Smart for Life Diet: Just Eat Cookies?

If you live in one of the cities where Smart for Life has offices, no doubt you have seen their TV commercials touting their cookie diet. “I lost 35 pounds in three months by eating cookies,” says one now slender client.

They say their cookies are made from extracts of fruits, vegetables, wheat and dairy, and their commercials show all those produce and grain ingredients being loaded into their cookies. But, they only provide ingredients listings for three of their six cookies on their site. Here is their recipe for blueberry cookies.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Triple Filtered Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Doctors Protein BlendTM (Milk Protein, Egg Protein, Organic Whey Protein), Hydrolyzed Collagen (Gelatin), Organic Whole Oats, Organic Crisp Rice (Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic Molasses, Calcium Carbonate), Organic Invert Sugar, Organic Dried Blueberries, Organic Whole-Grain Wheat Flour, Vegetable Gum, Organic Soybean Oil and/or Enriched Organic Golden Flax Meal (Organic Flax, Fish Oil), Vegetable Gum, Organic Fractioned Palm Oil, Raw Organic Oat and/or Wheat Bran, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Natural Flavoring, Organic Nutmeg. Contains at least 60% Organic Ingredients.

Yum. Notice that water is the first ingredient, meaning there is more of it by weight than another other ingredient. And the only “vegetable” listed for the three cookies online is “vegetable glycerin” and “vegetable gum”. No wonder some people around the country are selling 12 days’ worth of leftover cookies on Craigslist. Worse, the cookies are not particularly nutritionally dense considering they will account for most of the food you will be eating daily.

The diet requires you to eat six cookies a day instead of breakfast, lunch and snacks. For dinner, you are only allowed six ounces of protein and two half-cup servings of vegetables. According to one of the company’s doctors who is interviewed, clients generally eat only about 800 calories a day. So, at 105 calories per cookie, that would only leave 170 calories for dinner. Eat hearty!

The commercial also claims “it will save you a fortune over other plans.”

*MOUSE PRINT: A two week supply of cookies is $129!  That is over $1.50 per cookie. (NutriSystem says their real food is about $10 a day, or about $140 for two weeks.)

In addition to the cost of the cookies, there is an initial evaluation and program fee,  including medical tests, and vitamins. That adds hundreds more to the cost.

The company’s website does, however, have good news for would-be clients:  “No exercise needed to lose weight” and “Eating habits improve automatically and permanently”.

Sure.

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32 thoughts on “Smart for Life Diet: Just Eat Cookies?”

  1. If people are dum enough and gullible to fall for a cookie diet then maybe I should start selling bridges!

  2. The problem with most of these diets is that they completely ignore where people come from. 800 cal a day is less than half of what’ healthy for you. And overwieght people usually come from 3000 cal a day. Good luck suddenly changing to a plan that asks you to eat about a quarter of what you ate before.

    If these diet plans want to show numbers, they should show how successfull they are. How many peopl dropped out (because the cookies were disgusting), how many people hung in, how much weight did they actually loose (on average?

    BTW: the best diet plan if you want to loose weight? Just eat less. Skip your snacks.

  3. “Try the high-fat diet and lose weight!
    “Simply eat all the fat you want but decrease your caloric intake by 2/3. And don’t change your exercise habits. Watch the pounds just melt off.”

    * “Oh, and you have to buy the fat from us, with an initial sign-up fee.”

    Here’s a better way to lose weight: burn off more calories than your body absorbs. Absorb 5000 calories? No problem–just burn off 5100…but try to do it before it converts into fat or it will keep you fat while you’re losing weight.

  4. And to top it all off, their overly repeated ad “who stole the cookie from the
    cookie jar?” is ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!

  5. You know, I’m looking at my box of Girl Scout Cookies, and they appear to have about the same nutritional value as these, I bet they taste better too.

    I wonder if the girl scouts know what an opportunity they are missing out on here! I mean, this box only cost me $3.50 (a quick count says that’s .22 cents each) , as opposed to the $129.00 for the ‘weight loss’ cookies.

