What Is the Sirtfood Diet? And A Recipe To Get Started.
It’s a diet plan that allows you to drink wine and eat chocolate (and no, it’s not the Mediterranean diet). Adele reportedly follows it (her slimmed-down figure at Sunday’s post-Oscars parties had Hollywood buzzing). Pippa Middleton is said to be a fan. Even Conor McGregor has tried it. It’s the sirtfood diet, and it’s becoming even more popular as we write this post. But is it too good to be true? (And can you really lose weight while doing the wine and chocolate thing?) We dive into this diet to give you the full details.
What Is the Sirtfood Diet?
Developed by nutritionists (and authors of The Sirtfood Diet book), Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, the sirtfood diet is an eating and health plan where sirtuin-rich foods take center stage. (For those who don’t know, sirtuins are a group of proteins that help regulate metabolism and cellular processes like aging.)
The creators of the sirtfood diet claim that by eating these foods, you activate your “skinny gene,” and that this can mirror the effects of fasting and exercise. Among the food items: arugula, buckwheat, capers, cocoa, coffee, green tea, kale, Medjool dates, red wine, strawberries and turmeric.
Dieters commit to two phases and a three-week time-span:
- Phase 1: Consume 1,000 calories daily for three days, consisting of three sirtfood green juices (see recipe further down) and one sirtfood-rich meal (if you need inspo, the diet’s creators share sirtfood recipes on their site). For the remainder of the week, calorie intake rises to 1,500 calories daily with two green juices and two meals.
- Phase 2: Meal plan comprises three sirtfood-packed meals, a couple of snacks and one sirtfood green juice per day for the next 14 days.
Then, maintain the diet by continuously eating foods rich in sirtuins at every meal and drinking that signature green juice.
(Also, note the diet, like most, encourages regular exercise as well.)
2 large handfuls (2.5 oz) kale
a large handful (1 oz) arugula
very small handful (1/4 oz) flat-leaf parsley
2 to 3 large (5.5 oz) celery stalks, including leaves
½ medium green apple
½- to 1-inch piece fresh ginger
juice of ½ lemon
½ level teaspoon matcha powder
Directions: Mix kale, arugula and parsley together, then juice them. Next, juice celery, apple and ginger. Squeeze lemon by hand into the juice. Pour a bit of juice into a glass, add matcha, stir and wait for it to dissolve. Add remainder of juice, add a final stir, drink or top with plain water.
Pros & Cons of the Sirtfood Diet
Per the creators, health benefits of this “diet of inclusion” include improved memory function, retained muscle mass, better regulated blood sugar levels and decreased risk of chronic disease. A pilot test found participants lost an average seven pounds in seven days while maintaining or increasing muscle mass and saw better energy, sleep and skin improvement.
But for all said advantages, the diet is not without its skeptics. A USA Today article suggests “the science isn’t there in humans to support some of their claims that it activates the ‘skinny gene’ and can boost metabolism and increase fat-burning.” The International Food Information Council echoes that thought, stating the sirtfood diet is “not science-based or sustainable.”
And as far as that pilot study goes? The results are “hardly surprising,” says a Healthline post. “Restricting your calorie intake to 1,000 calories and exercising at the same time will nearly always cause weight loss”…noting, “this study did not follow participants after the first week” to see if weight gain returned.