The Sonoma Diet is a dietary system that was developed by Connie Guttersen, and is a derivation of the Mediterranean diet. The diet plan is one of the best known foods in the world. According to the creator of the diet these foods were chosen for their nutritional value and intense flavors. The power foods are whole grains, almonds, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, grapes, spinach, blueberries, strawberries and olive oil.
Dr. Connie Guttersen, RD, Ph.D. is a registered dietitian and nutrition instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. She developed the Standards of Care for the Obesity Treatment Center in Bellevue, Washington and she served as an instructor on nutrition and food science at Texas Christian University.
As with the Atkins Diet, Diet Zone and South Beach Diet, the Diet Sonoma has three distinct stages known as waves. The first phase of the day is the most restrictive phase with smallest portion sizes. During this stage, sugar intake is greatly reduced. During the next phase, a variety of foods are allowed and weight loss slows to a more gradual pace. Phase two continues until the target weight is reached. Phase 3 is known for the maintenance stage with a wider range of foods being allowed (including the occasional dessert).
This diet is not classified as a low-carbohydrate diet or low sugar diet. People following the diet are allowed to eat whole grains, bread and cereals during all stages of the diet. The plan does recommend avoiding white flour, saturated fats and recipes with additional sugar. One of the tools used in teaching management is flat size. For breakfast, the diet recommends using an 18 cm (7 inch) flat and for lunch and dinner at 23 cm (9 inch) flat is also recommended.