Why Adele's Rumored "Sirtfood Diet" Is Absolute Horsesh*t

"A diet where I can eat chocolate and drink wine? Sign me up!" Except no, absolutely the f*ck not.

Adele might be making media waves for her recent weight loss transformation, but don't be fooled–"The Sirtfood Diet" is no miracle.

The Sirtfood Diet––the brainchild of two celebrity nutritionists and the alleged "secret" behind Adele's weight loss––boldly claims that by following their plan and focusing on the "top 20 sirtfoods" (foods said to increase specific proteins in the body called sirtuins, which are related to metabolism regulation), dieters can activate their "skinny gene." Best of all, "top 20 sirtfoods" include red wine and dark chocolate. You can even lose seven pounds in a week, they claim.

"A diet where I can eat chocolate and drink wine? Sign me up!" Except no, absolutely the f*ck not.

It's a tale as timeless as snake oil salesmen. A celebrity loses a dramatic amount of weight with a secret new diet, and people turn out in droves to buy the book, desperate to transform their own bodies and blinded to the one simple truth of weight loss: There is no shortcut.

Sirtfood Diet

This is exactly why fad diets, such as "Sirtfood," are largely considered scams.

Here's how The Sirtfood Diet's "lose seven pounds in just one week!" malarkey actually works, and the scariest part is that, technically, they're telling the truth. You'll lose the weight; you just won't keep it off for more than a few weeks.

The Sirtfood Diet is divided into two phases.

Phase One lasts a week, and it's the phase during which adherents are said to lose those seven whole pounds. For the first three days, dieters drink three green juices daily and eat a single "Sirtfood" meal from their cookbook. This totals 1,000 calories per day. For the latter four days, calorie intake is upped to 1,500 with two daily juices and two "Sirtfood" meals.

Then, during Phase Two, you stop counting calories but continue drinking one green juice and eating three "Sirtfood" meals from the recipe book every day. Anytime you want to lose more weight, all you need to do is repeat Phase One. Simple right? Just follow the plan and lose the weight.

Well, sure, but it has nothing to do with "Sirtfoods." An average adult woman needs to eat an estimated 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day (based on height, weight, and activity level––your mileage may vary, and you can get a better sense of your specific caloric needs using a TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, Calculator) in order to maintain your weight. This means that almost any adult on the planet will lose a significant amount of weight if they eat 1,000 calories per day.

Truly, all weight loss (short of liposuction) boils down to calories in vs. calories out. That doesn't mean calorie numbers are the only factor to consider when trying to lose weight. Health is a complex subject, and nutrient-dense foods will generally be better for your body than foods with low nutrient density, even if their calorie counts are similar. But the fact remains that you'll lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn, regardless of whether you're eating 1,000 calories of kale, 1,000 calories of chocolate, or 1,000 calories of pizza. The key to everything is consistency.

Maintaining consistency is the exact reason that accredited weight loss plans don't advise eating 1,000 calories per day––because eating 1,000 calories per day isn't sustainable. Sure, you can lose a good chunk of weight after a week of literally starving yourself, but you'll gain it all back as soon as you start eating properly again.

In other words, fads diets like "Sirtfood" might offer quick ways to lose weight temporarily, but they don't help you stay that way, and they certainly don't promote healthy eating patterns.

lady exercising

If you actually want to lose weight, here's what you do.

Step 1: Calculate your TDEE using a calculator like this one.

Step 2: Eat 250-500 calories below your TDEE.

Step 3: Exercise consistently. The more calories you burn exercising, the more weight you lose (or the more calories you can eat while still losing weight).

Step 4: Hit your goal. Re-calculate your TDEE.

Step 5: Eat at maintenance to remain at your new weight. Keep exercising.

It really is that straightforward. Do the work that meets your specific body's needs, and you can lose the weight. Keep doing the work, and you can keep the weight off. It's not about how you look in a week. It's about how you feel for the rest of your life.

Just remember, there are no secret shortcuts or celebrity magic tricks to getting healthy––despite the promises of wealthy people with personal trainers and unsustainable crash diets.


Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman.

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did.

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny.

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid.

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper.

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.


That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.


So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.


Adele's Return to Instagram and the Dangers of Praising Weight Loss

Weight fluctuates, and Adele is gorgeous regardless of her size.

Adele is a hot topic on the Internet today, though not because of new music.

The "Rolling in the Deep" singer posted to her Instagram a photo of herself with a large wreath of flowers in celebration of her birthday. She used the post to praise health care workers, but they were hardly the focus of attention. Fans were quick to point out Adele's considerable weight loss. She looks stunning, but the massive reaction raised an issue with how modern society generally responds to weight loss.

There's a lot of concerning implications that can arise with complimenting someone for losing weight, whether directed at a celebrity or a member of your family. First, this reinforces the stereotype that thinner people are inherently more desirable and attractive. There's the false implication that losing weight is synonymous with good health, as well as infinite ways to become thinner dangerously: eating disorders, substance abuse, and dangerous fad diets among them. Praising someone for losing weight, however well-intended, propagates fat shame and implies that individuals are worth most at their thinnest.

Adele has spent her entire career championing plus-size (but actually average-size) women. Before eventually signing to XL, she reportedly had a strict policy for her potential record labels: Under no circumstances would she be encouraged to lose weight. But of course, that hadn't made her immune to negative comments on her body. In 2012, Karl Lagerfeld called the singer "a little too fat." "I've never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines," Adele responded. "I represent the majority of women and I'm very proud of that."

No matter her size, Adele remains one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Let's leave weight out of the conversation.