A diet that includes chocolate, red wine and coffee? A diet that doesn’t involve counting calories, syns or smart points? A diet that doesn’t involve fasting 2 days a week and yet claims to bring many of the same benefits as the 5:2 diet? A diet where average weight loss is 7lb in the first 7 days? Sounds just a little bit too good to be true? I felt I had to check the Sirtfood Diet out…
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am on a mission to improve my diet but without compromising on Easy Peasy Foodie’s main principles – that food should be simple and hassle free to make, but above all delicious!
I first heard about the Sirtfood Diet back in January and it has had me intrigued ever since. It is a diet that is being hailed as the next 5:2 and has a whole heap of celebrity endorsements. The Sirtfood Diet is not just about losing weight (although that is supposed to happen!) but also about improving general health and well-being, longevity and disease resistance.
So I decided the only sensible thing to do for a food blogger like me was to give it a thoroughly good trial and see if the diet is as good as it claims to be…(and I promise I wasn’t motivated by the coffee, red wine and chocolate…honest! 😉 )
What exactly are Sirtfoods?
Sirtfoods are a recently discovered group of nutrient rich foods which seem to be able to ‘activate’ the body’s skinny genes (also known as sirtuins), in much the same way as fasting diets do, with the same range of benefits, but without the common downsides of fasting diets, such as hunger, irritability and muscle loss.
By eating a diet rich in Sirtfoods, it is claimed that participants will lose weight, gain muscle, look and feel better and maybe even live a longer and more healthy life.
The top 20 Sirtfoods
Lots of foods contain sirtuin-activating nutrients, but some contain more than others. In their book ‘The Sirtfood Diet’, the authors of the diet list the 20 best Sirtfoods, these are: birds-eye chillies, buckwheat, capers, celery, cocoa, coffee, extra virgin olive oil, green tea, kale, lovage, medjool dates, parsley, red chicory, red wine, rocket, soy, strawberries, turmeric and walnuts.
What is The Sirtfood Diet?
The Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aiden Goggins and Glen Matten. They were so interested by the potential of Sirtfoods, they created a diet based around maximising Sirtfood intake and mild calorie restriction. They then tested this diet on participants from an exclusive London gym and were amazed by their findings. Gym members lost an average of 7lbs in the first 7 days, despite not increasing their levels of exercise. Not only did the participants lose a substantial amount of weight, but they also gained muscle (usually the opposite happens when dieting) and reported significant improvements in overall health and well-being.
So how does The Sirtfood Diet work?
The diet is split into 2 phases. Phase 1: the 7 day ‘hypersuccess phase’, which combines a Sirtfood-rich diet with moderate calorie restriction, and Phase 2: the 14 day ‘maintenance phase’, where you consolidate your weight loss without restricting calories.
Phase 1 of the Sirtfood Diet
During the first 3 days, calorie intake is restricted to 1,000 calories (so, still more than on a 5:2 fasting day). The diet consists of 3 Sirtfood-rich green juices 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 comprises 2 Sirtfood-rich green juices and 2 Sirtfood-rich meals.
During phase 1 you are not allowed to drink any alcohol, but you can drink water, tea, coffee and green tea freely.
Phase 2 of the Sirtfood Diet
Phase 2 does not focus on calorie restriction. Each day involves 3 Sirtfood-rich meals and 1 green juice, plus the option of 1 or 2 Sirtfood bite snacks, if required.
In phase 2 you are allowed to drink red wine, but in moderation (the recommendation is 2-3 glasses of red wine per week), as well as water, tea, coffee and green tea.
Is there an eating plan for the Sirtfood Diet?
Yes, there is a helpful chart telling you what you can eat on each day and when. The book has all the recipes you will need for the first three weeks. There is a meat/fish option and a vegetarian/vegan option for every day. Almost all the recipes are gluten free and there are dairy free options every day meaning this is a diet that will work for most people.
What happens after you have finished the Sirtfood Diet?
