The Sirtfood Diet: a Life-Changing Way of Eating
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 food that increase the levels of these proteins in the blood we call Sirtfoods.
Some of the foods that can boost the concentration of Sirtuins in the blood, according the Sirt Food Diet book are:
- dark chocolate
- extra virgin olive oil
- red chicory
- green tea
- red wine
The diet combines sirtfoods and calorie restriction to upregulate the transcription of the skinny gene, thus leading 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 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.
This 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, the director of the Center for Weight Loss and Nutrition in Beverly Hills, CA., 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!”,says Shape.com.
One of the key figures that adopted the Sirtfood Diet and witnessed impressive results is the Pop singer, Adele.
If you look at Adele’s photos on Instagram, you will see her transformation journey where she lost substantial weight.
While the singer never publicly stated that she followed the Sirtfood Diet, many rumors claim it’s what helped Adele lose around 100 pounds since she started the diet.
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.
Sirtfood Diet suggests that there is another way: activating the skinny gene by consuming high amounts of sirtuins.
These proteins became a topic of interest after a 2003 study published at Nature.com discovered the positive effects of resveratrol on lifespan.
This was comparable to being in a state of caloric deficit, but not having to starve yourself.
In the Goggins and Matten’s pilot study, mentioned at Dr. Sara Gottfried M.D.’s website, they recruited 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. That is because it only had a small sample size over a short period.
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).
These findings doesn’t necessarily translate to the same benefits in the complex human body.
However, it is still a promising diet that is changing lives of many people.
What does it mean to adopt the Sirtfood Diet?
This diet can be divided into two phases:
Phase 1 lasts 3 days and restricts your caloric intake to 1,000 calories per day, consisting of 3 green juices and 1 Sirtfood-approved meal.
Phase 2 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 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, we encourage you 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, and as a result, preventing a myriad of medical conditions.
Unfortunately, focusing too much on a handful of healthy foods, does not necessarily mean you will be meeting all your daily nutritional requirements.
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.
Potential side effects of the Sirtfood Diet
Some people point to 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.
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. That is known to prolong feelings of satiety.
Fatigue, lightheadedness, and irritability can also occur during the first phase.
Overall, following this diet for a short period of time should not cause any serious side effects.
The Sirtfood diet is a promising diet that is changing lives of many people.
It not only boosts your life quality, as it is also a great alternative to lose weight.
Have in mind though, that the restrictive nature of the diet, and its potential side effects, can require some deeper level of attention to make sure it’s gonna be suitable for you.
- Pallauf, K., Giller, K., Huebbe, P. and Rimbach, G. (2013) Nutrition and healthy ageing: Calorie restriction or polyphenol-rich “MediterrAsian” diet? Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol.2013 Article 707421.
- Youdim, A. (2021) Dr. Adrienne Youdim. https://dradrienneyoudim.com/
- Bauer, S. (2020) What You Need to Know About the Sirtfood Diet. https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/food-weight-loss/why-everyone-talking-about-sirtfood-diet
- Anderson, R. M., Bitterman, K. J., Wood, J. G., Medvedik, O. and Sinclair, D. A. (2003) Nicotinamide and PNC1 govern lifespan extension by calorie restriction in Saccharomyces cervisiae. Nature, vol.423 pp. 181–185.
- Goggins, A. and Matten, G. (2017) The Skinny on the Sirtfood Diet. http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/the-skinny-on-the-sirtfood-diet/
- Catteau, C., Trentesaux, T., Delfosse, C. and Rousset, M. (2012) Consumption of fruit juices and fruit drinks: Impact on the health of children and teenagers, the dentist’s point of view. Archives de Pédiatrie, vol.19(2) pp. 118–124.
- Carter, S., Clifton, P. M. and Keogh, J. B. (2016) Intermittent energy restriction in type 2 diabetes: A short discussion of medication management. World Journal of Diabetes, vol.7(20) pp. 627–630.
- Gerstein, D. E., Woodward-Lopez, G., Evans, A. E., Kelsey, K. and Drewnowski, A. (2004) Clarifying concepts about macronutrients’ effects on satiation and satiety. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol.104(7) pp. 1151–1153.