Cynthia Sass has helped millions of Americans fall in love with healthy food. As a performance nutritionist and health educator with formal training in plant based culinary arts and mindfulness meditation, Cynthia has a passion for transforming people’s lives.
Cynthia is a three time New York Times best selling author, columnist and practitioner, with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. One of the first registered dietitians to become Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), she consulted for the New York Yankees for five seasons (2015-2019). She previously consulted for the Brooklyn Nets (2017-2019) and the New York Rangers (2010-2015). Cynthia also served as the nutrition consultant to the Tampa Bay Rays from 2007-2014, and worked with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007-2009. She proudly rooted for both the Rays and the Phillies (she was a consultant for both teams at the time) as they faced each other in the 2008 World Series.
Now based in Los Angeles, Cynthia consults for UCLA's prestigious executive health program, and privately counsels a wide range of clients through her performance-focused private practice. She has worked with Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy winners, professional athletes in numerous sports, CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs, new moms, couples, and families.
In her private practice, Cynthia specializes in working plant based athletes and high performance people, and designs nutrition programs for optimal performance, wellness, and longevity. She also offers private nutrition education, coaching, and wellness services for companies, to enhance executive and employee health.
In addition to her private practice work, Sass is one of the few health and wellness experts who has consistently worked in nearly every aspect of communications — as an author, magazine columnist and on-staff editor, blogger, speaker, media spokesperson, contributor to a national news network, media resource, and frequent TV guest.
Cynthia has appeared on numerous national TV programs, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning & The Early Show, The Rachael Ray Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Doctors, The Dr. Oz. Show, The Biggest Loser, Nightline, The Nate Berkus Show, The Revolution, CNN, ABC World News Tonight, Extra, The Insider, Access Hollywood Live, Fox News, and others. For more about her media work please click here. View her TV reel here.
Sass has also authored or co-authored six books. Cynthia's newest book, Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast, was released by Harper Collins March 10th, 2015. Her previous book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches (formerly published under a different title) was released by Harper Collins January 1, 2011. It soared to #1 in all books on amazon.com by January 5th, debuted at #3 on the January 23rd New York Times best sellers list, and made the January 13th Wall Street Journal nonfiction best sellers list, in the company of George W. Bush, Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow, Keith Richards, Steve Harvey and Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Previously Cynthia co-wrote the #1 New York Times best selling book Flat Belly Diet! and she is the creator of its deliciously slimming eating plan. She also co-authored the Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook, another a New York Times bestseller. Additionally Sass is the co-author of the unique personalized food journal entitled The Ultimate Diet Log, as well as the relationship book Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life, which received a glowing review in the New York Times.
In January 2013 Cynthia joined HEALTH magazine as the contributing nutrition editor. She was a contributing editor at SHAPE magazine from 2008-2012, and previously served as the nutrition director at Prevention magazine. Check out the archives of her Weight Loss Coach blog on SHAPE.com on Cynthia's Pinterest page, and for Cynthia's weekly blog on Health.com (which are often syndicated to other major media outlets, including CNN, Huffington Post, Fox News, and ABC News), please check the 'buzz' section here. To view Cynthia's full bio, please click here.
I adamantly believe in the power of food to optimize health and wellness, prevent disease, and maximize the way you look and feel – inside and out! I have a passion for nutrition and can't imagine doing anything else for a living. In the two decades I've been counseling and educating people of all ages, I've seen amazing transformations, from successful weight loss without "dieting" to reversing the side effects of chronic diseases, surges in energy and athletic performance, younger looking skin and hair, improved sleep and digestion, fewer aches and pains, and untangling unhealthy relationships with food.
My specialties include
- Plant based nutrition (including for athletes)
- Sports and performance nutrition
- Natural and organic eating
- Eating for optimal wellness and disease prevention
- Sane, sustainable weight management
- Overcoming disordered and emotional eating
- Creative recipe and menu development
My Professional Journey
I'm continuously a work in progress! Every day I strive to deepen my nutrition and wellness knowledge. I fell in love with the marriage of food and health in high school, and headed off to college to study nutrition. I earned my bachelor's and master's degrees with highest honors in nutrition science from Syracuse University and became a registered dietitian (RD).
