Is The Wine And Chocolate Diet Too Good To Be True?

Could wine and chocolate be the key to weight loss? Wellness expert Eliz Greene reveals the truth about the Sirtfood Diet by exploring the answers to eight essential questions.

March 1, 2016
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Lose weight while eating chocolate and drinking wine? Heck yes, sign me up! But can this way of eating—known as the Sirtfood Diet—work? Let’s break it down.

I use the following eight questions to evaluate any diet or eating plan:

1. Does the plan involve some sort of starvation? Severely limiting calorie intake or complete fasting doesn’t work. While you may initially lose weight, your body compensates for the loss of calories by slowing metabolism. Once you go back to eating normally, the weight is going to pop right back on.

  • The answer: Yes
  • The wine and chocolate diet suggests limiting calories to 1000 for two days (liquids with one small meal) and then 1500 calories for the rest of the first week. This is a crash diet technique that certainly will cause initial weight loss, but not permanent results.

2. Does the plan involve “magic” foods or miracle supplements? There are no magic potions, pills, or foods to maintaining a healthy weight. Good health comes from eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and low fat protein.

  • The answer: Maybe
  • The wine and chocolate diet is based on eating sirtfoods. These foods promote the production of sirtuin, a protein that controls important things such as aging, inflammation, and metabolism. These foods include tasty items such as strawberries, kale, apples, green tea, and soy. Given that these are healthy options, adding them to your diet—especially to replace less nutritious choices—is a good thing. Red wine and chocolate are also on the list of sirtfoods. Consuming wine and candy, however, isn’t going to magically result in weight loss.

3. Is this plan a “quick fix” to lose pounds and then go back to “eating normally”? Permanent weight loss and good health are both based on a well-balanced diet. Using tricks to drop pounds and then expecting them to stay away when you resume your regular (and most likely less healthy) eating patterns is unreasonable. This will set you up for disappointment and dangerous yo-yoing of your weight.

  • The answer: Maybe
  • The wine and chocolate diet is very restrictive at the beginning and then moves to a more traditional eating plan of three balanced meals loaded with sirtfoods. If these foods are appealing to you, and you keep wine and chocolate consumption in moderation, this part of the program may be reasonable.

4. Is the plan filled with “nevers”? You can never have carbs, sweets, bread, cheese, etc. Deprivation will make you less likely to stick to the plan. Choose a plan that allows you to deal with the occasional treat, slice of pizza, or whatever you fancy. Unless you have a food allergy, avoiding whole categories of foods is not productive.

  • The answer: No

5. Does it promise weight loss without exercise? Again, getting your metabolism fired up is the key, so if you aren’t moving your body it isn’t going to work long-term.

  • The answer: No

6. Does it rely on pre-packaged processed foods? Unless you plan to eat these meals for the rest of your life, you aren’t learning how to feed yourself well.

  • The answer: No

7. Is the plan complicated? Is a plan that requires complicated calorie counting going to fit into your busy day? Find a plan that works simply and fits into your lifestyle. Healthy eating isn’t complicated.

  • The answer: Maybe
  • The wine and chocolate diet initially relies on “green juice” for meal replacement. In the maintenance phase, more “normal” meals are suggested.

8. Is the plan based on solid scientific evidence?

  • The answer: No
  • The wine and chocolate diet was tested in one small study in a single health club in England. Participants showed significant weight loss in the first week, an average of seven pounds. No information on long-term success of the diet was reported. In addition, the long-term health effects of this plan have not been examined.

The final verdict: Is the wine and chocolate diet too good to be true?

Yes. Let’s not kid ourselves, you knew that already.

An eating plan that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat protein is the key to long-term health. Of course, replacing less nutritious foods in your diet with sirtfoods, such as blueberries, can be great for your overall health and your waistline.

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