Diet of the Month: The Sonoma Diet
How do the two differ?
"The Sonoma diet is a weight loss plan that includes healthy, delicious foods. The Mediterranean diet, while very healthy, is not structured to achieve weight loss. People can stay fit on it. But dieters need more guidelines."
To that end, Guttersen has added restrictions and strategies to help dieters shed pounds faster.
Toss your candy bars and diet sodas. Get ready to use smaller plates. Cook up some healthy, delicious meals using Guttersen's 10 favorite super foods: almonds, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, whole grains, broccoli, grapes, olive oil and bell peppers. And uncork the wine bottle.
Here are some highlights of how Sonoma works:
- Meals, snacks and recipes are based on inclusion of 10 "power foods," preferred for their plentiful phytonutrients and documented health benefits. A typical day might include a breakfast of whole-grain cereal and milk; a lunch of black bean soup; halibut and vegetables for dinner; and string cheese, whole-grain bread and peanut butter or a small portion of almonds for snacks.
- Wine -- one 6-ounce glass a day-- is encouraged because wine's phytonutrient content is known to have healthful benefits. Nondrinkers can eat grapes instead.
- Smaller plates. Dutiful Sonoma dieters will switch to seven-inch plates for breakfast and lunch to help with portion control. The diet also spells out what portion of a plate should be reserved for specific categories of food. For example, two-thirds protein, one-third grains or 1/2 grains, 1/2 dairy at breakfast.
- Healthy fats -- olive oil, nuts, natural-nut butters -- are encouraged. (Some diets, based more on counting calories and fat grams, restrict these.)
- Exercise. Guttersen calls it "very important," and says simple walking or "playing outside with the kids," is the best bet for gym phobics. "I don't like to prescribe certain kinds of exercise. It is too scary to many people."
- Support. Dieters can join a paid, Web-based community at www.sonomadiet.com, where they can share tips and support.