It seems like new diets are hitting the news constantly, making it hard to keep track of which ones are healthy and which you’re better off staying away from. One of the newer diets circulating among celebrities these days is the sirtfood diet. Promising weight loss while encouraging indulgence in dark chocolate, coffee, and even red wine certainly grabs the attention, so it’s no wonder people are flocking to it.

Here’s the scoop on this diet trend and how it fits into your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle at the fitness center and in your daily eating habits.

What’s a sirt food, anyway?

To begin with, if you’re like us, you have no idea what sirtfoods are, let alone what a diet that focuses on them looks like. Sirt foods is the name given to foods discovered to have a high concentration of polyphenols, a protein that activates sirtuan pathways linked to weight loss, heightened metabolism, and the aging process. By placing mild stress on the cells, sirt foods activate the same “skinny gene” as fasting or exercise without compromising muscle mass.

So far, it sounds good, right?

Top Sirt Foods

The sirtfood diet focuses on foods with the highest levels of polyphenols, including the following list of many already-lauded super foods:

  • Green tea
  • Buckwheat
  • Kale
  • Cocoa powder (dark chocolate)
  • Red onion
  • Parsley
  • Turmeric
  • Chicory
  • Apples, strawberries, blueberries and citrus fruits
  • Dates
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Soy
  • Capers

The Sirtfood Diet Plan

The diet itself focuses on increasing daily intake of these foods and has three phases. In the first week-long phase, you consume three green juices (full of top sirt foods) and one meal for a total intake of 1,000 calories for the first three days. On days four through seven, you drink two juices and two meals for a total of 1,500 calories. The second phase, which lasts 14 days, is called the maintenance phase, and it encourages dieters to drink one green juice and three sirtfood-heavy meals a day. The Sirtfood Diet book and program include recipes and cookbooks for the green juices and meals.

Why You Might Consider It

Based on the types of foods the sirtfood diet focuses on, it’s not an unhealthy diet. By eating these types of foods in place of processed, high-fat, high-calorie foods, you’re almost guaranteed to lose weight while boosting your health. In short, adding sirt foods to your eating plan might not be a bad idea.

Precautious with the SirtFood Diet

Even though it’s not a dangerous diet, health experts recognize a few concerns with the sirtfood diet.  First of all, it’s a very food-restrictive and calorie-restrictive diet. Following the diet for three weeks, as it suggests, may lead to rapid weight loss just because it’s restricting your calories below most people’s daily needs, not necessarily because of the metabolism-boosting effects of the sirtuan foods you’re eating. However, the more restrictive a diet is, the less easy it is to maintain long-term.

Because it’s not easy to maintain, you may regain any weight lost on the three-week program, which has a negative effect on your metabolism.

Finally, the diet makes a claim to replace the need for “exhausting exercise sessions.” If you’ve been putting in quality workouts at the fitness gym, you know how important exercise is to your overall health and fitness! It’s important to watch both the quality and quantity of what you eat, but exercise is also key to improving cardiovascular fitness, building muscle, and looking and feeling your best.

In conclusion, feel free to add sirtfoods to your eating plan, but in balance, and don’t use it (or any other diet) as a replacement for exercise.