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The Sonoma Diet

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The Sonoma Diet is the diet for people that enjoy eating flavorful food. Instead of forcing you to drink liquids for two weeks and starve yourself, this diet focuses on healthy eating. If you enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits, plus an occasional glass of wine, the Sonoma Diet is one to consider.

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Connie Gutterson, a registered dietitian, is the diet’s creator. She named the diet after the Sonoma County region of California. The location is known for its wine and healthy, locally grown food. Since the key to long-lasting weight loss is permanent behavior modification, this diet focuses on making the changes enjoyable.

Food Selection

Most diets focus on temporarily changing your eating habits. You eat a certain way for the duration of the diet, and then return to normal. This isn’t good because you gain weight as soon as you stop dieting. In fact, most people gain more than they lose. Most people overeat when they finish a diet. When you’re deprived of food, you normally overeat as soon as you know the diet is done. Food deprivation also slows your metabolism, which makes losing weight difficult.

With the Sonoma Diet, you eat foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. If the words “vitamins” and “nutrients” make you think of boring salads, then you’re in for a surprise. You can eat sensible helpings of fruits, vegetables, meats, whole grains, nuts and fish.

Gutterson states that power foods are what make the diet successful. Almonds, bell peppers, broccoli, grapes, blueberries and extra-virgin olive oil are included on the super foods list. The foods on the list provide excellent health benefits minus heavy calories.

One thing is certain, and that is you won’t starve or have cravings on this diet. You can even have sweets in moderation. The diet allows whole grains as well. Whole wheat-bread, brown rice, cereal, oatmeal and popcorn are on the menu.

The Process

The Sonoma Diet begins with Wave 1, which is an induction phase. Wave 1 lasts for 10 days, and prohibits sugar and processed foods. This phase requires some house cleaning on your part. All processed foods and foods containing hydrogenated fat must go. Say goodbye to bacon, sausage, white rice and potato chips. Take an afternoon to check your cabinets and fridge for the offending foods. Throw them out, and replace them with more healthy alternatives.

Wine and fruit also aren’t allowed during Wave 1. Sugar occurs naturally in those items, so you can’t have them during the first phase. Wine and fruit are normally fine, but just not during the first 10 days. What you can eat during this phase includes lean beef, almonds, asparagus, eggs and eggplant. To help you along, the Sonoma Diet book contains several recipes.

Wave 2 includes all of the foods allowed in Wave 1. You also can add fruits, wine and sugar-free sweets during this second phase. You remain in Wave 2 until you’ve lost the desired amount of weight. Gutterson suggests moving to Wave 3 the day after reaching your desired weight. Wave 3 involves preparing for your new way of life. Make an exercise plan, seek out healthy foods and promise to keep unhealthy foods out of your kitchen.

The Final Verdict

The Sonoma Diet is a healthy choice. You’re encouraged to eat healthy foods and engage in physical activity. You’re also encouraged to limit your intake of sweets and processed foods. Keep in mind that the diet prepares you for a new way of life. Once you’re done with the diet, you’re supposed to continue with your new healthy eating habits.

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