  6. THE DIET WORKS…

    THE COOKIES FILL YOU UP.. TRY EATING THAT SMALL AMOUNT OF FOOD AND BE FULL… THEY ARE NOT THE BEST TASTING THINGS (THE CHOCOLATE CHIP IS PRETTY TASTY. BUT THE OATMEAL NOT SOO MUCH) AND YOU CAN EAT 10-12 OUNCES OF PROTIEN AND ALL THE LEAFY GREENS YOU WANT FOR DINNER PLUS 2 CUPS OF VEGGIES. ITS NOT JUST COOKIES EITHER… ITS SOUPS, MUFFINS AND SHAKES. THE SHAKES ARE BETTER THEN SLIMFAST AND THEY SHOW YOU DIFFERENT RECIPES ONLINE TO MAKE THE FOOD MORE EXCITING. YES, ITS HARD TO GO FROM AN AVERAGE 2000 CAL DIET DOWN TO ABOUT 800 BUT!! IF YOU CAN GET THROUGH THE 1ST 2 DAYS YOU ARE SET AND WILL FEEL HEALTHY AND WILL LOOSE ABOUT 15 LBS IN THE 1ST MONTH… YOU DON’T EXERCISE AT 1ST BUT YU WILL NEED TO TO MAINTAIN… YOU DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER START UP FEES IF YOU DON’T WANT TOO. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO USE THEIR DOCTORS YOU DON’T HAVE TOO… YOU CAN JUST BUY THE ITEMS ONLINE. I THINK IT IS GREAT AND I HAVE LOST ABOUT 20 LBS IN LESS THEN 5 WEEKS.

    BTW…. NURTISYSTEMS “REAL FOOD” IS LIKE EATING CARDBOARD WITH SOMETHING THAT MIGHT RESEMBLE A CONDIMENT…

  7. Sarah, will you be eating their cookies for the rest of your life? how do you plan on maintaining the weight you have lost, by exercise alone? A better idea would be for people to change their eating habits rather than eating cookies and less of everything else. This diet just doesnt make any sense, not to mention unhealthy!

  8. I was on this diet 2 summers ago and lost a lot of weight. After the first couple of weeks, it wasn’t too bad and the weight just fell off. They don’t want you to exercise because you aren’t taking in enough calories to do this to begin with and you can get low blood sugar really fast. I gained all of it back because when I went off of it and started eating my “old” way the pounds came back quickly. I want to try it again, just to give me a jump start and it helps get you motivated; then switch to a low calorie, balanced diet with exercise. I noticed that you can now buy the cookies online without going in for the physical and the extra expense of seeing the doctor and having the counseling. I think you just need to be smart about it and use it as a tool to help get you started.

  9. I am also on the cookie diet and it works! I have lost 14 pounds in 4 weeks. They reteach you how to eat and your body gets used to eating smaller meals but several times a day because of the 6 coolies. You have to read labels if you want to keep it off. It’s going to come back if you don’t change the way you eat.

  10. Thanks everyone for the input on the cookie diet. I have lost 30 lbs on eating fruits and veggies and an occasional chicken breast however I have hit a wall and I am looking for a way to continue the weightloss. I have read all the opinions of the diet and now feel that I can make an educated decision. Best of luck to all of you on your endeavor to be thin.

  11. I’ve been on the smart for life diet since december 07. I am now on the diet for four months and lost 65 pounds. I’m at the gym 3 to 4 time a week since my second month. At first i looked at the diet and said 800 calories a day. And at dinner you get 6 0z of white meat or fish and 1 cup of vegtables i never used to eat so much before. But you will be surprised how the weight comes off. What i do is once a week i have a cheat day. Since there is no breads on the diet i have that slice of pizza. I actually changed my eating habits due to healthier eating i choose better foods. Before going this diet i used to crave taco bell and had to have it once a week my cravings for taco bell were gone in the first 2 weeks. Also what they teach you in there offices is to eat several small meals a day once you get down to your goal weight. I cant say enough good things about the diet. i had changed my life for the good.

