- Whole grains
- Bell peppers
- Olive oil
Similar to the Atkins Diet, Zone diet and South Beach Diet, the Sonoma Diet has three distinct stages known as waves. The first phase which lasts 10 days is the most restrictive phase with the smallest number of foods allowed with the smallest portion sizes. During this stage sugar intake is greatly reduced. During the next wave a wider variety of foods are allowed and weight loss slows to a more gradual pace. Wave two continues until the target weight is reached. Wave three is known as 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, breads and cereals during all three stages of the diet. The plan does recommend avoiding white flour, saturated fats, and recipes with additional sugar. One of the tools used to teach portion management is plate size. For breakfast the diet recommends using an 18 cm (7 inch) plate and for lunch and dinner a 23 cm (9 inch) plate is recommended.