Sonoma Diet Pros and Cons

The Sonoma Diet is developed by Dr. Connie Guttersen, PhD., a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition. It is named after a region of northern San Francisco which has a Meditteranean climate. The diet incorporates some of the components of the Mediterranean diet with a weight loss diet.

Just like the South Beach diet, Sonoma diet also limits the intake of foods that are high saturated fats, as well as starches, and sugars. Portion control is also emphasized. The diet is quite restrictive, especially in the first stages.


One of the positive aspects of the Sonoma Diet is that it is relatively simple and easy to follow. There is no counting and measuring involved. But dieters do have to consider plate size for portion control.

It also encourages people to eat slowly and enjoy their food. After the first ten days of the diet, dieters are allowed a glass of wine with their dinner.

The Sonoma diet puts emphasis on eating "power foods" getting a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients from them. Very few processed foods are also recommended in this diet. Dieters are instead encouraged to go for whole foods, though this may be a rather big change for some people.

Lastly, most experts think that unlike most low-carb diets, Sonoma diet has more structure (more guidance).


On the downside, the Sonoma diet allows for very little flexibility. Laura Dolson, a health and education Website developer who has an MA and several years of doctoral work in clinical psychology, analyzed Wave I menus of the Sonoma Diet. The recipes were 900-1100 calories for women and 1100-1300 for men. Wave 2 adds 200-300 more calories for both. Dolson believes that, depending on size and activity level, these figures are "going to be too low for most people in the first phase and many people after that." Dolson also says that those people will be "ravenous" within days of starting the diet.

The program lacks instructions on what dieters should do when they get hungry (e.g. eat only fruits or veggies).

The Sonoma diet limits vegetable intake. The diet focuses on portion control and/or volume. Eating on a small plat means you have trim your (veggie) portions down to make room for other foods. This may be a just a simple lapse in the program. But then you get to Wave 2, and vegetable serving sizes dwindle by half.

The diet also has many claims that seem inaccurate and inconsistent. For one, the diet claims not to be a low-carb diet when in fact the Wave 1 menus analyzed by Laura Dolson were 40 grams of usable carb per day, while none of the Wave 2 menus were over 100 grams. It also claims that grains are the core the diet, when in fact, according to Dolson , it has fewer grain servings than the Food Pyramid.

Source: MSN Health


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