Lose weight AND enjoy wine and chocolate on the California diet plan

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YOU’VE heard of the Meditteranean Diet, but now there’s a new plan on the block.

Same same but different, the Californian Diet is being hyped as the Italian-influenced way of eating that helps you lose weight in just ten days.

The Californian diet is about eating lots of fresh whole foods
The Californian diet is about eating lots of fresh whole foods
Getty – Contributor

The plan essentially advises dieters to stock up on olive oil, veg and lean proteins – as well as indulging in wine and chocolate.

So far, so un-diet like.

The only restriction happens when it comes to how much of each nutrient you’re eating, and the size of your plate.

Devised by Dr Connie Guttersen, the diet is based on the Californian way of living, which is very similar to that of the Meditteranean.

It has four waves, designed to help you cut fat and then maintain that loss.

Wave 1 – weight loss

This is what Dr Guttersen calls the “detox” phase.

It’s where you wean yourself off sugar, white flour and processed foods.

Breakfast has to be eaten on a 18” diameter plate and should consist of 25 per cent grain, 75 per cent protein, or cereal and milk in equal measure.

Lunch and dinner are to be eaten from 23” plates. Lunch should be 60 per cent veg, 40 per cent protein, while dinner is 20 per cent cereal, 30 per cent protein and 50 per cent veg.

Wave 2 – target weight

Wave 1 promises to help you lose weight in ten days while wave 2 is all about getting you to your target weight.

It might last weeks or months and involves adding more healthy foods to your diet.

Breakfast remains the same but lunch and dinner involve eating grains, veg, fruit and proteins/dairy in equal measure.

Oh, and you’re now allowed a little wine and chocolate.

Wave 3 – maintenance

This is all about maintaining your weight after you’ve reached your target.

Now it’s just about continuing to eat healthily and introducing things like desserts and snacks back into your diet as long as you keep portions and small and basically stick to the ratios in wave 2.

Power foods

On top of these waves, the diet has 12 power foods that it recommends dieters adding to their plates every day.

These include:

  1. tomatoes
  2. bell peppers
  3. broccoli
  4. spinach
  5. blueberries
  6. citrus
  7. grapes
  8. strawberries
  9. almonds
  10. beans
  11. wholegrains
  12. olive oil

So, what do nutritionists think about the diet?

Sophie Bertrand, Registered Associate Nutritionist at Rhitrition, told The Sun: “Although the California diet is created by a Registered Dietitian, as a nutrition professional myself, I do not agree with it.

“We know that diets do not work – the research is there to tell us that. Yes, diets may lead to initial weight loss however follow up studies conclude that they also lead to long term weight gain.

“The California diet encourages people to focus on weight loss and promises a ‘trimmer waist’ in just ten days. It also encourages individuals to be very strict with portions sizes – which will likely lead to disordered eating habits and an unhealthy relationship with food.”

Sophie says that any kind of restriction is unhealthy
Sophie says that any kind of restriction is unhealthy
Getty – Contributor

Sophie says that the concentration on tiny portions doesn’t foster a healthy relationship with food.

Additionally, weight loss does not equal healthy – is your health really worth sacrificing to weigh a few pounds less?

“Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and it is about time we start to embrace that. Nutrition is important but so is actually enjoying food!”

But it is worth saying that portion control can be important if you are overweight and is something many of struggle with.

Even the British Heart Foundation offers tips on how to make sure that you’re not eating too much of the wrong things.

Their dietician Victoria Taylor says: “Often, if you’re struggling to lose weight or shift those last few pounds, your portion sizes could be the reason why.

“Your weight is one of the best guides to whether you’re eating the right number of calories or not. Making changes to balance your diet, such as eating more fruit instead of chocolates, crisps and biscuits, will reduce the number of calories you consume but you also need to consider the total amount you’re eating.”

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest out there

In fact, it’s been named diet of the year 2019 because of its various health benefits and sustainability.

It’s low in refined sugar, red meat and processed foods which is why it’s been linked to lowering risks of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure.

It also may improve kidney function and gut health.

The NHS explains: “The Mediterranean diet varies by country and region, so it has a range of definitions.

“But in general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.

“It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.”


The Calforian diet just adds an element of portion control into that mix, which may work for people who tend to overeat or don’t know much about macro ratios.

So you could do a lot worse than follow the Californian diet if you do want to lose body fat.

But do bear in mind that restrictive diets really don’t work for everyone.


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