Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form a professional on this subject and am not advising you in any way. This is my own opinion and should only be taken as such. As with any eating or exercise program consultant your doctor first.
As promised I have finished looking over and reviewing the first health book I mentioned on Tone It Up Tuesday. I decided to start with Cinch! since it was just released for purchase yesterday December 28th.
My overall impression of this book and plan is a very positive one. It seems to me this plan would be easy to follow and hits what I consider my major points protein, fiber, and low sugar. Beyond that Cynthia Sass recognizes the struggles of working men and women and the need to stay within a budget when shopping for food.
The basis and claim to this plan is that you can lose up to 7 lbs during the first five days on the 5-Food Fast Forward Plan and 15 pounds in 30 days. In addition many readers may like the fact that she insist on eating chocolate each and every day. Yep you read that right she wants you to eat chocolate, dark chocolate once a day.
Cynthia also stays away from having you count calories and instead wants you to place emphasis on your timing of eating and your portion control. I believe that this is eventually the key to losing and maintaining weight. Calorie counting is a good measure to use to begin with if you need, or if you have fallen off track. Many of us don’t realize how many calories we put into or body not thinking of the tablespoon of olive oil or butter we used to cook with. Yes olive oil is good for you but it too still has limits.
I like that fact that Cynthia is trying to teach you how to eat and to eventually compile your own eating puzzle. Many diets fail to teach people how to maintain after they have lost. I myself have watched people I know try to follow a diet in a book and get it all wrong because they are not understanding the key concepts of how to put food together. Meaning just because it says almonds are good for you doesn’t mean you sit and eat a cup full for a snack. I believe the key to any good health book is teaching people how to combine foods so they get what they need at each meal and staying within healthy portions to achieve weight loss.
A quick run down of the 5-Food Fast Forward Plan. It is based on five foods only during that five days, spinach, eggs, plain yogurt, raspberries, and almonds. You are given four meals using these five foods that you must follow for the first five days. I myself feel for me this is going to be tough only because I’m not a huge fan of eggs and plain yogurt. I really however want to test the plan and will be following it when I begin my trial of this diet. Cynthia does however realize that some people feel they will fail on such a strict beginning and gives you the option of jumping straight to the Core program instead.
One thing I like is how flexible Cynthia is with decisions like that above. Every person is different and needs different ways and methods to begin. She includes a quick quiz to help guide you on which way to start. Also though she encourages organic purchases and prefers them she also knows that organic is much more expensive. She has a few items that she strongly feels organic is the way to go and encourages you to purchase these items organically but also states that if it is a choice between giving up the plan or purchasing non-organic items please go with the later. She does explain why she wants the few items to be organic, mainly due to better nutrients that you will be getting out of them.
I won’t go into the specifics but she does a great job of explaining why she chooses the food she does, why all calories aren’t created equal (something I’ve said to my mother several times), why the timing of your meals is important, and the combination of them. Her overall quest is to get you to learn to listen to your body and learn to time your meals to the cues of your body and learn the correct combination which she believes is a produce, whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and seasonings at each meal.
The book contains several yummy sounding recipes that are suppose to be easy and quick to make. She includes a list of foods you are able to eat as well as seasonings. She does not allow sugar substitutes, diet soda, red meat, or salt based seasonings. She does say buying fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables is fine, which is good considering you need 20 cups of raspberries for the 5-Food Fast Forward Plan, we all know raspberries aren’t the cheapest fresh fruit to buy.
Pros at a glance: Diet seems easy to follow, easy to purchase without spending all your time and money in a Whole Foods store, implies a decent weight loss, includes appetizing recipes, and includes explanations behind food choices
Cons at a glance: My only concern right now is she states in the first five days you will experience mild to moderate hunger. I think this may make it a little harder for some to follow. I prefer to eat on a schedule that helps you to not get hungry as that seems to be when people break down and make poor choices.
Though Cynthia does not rely on counting calories since the first five days were only the above mentioned foods I decided to input the plan into www.fitday.com to get a calorie count and carb/protein/fat percentage to see how healthy the plan seemed to be. Overall I was pleased though I would prefer to see fat and protein switched it seems a little too much on the fat side for me.
Eating: Egg Scramble, Parfait, Salad, Smoothie all using the spinach, egg, yogurt, almonds and raspberries the total calorie count is 1,154 which is where I like to stay in between 1000-1200. The carb/protein/fat percentage is 34/18/48 (again it seems a little too high in fat and not enough protein).
Revised 1/1/11: I used the actual labels on my food and purchased Greek yogurt which has more protein. My recorded calories and percentages are now 1,060 calories and 32/25/43
In addition to this book review I will be following this diet for at least one week and reporting (hopefully dealing) regarding my emotions, feelings, satisfaction, and physical results during this time period. My proposed day to begin is Saturday January 1st.
Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to review Cinch! by One2One Network. This is my honest opinion about the book. This post enters me into a drawing for a $50 gift card however that did not sway my opinion of the book in any way.