Cinch Diet Book – 281 Pages of Good Advice

I received my book about 2 hours ago and immediately devoured it.  I’m a very fast reader!  OK, so I didn’t read every page in its entirety, but I read the first several chapters, including the “Fast-Forward” detox phase (first 5 days), and then skimmed through the rest.    So now I feel the overwhelming urge to document my thoughts.

First, I was thrilled to see my employer, Ruby Tuesday, mentioned in the eating out section (pg 153)!  Only 5 restaurant companies were mentioned and we were the only one from our segment, despite the bigger competition.  Go Ruby Tuesday!  Although only one menu item was mentioned (Creole Catch), there are plenty of other healthy options to choose from if you must eat out.

Ruby Tuesday Salad Bar

Now on to the rest of the book…  It’s very well written and easy to follow.  In 2 hours, I fully understand the plan and what I need to do to succeed, plus made note of the rules (just a few), and made out a grocery list for the detox phase.   The book also includes lots of stories from people who have succeeded on this program scattered throughout the 11 chapters.  I really liked that the people used in the stories have a wide range of weight-loss goals and some even look like me – slightly pudgy but far from overweight, and thus I feel more confident that this can work for everyone, not just those with a significant amount of weight to lose. 

Did I mention that a daily “dark chocolate escape” is mandatory?  There are even a few chocolate recipes!  Actually, I’m a little uncertain about this part.  It sounds like a wonderful idea, but once I taste chocolate, the cravings become uncontrollable.  However, as Cynthia explains, small amounts of dark chocolate are actually good for you and the Cinch plan is all about teaching you how to each in real life and not feel that a small indulgence ruins your day or your progress.  I think I’ll skip it for the first week and then if I’m doing well, buy a very small amount to test my will power. 

OK, so how does this program work exactly?  Basically, you start with a strict 5-ingredient, 5-day detox phase to “fast-forward” your weight loss and give you a good jump-start.  Over these 5 days, you’ll eat a total of:

  • 15 cups of spinach, raw or frozen
  • 20 cups of raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 4 cups of almonds, slivered or sliced
  • 10 Tablespoons of natural almond butter
  • 10 large eggs or 5 cups liquid egg whites
  • 60 ounces (2 large tubs) of non-fat plain yogurt
  • Seasonings such as natural fruit juice, peppers, garlic, vinegar, and herbs (no salt!)

Crazy right?  That’s a LOT of raspberries!!!  I’m not sure I’ve eaten that many raspberries in my entire life.  Thank goodness I like them.  So using these ingredients, you create 4 meals per day, which can be eaten in any order you wish, but must be eaten every 3 to 5 hours, starting within an hour of getting up in the morning.

Below is my meal plan, along with the meal times that work best for my schedule.  I’m tempted to share the actual recipes, but that seems unfair to the author … sorry!!  She actually offers some great suggestions for seasoning and salad dressing.  I also like that the recipes are made for one person, not the usual 3-4 that can make portions tricky. 

  • Meal 1 (6am) – scrambled eggs with spinach; raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.
  • Meal 2 (10am) – yogurt parfait with raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.
  • Meal 3 (2pm) – spinach salad with raspberries, almonds, boiled egg.  2 cups water.
  • Meal 4 (6pm) – smoothie with yogurt, raspberries, almond butter, ice.  2 cups water.

If I had to come up with a criticism, just based on my initial preview, I’d say it’s the lack of color and pictures.  I am a visual person, so a picture of the prepared recipes would have been nice.  So I’ll take my own and post them tommorrow when I make the meals for Day 1. 

So there you have it.  I’m ready to go!  And I got a little extra motivation over Christmas – a 2 week family vacation to Hawaii in June!  Gotta get my bikini body ready.  If I work up the courage, maybe I’ll include some monthly before-and-after pictures.  Good night world.

(FYI … I’m not being paid for this, it’s just a fun experiment!

Cinch 5 Day Detox

I like to occasionally read the blogs ( and one of them sparked my interest this week.  Cynthia Sass, Shape’s resident Weight Loss Coach, was discussing her new book Cinch and the 5-Day-Detox plan that can “change your life”.  The detox phase is supposed to kick-start a new diet by introducing order and simplicity and quick weight loss (up to 8 pounds) to cleanse your system and boost motivation. You eat the exact same meals, at the same times, every day for 5 days, although you can mix up the order in which you eat them (example – you can eat Meal 1 for dinner if you prefer).   According to Sass, this will “give your body, mind, and taste buds a fresh start and achieve real results.”  As an added bonus, you’ll supposedly end up with fewer cravings for salty, fatty, or sweet foods, as well as a new appreciation for real food’s natural flavor.  I can definitely use the sugar-craving suppression!

I decided to splurge and order the book ($15.59 on, which should arrive on my doorstep tomorrow.  I’ll start with the 5-day Detox and blog about my experience, then decide on how to proceed after I finish reading the book.  The detox phase consists of 5 ingredients – spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs, and plain yogurt.  Fortunately I like all of the ingredients, so it doesn’t seem so bad.  I’ll start on Friday and continue  through Tuesday of next week, just in time for our Thursday office party!  Stay tuned…

(click on the picture to read the Shape blog from author, Cynthia Sass)