Thoughts about my 30 day Cinch Diet


I have not tried a lot of diets.  As a vegetarian, you are limited on how you eat and the diets available usually don’t work with a meatless lifestyle.  I saw the author, Cynthia Sass, on the Rachel Ray show and the vegetarian version of her diet didn’t seem like an afterthought so I decided to order her book.  Also, the daily chocolate and the 5 day fast forward seemed great!  I later learned in her book that she is a vegetarian as well and after eating her delicious recipes I can tell she worked hard to make them delicious and nutritious & her passion came through. 

I’ve always known the mediterranean diet was good for you and lucky for me I love olive oil, tomatoes, beans and I have always eaten this way.  The problem was I didn’t eat them in the correct balance and correct proportions.  This book has taught me that eating small meals throughout the day really does work and how to create healthy, filling and delicious meals that are low in calorie.  You never go hungry on this diet.  Also, after reading this book I now realize why I’m feeling great with more energy and no cravings and how the food is affecting me.  For instance, the fiber in the food I’m eating is making me feel fuller longer.

You do need a lot of time for this diet.  Fortunately, I’m not working a lot right now and I have the time (and also enough time to blog about it).  I remember when I made my first grocery list for the core diet, it was out of control with so much stuff and some of it I had no clue where to find it.  It was overwhelming so I tried to find meals that used a lot of the same ingredients & I edited the list.  It was still very long and overwhelming so I made a 3rd list and streamlined it down for a final list.  I also needed to make meals for my meatatarian husband and plan and shop for his dinners.  I really thought my head was going to explode.  Once I got the list part down, I found myself going to the grocery store 3-4 times a week.  Usually, I go every 5 days.  Also with 4 cups of vegetables & 2 cups of fruit to eat each day there is a lot of washing, drying, spinning, peeling & chopping of food.  This can take some time & really mess up a lot of dishes and dirty up your countertops and kitchen floors.  This really is a big committment.

Before this diet I just had to wash a mug that I used to drink my 2 cups of coffee in the morning.  Now I wash my coffee mug, the bowl where I mix the cottage cheese with the spices, the cutting board where I chop the fruit, the saucepan where I heat up the nuts & then the plate where I eat my fruity waffle sundae…that’s a big difference.

Lastly, I feel like losing 2 lbs a week is not a dramatic difference in a diet.  I can see people being dissapointed in the scale.  I just have to remember that I was not hungry on the core diet and I enjoyed eating everyday.  I enjoyed it so much that the prepping & cleaning for this food was a more joyful experience because I know that the food is great for my body.

Before, we moved to Kansas City I was a realtor and for the first 4 months of 2010 I had 1 day off & on top of that my husband worked 12-15 hr days, 6 days a week, for 8 months last year.  There is no way I could have done this during that time.  He and I skipped so many meals and I would bring home food at night.  If you have limited time and you want to get started I would suggest just making the breakfast in the morning and then easing into the diet.  Also, making the same meal all week for breakfast or lunch will save a lot on time & money. 


Unfortunately, I did not measure or weigh myself before I started.  I have my favorite jeans and that is how I measured my results.  After a cruise in December then overindulging during Christmas and New Years my favorite jeans were very tight on me.  Like so tight I had to stop wearing them even though they did technically button.  After the 5 day fast forward my stomach had gone down and the jeans fit in the waist but still tight in the thighs.  Now?  They are loose.  Where?  Everywhere!  My waist, thighs, knees and calves.  My guess is that I went down 7-8 lbs.  But, I’ve never felt like I have lost overall so many inches like I have on this diet in 30 days.  My face & arms are thinner.  Everything feels like it went down.

I found the 2nd week of the core diet I didn’t see a big difference & I think I hit a small plateau.  After that, I kept with it and felt the fat melting off each day.   Speaking of melting, I have a confession.  I never quietly ate my chocolate.  It was usually eaten as I was cleaning up the kitchen.


  • I was really not hungry on this diet.  (except during the 5 day FF)
  • The puzzle pieces become easy after 1 week.
  • You can use the puzzle pieces to substitute food & work with what you have.
  • I feel lighter & my body feels cleaner.
  • I did not eat salt for 30 days.
  • I lost cravings for sugar, greasy food, desserts.
  • I have so much more energy.
  • I learned new ways to cook & I’m using more avocado, nuts & fruit & in different combos. (I would never had made pineapple tacos)
  • I have a lot of frozen foods and that helps with budget and not wasting great food. (I keep bread, fruit, waffles, lemons and limes frozen in ice cubes)
  • I get to eat chocolate every day.


