If you follow this blog you probably know that my new book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches comes out tomorrow (yay!). In this blog I often refer to calories, but in Cinch! I decided to ditch calorie counting all together. I made that decision because so many people have told me that it’s a strategy they simply don’t stick with, and I get it. Counting calories is cumbersome, sometimes the info isn’t available, and it often changes as brands reformulate. For example, you may have noticed that one day a serving of crackers is 130 calories and a few weeks later it’s 110 or 150! And finally focusing too much on calories can cause you to lose sight of the overall balance of your diet. In other words, your calories may be spot on, but by the end of the day have you eaten enough protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies and good fat?
So in Cinch! I did something my clients really like – I built the calories into the blueprint of the plan. Each Cinch! meal is constructed as a puzzle with 5 pieces: produce, a whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and natural seasonings. Because the structure of each meal is fixed and the portion sizes are specific and uniform, your calorie intake will automatically fall into place. And most importantly, you’ll get the right types of calories in the right balance, along with the right nutrients.
By following this “puzzle principle” you’ll always automatically exceed the daily recommended servings of fruits, veggies and whole grains, and eat a lean protein, plant-based fat and antioxidant rich seasonings at every meal. As a registered dietitian this is one of my favorite aspects of the plan. Throughout the years I’ve counseled many clients who followed weight loss plans that only emphasized calories, fat or fiber, and as a result they failed to consistently meet their needs for other nutrients or achieve an ideal balance, which is what can trigger fatigue or hungry. With Cinch! the structure and consistency – same 5 pieces at every meal - are the keys to achieving what I call the Goldilocks effect – not too little, not too much, just right!
But Cinch! isn’t a one size fits all plan. The book contains a core plan that will meet the needs of most adult women, but I also included a tool that teaches you how to customize the plan for your own body’s weight loss needs. For example, a woman who is 5’4”, fairly inactive, and 39 years old shouldn’t follow the same plan as a 5’8” 23-year-old who works out five days a week. In the book I explain how to ensure that your personal Cinch! strategy is designed for your body.
Once you know what the 5 pieces of the puzzle are, and how much of each one to include, which will become second nature within the first week, you’ll be able to follow the plan no matter where you are – at home, at a restaurant, even on vacation, with no points, calories, or grams to add up.
So far the real women who have tested the plan have loved breaking up with their calculators! Does this strategy make sense to you? Are you burnt out on counting too? Please share your thoughts and questions!
P.S. Shape is giving away 25 copies of my book and a consultation with me - click here to learn more.