This foundational training included extensive course work in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, human metabolism, and clinical nutrition (how to prevent and manage health problems, ranging from heart disease and cancer to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, food allergies and more), as well as classes in food chemistry (the natural chemical makeup of foods, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), environmental nutrition (the study of how food production and processing impacts our health and the health of the planet) and nutrition in the life cycle (the unique nutritional needs of humans, from infancy all the way through older adulthood).
Registered dietitian training requires a 1,200 hour post-college internship that includes a broad spectrum of hands-on, supervised experience. My placements were amazing. They included working in an acute care hospital, state public health agency, cooperative extension program, a university, food pantry and soup kitchen, and a farm. I had the chance to work with: children, high school athletes and college students who were well; sick and injured people who required medical nutrition therapy; underprivileged people in need of food; and farmers.
I'm so grateful that I become a registered dietitian. My classes and hands on experience gave me a deep, broad understanding of how the human body works, and how to tailor a nutrition program to the unique needs of an individual. In my experience, there is absolutely no amount of self-teaching that can replace this kind of formal education. Everyone eats, and nutrition has exploded in popularity; but being a true nutrition expert is not the same as being a nutrition enthusiast. It's like any other specialized field – you can love animals, take care of them, and read a lot about animal health, but it's not the same as going to veterinary school. I can not only tell you with confidence why a particular nutritional intervention will help (or hurt), but also accurately explain the science of why, and the physiological impact on the body (for more info on nutrition enthusiasts versus experts, please click here).
As part of my master's degree in nutrition science, I earned twenty-one graduate credits in counseling, to improve my personal "coaching" skills. And because I wanted to talk to my clients about physical activity and how to select and cook healthful foods, I also earned a personal training certification and completed formal training in organic, plant-based culinary arts.
But as I began to work with people one-on-one, I saw the influence of friends, family members, occupational settings, communities, and even the government on my clients' abilities to successfully live healthy lives. So, I went back to school again for a second master's degree in public health, specializing in community and family health education. This extensive program not only included classes in epidemiology, biostatistics, the environment (climate change, agriculture, infectious diseases, etc.), health care policy and research, but also training in how to develop holistic interventions that encompass every dimension of wellness: physical (nutrition, fitness, alcohol and drugs, disease prevention, sexual health, and sleep), environmental (green living), spiritual (the many ways that can be defined), emotional (psychological well being), occupational (how your job/career impacts your wellness), intellectual (your health knowledge and beliefs) and social (support and resources).
I'm incredibly proud of my degrees and training, but every day I spend at least one hour reading new studies to keep up on the ever-expanding body of nutrition science, and I'm constantly reviewing new products and ingredients, speaking to other experts, attending conferences, learning about other cultures, and developing wisdom from my own personal results, as well as those of my clients.
I'm a member of several professional practice groups, including Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a subgroup the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND, formerly the American Dietetic Association), which focuses on integrative, functional, and holistic medicine, nutritional genomics, whole foods, dietary supplements and natural healing methods. I also belong to AND's Vegetarian Nutrition practice group, and the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition practice group. The latter works to promote sustainable agriculture and food security. I was one of the first RDs to become Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and I'm a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the AND's Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists practice group. Each of these groups is an important part of my ongoing continuing education and specialization in holistic nutrition and wellness.
I know I'll never stop learning. I have completed mindfulness classes through UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center. And who knows, maybe I'll go back to school again for fourth college degree, or complete a certification in another health-related field. Today, I'm excited to use all of my education, training, and experience to help people look and feel their best, eat all natural, delicious foods, lose weight (if needed) in a safe, healthy, sane, sustainable way, optimize athletic performance, prevent disease, and develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. One of my favorite phrases: kitchen cabinet, not medicine cabinet!