The day most of us have been waiting for is finally here: A diet full of red wine and dark chocolate finally exists! And it can help you lose weight!
Sounds too good to be true, right?
The Sirtfood Diet has recently been the recipient of mass buzz on Instagram and the interwebs, mainly because of its inclusion of foods like red wine, dark chocolate, strawberries, arugula, walnuts and kale. The creators of the Sirtfood Diet say that it's full of foods rich in sirtuins, a plant-based protein good for improving your metabolic health.
"The eating plan itself is designed to 'turn on' the sirtuin genes (particularly SIRT-1), which are believed to boost metabolism, increase fat burning, fight inflammation, and curb appetite," Edwina Clark, R.D., told Women's Health.
How it works
The Sirtfood Diet is divided into two phases spread out over the course of three weeks. During phase one, you're allowed three Sirtfood green juices and one Sirtfood-rich meal per day, totaling 1,000 calories. For the next four days, you're allowed two Sirtfood green juices and two Sirtfood-rich meals per day, totaling 1,500 calories.
Phase two lasts for the final two weeks and is basically just maintenance, allowing three Sirtfood-rich meals and one Sirtfood green juice daily.
The juices are made up of kale, arugula, parsley, celery, green apple, lemon juice and green tea.
Thirty minutes of exercise five days a week is encouraged, but working out isn't the main focus of this weight loss method.
Aside from the foods mentioned above, foods like celery, green tea, Medjool dates, lean chicken, lean red meat and parsley are rich in sirtuins. The diet restricts or eliminates completely foods like refined flours, added sugars and processed foods.
Is it worth it?
You may have noticed that the caloric intake is extremely low and that there doesn't seem to be a lot of protein involved. While limiting your caloric intake will obviously help you lose weight, the lack of protein during phase one means you will lose muscle mass and slow down your metabolism, says Caroline Apovian, M.D., director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at the Boston Medical Center.
The low caloric intake during phase one also means you might be setting yourself up for overeating during phase two. Especially considering that the weight you'll lose during phase one is mostly water weight, you'll more than likely see that weight come back.
While a low-calorie, high-nutrient diet like this is a good recipe for quick weight loss, it isn't a good option for the long run. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat a high-protein diet and build muscle mass.
Another thing to keep in mind is that more research of the SIRT-1 gene is needed before we can conclude its effect on the body.
In the end, the Sirtfood Diet seems extremely tough to follow, especially when there's no set game plan after week three. We still recommend a consistent, healthy diet full of your macronutrients. And if it's the red wine and dark chocolate that you'll be missing most, it's OK to splurge every now and then!