The Skinny (Little Black Dress Diet)

the-skinnyThe Skinny: How to Fit Into Your Little Black Dress Forever by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson was written to help women to ‘look and feel fabulous without denying yourself the pleasure of great food’.

When health writer Aronson wanted to lose the 20 extra pounds that she gained after giving birth to twins she enlisted the help of her slender friend and food writer Clark.

Clark was overweight until the age of 23 when she developed a system to control her weight and now she manages to eat out at restaurants in New York almost every night while retaining her slim figure.

Following Clark’s advice Aronson lost 30 pounds, which attracted the interest of her friends who all wanted to know her weight loss secrets. This prompted Clark and Aronson to package their weight loss strategies into a book so that other women could benefit from their experience.

Little Black Dress Diet Basics

The authors emphasize the importance of striking a balance between being ‘a little good, a little naughty, and a lot happy’. They say that this is the best way to enjoy food without guilt and without sabotaging weight loss.

The major principle of the diet is about learning to eat the foods you love in small portions and balancing indulgences with healthy foods. The authors offer advice to help dieters to become satisfied with smaller portions and to learn what it feels like to be full.

There is no calorie counting and no foods are strictly forbidden, however, there are limits on the amount of high calorie foods to be eaten. The authors advise dieters to satisfy their cravings with a few bites of a rich food and then to fill up on fruit and vegetables.

The basic guidelines are:

  • Eat small portions of fried or high calorie foods.
  • Eat moderate portions of foods such as grilled chicken or sashimi.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Add a small serving of complex carbohydrates such as a whole grain roll to balance out the meal.
  • Always include a small amount of protein in each meal.

Recommended Foods

Fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains.

Sample Diet Plan


Whole grain French toast with fresh papaya

Morning snack

Spiced popcorn


Chicken salad with roasted red peppers

Afternoon Snack

Banana and kiwi smoothie


Roasted halibut with zucchini and mint pesto


3 bites of chocolate cake

Exercise Recommendations

Dieters are advised to exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week.

Costs and Expenses

The Skinny: How to Fit Into Your Little Black Dress Forever retails at $14.50.

Available from Amazon →


  • Encourages fruit and vegetables.
  • No calorie counting.
  • No forbidden foods.
  • Teaches dieters the principle of portion control.
  • Provides information regarding how to select the best beverages for weight management.
  • Includes 75 recipes.


  • Some dieters may not be able to restrain themselves with just a few bits of their favorite foods.
  • Will not appeal to dieters who prefer to follow a structured meal plan.
  • The amount of exercise recommended is probably insufficient for weight loss.
  • Male readers will not relate to the authors writing style and some of the recommendations.
  • Advice to throw food away after a few bites is wasteful.


The Skinny arms dieters with a range of practical tips and strategies to reduce portion sizes and calorie intake without having to follow a structured diet plan or go without indulging in favorite foods.

It will appeal to dieters who eat out a lot and don’t want to make a dramatic adjustment in their lifestyle.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Rolls, B. J., Morris, E. L., & Roe, L. S. (2002). Portion size of food affects energy intake in normal-weight and overweight men and women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 76(6), 1207-1213. study link
  • Rolls, B. J., Drewnowski, A., & Ledikwe, J. H. (2005). Changing the energy density of the diet as a strategy for weight management. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 98-103. study link

2 Comments or Reviews

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  1. taylor

    this dosn’t work at all!!!!! i gained 6 pounds:@:@:@:@:@

  2. southern belle

    p.s. make that ‘check with your MD first’. sorry- got so carried away in my praise of this diet that i didn’t catch my typo!! happy eating the scarsdale way! ! ! ! !