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3 Waves to Weight Loss

The Sonoma Diet is divided into three waves. Wave 1 of the diet is a 10-day period in which dieters are urged to throw out or give away foods in their pantries containing refined flours, non-whole grains, hydrogenated and saturated fats, sugars, and any oil that isn't extra-virgin olive oil, nut oil, or canola oil. Fruits are also prohibited in this wave in order to wean the body from sugar.

On Wave 1, dieters can eat certain vegetables, lean meats, seafood, limited dairy, some grains, three daily servings of olive or canola oil, a small amount of nuts, black coffee, tea, and an unlimited number of herbs and spices.

"The first wave is the most extreme, the most low-calorie," says Zied. She doesn't know how realistic it is for people to completely purge their cabinets of processed foods and sugars, especially if they have other people at home who are not on a diet. She takes issue with Guttersen's advice to provide family members with only healthful foods such as whole-wheat bread and peanut butter in order to break them of unhealthy eating.

"It's too simplistic," says Zied. "I have cookies in my cabinet, but moderation is preached in my home."

She sees the elimination of fruit in any diet as a red flag, especially since fruits have a bounty of proven benefits. Clemens doesn't see this as much of a concern since fruit is only banned for 10 days.

Nonetheless, Clemens, Zied and Guttersen agree that Wave 1 of the Sonoma Diet will likely translate into rapid weight loss. The amount of poundage lost will depend upon the individual and how much weight they have to lose. In general, Guttersen says people can expect to be 2 to 5 pounds lighter around the waist in the first 10 days of the diet.

"I don't know anyone who's followed the program, but I'd be surprised if they didn't lose weight," says Zied. For most dieters, she would have preferred a few more calories on Wave 1, but she understands that the rapid weight loss may be a built-in psychological boost for the diet.

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