SolveYourProblem Article Series: Top Diets
What Are The Benefits Of Each Diet?

     

The Sonoma Diet

When you think of a diet, do you see visions of plain rice cakes and steamed cabbage? For those of us who love the taste of good food, the idea of going on a diet may make us cringe. So when a diet comes along that emphasizes enjoying food, it's almost certain to be a hit.

One such diet is the Sonoma Diet. Conceived by Connie Guttersen, who is a registered dietician, the diet takes its name from California's Sonoma Valley. Sonoma Valley is well known for its wine industry and Mediterranean style. Similarly, the Sonoma Diet has a distinct Mediterranean flavor and allows the consumption of wine.

Concepts of the Sonoma Diet

At the core of the Sonoma Diet are ten so-called "power foods." These foods are used heavily in the diet due to their superior nutritional value. They are:

  • Almonds - These tasty nuts are a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats.
  • Bell peppers - Bell peppers are low in calories, but high in vitamins and flavor.
  • Blueberries - Included on many lists of the most nutritious foods, blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants.
  • Broccoli - This vegetable is high in vitamin C and calcium.
  • Grapes - Grapes are loaded with phytonutrients, both in fruit and wine form.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil - Unlike most oils, this oil has lots of antioxidants and may lower cholesterol.
  • Spinach - This is another low-calorie food that is packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • Strawberries - The strawberry, a favorite fruit to eat raw, contains lots of antioxidants and is quite filling.
  • Tomatoes Is always a popular food and also high in nutritional value.
  • Whole grains - Whole grains give us energy and raise metabolism.

The Sonoma Diet is divided into three phases. The first phase is the most restrictive, but only lasts 10 days. The second phase increases calorie intake by 200-300 calories and allows more foods. The third phase is the maintenance phase, and is intended to be followed for life.

Unlike most diets, the Sonoma Diet does not encourage counting calories. Instead, dieters are required to control portion sizes. Breakfast is limited to the amount of food that will fit in a 7-inch bowl or plate, while lunch and dinner are served on a 9-inch plate.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The Sonoma Diet encourages the consumption of flavorful foods, something that many diets fail to do. It is also high in nutritional value, incorporating many healthy raw foods. In addition to the Sonoma Diet book, dieters can also take advantage of an online meal planner and community.

Critics say that the Sonoma Diet is too low on calories for the average dieter. There are also a number of forbidden foods and little flexibility. Although the Sonoma Diet is not purported to be a low-carb diet, it does not contain very many carbs, particularly in the first phase.

The Sonoma Diet offers something different for dieters who are not impressed with standard diet foods. The method of portion control is easy to understand, and the emphasis is on the foods you can eat rather than the ones you can't. If you enjoy cooking and eating flavorful foods, this might be the diet for you.

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