Dark chocolate, red wine, and Adele? All these good things are associated with the trendy Sirtfood Diet. A lot of interest was generated when the singer recently revealed she has lost 100 lbs. using this plan.
What’s a Sirt?
The name Sirt comes from sirtuin activators, these are seven proteins found in the body that influence metabolism, inflammation, and cell longevity. Foods high in these proteins are said to rev up your metabolism, burn fat, and increase muscle mass. Well, that sounds great! Hmmm, let’s find out more.
These Sirtfoods are primarily plant-based and high in antioxidants, so you are consistently eating more fiber, more antioxidants, polyphenols, and nutrient-dense foods. Antioxidants help reverse the effects of oxidative stress, inflammation, play a role in cancer prevention. Polyphenols are loaded with anti-oxidants and help decrease the risk of diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases to name a few.
Many of these foods I have long recommended for general health and wellness. I am pro coffee, chocolate, and red wine too! All have flavonoids, meaning they are yummy, have health benefits, and all are anti-oxidants. Here are some of the these “superfoods” approved for the diet:
Extra virgin olive oil
Dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
Matcha green tea
Bird’s eye chili (peppers)
The Sirtfood Diet Plan:
Any healthy food plan that reduces calories, incorporates more plants and protective foods will help you lose weight, if you can stay on it. 1000 calories a day is quite restrictive and will be hard for most people to stick to for those first days. And nutritionally speaking, I would suggest rounding the diet out with some lean protein and healthy fats, such as more nuts and seeds, avocado, and fatty fish like salmon, which provides Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA.
Phase 1 Sirtfood Diet
During the first 3 days of the week, calorie intake is restricted to 1,000 calories. The diet consists of 3 Sirtfood-rich green juices (which contain kale, arugula, parsley, celery, including the leaves, half a green apple, the juice of half of a lemon, and matcha green tea) and 1 Sirtfood-rich meal and 2 squares of dark chocolate.
During the remaining 4 days, calorie intake is increased to 1, 500 calories and each day the diet includes 2 Sirtfood-rich green juices and 2 Sirtfood-rich meals which can be found in the Sirtfood Diet Recipe Book. No alcohol, but you can drink water, tea, coffee and green tea freely.
Phase 2 Sirtfood Diet
Phase 2 lasts for two weeks. There is no calorie limit for this phase. Instead, you eat 3 Sirtfood-rich meals and 1 green juice per day. Again, the meals are chosen from recipes provided in the book. You are allowed to drink red wine in moderation (2-3 glasses per week), as well as water, tea, coffee and green tea.
The Sirtfood Diet emphasizes incorporating these foods into your life for the long term, not just a three-week diet, which is a great idea no matter what. Phases 1 and 2 can be repeated as needed. As the green juice is an important part of the diet, it is recommended that you purchase a quality juicer. Blenders won’t do the job. The authors of the book also sell the green juice.
Hard to Find Ingredients
You will need three key ingredients. Matcha is a powdered green tea and essential in the green juice. It’s readily available online, if your local health food shop doesn’t stock it. Similarly, the herb lovage can sometimes be hard to find and can be grown from seed. Finally, 100 percent buckwheat products are probably only found in your local health food store.
The book says you can lose 2 to 3 pounds a week, that means you’ll have lost about 15 pounds in five weeks. Adele did take a year to lose her extra weight. Another important consideration is that people at midlife need to make sure we are not losing muscle mass. We need to eat foods with amino acids so that we can maintain it. The Sirtfoods don’t have much protein, so I was happy to see the recipes that include proteins like chicken and seafood.
A day on the sirtfood maintenance diet might look like this:
Breakfast: Soy yogurt with mixed berries, chopped walnuts and dark chocolate
Lunch: A sirtfood salad made with kale, parsley, celery, apple, walnuts topped with olive oil mixed with lemon juice and ginger.
Dinner: Stir-fried prawns with kale and buckwheat noodles.
*Plus, one sirtfood green juice per day.
I’d love to hear from you if you’re currently on the Sirtfood diet and what you think.