What is the Sirtfood Diet—and why is Adele into it?

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Photo: Facebook/Adele

Instagramming morning smoothies or a plate full of greens so isn’t Adele’s style, but when she premiered her new music video at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, there was no hiding her recently slimmed-down figure. Viewers couldn’t help but think that she must be doing something to lose weight. That something was revealed today by Yahoo!, which reports that the powerhouse songstress has been sticking to the Sirtfood Diet plan, which helped her locate her “skinny gene.” The what diet plan? Skinny gene?

There’s a reason why you’ve probably never heard about the “skinny gene.” It’s a new, sexy name for SIRT1, a gene that is associated with improved insulin regulation in the body (as opposed to insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity and diabetes). Basically, the diet includes foods that are high in SIRT1, or sirtuin, activators. This means noshing on fruits like blueberries, strawberries, apples, and oranges, and vegetables like kale, arugula, and onion—plus kitchen staples like turmeric, olives, and capers. Red wine, coffee, and chocolate are all high in sirtuin as well, so it’s not all greens and fruits.

But you can’t eat as much as you want, either. The official Sirtfood Diet plan means restricting your diet to 1,000 calories per day (with three Sirtfood Diet-approved smoothies and one meal), Marie Claire UK reports. The second week allows for 1,500 calories per day (two smoothies and two meals). As for long-term? The only guideline is sticking to a sirtuin-rich diet. No calorie counting. Hard-core workouts are also meant to accompany the plan (Adele runs and does Pilates).

While the “skinny gene” catchphrase is new, the idea of tricking your metabolism certainly isn’t. But studies have shown this is not an effective way to stay healthy long-term. Slowing your metabolism is the same reason why contestants on The Biggest Loser are successful at first, but always seem to gain the weight they lost back.

It’s worth noting that the dietitian Yahoo! interviewed said she doesn’t have anything against sirtuin-rich foods, but the calorie restrictions sound a bit iffy. Controversial? Yes. But with this diet picking up buzz, this won’t be the last you hear about it.

How does the Sirtfood Diet compare to the Gisele Diet? Here’s what Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady eat (and, er, don’t eat). Also worth checking out: this A-to-Z guide of the 11 most popular diets


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