Imagine a parallel universe where instead of judiciously counting calories to lose the extra pounds, all you have to do is eat sweets. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it's not like that, say several traders who swear that dieting can be as easy as eating fewer meals and more cookies.
A handful of so-called dietary cookies are out there, all with the same essence: replace your breakfast and lunch with protein-filled cookies and end the day with a balanced meal; Then sit down and watch how the weight disappears.
For anyone living in a post-informercial world, a diet with quick solutions that demands little more than baked goods can bring to light the skeptic in you. So, let's break the myth of this diet and see if it really adds up.
One hundred percent of the reason why diets work is because they are low in calories.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered nutritionist and author of "The Flexitarian Diet."
What is it exactly?
A quick online search will yield several different options, many of which follow the same basic structure. The most popular are Smart For Life Cookie Diet, the Hollywood Cookie Diet and Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet.
Let's take the latter as an example. Here, how it works: you should buy a box of the doctor's cookies at your nearby nutrition store or you can buy them online. You eat six cookies (these come in the varieties of oatmeal with raisins, chocolate, blueberries, banana and coconut), throughout the day and then you must end the day with a healthy dinner, without cookies.
Sanford Siegal has invented his own version of dietary biscuits since 1975. He says his recipe contains a "secret formula" with amino acids meant to keep hunger behind the berries and that, in addition, have a purpose: to control hunger well enough to allow the person to follow a diet of 1,000 or 1,200 calories.
The results? Siegal said that on average, people who make this diet and use their brand lose 10 to 15 pounds.
Can we believe it?
In fact, we can. Experts say that it is not an illusion to believe that this strategic diet based on cookies can help you lose the extra pounds you have; However, nutritionists also warn about putting too much confidence in talking about secret recipes.
"One hundred percent of the reason why diets work is because they are low in calories," said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and author of "The Flexitarian Diet."
And the cookie diet is no different. By reducing the number of calories you consume, you will consequently lose weight.
Also, this diet makes the only difficult decision you have to make is to choose between chocolate and banana, said Heather Mangieri, a registered nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Checkup, a private nutrition practice in Pittsburgh.
"The diet is in controlled, simple and convenient portions," he added, "they are just all desirable things for busy people looking to make a quick change in their lives.
This is exactly what happened with Jonathan Cooper, a 27-year-old radio personality from New York. He was the victim of very busy and irregular schedules and bad eating habits. When he reached 285 pounds, he decided to follow the Cookie Diet in early 2010. From then on, he has consulted regularly with a doctor and has broken the 125-pound barrier.
He said it was the convenience of packaged diet that led to success. With a daily dose of cookies at your disposal, "you're not even going to think about making a bad decision," Cooper confessed.
So, what's the trick?
But, actually, I do not like cookies
Other meal replacement diets are available that serve the same purpose as the cookie diet. While they are mostly effective at losing weight, nutritionist Heather Mangieri reminds patients to be wary of their promises. "The real test of effectiveness is long-term nutritional adequacy and whether the individual can maintain their weight healthy body, "he said.
Special K Challenge
Start your day with a bowl of Special K cereals and skim milk. Add some fruit or accompany the dish with a protein shake or with a protein bar (there is a brand version for each one). Lunch also consists of cereals, a protein shake or a protein bar. For your part, dinner consists of a balanced meal of your choice. The diet also allows you to have two snacks per day.
Medifast Plan 5 & 1
Choose five Medifast meals. They are pre-made and include everything from spicy to brownies. Each day, eat five of these foods, which you can order online or over the phone, as well as a "lean and green meal" of lean and vegetable proteins.
This plan has three components: the first is the awarding of three sandwiches. You can choose from the 100-calorie bars of Slim Fat, nuts, fruits or vegetables. The second consists of two shakes or protein bars. And the day ends, very similar to the other diets, with a balanced dinner of 500 calories.