The Cinch Diet: Cynthia Sass

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Cinch Diet is found in the book, Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches is a weight loss program created by Cynthia Sass, co-author of the New York Times Bestselling “Flat Belly Diet“.

Cynthia Sass introduces dieters to her 30-day Cinch Diet Plan, which is designed to put an end to overeating by teaching you how to eat the right proportions of high-nutrient foods that enable you to feel full and satisfied.

In just one month you will eliminate cravings, recalibrate your body, maximize fat-burning and boost your metabolism as you begin a healthy new relationship with food.

Cinch Diet Basics

The program starts with the “5-Day Fast Forward Plan” where you focus on eating just five foods – spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs and yogurt – in a variety of different combinations. These foods were selected because they are low in calories but high in nutrients, a combination that helps to reduce your appetite after meals.

The purpose of the five-day plan is to help you to detox from unhealthy foods without feeling deprived. Cynthia Sass claims that you can lose up to eight pounds in these first five days of the program.

Following this you then continue with the “Cinch Diet Core” where you increase the variety in your diet while focusing on foods that provide maximum fat-burning and metabolism boosting effects. In the Cinch Diet Core Program each meal consists of a balance of whole grains, protein, plant-based fats, fruits and vegetables.

Each day you select four daily meals from the recipes provided in the book; all of which are created with the best ratio of carbs, proteins and fat to support weight loss, blood glucose balance, optimal nutrition and satiety. If you are an omnivore you must choose at least five vegetarian or vegan meals a week and if you are a vegetarian you should eat at least five vegan meals a week. Diet sodas, red meat and pork are not permitted

In the Cinch Diet, the fifth meal each day consists of a serving of chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa. Due to research suggesting the positive effects of regular chocolate consumption on weight loss this is a mandatory component of the program, although you can choose the time of the day that you prefer for your “daily chocolate escape”.

The Cinch Diet includes over a hundred options for meals and snacks with recipes to provide you with a full thirty days’ worth of choices. As you follow the program you will learn strategies that enable you to create your own satisfying meals so that you can maintain your new healthy eating habits as a long-term lifestyle.

Recommended Foods

Eggs, spinach, raspberries, almonds, yogurt, salmon, sardines, shrimp, tuna, chicken breast, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, legumes, avocado, walnuts, olives, vinegar, citrus juice and zest, hot peppers, herbs and spices, tea, dark chocolate.

Sample Cinch Diet Meal Plan


Blueberry smoothie with almond toast


Zesty bean and summer slaw pita

Afternoon Snack

1 cup red seedless grapes
1 serving all-natural whole grain crackers
1 mini Babybel spreadable cheese
10 whole black olives
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary


Fish tacos with cilantro-jalapeno guacamole

Dark chocolate

Walk Briskly for 30 Minutes

Cynthia Sass considers exercise an essential part of The Cinch Diet because research shows that it is important for speeding up weight loss and for keeping the weight off.

Brisk walking is recommended for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Costs and Expenses

Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches (Now Called SASS! Yourself Slim) retails at $25.99.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.


  • The Cinch Diet plan is based on nutritious whole foods.
  • Simple to understand and easy to follow.
  • Does not require calorie counting.
  • Provides dieters with choices and freedom within a structured meal plan.
  • Gives options for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Requires chocolate once a day.
  • Addresses the subject of emotional eating.


  • Many of the recipes will require some time to be spent on preparation.
  • Will not appeal to dieters who don’t enjoy a very structured diet plan.
  • Very difficult to follow the Cinch Diet when eating out.
  • There is a risk of rebound weight gain when normal eating is resumed.

Based on Healthy Eating

The weight loss plan provided in the Cinch Diet will appeal to dieters who want to eat more natural and organic foods but don’t know where to start. The 30-day plan will help to reset your taste buds and recalibrate your metabolism as you learn a foundation of healthy eating habits that can be continued as a lifestyle approach to weight management.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • stephanie

