What We Like
- Sonoma dietary guidelines were developed and are updated regularly by Connie Guttersen, PhD, who is also a registered dietitian
- The program emphasizes a healthy balanced diet of whole foods low in fat and cholesterol
- The New Sonoma Diet online program helps you choose plan featured foods, sample meal plans, and recipes
What We Don’t Like
- Preparing the recommended healthy, balanced meals may be a challenge for dieters who are not accustomed to cooking on a daily basis
- Customization guidelines for special dietary needs and preferences are lacking
- Exercise is recommended, but the plan does not specifically support fitness plans or goals
How the Sonoma Diet Works
The Sonoma Diet is a popular lifestyle eating plan that encourages healthy habits, mindful choices, and moderation. It involves no calorie counting, and no food category is off limits. Instead, an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat are encouraged. Even wine is permitted to allow dieters to fully appreciate the plan’s meals that are inspired by California’s wine country.
The Sonoma Diet includes three phases, referred to as “waves.” The first ten days (Wave 1), is intended to recalibrate the body by eliminating bad eating habits. White rice, potato chips, butter, fruit juice, sausage, and other processed foods are eliminated.
Dieters remain in the second phase (Wave 2) until a desired target weight is reached. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables, some sugar-free sweets, and up to 6 ounces of wine each day are permitted. The maintenance phase of the program (Wave 3) begins after target weight or other health goals have been reached. This phase includes previously enjoyed Sonoma-friendly foods as well as such occasional indulgences as snacks and desserts.
What Experts Say About the Sonoma Diet
- Good Morning America Health Interview—VIDEO features Sonoma Diet creator Dr. Connie Guttersen who discusses the Sonoma Diet and showcases how to prepare a healthy plate. ABC News 2011.
- Parade features Sonoma Power Foods—The 12 power foods introduced and featured in The New Sonoma Diet offer maximum nutritional benefit with minimal calories. Parade.com.
- Today’s Diet & Nutrition—The New Sonoma Diet is featured in the February 2011 issue of Today’s Diet & Nutrition, an online health magazine. Keep Your Heart Healthy.
Tips for Success
- In each wave, always follow Sonoma’s plate-filling instructions and food lists
- Get familiar with the Top Twelve Power Foods and incorporate them whenever you can
- Choose among nutrient-rich whole grains and colorful fruits and vegetables when the plan permits
- Experiment with steaming, stir-frying, roasting and grilling as an alternative to breading an d frying
- Rather than thinking of the Sonoma plan as a diet, embrace it as a healthier lifestyle that lets you celebrate healthy food
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