The sirtfood diet has grabbed headlines ever since singer Adele lost oodles of weight after following this diet. It is a diet that allows you to have dark chocolate and red wine without any guilt but also espouses the benefits of superfoods like blueberries, kale, and green juice. So what is the sirtfood diet and how does it enable weight loss? Let’s find out.
What is The Sirtfood Diet?
The sirtfood diet has been embraced by many celebrities due to its unusual diet ingredients like coffee, wine, and chocolate. The diet was developed in 2016 by two UK-based health consultants, Glen Matten and Aidan Goggins, who also co-authored a book by the same name. The diet, as explained on their website, claims to activate ‘skinny gene’ pathways that are normally triggered by exercise and fasting. According to the authors, certain foods like kale, dark chocolate, blueberries, and red wine contain polyphenols that mobilize natural enzymes called sirtuins. These enzymes have a positive effect on the body’s metabolism. The foods included in the diet also have an anti-aging effect, as suggested by research studies.
The sirtfood diet plan is to be followed in a phase-wise manner, with the total number of calories in the first three days restricted to only under 1000 calories. This low-calorie diet plan, in the initial stage, calls for consuming three green juices and one meal.
A 2013 animal study suggested that calorie restriction, along with ensuring the foods consumed have all the essential nutrients, was the best way to enhance longevity and overall health. Researchers further elaborated that sirtuins cause metabolic and behavioral responses in the body when overall calories are restricted. However, human studies need to be conducted to understand the exact mechanism of sirtuins and weight loss.
Sirtfood Diet Plan
The sirtfood diet is divided into 2 phases:
Phase 1: The first phase lasts for a week. During the first three days, the diet plan suggests drinking three green juices and one meal, totaling 1000 calories. Over the next four days, you can add a meal and reduce the juices to two, so that the calories add up to 1500 calories.
Phase 2: The second phase is a two-week maintenance plan that recommends three full meals and one green juice. This, according to the authors, will help you lose weight steadily. They also recommend repeating phase 1 and phase 2 anytime you need a fat-loss boost.
The sirtfood diet can be maintained for life as the authors share several recipes on their website for soups, salads, juices, curries, and meals. These meals and green juices are made with ‘sirtfoods’, which the authors identify as foods that help trigger the sirtuin pathways in the body and help in weight loss.
The sirtfood diet has specific foods that it recommends. These include superfoods like extra virgin olive oil, kale, celery, red onion, turmeric, soy, and berries like strawberries. The diet also includes antioxidant-loaded green tea but recommends matcha as the best option. Other everyday essentials include coffee and parsley. Using medicinal herbs like lovage is also suggested. Some of the other top sirtfoods include bird’s eye chili, buckwheat, capers, rocket, and dry fruits like walnuts and Medjool dates.
Is The Sirtfood Diet Healthy?
The sirtfood diet can help you lose weight but may not be the best solution for long-term weight loss. Cutting down calories to 1000 a day for three consecutive days is not recommended by doctors and nutritionists. A 2017 research study suggests that just reducing calorie intake is not the solution to long-term weight loss. This diet may cause a rapid weight loss that may not be sustainable or healthy for the body. According to NIH, a healthy weight loss rate is about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
On the flip side, researchers suggest looking at macro-nutrients, the energy density of the foods, and the glycemic load that the meals may have on the body. The sirtfood diet does encourage the person to cook with spices, oils, and meats that do have the maximum antioxidants and nutrients. Also, the diet may be simple to follow as people can do moderate-intensity exercise only due to a busy lifestyle.
If you do want to follow the sirtfood diet, it is best to seek advice from your doctor about how best to modify it for your age and lifestyle. You can also educate yourself through the sirtfood diet books as well as the website to see if the recipes and the method work well for you.