    This is the best diet I have ever followed. I got the book a few years ago when it first came out and I was able to go from a size 10 to a loose size 8 with ease. I don’t count calories, I eat a wide variety of fruits/grains/etc. foods that soo many other diets put off limits. Following this diet is easy, so easy in fact, I was able to do it every single day for over two months! Usually I stick to a diet 1-7 days:) So that is really saying something. Any time I am feeling tired, bloated, etc. I get back to this diet and within just about 3 days my digestion improves to running perfect, my energy picks up, my mood picks up, my stomach goes flat, it feels like my whole body just de-puffs! It’s easy to get used to eating this way, easier than you might think, in just a few days, you don’t want the old ‘junk’ anymore. The five day detox does work well, however I wouldn’t recommend that some one with any kind of blood sugar issues do the 5 day detox. I only made it to day three, and I was so weak, I woke up feeling so sick, my stomach was so empty, that I just started throwing up, I couldn’t even keep water down. I was sweating and shaking, and I thought ‘what am I going to do?’ So I drank some grape juice, and like magic I was totally ok:) Sorry to be dramatic but I thought it might be helpful, by the way I don’t have diabetes or anything like that. I would do this diet constantly and hopefully reach my goal of a size 6, however sometimes I just want to not care about my diet, and just eat! But then after doing that, you can’t wait to get back to eating this way again. I suggest to anyone who has questions about this diet is get the book, now called sass yourself slim. also her website has a lot of info and f.a.q., and videos! good luck to everyone:)

  • Krys R

    I only do the 5 day “fast forward” plan. I used it as a detox, but do not continue the rest of the diet. I am already skinny, but I use this to cleans myself and as some people mentioned, you feel energetic and feel great about yourself. I use any ‘berry’ that is available at the store when I do my detox. It could be raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and even one time I used grapes. I stick to the spinach because I love spinach. When it comes to yogurt, I actually eat yogurt and cottage cheese because of the amount of protein you get when eating either dairy item. I eat as much of any of the 5 items I want, mixed together in one form or however I want. What a great diet that she has created. I always recommend this to anyone wanting to lose a few pounds or even to just feel more alive.

  • jojo

    I still have 2 day out of the 5 fast foward plan I can’t believe how much more energy I have I’m already down 3 pounds. I cant wait to start the other recipes in the. book. That will be the true test if this works and I don’t we gain the pounds I lost.

  • hadieh

    Hi.Im From Iran.I Saw This diet book in marthas programm.but how can i got it?

  • Arline Bittker

    Good questions, but where are the answers??

  • Denise

    I began this diet on Nov. 9, 2011 and liked it so well that after the first 30 days I continued with it. It took me exactly 4 months to the day but I finally lost the 20 extra pounds I gained after giving birth. (My kids are in college) Thank you Cynthia for helping me to stay on track with this different approach to weight loss and healthy eating.

  • Judy Taylor

    I’m anxious to learn more about this. Will try to find the book.

  • Dorothy Peterson

    This was recommended by a friend…… going to try it!

  • cheryl miller

    how do we get our answers from this ????

  • cheryl miller

    is there another fruit besides raspberries, as they are extremely expensive !!

    • Lynn

      You can try blueberries in place of the raspberries or blackberries when in season. I lost 10-20 lbs the first 5 days on this diet. I didnt scramble any eggs. I ate all boiled eggs. And the answer to your question, an egg is an egg. Yes. Do what is best for you, poached is better than scrambled. I think she’s trying to make it easy for those individuals who like scrambled vs hard boiled or just to give some diversity with the meal plan. I found that its all about learning to eat what tastes good, but healthy in devising my meals, but I did use a lot of the recipes in the book.

  • cheryl miller

    why are u recommending scrambled egg in morning and hard boiled in evening on the 5-day plan… egg is an egg isn’t it, no matter how it is cooked ?

  • cheryl miller

    about the spinach, you do not say whether it is to be eaten and measured raw or cooked….when spinach is cooked it shrinks….so when you say 1 cup of spinach,,,what are we talking about, raw or cooked ?????

  • Peggy

    I am trying your 5 day de-tox. I need something after a weekend of eating bliss!

  • judy angell

    Easiest diet plan ever. Absolutely works right away! Does what it says it’s going to do. SIMPLE!

  • Anu

    Greetings from India! I saw u over the RRay and was impressed u claiming if one did five day detox programme to loose about 8lbs. Kindly help giving me options instead of berries which are not commonly found here nor blueberries. Secondly, which kind of beans one should have which are found in abundance here, lentils and beans. Thanks for teaching all of us to live in healthy way.
    Great Day!

  • Marsha

    Which store bought whole grain breads are best to use or ok to use on this diet after the 5 day start ?

  • LuAnne

    Any suggestions on a substitution for spinach. I take a blood thinner and cannot consume the amount of spinach or dark leafy greens that the diet calls for. I figure regular lettuce but know the nutritional value is not equal.

