cookies popped up everywhere. The “diet cookies” are a basic high-starch, high-fat, and high-sugar food meant to satisfy your appetite while limiting your caloric intake.

Cookie Diet Basics


The cookie diet described here is not Dr. Siegal’s famous diet — that plan is only available to patients at one of his five weight loss clinics. Interestingly enough, what goes unreported for the most part is that Dr. Siegal also prescribes all kinds of appetite suppressant drugs to these patients, but that’s another story for another article.

Siegal’s plan is a super low-calorie diet (800 calories a day is less than half the recommended caloric intake) where hunger is controlled by consuming six specially made cookies throughout the day. No other food passes through your lips until dinner (though you are allowed eight glasses of water) and that dinner is pretty slim. You eat six ounces of any lean protein (seafood, chicken, or turkey) plus a single cup of vegetables.

The total calorie count of the diet means that your total carbohydrate intake is only about 70 grams per day. I know “low carb” is all the rage now, but let’s remember that carbohydrates are super essential for everyday living. Our ability to regulate our body temperature, mood, and even our ability to think straight is assisted by carbs.

Cookie Diet Recipe

In order to prepare this cookie diet recipe you will need the following:

  • 1 cup oat dry and uncooked bran
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup + 1 T applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 1½ T vanilla extract
  • 1 T grated orange rind or 2 tsp
  • orange extract
  • 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour*
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2½ cups oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup ground flax seed (opt)

Mix the first two ingredients together in a bowl and soak them together for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine applesauce, honey, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and orange rind in a large bowl, and mix together using an electric mixer until the contents are smooth.

Measure out the flour, baking powder, and baking soda through a sifter and sift over the applesauce mixture.

Add the soaked oat bran and remaining ingredients to the large bowl and mix with a spoon. Form the cookies by scooping out heaping tablespoons onto your baking surface about an inch apart.

Stagger trays 1 to the left and 1 to the right, to allow air circulation around each outer edge.

Bake until lightly browned — about 12 to 14 minutes.

Cookie Diet Criticism

You can see right away the problems that most doctors and nutritionists would have with this diet. 800 calories is simply not enough to sustain life. Eating that small of an amount of food will lead to weight loss, but it could also cause some health problems, anything from dizziness and lack of concentration to more serious problems like heart and brain complications. Sounds scary, but it is true. This diet is not meant for long-term use.

Dr. Siegal’s biggest critics point out that this diet will lead to a lack of energy and that the low amount of fruits and veggies will only lead to a further screw up with your metabolism.

My doctor suggested that this cookie diet is also lacking in vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber. The good doctor also pointed out that as soon as I returned to a normal amount of caloric consumption, I would quickly gain back whatever weight I’d lost.

Sneaky “Cookie Diet” Replacement

People have discovered a sneaky substitute for these expensive diet cookies. Don’t want to bake your own cookies or pay an arm and a leg for commercial varieties?

Interestingly enough, you can substitute Wonder Bread for these diet cookies. That’s right, Wonder Bread.

The most popular brand of “Cookie Diet” cookies has the following nutritional information —

  • Calories: 150 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 23 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

And here is the same information for three slices of Wonder Bread —

  • Calories: 150 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 30 grams
  • Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

Simply add a slice of low-fat cheese in between and you have not only equaled the dietary contents of those expensive cookies, you’ve turned a Cookie Diet into a “cheese sandwich diet”.
(So you don’t HAVE to go to CookieDietcom to go on a similar diet, but you can.)

Before you go on any diet or consider shelling out a ton of money for one of these fancy expensive diets, please remember to talk to your doctor. There may be a more sensible or healthy way of losing weight than eating tons of cookies. If you need to lose weight fast and you don’t mind eating the weight of a medium sized bowling ball in cookies, then Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet (or one of the knockoffs) could be the diet plan for you.