The Sonoma Diet is a Mediterranean inspired diet developed to aid in weight loss and to improve your overall health.
This article explains about the Sonoma Diet for weight loss, it’s potential benefits and probable side effects.
Sonoma Diet is based on portion control and consuming foods that are on the approved list.
The original book of Sonoma Diet was published in 2005 but the revised version of the book called “The New Sonoma Diet” became available 6 years later in 2011.
The Sonoma Diet book ensures significant weight loss and boosted health with in the first 10 days.
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the Sonoma Diet increases balanced intake of the following:
- Lean proteins
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
It also incorporates portion control guidelines and is divided into three distinct phases.
Moreover, there is also a lesson on how to satisfy your cravings and fight sugar addiction several healthy foods throughout the diet.
Even though, according to Dr. Gutterson, the Sonoma diet is not a low carb diet yet some portions of diet limits you form consuming some specific carb enriched foods.
Furthermore, the consumption of artificial sweeteners, saturated fats, and alcohol is highly discouraged in the Sonoma Diet.
Health Score of The Sonoma Diet
Although, Sonoma diet is low calorie and unnecessarily restricting diet yet it promotes significant weight loss, improved overall health, and a diverse consumption of whole and nutrient-dense foods.
You may be wondering whether the Sonoma diet is right for you or not?
- Overall score: 3.5
- Whole-body health: 3.0
- Healthy eating: 3.5
- Nutrition quality: 5.0
- Weight loss: 4.0
- Sustainability: 2.5
- Evidence-based: 3.0
How Sonoma Diet Works?
The Sonoma Diet is divided into three distinct phases, called waves.
The first wave is the shortest and most restrictive phase; it lasts about 10 days. Afterward, the restrictions are gradually reduced.
Each wave of Sonoma Diet singles out a selection of foods called power foods:
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Bell peppers
These power foods are the basis of the Sonoma Diet as they are slightly processed and are enriched with important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber.
Moreover, you are intended to switch your usual dinnerware with a 7-inch plate or 2 cup bowl of 475 mL for breakfast and a 9-inch plate for lunch and dinner.
If you happen to struggle with hunger between meals, then you are allowed to consume snacks otherwise 3 meals a day.
Each plate or bowl is divided into portions which are further to be filled with specific foods.
However, the New Sonoma Diet also assists in choosing the wine to go along with the evening meals.
The most limiting phase of The Sonoma Diet is wave 1.
Wave 1 lasts about 10 days and its developed to promote rapid weight loss, reduce carb cravings, break ties with sugar addiction, and fatty foods also it teaches portion control.
In wave 1, the following foods are to be excluded:
- Additional Sugar: white sugar, honey, desserts, soda, jam, and maple syrup.
- Artificially Sweetened Foods: artificially sweetened foods of all kinds.
- Specific Vegetables: corn, peas, carrots, tomatoes, beets, winter squash, and artichoke.
- Specific Fruits: mango, pomegranate, peaches, and banana.
- Fats: mayonnaise, cream dressings, mostly cooking oils except for nut oil, virgin olive oil, and canola oil.
- Dairy: butter, full-fat cheese, and all types of yogurt.
- Refined Grains: white bread, white rice, and cereals made from refined grains.
- Alcohol: alcoholic beverages of all kinds.
However, the original Sonoma Diet limits all fruits during the wave 1 but, the New Sonoma Diet (revised version) permits one serving of the following foods:
Following are some examples of foods allowed during wave 1, and throughout the diet:
- Fruits (1 serving per day): apples, apricots, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Vegetables (non-starchy): celery, leeks, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, and spinach.
- Protein: seafood, beans (30 grams a day), lean beef, pork, eggs (1 whole and 2 whites a day), and chicken.
- Whole grains: whole grain bread, pasta, oats, breakfast cereal, and wild rice.
- Dairy: skim milk, parmesan, cottage cheese (low fat).
- Beverages: water, tea (unsweetened), and black coffee.
- Fats (3 serving per day): almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, extra virgin olive oil, and avocados.
Even though counting your calorie intake isn’t necessary in wave 1 yet mostly people consume just about 1,000 to 12,00 calories a day because of its very limited portion sizes.
Afterward the first 10 days of wave one, wave 2 begins.
It lasts much longer than wave 1 and is the primary weight loss phase.
In wave 2, all of the foods allowed during wave 1 are re-introduced including some specific foods that were excluded in wave 1 earlier.
Additionally, it introduces you to certain lifestyle changes such as exercise regularly, encourages you to enjoy meals and practicing mindfulness.