  • Alice

    1st of all I want to tell you how thrilled I am because nothing has ever taken off the last few lbs, but I feel amazing and it’s only been 2 wks. I stared with the 5 day fast forward. My question is can I eat potatoes? If not please explain.

  • Sandra

    Greetings to all of you… I would like to say, This book is the start of a new you… it teaches you to eat better and with out the counting and so on. She also has an awesome face book page to help those who have the book to move forward. A great support group too. As far as the con mentioned above “■There is a risk of rebound weight gain when normal eating is resumed.”, she is teaching us to eat a healthy way… for life. So that will be the normal. I am so impressed with this program I can’t tell you enough. Getting the book is best as she explains everything. She tells why the choice of foods for the “Fast Forward” part and so much more. Good luck, I’m a big fan! It’s working for me!

  • Christina

    I have a good feeling about this diet after 2 days i already lost 3 1/2 pounds!!!

  • monica

    any option for gluten free diets

    • ted

      I would say just substitute recommended foods with gluten free varieties.

  • kelly

    as readying the book.the 5 day plan is very simple..and works.but i would like a more outline,simple plan for the 30 day…is there such a plan…i like things planed out instead of easyer, to buy food that way

  • Nicole

    To Lyndsey- My husband also loves junk food!!I followed this plan for a month and had great sucess!I dont know how old your kids are, mine are 1 & 2 so it was pretty easy. Try this, if you are making pizza, make 2, one with whole weat dough (i know its cheating a little…)part skim mozzerella, and loaded with vegtibles. The second one regular dough with the regualr toppings. Then give some of each to the kids, you eat yours, and he eats his. If you are making spagetti, do a pan of whole grain pasta, and one with white. You could even mix the two for your kids and boyfriend. Try to give at least 2 of your ingredients to the kids to try. They may not eat it at first, but exposure to it will increase the chances of eating it. Changing our men is a bit more challanging, start with “Im going to cook a vegtible, would you like carrots, peas or green beans? Pick one” Buy baked chips, 100 percnet juice, even natural juice sodas are a great compromise, dont buy anything expecting him to eat it if you wont eat it, he may not like the “healthy” alternative.
    As far as you being tempted to eat the food, once you start loosing weight the temptations will get eaier to handle.

  • Kathleen

    Lindsey, im planning on tryong the diet with my boyfriend . He has agreed to doing the diet wiith me but only the meals we eat together he i feel that this is fair since he wrks a demaning job amd needs those extra calorie, you should try this out andwith the childeren it when eating unch and breakfast they could eat the
    Same meals as you but it comes to snack incorperating some more cheeses and grains would be a good idea. Hope this helps!

  • Betsy Morgan

    Could you give me an idea on how to combine these 5 foods in a meal for the 5day diet plan? Must you eat all 5 at every meal? Also,what are the spices that are allowed.

  • Reesie

    For those of you looking for an alternative to raspberries, a couple also trying this diet has used blueberries effectively. Blueberries are also full of antioxidants and low sugar. Good luck!

  • Lindsey

    I want to start this plan and started reading the book and i love all the foods it incooperates.. the only problem is my boyfriend eats whatever he wants whenever he wants and it has yet to affect him whatsoever and its allll junk my house is full of junk and when we make dinner with the kids and for all of us as a family is not always the healthiest, so I’m worried about having to make my own special meals seperate from the family and spending extra money on foods most likely i will be the only one eating. Not to mention the temptation i will always have seeing everybody eat burgers, fries, pizza and etc.. in front of me.. since i’ve moved in with my boyfriend ive gained weight too I’m not trying to blame it on him but i’ve never ate this bad before. I really want to do this but think it will be extremely difficult in my household.. anybody have any tip or suggestions for me or anybody in the same situation??

  • Veronica

    added question: Does anyone ever answer these questions. I see lots of them above but no answers

    • ted

      Hi Veronica, Who is supposed to answer the questions? This post isn’t associated with Cynthia herself, but just a review of her book. Perhaps visit her website if you have specific questions about her program. :-)

  • Veronica

    I am about to buy this book but a little skeptic. Does it really work. What are the side effects. I take blood pressure and colestrol meds, will that interfere with the weight loss. Does age have any effect.

  • slimginn

    beginning day 3, lost 4 pounds so far…..ya!!

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