THE BLOG

Weight to Go Launches New Cookie Diet

05/03/2014 10:25 GMT | Updated 28/04/2014 10:59 BST

"Lose weight eating cookies?" Yes, that right. Every day you HAVE to eat a large strawberry and white chocolate chip cookie or if white chocolate is not to your fancy, a double dark chocolate chip cookie. How good is that?

That's my new message to dieters. Before the food police jump up and down claiming it's a reckless and irresponsible message, flying in the face, for example, of the recent 'sugar is the new tobacco scare' this daily cookie is part of a healthy diet.

People are beaten about the head and told to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, plenty of pulses and grains and avoid any cakes, biscuits and things they really want to eat. For some of us that's no hardship, but the majority of people want to eat sweet things. They want to eat cookies. They are sick of being told what they can and can't eat.

That presented an interesting challenge for me. In today's society we need the diet to fit the patient and not shoe-horn the patient into the diet. We need to accommodate people in what they are going to eat, not what we'd like them to eat. We've been banging the healthy diet drum for 50 years and the nation is just getting fatter. The message isn't getting through.

Consequently, I set about devising a great tasting protein- packed diet cookie for people to have as a daily treat along with a tasty soup, portion-controlled meal, protein shake and a portion of fruit and vegetables. The cookie delivers 30% protein and is meant to be available as a breakfast on the go, a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or an evening treat whilst watching television. It's a convenient and healthy way of fitting protein into a daily diet.

The Weight to Go™ programme provides a balanced intake of nutrients, with a relatively high proportion of calories from protein. We hear a lot about the importance of dietary protein, but experience suggests that most people don't really understand why. So here is a very brief explanation.

Firstly, protein increases satiety far more than carbohydrate or fat, so that people tend to feel fuller on fewer calories. The precise mechanism is not well understood, but it is a consistent finding in better quality scientific studies.

Secondly, the body uses more energy (calories) to metabolize protein than carbohydrates or fats. The extra energy burned this way helps with weight loss and it also creates heat, which is why this is sometimes called the thermic effect of protein.

A third mechanism is the effect of protein on body composition - the relative amounts of fat and muscle. It turns out that dietary protein helps you to hang on to lean tissue (muscle) during weight loss whilst promoting loss of fat. This not only improves body composition, it also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar levels and reduce low-grade inflammation in the blood vessels. All of this translates into a much lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.

These effects probably explain why studies providing different proportions of protein consistently show that weight loss is greater with higher protein intakes (20-25%) than low or moderate intakes. The Weight to Go™ diet is designed to deliver high bioavailability protein, thereby promoting weight loss, improving body composition and reducing health risks.

The cookie is a convenient and healthy way of fitting protein into a daily diet. So I tell my patients that they can have their cookie and eat it!