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'Sonoma Diet' Captures A Lifestyle

"The Sonoma Diet" promises to help you lose weight and stay healthy while eating plenty of satisfying and flavorful foods.

What's more, asserts Connie Guttersen, the Ph.D. and dietician who wrote the book of the same name, "The Sonoma Diet captures the lifestyle of Sonoma (Calif.). It's about a healthy way of eating where you're enjoying meals, often with a glass of wine.

"But it adds a weight loss component," Guttersen

co-anchor Julie Chen on The Early Show Wednesday. "You know, flavor is part of health, and it's actually part of losing weight successfully. … And when you're eating nutrient-rich foods that are flavorful, you're more satisfied and you're not going to be hungry.

Guttersen calls her diet "a celebration of food. There are no foods that you're not going to be able to have on this diet. It's a lifestyle. The Sonoma Diet isn't about deprivation. It's a celebration of foods that becomes a way of eating for life. You don't want to go back to what you were doing before."

Guttersen names ten "power foods" that pack a nutritious, flavorful punch.

Among them, whole grains: Not only do they contain fiber and nutrients that are going to sustain you with energy and keep you satisfied, but they are very important during weight loss.

Another power food? Almonds, which Guttersen describes as "a healthy type of fat for your heart that also keep you from getting hungry in between meals.

Yet another? Olive oil, a "heart-healthy fat."

Not to mention fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants and flavor, specifically, grapes, tomatoes, blueberries.

The plan includes three "waves."

"Wave One" lasts ten days, and is "an introduction where you experience the most rapid part of your weight loss, but it actually targets those extra pounds around your waist," Guttersen says. "You may not like how those pounds fit with your clothes, but that's really a red flag to heart disease, diabetes and possibly even Alzheimer's. Wave One also shifts your body into new gear, where you're not craving sugary high fat foods. You're satisfied with these nutrient rich foods and that's going to keep you motivated to keep going."

Participants stay on "Wave Two" until they reach their goal weights, and "Wave Three" is a maintenance mode.

The diet also allows a glass of wine per day, red or white. It is, Guttersen notes, part of the Sonoma lifestyle.

Also, plate size matters.

Explains Guttersen, "With the Sonoma Diet, there's no obsessive weighing or calculations. It's an easy plan that teaches you how to put the right amounts and right combinations on your plate so that, after a while, it becomes visual to you. You get it. After a few weeks you know what your plate should look like. It's about the right amounts and balance of these foods."

To read an excerpt of "The Sonoma Diet," click here.

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