Grammy Award-winning British singer Adele recently brought the ‘sirtfood diet’ into the limelight after she credited the routine for helping her lose weight. In the two months since, this diet has gained a lot of popularity. However, before jumping into any regime, it is important to understand whether it suits your body type. If you, too, are planning on giving this new trend a try, then here’s all that you need to know:
How does the diet work?
This diet works by triggering specific proteins called sirtuins in the body. There are around seven sirtuin genes in our body. City-based nutritionist Dr Riddhesh Jani (Sketch clinic), explains how the seven genes function. “SIRT1, SIRT3 and SIRT4 function on the body’s metabolism predominantly. SIRT4 is specifically related to insulin sensitivity. SIRT2, SIRT6 and SIRT7 have more anti-ageing tasks related to cell and DNA repair. They are the housekeepers of the body — their role is to stimulate collagen, protect cells in the body, improve metabolism, and slow down the ageing process,” says Jani.
British singer Adele followed the sirtfood diet to tackle weight issues. (Getty Images)
The diet has two stages
In the first stage, for the first three days, around 1,000cal (1 kcal or kilocalorie = 1000 calories) need to be consumed via three sirtfood juices and one meal rich in sirtfoods only. In the second stage, from day four to seven, the calorie intake is increased to 1,500kcal. The dieter must rely on two sirtfood juices and two sirtfood rich meals only for these calories.
“This diet is a celebration of the best and healthiest plant foods on the planet. The diet fully caters to vegans and vegetarians, and includes a full plant-based meal plan. Also, sirtfoods are naturally gluten-free. So, they are good for those who are looking to reduce their gluten intake,” says Mahek Nair, dietician, co-founder, Crossfit TFF.
1. Improves metabolism by increasing fat metabolism (where fats are broken down into simple compounds, which can then be used by the cells of the body)
2. Helps reduce weight as the calorie intake is controlled
3. Has antioxidants that delay the ageing process
4. Increases muscle function
5. Increases energy levels
6. Leads to clearer skin
7. Leads to better sleep
8. Causes cellular repair.
While there have been no reported disadvantages, some doctors believe that the weight loss facilitated by this regime might be temporary. “There are no cons, but everything in excess has a detrimental effect. This diet has health benefits only,” says Kanchan Patwardhan, nutritionist, Kanchan’s House of Health and Nutrition.
Dr Jani adds, “This diet doesn’t include food groups with low glycemic index, lean protein, etc. Therefore, it may also lead to weight gain the moment you get off the diet.”Some critics are also of the opinion that this diet causes only water loss, and not real fat loss.
Who should opt for it?
The sirtfood diet is ideal for those who suffer from obesity (whose BMI is more than 30). But healthy people can also follow this diet for its anti-ageing benefits.
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Who should avoid it?
People with kidney, liver, cardiac and cholesterol problems should steer clear of this diet. Diabetics, and those suffering from hormonal imbalance and thyroid issues, should also avoid this diet.
— With inputs from Dr Sunita Dube, nutritionist and founder of Aryan group of hospitals, and Praveen Nair, Celebrity Transformational Coach and Founder Crossfit TFF.