Sirtfood Diet: What Is It, How It Works, Foods List
- August 14, 2020
Gone are the days of fad diets and extreme exercise regimens for weight loss. The new Sirtfood diet aids fast and long-term weight loss by turning the metabolic switch on to burn fat quickly (1).
The diet is developed by celebrity nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten (UK). It activates genes that increase metabolism and reduce inflammation through certain foods. These “wonder foods” also help whittle away the stubborn belly fat. This article lists these “wonder foods” and gives a detailed account of what the Sirtfood diet is. Read on!
Table Of Contents
What Is the Sirtfood Diet?
The Sirtfood diet is a nutritionally balanced diet comprised of foods that have the ability to turn on the sirtuin (SIRT1) genes. The SIRT1 genes that get activated by these foods increase your body’s metabolic rate, improve your muscle tone, and boost overall health.
The UK nutritionists, Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten were the proponents of the Sirtfood diet. They laid out a plan of drinking three green juices along with balanced Sirtfood meals to kick-start metabolism and lead a healthy, disease-free life.
With the Sirtfood diet, dieters can avoid severe calorie-restricted diets, have more energy, lose fat fast without losing muscle, and do not have to perform grueling exercise routines. The diet is certainly a relief from the other bland and demanding diet plans, like the GM diet. What really happens when you are on the Sirtfood diet? Find out in the next section.
How Does The Sirtfood Diet Work? Is It Effective For Weight Loss?
The Sirtfood diet includes foods that activate the SIRT1 genes. This diet is full of healthy foods that switch the SIRT1 genes on and effectively trigger weight loss at the molecular level. Here’s how the Sirtfood diet works:
- Mobilizes the fat – Scientists have found that the foods included in the Sirtfood diet help morph the stored white adipose tissue to brown fat, which gets readily mobilized and used up as energy (2). This means that the stored fat starts to melt and leads to weight loss.
- Prevents fat accumulation – The SIRT1 genes regulate adipokine expression. Adipokines are secreted by fat cells that affect insulin sensitivity and hunger and increase inflammation. The SIRT1 gene activation through foods included in the Sirtfood diet helps reduce adipokine secretion. This prevents excessive fat accumulation and untimely hunger (3), (4).
- Improves insulin sensitivity – The inability of the cells to respond to insulin (a hormone responsible for uptake of glucose from the bloodstream by cells) leads to increased blood sugar levels, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. Research shows that activating SIRT1 genes improves insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, improves metabolism, enhances the release of thyroid hormones, burns more fat, and protects against high-fat induced obesity (1), (5), (6).
- Controls excessive hunger – Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells to signal the brain of satiety. However, sometimes, leptin resistance may inhibit this signal to the brain. This leads to constant hunger and overeating. Scientists have found that increased SIRT1 levels in laboratory mice prevent age-associated weight gain and increased leptin sensitivity. Improving SIRT1 genes through NAD+ intermediates (crucial for SIRT1 activation) may help control excessive hunger by sensitizing the body to leptin (7).
- Preserves lean muscle – Activated SIRT1 genes help preserve lean muscle mass while burning fat. Sirtuins (proteins produced by the SIRT1 genes) increase skeletal muscle mass (8). The activated SIRT1 genes boost muscle growth and recovery. Therefore, age-associated muscle loss and exercise-induced muscle loss can be prevented.
- Reduces inflammation – Constant state of low-grade inflammation can cause cells to function abnormally. This leads to fat accumulation and obesity-related comorbidities (like diabetes and heart disease) (1). Activated SIRT1 genes help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease, tumors, and Alzheimer’s disease (9).
Now that we know how well the Sirtfood diet can work for weight loss, let us discuss the foods that help activate the SIRT1 genes.
What Are “Sirtfoods”?
Sirtfoods are the foods that activate the SIRT1 genes. Sirtfoods are mainly plant-based foods that contain powerful phytonutrients (plant nutrients). These activate the sirtuin-activating biochemicals, which otherwise only get activated in response to stress like fasting or exercising.
When you consume these Sirtfoods, your body mimics the stress response without you having to actually fast or exercise. Hence, you burn calories/fat without losing muscle mass, without fasting, and without doing vigorous exercises (10). In the following section, we will take a quick look at the foods you can eat on the Sirtfood diet.
What Can You Eat On The Sirtfood Diet?
There are 20 SIRT1 activating foods you can include in your diet to lose weight, get rid of stubborn belly fat, and restore muscle mass. Take a look at the table below:
|4||Celery (with leaves)||Apigenin, luteolin|
|8||Extra virgin olive oil||Oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol|
|10||Green tea (especially matcha)||Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)|
|12||Medjool dates||Gallic acid, caffeic acid|
|16||Red wine||Resveratrol, piceatannol|
*you can also include fish, chicken, and beef as they also are sirtuin-activating foods. These 20, however, should be the main focus on the plate.
What Can’t You Eat?
Avoid the following foods while on the Sirtfood diet:
- Processed foods – Salami, sausage, frozen foods, ready-to-eat foods, and packed fruit juices.
- Sugary foods – Candies, cakes, soda, packaged fruit juice, doughnuts, pastries, marshmallows, coffee or tea with cream and sugar, refined sugar, etc.
- Fats and Oils – Butter, lard, and vegetable oil.
- Starch – White rice and potato.
- Trans Fats – Fries, burger, pizza, fried chicken, chips, and biscuits.
The Sirtfood diet is a fairly simple diet to follow. It is divided into two phases, and each phase lasts for a week. Here’s a sample diet chart for Phase 1 that you can repeat for Phase 2 as well. Take a look.
