OverviewThe Sonoma Diet is based on a Mediterranean-style diet, with emphasis on “power foods,” as well as the appreciation and enjoyment of food. (The Mediterranean diet refers to the traditional eating patterns of the Mediterranean region and consists mainly of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fish, poultry, dairy products, and wine.)
How Is This Diet Supposed to Work?The premise of this diet is that you can feel satisfied while eating a healthful diet that promotes weight loss by savoring small amounts of flavorful, nutrient-rich foods.
What’s Involved?Key foods included on this diet are whole grains, healthful fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, this diet has labeled certain foods as “power foods.” These are nutrient-dense, flavorful foods that the author believes will help in the weight loss effort.
- Bell peppers
- Olive oil
- Whole grains
|Wave 1|| Lasts for 10 days; “jump starts” your weight loss |
|Wave 2|| Main part of the diet; the plan that you will follow until you reach your target weight |
|Wave 3|| The maintenance phase; begins when you have reached your target weight |
What the Research SaysWhile no research has been done specifically on this diet, overall it is based on well-established science and the book itself references numerous studies. The only part of this diet that lacks supporting evidence is the notion that certain healthful foods, such as fruits and starchy vegetables, need to be avoided.
ConcernsUntil you become familiar with the Sonoma way of eating, you will have to measure out certain foods to get the right portion size and refer to food lists to find what you can eat. You should also plan to spend a fair amount of time planning and cooking your meals.Additionally, while this diet encourages exercise, its focus is on food and eating. You will have to look elsewhere for information on exercise, an important component of any weight loss program.
Bottom LineOverall this diet is healthful and effective. Its focus on eating wholesome, nutrient-rich foods and the pleasure of savoring small amounts of good food makes for a positive approach to dieting. If you enjoy cooking and appreciate the option to savor a glass of wine with your dinner, this diet may be right for you.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Weight-control Information Network
Dietitians of Canada
Gutterson C. The Sonoma Diet. Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Corporation; 2005.
The new Sonoma diet. Available at: http://www.sonomadiet.com/public/index.aspx. Accessed November 17, 2014.
- Reviewer: Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 11/17/2014