Want to drink red wine, eat dark chocolate, and keep getting younger and thinner? You might like this diet.
The Sirtfood diet was originally launched in 2016 but received major recognition recently as the diet was accredited for the singer Adele losing close to 100lbs. The diet’s creators, Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten claim that the sirtfood diet helps increase metabolism and boost fat loss by turning on your “skinny gene”. The thought of turning on your skinny gene is enough to gain anyone’s attention, and as such, the diet has gained considerable traction.
What is the Sirtfood Diet?
The name of the diet comes from the word sirtuins (SIRTs) which are proteins found in the body that have been shown to regulate lifespan, boost metabolism, and reduce inflammation. Most of the current research available focuses on the increase of sirtuin activity due to calorie restriction, which has been shown to delay signs of aging. The sirtfood diet aims to capitalize on increased sirtuins due to both calorie restriction and through eating sirtuin-rich foods. Sirtuin-rich foods are plant-based foods that contain polyphenols which mimic the effects of fasting and exercise, activating sirtuin genes, otherwise known as “skinny genes”. Ok, but what about the red wine and dark chocolate? Let’s look at some sirtfoods!
What Counts as a Sirtfood?
The founders of the diet have created a list of foods that are considered to have the highest level of sirtuin-activating polyphenols. You can get a complete list of foods with the sirtuin diet book, but here are some of the top (and most delicious) sirtfoods:
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate (85%)
- Citrus fruits
- Red wine
- Medjool dates
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How to Follow a Sirtfood Diet
The diet contains two phases, the first of which lasts one week. Calories are restricted to 1000kcal a day for the initial three days of the first phase. During this time, calories should consist of consuming three sirtfood green juices and one sirtfood-rich meal each day. On days four to seven the calories are bumped up to 1500kcal a day and include two sirtfood green juices and two meals rich in sirtfoods.
The second phase lasts 14 days where it is recommended to eat three full meals of sirtfoods and one sirtfood green juice per day. There is no specific calorie restriction during this phase. Once you complete the phases you may continue to cycle them until you have reached your desired weight loss. Otherwise, it is recommended that you continue your normal diet but incorporate more sirtfood-rich meals and drink green juice daily.
There are ample recipes online or in the sirtfood diet book for meals. The suggested green juice recipe requires a juicer, see the recipe below:
Sirtfood Green Juice Recipe
- 75 grams kale
- 30 grams arugula
- 5 grams parsley
- 2 celery sticks
- 0.5 inch of ginger
- 1/2 green apple
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea
Stir the lemon and green tea separately in a glass then juice the remaining ingredients and add it to your lemon green tea mixture. Mmmm green juice.
Does the Sirtfood Diet Work?
Given the calorie restriction element, there is no debate over the fact that the sirtuin diet will help you lose weight. The founders also claim that due to the activation of sirtuins you can expect to lose about 7lbs of fat a week while maintaining muscle mass. There isn’t much research available on the impact of a sirtuin-rich diet on human metabolism. However, animal research has shown that it can boost metabolism and promote healthspan in mice. Research on polyphenols in plant-rich diets has also indicated that regular consumption of sirtuin-rich foods may be a great strategy for healthy aging and improved health status over time. While you probably won’t experience longevity benefits from the sirtuin diet after completing two phases, incorporating sirtuin-rich foods into your daily diet may be an excellent long term strategy. These superfoods may help delay signs of aging, improve cardiac health, and boost metabolism.
Are there any Limitations to the Sirtuin Diet?
The sirtfood diet contains a diverse list of foods that are all very healthy with excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Additionally, research on sirtuins makes this diet an excellent option for people who are seeking superfoods. However, there are several limitations. First of all, a calorie restriction of 1000kcal a day is very low and normally should be supervised by a physician. The diet is also extremely limited in food choices which may make it difficult for many people to follow. Depending on your lifestyle, followers of the sirtuin diet may also find it tough to get enough protein, which can be problematic if you are trying to get those gains in the gym.
Another important point is that while there is ample research to support the benefits of caloric restriction it may also be detrimental over time. Prolonged calorie restriction may cause reductions in overall metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight. This can be mitigated by taking regular diet breaks, so keep this in mind if you cycle phases of the sirtuin diet. Another possible problem with a diet this restrictive may be that it can trigger disordered eating behaviors in people who are susceptible. As such, it may not be suitable for people who have a history of eating disorders. Overall, the diet is still fairly new and more research needs to be done before we can confidently assess it’s risks and benefits.
Should I try the Sirtuin Diet?
If you are looking to lose weight quickly for an event or you are about to go on your first Tinder date after 3 months of quarantine, trying this diet may be an effective way to rapidly drop some pounds. Otherwise, your best bet is to be patient with your weight loss and lose about one to two pounds a week through exercise and proper nutrition.
You can also try incorporating sirtuin-rich foods into your regular diet and reap the health benefits of polyphenols.
At the end of the day, the best diet is one you can sustain for the rest of your life.
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