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Sonoma Diet Reviews

We’ve heard some positive Sonoma Diet reviews from friends so thought we’d try it ourselves and write our own review…this is less a diet and more a celebration of great food!

If you’re a bit of a foodie and like to cook, then the Sonoma Diet offers a way to enjoy preparing and eating fresh produce whilst losing weight and improving your health.

Written by Connie Guttersen, a PhD registered dietician with a culinary background, the emphasis of this plan is on:

  • Eating nutritious ‘power foods’
  • Flavour
  • Balanced food choices
  • Portion control
  • There’s none of the calorie counting and deprivation associated with many diets. This plan is all about the enjoyment of good food.

    In addition to the original book, there are some equally inspiring follow ups, The Sonoma Diet Cookbook and The Sonoma Diet: Slimmer, Trimmer and Healthier in Just 10 Days.


    Sonoma Diet for Weight Loss

    sonomo diet

    The Sonoma Diet reminds us very much of a US version of the ubiquitous Mediterranean Diet, which we have a lot of time for.For those not familiar with the US west coast, the Sonoma Valley is in California and is an area known for Mediterranean style produce and fine wine.

    The Sonoma Diet encourages dieters to eat healthy, whole foods and to avoid refined, processed foods and sugar.

    Sentiments that we’d wholeheartedly endorse!

    The premise of the diet is that you lose weight not by dieting – may sound a bit contradictory! – but by making wiser food choices and enjoying flavour-packed, nutritious meals.

    Let’s face it, if you enjoy the food you’re eating and feel satisfied, you’re going to find any diet much easier to stick to. Our friends’ Sonoma Diet reviews confirmed that much!

    Actually, this is less a diet and more a lifestyle program that seeks to change the way you think about and prepare food.

    It’s about the food choices you make, the way that you combine them into a meal and how much of them you eat.

    There’s no weighing and measuring, instead Guttersen advises that you follow these ratios each day, although it varies between breakfast, lunch and dinner:

  • 25% protein – lean meat, poultry or fish
  • 25% wholegrain – wholemeal bread and pasta, wild rice, Bulgar wheat, etc
  • 25% Vegetables
  • 25% Fruit
  • The diet also advises that you regularly eat 10 “power foods”, which are:

  • Almonds
  • Peppers (Capsicum)
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Wholegrain
  • Anyone familiar with Stephen Pratt’s 14 superfoods will notice a few similarities with Guttersen’s 10 powerfoods. With the exception of for instance wild salmon and soy, they’re both pretty consistent in their recommendations.

    Again, this is an eating plan that emphasizes health as well as weight loss and the Sonoma Diet reviews well in that respect.

    As such, the power foods are full of healthy oils, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There is good evidence that all these foods offer significant health benefits.

    Sonoma Diet Reviews – How Does it Work…?

    The recipes offered by the Sonoma Diet combine these power foods and other natural ingredients into well balanced, tasty meals and meal plans.

    The combination of ingredients is designed to deliver maximum flavor, nutritional benefit and nutrient absorption.

    Furthermore, the protein and fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

    The Sonoma Diet is constructed in three phases.

    Phase one is quite severe and for instance, forbids fruit. You also cut out refined flour products and simple sugar.

    Phase two reintroduces fruit and a wider variety of vegetables, some dairy products and wine.

    Phase three is the maintenance phase, establishing the eating habits and food choices from phase two into a lifelong pattern.

    Guttersen provides ratios for the four main food groups at each meal. This varies from phase to phase and is based on the use of a nine inch plate.

    This approach is very similar to that advocated in the healthy eating guidelines of most food and diet agencies in countries like the US and UK.

    We think it’s a sensible approach that we know from working with both adults and children is easy to adopt and get used to.

    Sonoma Diet Reviews – Does it Work…?

    This is no recipe for rapid weight loss, nor is it intended to be.

    We would suggest that this is a good thing and the Sonoma Diet reviews well with us in that respect.

    The longer the weight takes to come of, the less likely it is to go back on again when you hit your target weight and go back to eating normally again.

    You could certainly expect to lose the recommended, healthy 1-2lbs a week following this plan.

    What will appeal to the many dieters who enjoy cooking and eating good food, is the use of fresh fruit and veg, herbs and spices, lean meats and fish, olive oil…

    The recipes look wonderful and the couple we’ve tried are absolutely delicious.

    I guess a negative may be that whilst the foods recommended in the Sonoma Diet are abundant in the Sonoma Valley, they may be a little more difficult – and expensive – to obtain elsewhere. Especially out of season.

    Generally speaking, healthy eating particularly when using exclusively fresh and organic ingredients, tends to be more expensive and this may put off dieters on a budget with a family to feed.

    The diet also requires what may be seismic shifts in food choices for many families. The Sonoma Diet reviews less well in this respect.

    Switching from burgers and fries to sea bass, bulgar pilaff and lentil salad may be a tough one for the kids!

    And as busy people, no one wants to be preparing separate meals for different family members.

    Many of the recipes also call for a degree of skill that may be beyond the freezer and microwave generation. Time both to shop for and prepare the ingredients may also be a problem for some.

    Whilst we love phases two and three, phase one is rather restrictive.

    In common with other Sonoma Diet reviews, we would suggest that some people may struggle with it. We’d also be concerned at the elimination of fruit.

    Phases two and three are wonderfully balanced, phase one less so.

    We like the nine inch plate approach. Portion control in this way as opposed to calorie counting is much easier for most people.

    The end result will be the same as by eating smaller portions, you’ll take in fewer calories and lose weight.

    This approach works and helps people to get away from the diet mentality that can be so counter productive.

    To be honest, apart from phase one, you won’t really feel like you’re on a diet if you follow this plan!

    Sonoma Diet Reviews – The Bottom Line…

    This is a great plan and the Sonoma Diet reviews well for healthy, tasty common sense.

    Ok, it may prove a little expensive and inconvenient for some, but the emphasis on high quality ingredients prepared simply with bags of flavour should appeal to many people.

    The health benefits of eating a wide variety of “power foods” should also be commended.

    Whilst advocating a lifestyle approach, the presence of little more than the odd passing reference to exercise is surprising.

    Exercise is fundamental to long term, lasting weight loss so if you’re going to follow this diet, build some physical activity into your daily routine.

    Granted, you’re going to need to spend a little time getting used to what may be new ingredients, cooking methods and portion sizing.

    But you will lose weight and your tastebuds will have a terrific time whilst you do it!

    We would really hope that more than just committed foodies and home cooks will give this one a try!

    Our Sonoma Diet reviews verdict? A few small niggles, but on the whole –we love it!

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