The author of the New York Time’s best-selling book, The Sonoma Diet, is Dr. Connie Guttersen.
She is a leading expert on health and nutrition and has spent her career looking for the most flavorful way to healthy eating and weight loss.
She is a registered dietitian and nutrition instructor at the world-famous Culinary Institute of America and is inspired by Mediterranean, Latin American and Asian cuisines.
In this diet, Dr. Guttersen will advice you to embrace more healthful, whole foods, while simultaneously banishing processed foods, simple sugars, refined flour and saturated fats.
At A Glance
The Sonoma Diet combines both modern nutrition with ancient traditions – an eating plan inspired by the way people traditionally ate in the Mediterranean region with the rich, unique flavors of California’s Sonoma County.
The people of the Mediterranean region ate and enjoyed wholesome and delicious fresh foods like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, lean meats and wine. Similarly, Sonoma cuisine, with its rich diverse flavors, is inspired by this Mediterranean Diet while focusing on local fare.
The Sonoma Diet was designed for you to lose weight in the fastest and most effective way while enjoying the rich, full tastes of real food.
When you think of a diet, you’ll most probably be thinking of counting calories and/or weighing and measuring your portions.
Not so with the Sonoma Diet.
This diet focuses more on making this style of eating part of your lifestyle by looking at the foods that you eat (food selection), how you combine the foods that you eat (food combination) and how much you eat (portion control). Dr. Guttersen will advice you to eat more efficiently – to savor the tastes and flavors of your food by eating slowly.
Here’s How It Works
The Sonoma Diet works in three “Waves”…
This will be the first ten days of your diet.
In this wave, you will try to overcome your habit of eating “bad” foods – foods like sugars and refined carbohydrates. These were foods that most probably caused you to gain weight in the first place.
You’ll retune your body by ridding yourself of these bad foods and focus more on fibre rich vegetables, whole grains and nuts. You’ll also be using extra virgin olive oil and canola oils in your food preparation.
Wave 1 takes advantage of your enthusiasm and confidence at its highest – when you’re starting out on any diet program. You’ll also be thrilled and be encouraged to carry on as this will be the period of fastest weight loss.
And when you are getting used to your new healthy eating habits in Wave 1, you’ll move on to Wave 2 where your choices and portions will increase…
This the main portion of the Sonoma Diet and this is where you’ll stay until you reach your desired weight level. Although the weight loss may not be as fast as what you experienced in Wave 1, the weight loss will be steady.
During Wave 2, you’ll continue to cultivate your new eating habit, “Sonoma” style and enjoy and savor every mouthful of food slowly.
And once you’ve reached your desired weight, you’ll move on to Wave 3…
Wave 3 is the maintenance stage of the diet and starts when you’ve reached your desired weight level and/or other health goals in Wave 2. You’ll continue to eat foods that are mentioned in the Sonoma Diet and treat yourself to the occasional snacks and desserts.
And What Can I Eat?
The Sonoma Diet emphasizes these 10 fibre rich power foods :
Almonds, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, grapes, olive oil, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and whole grains.
These foods are nutritious and keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Meals in the Sonoma Diet are carefully prepared to enhance maximum flavor and for your body to absorb nutrients. Also, as an example, grains should be no more than 50% of your breakfast. In Wave 2, fruits, more vegetables, fat free yoghurt, some sweets and wine are added.
As mentioned, this diet looks at portion control and Dr. Guttersen guides you by using a 7-inch plate or a 2-cup bowl for breakfasts and a 9-inch plate for lunches and dinners. The emphasis is to try to fill up these plates with more vegetables and whole grains as well as with lean meats.
By joining the Sonoma Diet Online Program, you’ll be taught how to fill these plates with the right amount of foods for each wave of the diet.
As long as you follow the instructions and food lists online, you can basically choose whatever you want… Either follow the suggested meal plans or create your own menus!
Alcohol is not allowed in Wave 1 but wines, be it red, white or sparkling are allowed in Wave 2… but in moderation of course.
How About Exercise?
Exercise is not mentioned on the Sonoma Diet but like all other weight loss programs, exercise should be incorporated as part of an overall weight loss program for faster and healthier weight loss.
What’s The Cost Like?
The cost may be high for some as the types of food that you have to eat on the Sonoma Diet may be pricey.
If you’re talking more about their online program, costs are about $5 per week.
On the Sonoma Diet, Dr. Guttersen recognizes that going on a diet doesn’t mean you’ve to deprive yourself.
As you’ve so many flavorful fresh foods and lean meats to choose from when you’re on this diet, you’ll feel that you’re not really on a diet…
However, having said that, you’ve to be aware that Wave 1 may be too aggressive and hence too restrictive for some to follow. Also, even though Dr Guttersen gives many delicious recipes, they may be a little too time intensive or expensive for some.
Does this diet work? Well, since this diet is about portion control by swapping your dinner plates for 9-inch plates, you’ll most likely be taking in fewer calories and therefore losing weight in the process.
The good thing about the Sonoma Diet is that it enables you to eat rich and flavorful foods which makes it more of an eating adventure rather than a deprivation diet. This is ideal for any dieter as instead of making you feel deprived, you feel as though you can still enjoy food while losing weight at the same time.
The thing about the Sonoma Diet is this – it may not result in overnight weight loss, but if you’ve the time and patience with working with new recipes and following the portion control guidelines, you’ll enjoy yourself while losing weight at the same time.