You may consume about 1,500 to 2,000 calories in wave 2, depending upon your food choices.
In wave 2, the following foods are re-introduced to the diet:
- Fruit: all kinds of fruits except fruit juices.
- Vegetables: all kinds of vegetables except white potatoes.
- Sweets: treats (sugar-free) and dark chocolate.
- Alcohol: white or red wine (up until 6 ounces a day)
- Dairy: Yogurt (fat-free)
Besides, high carb veggies and fruit servings are restricted to one a day while you can consume low carbs more often.
Wave 3 is a lifelong pattern for weight maintenance of the Sonoma Diet.
It begins once you have reached your weight loss goal.
During wave 3 rules of wave 2 are still in play however there are a bit flexible and extra foods to choose from.
In wave 3, following few high carbs and high-fat foods are allowed:
- Fruit juices
- White potatoes
- Refined grains
- Full-fat dairy products
On the other hand, if you happen to start re-gaining weight then it is highly recommended that you should go back to wave 2 unless you reach your weight loss goal again.
Does Sonoma Diet Work for Weight Loss?
Besides circumstantial hearsays, no actual scientific evidence is found to support that the Sonoma Diet aids in weight loss.
As the Sonoma Diet is a Mediterranean inspired diet thus it offers similar results.
Especially it limits your intake of added sugary foods however it allows various fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.
All of these foods are low calorie compared to their processed equals. They also provide nutrients such as protein and fiber, which aids in regulating appetite.
Besides, your calorie intake is likely to decrease due to restricting portion control during wave 1.
It is to be noted that weight loss is a complex process and it is also prejudiced by sleep quality, physical activity, age, metabolism, and else.
Potential Health Benefits
As the Sonoma Diet is a Mediterranean inspired diet thus it offers alike health benefits.
Moreover, years of studies and researches indicate that the Mediterranean diet is very beneficial in terms of improving overall health and inhibiting chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart related diseases.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
The Sonoma Diet limits all main sources of sugars and refined grains.
Also, the carb content of the Sonoma Diet mostly comes from high fiber foods and is significantly less as compared to Western diets.
According to PubMed, research shows that limiting intake of sugar and refined grains in restriction diets helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Consecutively, lower levels of blood sugar aids in decreasing the risk of heart-related diseases, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Boosts Heart Health
The Sonoma Diet boosts heart health as it is considerably low in saturated fats and offers unsaturated fats from avocados, fish, and olive oil.
According to PubMed, numerous studies show that Mediterranean-type diets promote heart health as they are high in unsaturated fats and whole plant foods.
Due to these reasons, Sonoma Diet may aid in lowering the risk of several heart-related diseases.
Increases Nutrition Intake
The Sonoma Diet aids in increasing your intake of essential nutrients.
Remarkably, the cornerstones of the Sonoma Diet are fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Probable Side Effects
Even though, Sonoma Diet has numerous benefits still it is not suitable for everyone.
You should know that there are probable side effects that are worth considering before you try it.
Very Time Demanding
The major criticism of the Sonoma diet is that it is very time demanding. As food prep and meal planning demands a lot of your time.
Furthermore, it depends entirely on whole, unprocessed foods.
For some people cooking may be enjoyable but other people may prefer a less time demanding weight loss diet.
Thus, if spending a lot of hours in the kitchen isn’t sustainable for you in a long term then it might not be a right choice for you.
Food Limitations Aren’t Science-Based
The Sonoma Diet book declares that it is necessary to completely limit refined carbs during the phases of wave 1 and wave 2 to fight sugar addiction.
Moreover, some healthy foods like white potatoes are deceitfully diminished in the diet program.
Although, If you take on a flexible approach to the diet then these issues can be alleviated.
Strictly Limits Calorie Intake
As the first phase known as wave 1 is meant to encourage rapid weight loss.
Yet, it may limit your calorie intake to extreme amounts making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
According to PubMed, the study shows that consuming fewer calories can put you at the risk of disordered eating and may cause intense hunger.
Therefore, skipping wave 1 and beginning with a more balanced approach of wave 2 might be best for most people.
Many of the foods approved by the Sonoma Diet are expensive, which can strain your food budget and limits access.
At the beginning of the diet, you are supposed to restrain yourself from non-compliant foods and replace them with compliant ones later on.
This may cost you a huge grocery bill and a lot of food waste.
Additionally, the diet restricts affordable foods such as potatoes and legumes, all for pricier items such as red wine and seafood.