Can you stay on a diet without counting calories? Dietitian Cynthia Sass, co-author of popular The Flat Belly Diet and most recently, of Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches presents an alternative strategy that does not involve counting calories. She explains the program in the video.
With the goal being compliance on any diet, she says that only 19 percent of people say they count calories, and of those 9 percent say it would not be easy to do on a regular basis. The plan is devised to give a dieter some structure and direction in making appropriate choices of healthy foods to lose weight.
Her plan spells out four meals a day with five pieces that are constructed like a puzzle. The components are as follows:
1. Produce – fruits and/or vegetables
2. Whole grains
3. Lean Protein — animal or vegan protein
4. Plant-based healthy fat for satiety
5. SASS — Slimming and Satiating Slimming, an acronym which is, of course, a play on the author’s last name. These are herbs and spices to add to the dishes as well as vinegar and citrus juice. The flavors and aromas are not only make the food more palatable but also boost metabolism. Certain herbs and spices such as turmeric and cayenne pepper are often touted as raising metabolic rate and studies do support this.
There is a 30-day plan and the book details guidance on quantities of the five pieces appropriate for the individual’s dieting goals. She says dark chocolate is mandatory on the plan. Including a small amount daily curbs cravings for sweet and salty foods. She recommends four squares a day.
There is also a five-day jump-start plan which can help you lose up to eight pounds. It consists of only five foods; organic eggs, spinach, raspberries, fat free Greek yogurt and almonds. You eat these foods only for five days, four meals a day. Simple and repetitive makes it easy to comply.
The takeaway? Undeniably eating such healthy foods is a strategy that could help one to be compliant on the diet and not feel deprived. I suspect for some who face the challenge of food addiction — and I speak as one who has faced such struggles — the chocolate may prove a trigger especially if it is not sugar free dark chocolate. However, some people can handle these small amounts as a control mechanism to prevent binging or otherwise going off the diet.
Skinny Bliss readers, what do you think of this diet plan? Have you tried it? Did it work for you? Check out a bonus video below, a radio interview in which she talks about healthy diets and changes we can make to improve our food choices and promote a healthy lifestyle.
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