For those who don’t know, a year and a half ago I weighed a lot more than I do now. It was at that time when I went in for my regular physical at my doctor’s office, and it was at that time when I was told I would have to start taking medicine to keep my blood pressure down. This was nothing serious, but it scared me. I was 36 and I had High Blood Pressure.
I was bound and determined to make a real life change: I decided to not let food rule my life anymore. So I ate a lot of salad, fruits and veggies, and other things I would have never eaten before, plus I tried to work out at least 3 times a week. Sometimes I would get all of my workouts in and sometimes I wouldn’t. My ultimate goal was – and is – to be OFF of the medicine, no BP meds at all.
After starting my life change, I went from 349 to 279; I am not done with my battle, I am just stagnated right now.
So when presented with the opportunity to try the Smart for Life Weight Loss cookies, I thought I might be able to jump start the next weight loss; boy was I wrong.
I was sent a 30 day supply of cookies including both the Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin and the Chocolate.
For those who have not heard of the Smart for Life plan, it goes like this: Eat a cookie every 2-3 hours for a total of 6 in a day, then have a sensible meal like Chicken and Broccoli or something like that.
So, I started on this plan. I ate one cookie every 2-3 hours. Let me tell you, these aren’t like a normal cookie. The best way I can describe them is that they taste like one of those oatmeal squares but a little less sweet. They aren’t a bad tasting cookie, but of course I have had better. These cookies are full of fiber, and when you try and do this on your own, you’ll have many more flavors to choose from other than just Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate. Flavors include: Piña Colada, Boca Banana, Maine Bluberry, and Garden Pizza; of the two I had, the Chocolate were my favorites.
So for one month, I took a bag of 3 cookies with me to work and that’s what I ate throughout the day. By the second week, I was so sick of these cookies. The monotony made me start taking extra stuff with me, like a banana or some trail mix – anything different than these infernal cookies. Maybe if I had some of the other flavors I might have been more successful, but I didn’t lose anything but the 3 pounds I put on when my parents came up for my son’s birthday. Obviously these are not the results I was looking for, but perhaps if I had had other flavors of the cookies, or perhaps some of the other Smart for Life products like the muffins or soups, I might have been more successful. I don’t know.
Now there is one thing that these cookies are useful for: they are an easy low calorie snack. Each cookie only has roughly 105 calories, so having these on hand as a snack isn’t bad. They don’t taste horrible, they don’t have any transfats or GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organism’s), and they are mostly organic, so as a snack they have both of my thumbs up. Way up.
Of course, if you think that this concept sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Meal replacement and temporary diet change are something that many have tried, and a lot have failed at, but some still manage to make money at it.
The only thing that I have tried that has had lasting effects is using portion control and exercise. Losing weight is simple; you have to burn more calories than you take in. If you expect to lose weight by eating 300-400 calorie snacks or eating a 16 oz steak for dinner and then killing yourself in the gym, then you are in for a rude awakening. You have to eat less and exercise more, it’s that simple. With that said, it’s not easy. Many people try and fail every day. I have successfully stayed at or near the same weight for one year, and it has not been an easy task.
Now what does this mean for the cookies? Can the plan work for you? Well that depends. Personally, I don’t see how, but it does do one thing well: It teaches portion control, but only if you have the will power to stick to it. I didn’t.
The reason I didn’t lose weight is because I already knew the right answer. The answer is eat your fruits and veggies and exercise, to stay away from sugar when possible, and when you do decide to have a little sweetness in your life, to do it in moderation – maybe once a week if that. Another important thing to do is reduce sodium intake, in other words – staying away from salty snacks, eating nuts instead, but not too many. Basically shooting for a balanced diet, trying to keep track of how much you eat and how much you burn, and trying to keep the burn category higher than the intake category; then you will lose weight. When you change your life this way, then you can move things around and indulge a little without feeling guilty.
Smart for Life cookies aren’t bad products, and I like to see products such as these on regular grocery stores. They are full of fiber and taste pretty good; they are also low in calories. But I think that these need to be marketed as a healthy snack and not as a weight loss product. If the public had more options like this to choose from, then we’d be able to make better choices when we do want something fast and healthy. Of course, in the end it comes down to this: Weight loss is a highly personal thing, and while they didn’t work for me they may work for you.
Smart for Life Weight Loss Cookies are available on the Smart For Life website.
MSRP: $129 for a 2 week supply, $269 for 5 weeks
What I Liked: Tasted good; lots of variety in the cookie line itself; they can be used by those who just want a healthy snack
What I Didn’t Like: They should market these as a healthy snack, not as a weight loss tool; eating cookies three times a day is boring.