There are three big reasons why Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet Book stands out from the diet book pack. For one, Dr. Siegal has been in the business of helping people to lose weight for 34 years, and he has had an enormous success rate with over 500,000 people. His lifetime dedication to the field and his high credibility factor is enough to earn my respect and attention.
Then there's the fact that the Cookie Diet is easy to understand and follow. You eat five or six 90-calorie cookies at regular intervals throughout the day plus one protein and veggie meal. It's as simple as that. Everyone can figure it out, and most everyone can follow it. And lastly, the cookies are an effective tool for hunger prevention, which Dr. Siegal claims is the biggest weight loss problem to conquer. I have actually sampled the cookies, and while it's not the same as eating a five-inch chocholate chunk cookie from your favorite bakery, the cookies have a fresh, decent enough taste, and they actually fill you up.
The reason the program works is because it's a controlled 1,000 calorie-per-day approach to weight loss. The cookies add up to about 500 calories a day, and the single meal is another 500 calories per day. Even the most resistant dieter can typically lose weight on 1,000 calories a day. In addition to explaining a proven weight loss methodology, Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet Book is also interesting because he doesn't always say the predictable, expected thing about dieting and weight loss.
For example, he advocates taking off weight faster rather than slower. According to Dr. Siegal, there's no correlation between the more mainstream preference for slow weight loss and a dieter's ability to keep the weight off. In fact, speed is a critical success factor because when people don't get results right away they're more likely to get demotivated and quit.
Another differentiator is Dr. Siegal's insistance that weight loss and weight maintenance should be recognized as two different tasks and two different skills. It's the same idea as fixing a car when it's broken and then taking ongoing care of your car so it doesn't break again. A one-time repair is different than ongoing maintenance, and weight loss is like a one-time repair.
The most boring, least insightful aspect of Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet Book are the chapters dedicated to weight loss history. Even though Dr. Siegal is a weight loss history buff, his passion doesn't translate onto the pages of the book. I found myself not really caring about this information and just skimming through it as quickly as possible. It would have been much more personally helpful and meaningful to read about real life case studies from people who are different weights, ages, sizes, and genders who've had success with the program.
I also am not keen about Dr. Siegal's strong sell to always get the approval and supevision of an MD before taking off weight. Are we turning into a baby society where adults have to ask permission for everything we do? Or is this a "must do" CYA strategy for minimizing liability? That said, Dr. Siegal stands firm on his recommendation and says lots of cases of diabetes and other medical problems are discovered through MD consultation. He also thinks people are more likely to do better when they're accountable to an MD.
Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet Book is a hard-core weight loss program. It isn't a touchy-feely kind of book that lifts you up and fills you with "can do" energy. But if you're sick and tired of the same old weight loss message and are ready for something fast and different, this could be the way to eat a half-dozen cookies a day and get skinny while you're at it.