Martini Diet


The Martini Diet is all about self-indulgence, however, it is not what it appears to be at first glance.

It was written by self-help author Jennifer Sander to help her with her own weight loss goals. Sander adheres to the philosophy that a little of what you fancy does you good and she encourages dieters to indulge their cravings for high calorie foods, but with awareness.

The dieting aspect of the plan centers around portion control and this is where the title of the diet comes into play as Martini glasses are used as an interesting way to measure food servings.

The Martini Diet Basics

martini-dietSander encourages dieters to become ‘food snobs’ and to feel superior to junk foods and processed foods so as to avoid them. Dieters are allowed to eat anything they like as long as it is of the highest quality and made from real ingredients.

Each constituent in a meal must be able to fit into a 3 oz Martini glass. As an example when serving a meal of salmon, brown rice and asparagus the portion of each food should just reach the top of the glass.

When dieters eat meals at restaurants Sanders advises eating only one third of what is on the plate and then taking the rest home to eat later.

Snacking is to be strictly avoided because ‘it is not elegant’ and dessert should be limited to one bite only. Throughout the book dieters are continually reminded to avoid overindulgence in regard to food.

Although the diet’s title may give the appearance of being clever way to justify a daily intake of Martinis, alcohol intake is limited on the Martini Diet. A glass of wine with dinner is allowed each day or one martini on occasion.

Sample Diet Plan

Cafe latte
Sour cream waffles
Fresh strawberries
1/2 cup creamy vegetable soup
1 slice fresh baked bread
1 glass red wine
Rib eye steak
1/2 cup garlic mashed potato
1/2 cup grilled vegetables
1 Lindt chocolate ball

Look for other low Calorie meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Sander informs dieters that they should not expect to be able to indulge in high calorie foods without also being involved in a vigorous exercise plan. ‘Elegant and graceful’ forms of exercise are suggested such as ballet, horseback riding, swimming, and ice-skating. Sex is also highly recommended as a form of exercise.

Costs and Expenses

The Martini Diet retails at $11.95.

Following Sander’s advice could become very expensive when dieters use shopping and spa treatments as an alternative to overindulgence in food.


  • Encourages the intake of whole foods and fresh ingredients.
  • Promotes the enjoyment of food and physical activity.
  • Portion control is a successful method of weight loss at least as a short-term strategy.
  • Provides dieters with alternatives to food as a source for pleasure such as enjoyable forms of exercise, massage and beauty treatments.
  • Moderate intake of alcohol is associated with health benefits including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Includes recipes.


  • Unrealistic as a long term eating plan.
  • Small portions may leave dieters feeling hungry between meals.
  • Portion control may be appropriate for high calorie foods but it is not appropriate to limit the serving sizes of fruit, vegetables and salads.
  • Sander makes some recommendations that are not good for the physical and emotional health of dieters such as binging on favorite foods to get cravings out of the system or drinking black coffee in place of eating.
  • Encourages self-centered behaviors that may be alienating for dieters with families.
  • The majority of readers will not be able to afford to maintain the lifestyle recommendations on an ongoing basis, which may impair the ability to stick with the plan.
  • Male readers will probably not relate to Sander’s writing style and advice.


Portion control while retaining an intake of high calorie foods may work as a short term plan for weight loss but experience has shown that most dieters cannot make this style of eating work as a lifestyle approach to weight management.

There are some benefits to this method as it can allow dieters to learn what is a reasonable portion size for weight loss. However, the Martini Diet makes many suggestions that do not appear to be of benefit to the dieter’s health over the long term.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

3 Comments or Reviews

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  1. Mel

    I tried this diet and lost 35 pounds which I have been able to keep off. It is a good thing that I have the means and was already used to that lifestyle to begin with. However, the book made me change my opinion towards the food I already loved. It fit my personality really well and I could relate to it. However, since moving out of my parents house and to a new city it is a lot harder to keep to this diet. This diet definitely can work but only in a certain socio-economic class.

  2. Sasha

    Cute idea, as far as using the Martini glass as a measuring tool and such. But, it does NOT sound like it would be healthy in the long run.

  3. Dawn Bradley

    I am on this diet and I must disagree with many observations this writer made about this diet. This reads as though whomever wrote this just skimmed through the book and came up with a general opinion about it in less than 5 minutes. Gin Sander stresses the importance of self worth and feeling too good about yourself to lower yourself down to “unworthy” food such as cheap, pre-packaged, and processed foods. I have several expensive dress suits (purchased on sale) and when I wear them, I feel too good to eat chips and drink soda drinks. That’s what this diet is all about. When you’re wearing a $300 outfit that cost you less than $50 and you feel good in it you’re definitely going to eat more refined meals than a Big Mac combo at McDonald’s! Not to mention that she references the health benefits of eating chocolate and drinking alcohol throughout her book.