It’s a Cinch

Date Sun, January 9 2011

Cinch is the newest endeavor from Cynthia Sass and, in this brand new book, the author, therapist and dietitian sets to help the reader to lose weight and gain healthy habits in just thirty days. If her name is familiar to you, then you may have seen her on TV shows, heard her on radio shows, read her in print or even picked up her previous book: Flat Belly Diet. Sass continues to build on those principles in her new book but has also updated the content as science and her experience have evolved her opinions.

Cinch!Now, to be honest, I did not follow the Cinch! book as I read it. I took this review on as an intellectual pursuit. I am happy to report that Ms. Sass’ book appears to be based on real, and not junk, science. She references multiple studies through out her book as she explains now just what (and when, how much) to eat but why. There are certainly anecdotes from her professional career but the science assures the reader that the Cinch! diet plan, and book, is one that is based on real science–even when Sass explains why she doesn’t believe that calorie or carb cutting are the end-all and be-all of dieting.

In fact, this entire plan is based on incorporating necessary nutrients into each meal in a process that Sass calls the 5 piece puzzle. She dedicates an entire chapter to the “Why” and “How” of the puzzle, allowing her readers to craft their own meals that meet the requirements or to make the best choices when eating away from home. In Cinch! there are an included 100 recipes that create all the puzzle pieces (lean protein, whole grain, fruit or vegetables, seasoning [SASS] and plant-based fats. Cynthia advises the reader to start with these 5-piece puzzle recipes if they do not do well with strict diets and even someone who is looking to improve their health or decrease weight could benefit by replacing some of their current meals with the Cinch-approved recipes, I’ve no doubt.

Admittedly, not all of these recipes sound amazing to me and those folks who prefer decadent cooking might be a bit disappointed at first. This is why Ms. Sass includes her 5-Day Fast Forward. This strict plan lasts only one business week and includes only meals consisting of egg, spinach, raspberries, almonds and non-fat yogurt. It is limiting but the book provides recipes that combine all ingredients (salad, parfait, breakfast scramble and smoothie, for example). Using the 5-Day Fast Forward can help a person shed up to seven pounds, claims Cynthia but other benefits include resetting one’s palette. Therefore, the Cinch Core plan may become more appealing and craving for unhealthy foods may drop after a person complete the five days. Because is it so limiting, Sass does not recommend sustaining this for more than five days in order to keep our bodies at optimum health.

One of the keywords that she uses in this book is “healthful” and the many inserts and a few of the chapters explain why and how certain foods are full of health benefits and she heavily recommends certain foods, such as almond products or grapes, because of these benefits. She even discusses why her recipes do not include certain elements (red meat, salt and alcohol–just to name a few) because of their lack of health benefits or even detriment to a person’s health.

So, while the Cinch! Core plan includes a lot of variety and the 5-Day Fast Forward can cleanse one’s taste buds so that one can better enjoy these recipes, some people will still find this plan to be limiting, especially when they realize that Ms. Sass is calling for the reader to foll,ow this plan for their entire lives. While the Cinch! plan is one that makes that easier, I still found myself thinking “Never!” upon reading some things.

Luckily, and I think this is really the strength of this book, the information included can help anyone make better choices when it comes to eating and treating one’s body in healthy ways. Even if the reader only makes incremental steps, by increasing produce or decreasing red meat or eating on the schedule suggested in this book, he or she will become more in tune with his or her body and that much closer to losing weight and increasing health.

Another aspect of Cinch! that I enjoy is the activities. Cynthia advises the reader to keep a journal and posts sample charts ans activities through-out the book. Not only does this pull the reader into the book but it helps the reader become aware of eating habits. This is especially true in the chapter about emotional eating (which I would recommend to everyone).

Not every element of the book is as helpful, however. There is a lot of repetition, especially when the author is discussing the benefits of certain foods. I understand the point–some people require this–but it annoys me. Secondly, there are many, many inserts and some of them are so large or placed in such a position that it interrupts the flow or the book or they even become difficult to recognize. Lastly, the testimonials that litter the pages didn’t really add much. They weren’t varied or interesting enough, for the most part, and seeing the same names repeated didn’t add credibility.

With that said, my complaints are about the composition of Cinch! and not the content–which is a good thing. I can actually see myself using some of the recipes in the book and flipping back through it for ways to increase the healthfulness of my life, even if I do not fully commit myself to a diet. Not many diet books can say that.

Cinch! will be available in bookstores and online retailers January 28 2011, if you would like to pick it up yourself.

One Response

  1. Malia @ One2One Network January 20 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Thanks so much for your honest and very thorough review!

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