This diet plan was created by Connie Guttersen a registered dietitian who aims to create a more balanced lifestyle and help people make better choices and change their eating habits. It’s a well known fact that those who follow a Mediterranean lifestyle are less prone to develop serious health problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and lower the risk of developing cancers. Unlike other diets this diet does not require counting calories or measuring food.
The Sonoma diet emphasizes portion control and encourages creating varied meals from all the food groups providing an adequate balance. Similar to the South Beach diet and the Atkins diet, the Sonoma diet is divided into three stages depending on the weight loss phase a person has reached. There are three stages for this diet called ‘waves’.
The first wave lasts 10 days and it’s designed to to help you break the bad habits that ultimately lead to weight gain. This stage is probably the most challenging stage of all because it aims to eliminate refined sugars from your diet, uncontrolled portion sizes as well as eliminating processed foods and replacing simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates.
A strong emphasis is placed on learning to curb cravings and consuming whole grains which give you a sense of satiety and part the essential nutrients you require daily. In this stage of the diet small snacks are only allowed between breakfast and lunch or lunch or dinner. In this phase of the diet the only snack allowed is some sort of vegetable. Although it’s the most challenging stage this stage is the one that also provides the most spectacular weight loss results, giving an immediate sense of satisfaction.
The second stage is designed to help get used to this eating style over the long run and to continue losing weight successful.
Unlike the first phase, this stage continues as long as it is necessary to help you reach your ideal weight. In this phase of the diet the author recommends the consumption of 10 power foods: almonds, bell peppers, broccoli, blueberries, olive oil, grapes, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes and of course whole grains.
All of these foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals as well as a multitude of macro-nutrients that are essential for the body’s proper functioning. These foods have a low glycemic index, which means that they won’t cause rapid spikes and drops in the blood sugar levels, decreasing the changes of developing sugar cravings.
Eating a wide range of raw and cooked fresh fruits and vegetables is highly encouraged while the fat intake is still being restricted.
This final stage of this diet has as a main objective maintaining the healthy habits that should have become a second nature by now. In this stage you should continue to follow the principles described in the second phase while getting to enjoy some of the foods that were not included in this diet as an occasional treat.
It should be mentioned that physical exercise is recommended in all three stages of this diet but especially in the last two stages where the carbohydrate intake is higher. This diet encourages you to create your own meal plans and have a sustainable lifestyle as well as learning to enjoy and savor the delicious flavors of of the Mediterranean cuisine.