Sonoma Diet


The Sonoma Diet is a popular lifestyle eating plan that encourages healthy habits, mindful choices, and moderation. It involves no calorie counting, and no food category is off limits. Instead, an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat are encouraged. Even wine is permitted to allow dieters to fully appreciate the plan’s meals that are inspired by California’s wine country.

How does the Sonoma Diet Work?

The Sonoma Diet includes three phases, referred to as “waves.” The first ten days (Wave 1), is intended to recalibrate the body by eliminating bad eating habits. White rice, potato chips, butter, fruit juice, sausage, and other processed foods are eliminated.

Dieters remain in the second phase (Wave 2) until a desired target weight is reached.  A wide variety of fruits and vegetables, some sugar-free sweets, and up to 6 ounces of wine each day are permitted.

The maintenance phase of the program (Wave 3) begins after target weight or other health goals have been reached. This phase includes previously enjoyed Sonoma-friendly foods as well as such occasional indulgences as snacks and desserts.

Program Cost*

The Sonoma Diet is a relatively inexpensive plan to follow since you purchase and prepare your own meals using common ingredients available at your local grocery store and farmer’s market.

After a free 7-day trial, online membership is $4 a week, billed quarterly (every 13 weeks). Quarterly membership renews automatically until you cancel.

The New Sonoma Diet book is just $12 at A companion cookbook is also available for about $15.

*Pricing reflects available cost details as of January 2012.

Pros and Cons

  • Sonoma dietary guidelines were developed and are updated regularly by Connie Guttersen, PhD, who is also a registered dietitian
  • The program emphasizes a healthy balanced diet of whole foods low in fat and cholesterol
  • The New Sonoma Diet online program helps you choose plan featured foods, sample meal plans, and recipes
  • Customization guidelines for special dietary needs and preferences are lacking
  • Preparing the recommended healthy, balanced meals may be a challenge for dieters who are not accustomed to cooking on a daily basis
  • Exercise is recommended, but the plan does not specifically support fitness plans or goals

Sonoma Diet

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The Sonoma Diet is a heart-friendly eating plan that features many foods typically found in a Mediterranean diet including 12 specific “power foods”—beans, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, olive oil, spinach and others that have been shown to protect against heart disease and other common illnesses.

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