Yum, yum, yum: Cookie Diet at 100,000 members strong

When Deborah Gore, of Bristow, VA, woke up Tuesday, she probably never expected her 15 minutes of fame were right around the corner. But, by becoming the 100,000th member to enroll in the Cookie Diet brigade, Gore unknowingly clicked her way into the latest diet craze's spotlight.

By earning that distinction, she received a congratulatory phone call from the Cookie Diet's founder, Dr. Sanford Seigal, who is sending her a three-month supply of the cookies and an autographed copy of his newest book, "Dr. Seigal's Cookie Diet Book."

Gore's not the only one sampling Seigal's secret recipe. Celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson have reportedly tried the Cookie Diet. Additionally, thousands of men and women are singing the praises of these specially blended treats. And claiming the amino acid protein blend cookies have helped them whittle their once size 26 or 16 waists down to size 4s and even size zeros.

But all the attention on this latest diet craze begs the question: What's the deal? And why now since Seigal's been using these cookies to help his patients (and those of the 200 or so fellow physicians he supplied the cookies to) control their hunger and lose weight since 1975? In early 2007, the Cookie Diet went mainstream with Seigal selling them in mall kiosks. He took his cookies online in 2008.

No one is certain exactly why the cookies have suddenly caught one. Speculation is Seigal's promise of rapid weight loss is fueling the craze.

Here's how it works. Seigal says the number one diet killer is hunger. So, he created the Cookie Diet (which also includes shakes) to control hunger by eating six cookies with water during the day and a "reasonable dinner."

But experts caution the Cookie Diet's claims could be nothing more than a pile of crumbs because there's no medical evidence the diet works. Or that it effectively promotes long-term weight loss since it doesn't teach dieters how to eat healthy once they're cookie-free.

Some even argue that following this 1,000 calorie a day diet is unsafe claiming it can leave dieters open to nutritional deficiencies. The diet's Web site does stress followers should consult with their physician prior to starting the diet. And as a condition for membership, dieters must agree to consult their physician.

Despite the health risks, the Cookie Diet is red-hot. Last Friday Google reported more surfers searched for Cookie Diet info than news on the Balloon Boy.

Have you tried the Cookie Diet? Let us know your thoughts, success stories or concerns.

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