Review: Smart for Life Weight Loss Cookies

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.

Smart for Life Cookies

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.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

12 Comments on "Review: Smart for Life Weight Loss Cookies"

  1. markntravis | May 7, 2008 at 11:56 am |

    Not once did you mention carbs. It is very important to reduce your total carb intake. Small portions of high carb foods will not cut it.

  2. Joel McLaughlin | May 7, 2008 at 12:10 pm |

    Watching carbs is essential too, but not something you can’t singularly focus on. What I put up there works for me, and me alone. My fault wasn’t just carbs itself, but everything. Portion control is the real key. Not watching this or that. Portion control is what kills all diets. You got to watch it ALL.

    For example, say you decide to eat 10 servings of Edamame or 10 servings of anything. If you continue to eat that much of ANYTHING…..carbs, veggies, meat….you WILL gain weight. No question.

    One thing I did forget to mention is alot of people will say will Donuts are bad for you and candy is bad. I agree IF you constantly eat it. I am in full belief that NO FOOD is bad for you. I say again….NO FOOD is bad for you.

    What’s bad for you is if you eat too much of ANY food. You can just as easy eat too much of a fruit or too many veggies and gain weight. You can go on Atkins and lose weight, but then be deficient in other areas and have too much fat intake.

    A balanced diet plus physical activity is what you need.

    How much? I don’t know. I am not you. I can’t tell you what YOU need to do. I can only tell you what worked for me.

    Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but people get sucked into Atkins or to other “diets” to lose weight and they will for a while, but then there body lacks something and they fall of the wagon to get it. The idea here is to change for good. To break free of the bonds of food and certain diets. Be balanced. Eat a donut if you want….just don’t eat 12 donuts! Eat one.

    The problem is like Lay’s says….you can never eat just one. 😉

  3. I love Zone Perfect bars. I’ve used them quite successfully in the past. Target stores have about the lowest price I’ve seen on them – usually under $1 per bar.

    At most I’ve eat three bars per day — but usually only two.

    Even at 3 per day — you’re only talking $100-is for 5 weeks versus $ 269 for these cookies.

  4. Yeah, I thought the price of these was pretty steep, but if they are meal replacements then I guess it balances out somewhat. Joel did you eat them all? Send me an oatmeal one if you still have any – I want to try it. 😉

  5. Joel McLaughlin | May 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm |

    They are all gone. I thought I had one pack left and I gladly would have sent you them as by now….I am very sick of them. 😀

    They are expensive. Needless to say, I ain’t sending away for any.

    Zone Perfects are good. The only thing on any of those bars is sometimes….your better off just getting a Snickers! ;D

  6. questionfear | May 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm |

    First of all, Joel, congratulations on your successful weight loss thus far! May you continue to have success!

    This reminds me of an article in Runners World several months ago. Basically, the author attempted to live solely on energy bars and see if they could truly replace all his meals. While on a basic nutritional level he was balanced, his biggest issue was that he was sick of sweet foods, and he began to crave savory flavors. (That and apparently he began smelling like chemicals, which is when he stopped the whole experiment.)

    Both that article and this one point to something interesting: while filling, low cal foods can work to replace one or more meals a day, our bodies are actually trained to crave more flavors than just default “sweet”. There’s also articles about how sweet flavors can make you hungrier, but that’s a whole other discussion.

    Anyhow, I just found the similarities in the experiments interesting and wanted to share.

  7. All I can tell you is that it is working well for my wife and myself. In 5 1/2 weeks, I have lost 40 lbs and feel great. I understand that this loss is too rapid to be considered “HEALTHY”, but if your doctor tells you to lose weight any way you can, you do it! If you follow the diet as they recommend (We are on the non medical), it works. My trick to stay on it is sugarless gum. We have tried EVERYTHING, and so far, this is the only diet we have stuck to for this long.

    I know it’s a gimmic, but does that really matter if it is working for you? I was skeptical, but I am no longer. First week was dramatic (15 lbs), but since then I have AVERAGED 5 lbs a week. My doctor said that if I plateau, to increase the cookies to 7/day for 1 week, then resume the normal 6/day (I am not recommending this), but I have not plateaued yet!

    I say try it!! Who cares if it is a gimmic. I wish peanut M&M’s would do it, but they don’t.

    FYI, I have never written to a BLOG before, but I wanted to share my success with others, and maybe help them!

    Good Luck!

  8. stephanotis | January 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm |

    I just started Smart for Life to lose some pregnancy weight. As of tomorrow I will be on it for a week. What really concerns me are that nutritional values– besides protien and fiber there is nothing– no vitamin values what so ever. My husband has encouraged me to stop the diet and try something else, but I ordered a 6 week package and plan to finish it out. I think I can do anything for 6 weeks. But I do feel very lethargic even though I still take my prenatals to supplement.

    I am really disappointed to discover the nutritional values since this was developed by a doctor. I thought they would be a little more responsible.

  9. We are trying Smart For Life as well, and personally I have the same loathe for the cookies after two weeks. I am going to stick with it since the results are fantastic, but I probably wont buy more. They arent really "cookies" as you had stated, but more of a fiber bar minus the sweetners. They arent bad, but they can get boring quickly.

    Also, as someone else pointed out, they do not have any vitamin value, so a multivitamin is suggested when on the plan.

    I havent tried the shakes or soups yet. Will see what happens on those soon.

  10. Firecracker | March 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm |

    My husband and I have been on this diet for 5 weeks. He has lost a total of 13 pounds and I have lost 8 pounds. We both plateaued after about 3 1/2 weeks. But for me it is great to know what I am taking to work every day and for my snacks. They are a great way to get back on track! I would recommend them. For us it has been a pretty slow and steady weight loss. I am thinking we will go to Atkins for awhile to shake it up and then maybe back on the smart for life plan.

  11. I just started smart for life today . I had my first cookie at 6am along with vitamin and b6 . I must say the cookies are making me naseau. I purchased the banana and oatmeal raisin. I know I would not be able to keep up with this 4 3 months. I lost 12 lbs by eating right and working out 4 days a week in two months so I will stick with that and lose slowly. I feel like this cookie diet you are giving up too much. I wasted $205.00. Oh well : (

  12. I ordered the sfl product two months ago. The first month I just used it my way, which means that I still ate some things (sugar) that I should have not and I still lost 5lbs. So, I called the center and for 50.00 a month I will go weekly to weigh in (which is what I need “accountablity) and get my product from the center. I still like the choc cookies and yes, with water they do keep me full for about three hours. I am happy with the fact that they are 60% organic and the program is easy. I need to lose about 50lbs and then combined with ww I will stick to this for life. I am happy that the sugar cravings are beginning to stop. I am a “sugar” baby and have been addicted to the stuff all of my life. I wish everyone luck with whatever program you choose to use, but after all of the research I did on Dr. Sasson, I am pleased to think that he really cares about the obesity in today's world and this is not a money maker for him. Good luck and happy holidays!

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