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Level of Effort: Medium

Limitations: Some foods are off-limits, including red meat, alcohol, and sodas (even diet sodas).

Cooking and shopping: You can get everything at your regular grocery store. Cinch has 100 meals to choose from. There are suggestions for acceptable chain-restaurant meals, and tips to help you stay on track while away from home. But you'll mainly need to prepare the book's recipes.

Packaged foods or meals: No.

In-person meetings: No.

Exercise: The plan recommends getting at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week, except during the first 5 days. Walking is fine.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: The book explains how to alter recipes.

Gluten-free diet: You can switch any whole grain for another on the approved list, including brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa. Read food labels to make sure that foods you select are gluten-free.

Low-salt diet: You'll be eating unprocessed foods with no added salt, and there's no salt in the recipes.

Low-fat diet: This diet discourages low-fat foods (other than dairy products), because most reduced-fat products have added sugars or carbs.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: Just your groceries. The book suggests that you buy organic ingredients, so your grocery bills may increase. There are suggestions to help you decide which foods to buy organic, so you don't go over budget.

Support: You do this diet on your own. Sass's web site includes a blog and health news related to the book.

WebMD Medical Reference

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