My resolution every year, for as long as I can remember, has been to lose weight. Name a diet. I’ve probably tried (and failed at) it. I always start the year off right, but tend to lose steam a few weeks in. I’ve read dozens of books on the topic. Many have gone straight to the donation bin, but others are still on my bookshelf for me to use as a reference or as a source of healthy recipes. Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches, a new book by Cynthia Sass, is that kind of book. One I’m sure I’ll be referring to for years to come.
Cynthia Sass is the creator and co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Flat Belly Diet. You may have seen her on The Early Show, Rachael Ray, or Martha this past week, talking about her new book and explaining what Cinch! is all about. Basically, it’s a weight loss program that aims to end overeating. Dieters enjoy food combinations that are carefully put together to burn fast and boost metabolism, yet leave them feeling full, and with 4 meals a day, completely satisfied.
The 30-day program starts with the 5-Day Fast Forward plan that’s comprised of five simple foods—spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs, and yogurt (or vegan-friendly alternatives)—eaten in a variety of combinations. These first 5 days promise up to 8 pounds of weight loss. Each of the five foods is low in calories yet loaded with nutrients and natural satiety-boosters, which allows you to “detox” from junk foods without feeling deprived. Last Monday, I started the 5-Day Fast Forward. Unfortunately I only lasted one day. If it were a different season, it may have worked, but I just couldn’t handle eating frozen raspberries. I searched for fresh at multiple grocery stores, but didn’t have any luck. Frozen raspberries are fine in a smoothie, but in a salad with baby spinach, not so much. And I’m just not a big fan of raspberries to begin with.
That said, I didn’t give up Cinch! completely. I dove right in to the second part of the diet on Tuesday. Unlike the first 5 days, the remaining 25 days of the program are packed with a variety of different foods. With the Cinch! plan, it’s about portion control, not calories. Every meal is a puzzle with 5 pieces: produce, whole grain, lean protein, plant based fats, and SASS (slimming and satiating seasonings). Those pieces are limited to a certain amount, but you have a huge range of foods to choose from. Tons of recipe ideas are included in the book, as well as advice on following the strategy wherever you are. As an added feature, vegan and vegetarian options are covered so the plan can be adapted to fit any lifestyle. It’s definitely made me look at food differently.
The book is packed with information. Cynthia goes into great detail about the benefits of particular foods, for instance. There’s also a chapter about emotional eating, which I’m sure many of us can relate to. Exercise is encouraged, of course, but not discussed much other than a chapter about walking. My favorite part of the diet, though? (Other than not counting calories!) It’s mandatory to eat dark chocolate every single day. Just a square, but that’s just enough!
So… even without the FFF, I’ve still managed to lose 5 pounds in the past week. While I can partially attribute this to being under the weather, I’m sure the Cinch plan helped. 😉
Disclosure: I was provided with a proof of the book by the One2One Network in order to facilitate this review.