While some diets are about strictly adhering to cutting certain foods out of your diet plan, the Sonoma Diet's primary focus is on enjoying good quality foods that you love. For those whose main concern is not feeling deprived on a diet, this one could be the best choice for you.
The Sonoma Diet
The diet is laid out relatively simple, which again is nice for those who are looking for a more general approach. Do be warned however that often times, the less exact a diet is, the harder it is to be absolutely sure you are losing weight.
This is because (obviously) on a diet that's very controlled, if you aren't seeing the results you want, all you need to do is alter a few things and then you can hopefully get back on track again. If you aren't tracking in the first place, you won't be entirely sure if what you are altering will make enough of a difference.
That said, there are some people who will do better on a more relaxed plan because these individuals by nature - as soon as they are put on a strict type of diet - feel confined and want to cheat.
One nice thing about the Sonoma diet is that there are recommended foods that you should be eating; if you follow the instructions, you are provided some sort of "roof" to work under.
The foods that are promoted in the diet include plenty of:
There is no room in this diet however for processed carbohydrates; so as you can probably guess, that is one of the major reasons why it has success.
Whenever you cut out an entire "category" type of food like that - one in which Americans are currently consuming in abundance - total calorie intake is likely to drop and weight loss will be seen. Usually these processed foods also have a tendency to make you hungrier, by causing wide fluctuations in calorie levels; so again that is going to work in your favor.
The Sonoma Diet is subdivided into three different "waves" as they call it.
The first wave will last for a duration of ten days and is when you will work on overcoming the habit of eating a lot of highly refined flour products, foods containing plenty of added sugar, and foods containing too many saturated or trans fats.
Then you will move into wave 2, which comprises the largest portion of the diet. You will want to stay on this until you have reached your target weight, so it is the part that will be most crucial to your seeing success.
Weight loss will slow down likely in this stage, however, since you have now been on a good selection of foods so that initial weight loss from changing foods alone is gone now. This is the primary stage where you are going to focus on portion control as well as enjoying the pleasure you derive from foods.
Once you've finally hit your target weight then you move into wave three which will represent your maintenance phase. At this point you are to keep eating as you have been but are also allowed to add in the minor indulgence if you so choose. Examples of such things would be small "treat"-type snacks or a dessert you have been craving for quite some time.
One of the important features of this diet is the "plate concept." This is the basic idea that each plate that contains your meals should be laid out in a specific format in order to promote healthy eating and weight loss.
You are to use a seven inch plate or a 2 cup bowl for breakfast and then a nine inch plate for lunch and dinner. You want to make grains and vegetables the number one focus on your plate, along with meat coming in on the side.
So How Does This Diet Stack Up Overall?
The basic approach to this diet is one that promotes a more healthful style of eating. You likely didn't need someone to tell you that you shouldn't be eating processed foods, as this is generally quite common knowledge.
For this reason, this diet is going to work great for those who have never been on a diet before or really need to change their eating habits in a more drastic way. Upon switching to the food selections offered by this diet they are likely to see quite a large change in how they feel and the number on the scale, just because the selection of food has been altered quite intensely.
For someone who already has been maintaining a proper diet for the last year or so may not notice as many changes when putting themselves on this program. One nice thing is that the diet does have recommendations for portion sizes, this will help to keep calorie levels in check, however, it would be better if you simply counted total calories.
Another small issue that could be problematic with this diet is for those who feel and perform best on a higher protein intake, or those who are carb insensitive. Because grains are playing quite a predominant part on this diet, that could cause problems for some.
Meat on the other hand takes a backstage and is "on the side" therefore it is by no means a higher protein diet. Active or very large individuals who require more protein may have difficulties meeting their needs through this approach.
Furthermore, the emphasis on fat is not too terribly large and that is likely because carbohydrates are playing a bigger role. Generally speaking with diets, when fat intake is higher, carb intake goes lower and vice versa. Anyone who has an intolerance to carbohydrates though would want to make the nuts and olive oil a more predominant part of this diet while cutting back on the whole grains (vegetables however should be fine).
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Author, Shannon Clark.
The next big drawback to the Sonoma Diet is that it doesn't really pay much mention to those who are heavily involved in their workouts nor does it give any specific workouts to follow. These individuals will want to alter the plan slightly to ensure they are getting the proper nutritional support around their workouts. This is yet another important thing to consider.
Overall this diet is good - in that it promotes a healthy, non-restrictive way of eating. Some types of diets could potentially foster disordered eating habits in some people since they put you on such a strict plan that you aren't really eating "normally" anymore. Some individuals however don't particularly mind that either so this may not be a concern.
With the Sonoma Diet however you really shouldn't have too much of a problem going out to eat as the foods allowed on the diet do have a fair amount of variability.
Overall Diet Rating: 3.5/5