The Sirtfood Diet is not designed to be a one off ‘diet’ but rather a way of life. You are encouraged, once you’ve completed the first 3 weeks, to continue eating a diet rich in Sirtfoods and to continue drinking your daily green juice. Since launching their original book, the authors of The Sirtfood Diet have gone on to release The Sirtfood Diet Recipe Book, with recipes for lots more Sirtfood-rich main meals, as well as recipes for alternatives to the green juice and more hints and tips for following the Sirtfood Diet. There are even some recipes for Sirtfood desserts! The authors of The Sirtfood Diet suggest that Phases 1 and 2 can be repeated as and when necessary for a health boost, or if things have gone a bit off track.
So, does the Sirtfood Diet work?
Well, it does according to their many celebrity endorsements. The second book has endorsements by David Haye (Heavyweight Boxer), Lorraine Pascale (TV Chef and Food Writer), Jodie Kidd (Model), Sir Ben Ainslie (Olympic Gold Medallist) and a whole heap of other celebrities who all claim that the Sirtfood Diet has helped them lose weight, build muscle and look and feel great. Though my favourite endorsement is definitely the one which is simply attributed to a wife of a participant and which reads ‘Thank you! My husband is looking extra hot.’ 🙂
However there is a bit of me which is slightly sceptical – maybe the diet works for a celebrity who has one-to-one diet coaching and no doubt a personal trainer too. But will the Sirtfood Diet work for an ordinary person like me? Well, there is only one way to answer that question. I have decided that for the next 3 weeks I will follow Phase 1 and 2 of the Sirtfood Diet and report back on how it goes.
I will keep you all updated on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram about how I am getting on each day and then write a weekly roundup each week on a Monday morning to share how my week has gone. I would love for you to follow me / encourage me / and generally interact with me on my journey.
Or why don’t you join me? The Sirtfood Diet book is widely available and contains all you need to know about the diet. And if you want more recipe inspiration there is The Sirtfood Diet Recipe Book too which contains lots of extra recipes as well as more advice and tips.
Sirtfood Green Juice Recipe
The Sirtfood-rich green juice is a major part of the Sirtfood-diet, so I thought it would be helpful to include the recipe here. Even if you have no intention of following the diet, the juice is packed full of nutrients and would be a great addition to a regular diet. One important thing to note: I have researched carefully and you absolutely need to make this in a juicer, NOT a blender (or a Nutribullet or food processor or anything else other than a juicer). I have tried both ways out and can report that the blended version is a nasty tasting sludge, the juiced version is a reasonably nice tasting juice!
According to the books, the green juice will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, so it’s well worth making up a big batch to save time. My plan is to make my juices up the night before, so when I am super busy in the morning, all I have to do is pour the juice and drink it!
- 75g kale
- 30g rocket
- 5g parsley
- 2 celery sticks
- ½ green apple
- 1cm ginger
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon matcha green tea
- Juice all the ingredients apart from the lemon and the matcha green tea.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the green juice by hand.
- Pour a small amount of green juice into a glass and stir in the matcha. Add the rest of the green juice into the glass and stir again.
- Drink straight away or save for later.
What is the best juicer for The Sirtfood Diet?
I searched high and low on the internet to find a reasonably priced juicer that was recommended for the diet and could not find anything useful, so I just bought the current Amazon best seller, which is the Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Quick Clean Juicer.
I can report this juicer works brilliantly: the Sirtfood Green Juice is easy to make and it’s pretty easy to clean too. Whilst I can’t promise you it’s the best juicer for the Sirtfood Diet (I have no idea, since I haven’t tried any other juicers), I can certainly report that it is a very good juicer for the Sirtfood Diet. And it’s currently on offer (the usual price is £110) making it pretty good value too!
I’d love to know your thoughts about this new diet. Have any of you done it before? How did you find it? Any advice for me that you wish you had known before you started?
More Reports from the Sirtfood Diet
More Recipes from the Sirtfood Diet
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