How to Do Wave One of the Sonoma Diet

Ten days to eliminate carb cravings and introduce portion control

Pan of fried egg, with cherry-tomatoes and parsley

The Sonoma Diet, created by registered dietitian Connie Gutterson, is a weight loss diet based on portion control, eating approved foods, and avoiding other foods. It uses the Mediterranean diet as its model. It has three waves or phases. Wave One lasts for 10 days and is the most restrictive phase. Here are the basics of Wave One.

Goals of Wave One

During the 10 days of Wave One, the diet aims to do these three things:

  • To promote fast weight loss by limiting carbs and calories
  • To do away with carb cravings
  • Give an introduction to the foods emphasized on the diet

What Isn't Allowed on Wave One of the Sonoma Diet

As with all low-carb diets, added sugars and most sources of starch are avoided. Like the South Beach Diet, the Sonoma Diet is low in saturated fats as well. No fruit or alcohol is allowed in Wave One, or anything sweet. The book says, "if you just can't take it anymore" you may have small amounts of diet soda or artificial sweeteners, but this is discouraged.

What You Eat

Lean protein sources are allowed, including eggs, seafood, poultry without the skin, lean cuts of beef and pork, and soy foods. You can eat certain low-fat dairy products, one serving of beans per day, low-starch vegetables, a small amount of nuts (you have to count them), certain fats such as nuts and olive oil, some low-carb condiments.

Nothing else is allowed, including fruits and alcohol.

How Much To Eat

You do not have to count calories, carbs, or fat grams with the Sonoma Diet. Portions are allocated according to plate size. The diet requires that you have the following: a bowl which holds two cups of liquid, a seven-inch plate (like a dessert plate), and a nine-inch plate (sometimes called a lunch plate).

You must measure the plates. A small difference in diameter can make a big difference in the amount of food.

Breakfast is either protein and grains on the seven-inch plate (some vegetable is allowed as well) or whole grain cereals and milk in the bowl. Lunch is on the nine-inch plate, which is a little over half vegetables, and the rest protein. Dinner is also on the nine-inch plate, which is half vegetables, one-third protein, and 20 percent grains.

Carb Level for Wave One

Although carbs are not specifically counted, the Wave One menus analyzed had about 40 grams of usable (net) carbohydrate. This is consistent with the beginning phase of many low-carb diets and would be ketogenic for most people. Note that this diet is also low in calories, which could be problematic for some people.

Graduating to Wave Two

If you are faithful to Wave One for 10 days, you should see some initial weight loss. Then you enter Wave Two where you can add some fruit, more vegetables, and even a serving of wine to your daily intake.

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