The Sirtfood Diet was first developed by two famous nutritionists (Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten) who worked in a private gym in the United Kingdom.
The primary motto of this diet is to activate the ‘skinny gene’, which is based on scientific research around Sirtuins. Sirtuins are a group of 7 proteins that mediate numerous functions in the body, including metabolism, inflammation, and lifespan.
Any foods that increase the levels of these proteins in the blood get labeled as Sirtfoods. According to the Sirtfood Diet, foods such as kale, strawberries, onions, soy, dark chocolate, turmeric, and walnuts can all boost the concentration of Sirtuins in the blood.
The diet combines sirtfoods and calorie restriction to upregulate the transcription of the skinny gene, which eventually leads to considerable weight loss.
In this article, we will discuss the effectiveness of this diet, whether it’s sustainable, and if it’s really worth it for you to try.
The Benefits Of The Sirtfood Diet
As we mentioned earlier, this diet claims to cause rapid weight loss with minimal effect on lean muscle mass, which makes it very special since all other calorie-deficit diets cause a substantial reduction in muscle mass.
With that being said, the Sirtfood diet still focuses on caloric deficit, which means you’re bound to lose weight in one week regardless of the actual benefits of Sirtfoods and the activation of the skinny gene.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim states that “Whether you're eating 1,000 calories of tacos, 1,000 calories of kale, or 1,000 calories of snickerdoodles, you will lose weight at 1,000 calories!”
One of the key figures that adopted the Sirtfood Diet and witnessed impressive results is no other than the Pop singer, Adele.
If you’ve been active on Instagram, Adele shared a few photos of herself after her transformation journey, where she lost substantial weight.
While the singer never publicly stated that she followed the Sirtfood Diet, many reports claim it’s what helped Adele lose over 40 pounds in one year.
How Does It Work?
When we go back to the basics, the key to losing weight is actually simple: You must be in a state of caloric deficit, where your body is forced to burn the extra calories stored as forms of energy (e.g., collagen, fatty acids). You can establish this by working out, dieting, or mixing both methods.
The Sirtfood Diet suggests that there is another way, which is to activate the skinny gene by consuming high amounts of sirtuins. These proteins became a topic of interest after a 2003 study that discovered the positive effects of resveratrol on lifespan, which were comparable to being in a state of caloric deficit, only without having to starve yourself.
In a 2015 pilot study, Goggins and Matten recruited 39 participants to test the effectiveness of sirtuins. By the end of the study, all participants lost an average of 7 pounds in 7 days.
Despite how impressive these results sound, one could raise several arguments about the accuracy of this study since it only had a small sample size over a short period.
Many researchers and medical professionals are skeptical about the scarce research in these fields, which is associated with big claims.
According to Dr. Youdim, the majority of the findings that support the effectiveness of the Sirtfood Diet stem from laboratory experiments conducted on simple organisms (e.g., yeast), which doesn’t necessarily translate to the same benefits in the complex human body.
What Does It Mean To Adopt The Sirtfood Diet?
This diet can be divided into two phases:
- The first phase lasts 3 days and restricts your caloric intake to 1,000 calories per day, consisting of 3 green juices and 1 Sirtfood-approved meal.
- The second phase lasts 4 days and allows you to consume 1,500 calories per day, consisting of 2 green juices and 2 meals.
Once you complete the first week, you need to adopt a maintenance plan that focuses on well-balanced meals that are rich in Sirtfoods. This period lasts 14 days and features 3 meals, 1 green juice, and 1-2 Sirtfood snacks.
If you want to up this a notch, you’re encouraged to perform a 30-minute exercise routine during 5 days of the week.
Is This Diet Sustainable?
Sirtfoods are extremely healthy for the body and possess potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which may prevent a myriad of medical conditions.
Unfortunately, focusing too much on one handful of healthy foods does not necessarily mean you will be meeting all your daily nutritional requirements.
In fact, limiting your caloric intake to 1,000 calories per day requires the supervision of a physician, especially in individuals with pre-existing health problems.
While green juices are loaded with vitamins and minerals, they basically contain no fiber, which makes whole fruits and vegetables superior.
Moreover, the high content of sugar in these juices might be bad for diabetic patients and those susceptible to dental decay.
Finally, the high costs of purchasing the equipment of this diet (e.g., juicer, the book, rare ingredients) make it unfeasible for the vast majority of people.
Potential Side Affects Of The Sirtfood Diet
While we mentioned the potential danger of adopting the first phase of this diet for at-risk individuals, healthy adults without preexisting medical conditions do not present with any side effects.
However, diabetic patients are especially susceptible to the severe restriction in calories and the high concentration of sugar in the green juices, which may cause serious blood glucose fluctuations.
The most prominent, yet benign side effect is hunger. The reason behind this is simple: you’ll be consuming 1,000-1,500 calories per day that barely contain any fiber, which is known to prolong feelings of satiety. Fatigue, lightheadedness, and irritability are also commonly seen during the first phase.
Overall, following this diet for a short period of time should not cause any serious side effects.
The Sirtfood diet makes a lot of big promises without concrete evidence of its effectiveness. The high cost, restriction, and potential side effects of this eating pattern may be unappealing to most people. However, we cannot say for sure that this diet doesn’t work, but further research is definitely warranted.
If you have anything that you want to add to this topic, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below.