7 Day Sirtfood Diet Plan – Phase 1 And Phase 2
Phase 1: Week 1
Phase 1 of the Sirtfood diet continues in two stages – Stage 1 and Stage 2, each lasting for 3 and 4 days, respectively. Here’s what to eat in the first stage of Phase 1.
Stage 1 (Day 1 – Day 3)
(1000 calories per day)
- 3 green juices per day
- 1 main meal per day
- ½ or ¾ ounce of 85% dark chocolate
Main Meal Options
- Red edamame, tomato, arugula, and buckwheat salad with olive oil dressing
- Celery, kale, and capers salad with walnuts and olive oil
- Chicken breast with arugula, kale, and walnuts with strawberry and olive oil dressing
Stage 2 (Day 4 – Day 7)
(1500 calories per day)
- 2 green juices per day
- 2 main meals per day
Main Meal Options
- Chicken stew
- Sirt museli
- Buckwheat noodles with soy chunks
- Strawberry, arugula, and walnut salad
- Grilled fish with red wine
- Waldorf salad
Phase 2: Week 2
During the second week, you must repeat what you did in the first week and maintain the weight loss.
After Phase 2
After completing 14 days of the Sirtfood diet, here’s what your diet plan should look like:
- 3 balanced Sirtfood-rich meals per day
- 1 Sirtfood green juice per day
- 1 or two Sirtfood snacks per day
Are Sirtfoods The New Superfoods?
Yes, Sirtfoods are the new superfoods. These activate the fat-burning group of genes, SIRT1, and help improve health. These are mainly comprised of plant-based foods. They contain powerful phytonutrients that boost metabolism, prevent muscle loss, and reverse many obesity-related health issues.
Is The Sirtfood Diet Good For You?
Yes, the Sirtfood diet is good for you. Research shows that foods included in this diet, like green tea, turmeric, and dark chocolate, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These foods help fight obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke (11), (12), (13), (14).
Studies conducted on laboratory animals showed that sirtuin-activating foods increase longevity, improve insulin sensitivity, burn more fat, and lower the risk of cancer (15), (4), (16), (9). Such promising results on lab animals and cell lines may not always mean that the foods can also work well in humans. However, the Sirtfood diet is a well-balanced diet plan that has great potential in aiding fast weight loss in humans.
Safety And Side Effects
To ensure safety, you must talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before you start this diet. Your age, sex, BMI, medical history, current medication, and lifestyle will help a licensed professional understand whether the Sirtfood diet will suit you. Remember, a diet plan may not always suit all.
If you are new to drinking green juice, you may feel nauseous. Having only one or two solid meals per day with 1000-1500 calories may also make you irritable, hungry, and cranky. Though the diet has its own benefits, it is not meant for everyone.
Who Shouldn’t Try The Sirtfood Diet?
Do not try the Sirtfood diet if:
- Your doctor/nutritionist does not give you a green signal.
- You have hypoglycemia.
- You have a BMI less than 30.
- You are on antidepressants.
- You are on other medications.
- You have a complicated medical history.
- You suffer from IBD/IBS.
- If you are allergic to most foods mentioned in the Sirtfood’s list.
Who Follows The Sirtfood Diet Already?
“Rumor has it” that Adele lost weight by following the Sirtfood diet. Some other celebrities known to have tried the diet are Jodie Kidd, Lorraine Pascale, and Sir Ben Ainslie. However, we do not have a direct quote from these celebs or their representatives.
If your doctor gives you the green light and you decide to try the Sirtfood diet, make it tasty and delicious. Here are a couple of Sirtfood recipes for you.
1. Sirtfood Green Juice With Green Apple And Kiwi
- 1 green apple, chopped
- 2 kiwis, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- ½ a lime
- ½ tablespoon organic honey
- A pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
How To Prepare
- Toss all the ingredients into a blender.
- Blend well and pour it in a glass.
- Drink up!
2. Sirtfood muesli In A Glass
- 1 cup muesli
- 1 cup milk or soy milk
- 1 cup yogurt or almond yogurt
- 10 big strawberries
- A handful of almonds
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
How To Prepare
- Toss half of the strawberries and milk into a blender.
- Blend well.
- Pour it into two tumblers.
- Add the muesli.
- Let it soak for 10 minutes.
- Top it with halved strawberries and crushed almonds.
- Use a spoon to relish the delicious strawberry muesli.
The Sirtfood diet is a breakthrough balanced diet plan backed by scientific research. Being on it for two weeks will help you shed fat fast without causing muscle loss. Hence, consult your doctor and start this diet today. We are sure you will see fabulous results.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Is broccoli a Sirtfood?
Yes, broccoli is a Sirtfood. It has cancer-fighting and metabolism-boosting properties.
Can you eat meat on the Sirtfood diet?
Yes, you can eat meat on the Sirtfood diet.
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- Qiang Li, et. al., “Brown Remodeling of White Adipose Tissue by SirT1-Dependent Deacetylation of Pparγ” Cell, Science Direct.
- N Priya, et al., “Role of sirtuins in obesity” Obesity Medicine, Science Direct.
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- Akieda-Asai, Sayaka et al. “SIRT1 Regulates Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Release by Enhancing PIP5Kgamma Activity through Deacetylation of Specific Lysine Residues in Mammals.” PloS one vol. 5,7 e11755.
- L Marie, et. al., “Resveratrol Improves Mitochondrial Function and Protects against Metabolic Disease by Activating SIRT1 and PGC-1α” Cell, Science Direct.
- S Tsotomu, “Age-associated weight gain, leptin, and SIRT1: a possible role for hypothalamic SIRT1 in the prevention of weight gain and aging through modulation of leptin sensitivity” Frontiers in Endocrinology.
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- Giblin, William et al. “Sirtuins: guardians of mammalian healthspan.” Trends in genetics : TIG vol. 30,7 (2014): 271-86.
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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.