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The Skinny

How to Fit Into Your Little Black Dress Forever
by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson

The Skinny: How to Fit Into Your Little Black Dress Forever

Forget body mass index or body fat percentage. In Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson’s The Skinny, the little black dress is the benchmark for ideal weight. Fitting into one’s favorite cocktail get-up represents the apex of what the authors call "Happy Skinny," balancing the pleasures of eating with a sense of comfort in one’s own body. In a chatty girlfriend-to-girlfriend style, Clark and Aronson share their approach, which include eating what you want, savoring the foods you choose and controlling your portions—in essence, thinking and eating like a food writer. Clark, a food writer who is a size two, maintains her weight even while eating out five nights a week. Following Clark’s paradigm, Aronson lost over 20 pounds of post-pregnancy weight and has kept it off. More than a diet, The Skinny is a way of thinking about food that dispenses with the notion of taboo fare and trumpets desire, pleasure and balance.

Eating only the foods you want and avoiding emotional or recreational eating is a tall order. But Clark and Aronson reason that if you indulge your cravings and hold out for flavorful foods, you’ll consume less overall. They also emphasize tried-and-true diet advice like exercising regularly, thinking of your meals in relation to one another and eating fruits and vegetables with every meal. Though there is no meal plan per se, the book does include a two week menu guide and an array of recipes to get you into the Skinny mindset. For breakfast, there’s ginger-stewed rhubarb with yogurt and an almond butter and strawberry smoothie. Lunch is all about salads, with choices like Granny Smith apple salad with cheddar and citrus salad with fennel, olives and onions. To curb hunger at snack time, try the baba ganouj with yogurt. The intense flavors of London broil with caramelized pineapple or roasted halibut with zucchini and mint pesto are sure to satisfy at dinner. Just don’t spill any on that little black dress.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin

(Updated: 12/30/08 SB)

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