Mind and Body

Enjoy flavorful foods on the Sonoma diet

For most people, the word “diet” conjures up images of bland food, deprivation, and starvation.

But dietician Connie Gutterson claims that with her Sonoma diet, individuals can lose weight and still eat the food they enjoy. Guttersen believes that the key to long-term weight loss isn’t in depriving yourself of the foods you love, but eating the right amounts and the right kinds of food.

In order to create a more exciting meal plan, the Sonoma diet’s list of recommended food was chosen based on both nutritional value and flavor. While this may sound like a cakewalk, the Sonoma diet requires commitment to a rigidly structured meal plan and a complete overhaul of your food stocks, so dieters must be prepared for major changes. However, if you enjoy whole foods, berries and wine, this diet may be the one for you.

How it works

The Sonoma diet is one of the most simple and moderate of the recent wave of new American diets. It involves no calorie or carb counting and almost no food types are restricted. The diet is heavily influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, tinged with more modern Californian foods from the eponymous region. Fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts all feature heavily on the menu, along with a list of ten so-called “power foods.” Though it has a rigid structure, the diet has a more casual feel than most diets. Instead of using traditional measurements, portions are controlled by plate sizes, and almost no food types are off-limits.

Wave 1

The Sonoma diet is split into three distinct phases – known as “waves” – each with their own set of meal plans and approved foods. The first is an induction phase, designed to ease you into your new dietary changes. Over 10 days, this wave seeks to wean dieters off any processed or high-fat foods they may normally eat. Bacon, sausage, potato chips, butter and white rice are all eliminated in favor of lean meats, eggs, olive oil, nuts and soba noodles. 

According to Guttersen, this wave will help you become more mindful and aware of how and what you eat. It is also the phase that you should experience the most rapid weight loss, as well as a boost in energy levels.

Wave 2

The Sonoma diet’s second wave is similar to its predecessor, but is designed for a more long-term commitment. Like wave one, the recommended meal plan includes dozens of recipes ranging from salad to steak. An additional list of fruits, vegetables and sugar-free snacks, as well as a small daily measure of wine are introduced during this phase. It is recommended that dieters remain on this wave until their target weight has been reached.

Wave 3

The third wave is all about creating a stable long-term diet plan to ensure that you maintain your healthy weight. By this stage, you should no longer desire processed foods or hydrogenated fats, and be well adjusted to your fiber-rich, whole grain diet. This phase would be used to seek out your favorite healthy foods, like exotic and flavorful fruits and vegetables, while keeping sweets and treats to a minimum. You should also consider developing an exercise regime to avoid regaining those extra pounds.