    Theresa fitzpatrick
    Oakdale New york

  12. The diet really works, I saw it. My brother in law lost 40 pounds in 3 months. you really see the results. Also at the end of the diet, your eating habits are better, you start eating smaller portions.

  13. I would not recommend this diet at all. my sister had horrible cramps from the cookies. she also was used to a much higher calorie intake than the 800 they allow you to have. She ended up passing out and had to go to the hospital where they immediately took her off the diet and said it was not a good idea for anyone.

  14. I’ve been on the diet for just over a week, with 5 pounds lost in the first week.
    I ordered the cookies on-line and feel that 5 weeks worth of retraining my eating habits is best accomplished with this disciplined approach will help in the long term. I’m already past my
    normal sugar cravings that add on the pounds, so it can make a difference. You can
    have 10-12 ozs. of protein, split for lunch and dinner if you wish, as well as all of
    the leafy veggies you want and 1 c. of most veggies at dinner…very easy to live with.
    The cookies are really good if you warm them in the microwave 8-10 seconds – I would
    recommend this diet.

  15. I also have been on the Smart for Life cookie diet in the last 3 months I have lost 25 pounds. I could have lost more but I cheat quite a bit. The cookies do take a little getting used to but they are good and do work I also I have tried the soups and they are really good and really help with the program.

  16. Well, i started Nutrisystem sept 07,ive had a hard time on this diet. Ive only lost 20lbs. So my mom got me the smart for life muffins to try. She says people have lost a bunch of weight on it faster then ns. Im having a hard time with the smartforlife muffins becuz i feel hungry all the time, then by dinner im so hungry, i have a hard time eating all the food and getting that last muffin in. Im really hoping that my body will get used to “not eating” alot. It sucks not eating snacks in between meals, like on n.s. And eating lunch and breakfast. But im going to try it this and see how it works for me for 2 weeks. If it works really good then im gonna cancell my n.s shipments. I mean on smartforlife you dont eat dairy or fruit, so if i can lose weight on this then i serously dont know what else to do. Its hard cuz i like to eat. Ive been excersicing and drinking lots of water.

    ON the muffins if u spray some i cant believe its not butter on them and sprinkle a little splenda and microwave them they taste really good.

  17. Hi Michelle
    The muffins are not as filling as the cookies. You should try the chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies from smart for life. They do fill you up. along with drinking 8 ozs of water with each cookie. Like anything else you got to give the diet a little time. Since my last comment April 30th i’ve lost 9 more pounds. Keep up the good work.

    Theresa Fitzpatrick
    Oakdale Ny

  18. it also has TRANS FAT. probably less than .5 grams so they can get away with it.

    i love how they hide it – “FRACTIONED” palm oil.

  19. I have been thinking about starting the Smart for life program. I have tried medifast. Got tires of some of the foods ie soups I have put out a lot of $$ over the past yrear and really want so good feed back why you feel that this program works and do feel that it is better to start with the office visits and then maybe ordering online on you own??

  20. I am on week 2 of this diet and lost 4lbs the first week…not weighed in yet for week 2. It was touch the first week but now I am smooth sailing. Cost is $50/week for cookies…the ones on line have more calories than the ones @ the centers. It is a strict 800 calorie diet..it works if you follow the rules as with ANY diet. It is not a gimmick…my hubby lost 70lbs in 3 months and it has helped him make smarter choices when eating regular food now. Give it a try! It is well worth it!!!

  21. I recommend this diet to everyone!

    But, i do stress that its important to go to the clinic. Dropping your caloric intake can be dangerous to some. When I went in for my first visit, they took tons of test to make sure I was healthy enough to go on this diet—this was for my well being! Sure, I paid the money for the appointment-but I’d invest that money any day to avoid a health disaster. By visiting the doc they also load you up with vitamins-a MUST for this diet. Otherwise, you will be cranky and lethargic. The cookies take some time to get used to—-heat them up and have lots of water to chug down makes it easier. it’s perfect for someone with a BUSY schedule like mine-I always have a cookie with me to avoid heading to mickey d’s and fits perfectly in my schedule. My first week i lost a total of 14 lbs-I felt fantastic and gained the confidence to exercise and want to get healthy.

