The Sonoma Diet was created by Dr. Connie Guttersen, a registered dietitian and nutrition instructor at the world-famous Culinary Institute of America. As a resident of Napa Valley, California, Dr. Guttersen was inspired by the Mediterranean diet and the plan emphasizes eating a variety of foods that research has shown to boost energy, enhance heart health and improve overall health.
Since there are no specific diet foods, menus are easy to prepare and food is easy shop to for. The plan provides much built in flexibility in choosing food that you and your family can all enjoy. Portion control is achieved basically through plate size. By using plates or bowls of known volume the plan calls for filling sections of them with certain types of foods. For example, in the first phase of the plan the dinner plate must contain low carb vegetables covering half of the volume. This eliminates tedious weighing and measuring but can feel rather restrictive after a few days.
The diet is structured in what are called “waves”. Wave 1 is rather restrictive and lasts 10 days. Whole classes of foods such as fruit are elminated. There is rather little variation in quantities and the rules are pretty much the same for everyone. Exercise is not a hard and fast requirement but those who do are allowed a little more calories than those who don’t.
In wave 2, more types of food are added in. A glass of wine is allowed with meals, fruit is put back in and grain portions are increased. The participant stays in wave 2 until the target weight is achieved. The goal in phase 2 is to increase awareness of what you’re eating and to focus on enjoying the flavors while eating slowly and increasing quantities of what they call “power foods”.
Wave 3 is focused on maintenance and food is increased and added back in slowly until target weight is maintained. Hopefully, by wave 3, healthy eating habits have become ingrained and if you fall off the diet occasionally you will be able to recover and resume without too much damage being done.
- Rather than relying on pills or crash dieting, this diet focuses on eating normally but in the right balance.
- Easy for the entire family to participate because “normal” food is consumed.
- Focus is on educating yourself on what it is to eat a healthy diet.
- Since there are no pills to take and weight loss is gradual, a certain amount of discipline will be needed to stay on track.
- Exercise is not a requirement and it will be up to you to fit it in.
Visit the Sonoma Diet Web Site
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