  • You need a lot of time to plan & prepare the meals.
  • Food prep takes a long time.
  • A lot more dishes to clean.
  • Kitchen needs to be cleaned more.
  • You need to measure everything or it can really effect your results.
  • Cynthia encourages variety but that can result in wasting food.
  • Fresh food with a lot of variety can really add up.


I am going to continue the Cinch way of life (not diet).  I’m going to give myself a pass on food & drink one night a week.  Like have a nice dinner out and share a bottle of wine and dessert.  I’m thinking next week I might do the fast forward diet for 2 days to see how my body reacts.  I’m also going to measure myself so I can have a detailed record of my progress. 

I won’t keep a daily diary of my food but I’ll post new recipes or ideas that I’ve seen or come up with.  Also, I won’t be ordering pizza any time soon!

I bought some coconut oil yesterday at Whole Foods and I’m going to try to make the truffles.  Stay tuned…

10 thoughts on “Thoughts about my 30 day Cinch Diet

  1. Hi. Thank you so much for the summary. I’m about to start round 3 and it helps to hear that other people are experiencing the same challenges as I did, especially with the extra time needed to really follow this. I decided half way through during round 2 that the full program did not work well with my busy lifestyle, so I use the recipes as time permits and use the puzzle pieces for the rest of my meals. I’m still down 6 pounds overall, but have not lost any more since my first Fast Forward in early January. I plan to start over again this weekend and see how round 3 goes. I keep reminding myself that this is a total lifestyle change, not a diet! Keep up the good blogging. =)

  2. I found myself nodding in agreement quite often with this post as well as your recent Pizza Hut post. 🙂 Sounds like we might be doing the FF diet at the same time next week since I’m planning to do it on Tues.-Sat.

    And I also don’t sit quietly & enjoy my chocolate. My life/work schedule is just too busy.

    Thanks so much for the summary. I look forward to your experience with the truffles.

  3. Thanks cinchers! Rebecca I like your attitude about it. It’s not worth beating ourselves up about it. Especially if you are down 6 lbs and maintaining!

    Stephanie, I’m going to do the FF for only 2 days. I was thinking it would be a great pre-vacation diet. Although, I don’t have a vacation planned for awhile.

  4. Hey Laura! Great blog post. Just found it on google while I was looking for a Cinch! diet shopping list. (i hate grocery shopping). Very informative. As a male, it is usually harder to find a diet that is suited to our daily caloric intake and goals but I think the main component of a healthy diet is healthy food. This “diet” looks like its the right one. Here’s to giving it a try.
    p.s. if you have a shopping list; would you mind posting it or passing it along?

    Happy New Year!

    • Good luck David. The only shopping list that Cynthia has is for her 5 day fast forward phase. It’s in the book. I usually just try to plan out my meals using a lot of the same ingredients and make a shopping list from that. For the core program, I would start with buying the staples. Almonds, low fat cheese, yogurt, dark chocolate, whole grain bread or pita…you’ll need those. Good luck and let me know how you do!

  5. Great summary. Overall there is alot of positive feedback for this program. I am participating in “the biggest loser” weight loss challenge that my office is doing. So far I’ve lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks & I am in the lead. That was just by changing the way I eat & minimal exercise. I am stepping up my exercise & going to file the cinch diet to maximize my results. I plan to start the FF tomorrow with my work week (off Mondays & Sundays). I have ordered the book for the core too. I got the list from another blogger for the FF. I was wondering if creamer us allowed with the 1 cup of coffee daily during the FF. Everything else seems clear & straightforward. Wish me luck!

    • That’s awesome! Let me know how you do on the Cinch diet. You are supposed to use skim milk for your coffee but I had to slowing transition from creamer to skim milk for my coffee. Also, the new paperback comes out in a couple of weeks with the new title SASS.

  6. I just finished up the fast-forward and lost 10 pounds! I am one that loves to cook and use many different spice combos to add flare so a lot of the meals sound great. This is a big commitment but being healthy is worth it. My wife and I both have busy schedules but I found that you can prep some things a day or two in advance to alleviate the morning rush and the temptation to go get a quick lunch.

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