    This diet will not be for the rest of my life-but in the time that I have been on it, I have learned to make the right choices in food–and had the energy to want to get fit.

  22. My husband is currently on this diet and has lost 17 pounds in 3 weeks.
    You do have to get use to the cookies, but I make the parfait and the one that you put in the microwave and he seems to like them.

    Being held accountable each week is what makes or breaks any diet and paying is also a reason to stick with it. He’s never stuck with any other diet, and now that he’s losing weight and people are commenting on it, he’s sticking to it, as least for the first 3 months.

    Hopefully after that, he’ll continue making good food choices. We all eat a lot healthier now.

  23. I am about to start the smart 4 life diet this week. However, i did not
    realize that milk was not allowed on the diet. there is no way i can drink coffee
    without milk. Can you tell me if anyone out there has continued to put skim milk in the
    in their coffee and still lose weight. thanks.

  24. Lenny, I use skim milk and have lost 22 lbs in 3 weeks.. that is my daily cheating but I need the ounce of real skim milk.. I have done many diets in my life and this one works ..the trick is to keep eating health after you end the diet.

  25. Hi, I just started the Smart for Life Program a few days ago. The cookies are already not tasting so well. It is hard for me to eat 6 cookies each day. I am only on day three. Has anyone tried the muffins and shakes? I think I might have to switch to those, because I really don’t like the cookies very much.

  26. Asha – try putting the cookies in the toaster and then using butter spray. They actually taste decent when doing so! I’ve also learned to put some cinnamon (did you know it helps stabilize your sugars and slow your metabolism?) and splenda (0 calories).

  27. Thanks Rachel, I will try those ideas. I am unable to access a toaster at work, but I will try it that way on the days that I am home.

  28. I have only been on the “cookie diet” for 12 days, but I have already lost 8 pounds. I am 56, well past menopause and tried for the last six months 1200 calories a day and exercise programs. Both frustrated me because the weight loss, if any, amounted to a pound a week. My weight loss goal is 50 pounds. This is easy. If you follow the directions and eat a cookie every two hours (I do 8,10,12,2,4,dinner around 6, and the last one at 8), drink the prescribed 8 oz water with the cookie you won’t get hungry, you won’t get thirsty and you will lose weight. Believe me, if it is working for me, it will work for you. Dinner most nights is a huge plate of chicken salad or shrimp cocktail or an egg beater omelet and lots of vegetables. No sugar, No alcohol (red wine every night was my vice), no dairy, no starch. I think the limited amount of wheat and no sugar is a big part of why it works. Also, I haven’t been hungry and I am a passonate cook.

  29. Hello, I am a mom of 4 and a grandmom. I also manage a Smart for life Center and I have also done the diet and lost 40 lbs in 4 months I went from a size 9 to now I wear a size 2-3 and have been maintaining my weight for over a year now. I feel much better and more energetic now.
    I know that it sounds like a gimmick but it really works before I did this diet I tried others like Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins and Low Carb diets. None of them were successful this was a very easy diet to follow without a lot of thinking for me.
    Yes the cookies are no Chips Ahoy or Oreos but they are not that bad and tolerable. My favorite are the chocolate chip, muffins and chocolate shake pouches.
    I have learned alot on this program I learned alot about myself and eating habits which helped me succeed in my weight loss.
    This is a very safe diet and I have seen alot of people not only lose weight but also have improved in thier health withh diabetic, cholesterol, and joint problems.
    We are always available to support and motivate you either in person or via telephone. Our goal is for everyone to succeed and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.
    We provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed it is up to you to utilize them.

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