Considered as one of the most delicious diets, instead of being restricted to certain foods, the Sonoma diet allows dieters to eat and enjoy delicious foods but in smaller portions. This doesn't mean that you’re going to lose weight on a diet consisting of pizza, chips, chocolate, cake, marshmallows and cordial. There are still restrictions in place and the overall emphasis is still on healthy eating.
The Sonoma diet allows a glass of wine after dinner which many will find a strong positive of the diet. It pushes the value behind enjoying your meal by savouring each mouthful which will generally lengthen a meal and improve a sense of satisfaction with the small servings. The small servings are controlled by suggested actual plate sizes, 7inces for breakfast/2 cup bowl and a 9 inch bowl for lunch and dinner. This contributes to the no fuss feeling of the diet without the need to measure food and count points or calories.
The Sonoma diet is laid out in 3 sections (called waves) and the first wave suggests that you remove all foods containing sugar and Trans fats from your home. This part of the diet is ten days and is probably the most difficult aspect of the diet as it is such an intense change for many people and will be a shock to the system. Removing these types of foods from the pantry may leave it almost empty for many.
Though this shifts the focus towards fresher unprocessed foods, many may find this difficult to adjust to from a taste and convenience point of view. Having said this, the diet still tries to focus on the enjoyment of food despite these new restrictions. There are a number of suggested meals and lists of foods that are encouraged to be enjoyed. Namely, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, almonds, olive oil and wine. If you are already able or partial to healthy foods, this diet has a greater potential to work for you and otherwise may prove to be a struggle for the typical dieter.
The First wave of the diet is low in calories allowing 1300 calories for men and 1100 calories for woman. Critics say that dieters would have great difficulty on this wave, spending a great deal of time feeling hungry which really takes away from the enjoyment aspect that the diet attempts to emphasise.
After the ten days of the first wave which restricts and limits foods, the second wave re-introduces a greater range of foods which means more flexibility and tastier food. These foods include more vegetables and fruit which were excluded from the first wave due to their sugar content. It is in this wave that dieters are allowed to drink a glass of wine after dinner. This wave is continued up till when the dieter reaches their goal weight.
In addition to the types of foods the diet encourages, there is a list of specific foods that are considered particularly valuable to weight loss and general health. These foods are referred to as "super foods". These super foods are
Once the goal weight is reached, the dieter should have become accustomed to a lifestyle free of processed and unhealthy foods. Wave 3 is about reaffirming this lifestyle with a full range of foods and menu choices that encompass the Sonoma values. That is, to eat the right foods, in the right portions and have a delicious time doing it!
The Sonoma Diet even have its own cookbook "The Sonoma Diet Cookbook" (Connie Guttersen). The cookbook includes over 150 recipes for breakfast to dinnet.