The Sirtfood Diet is a popular weight loss program that’s gained significant media recognition due to its use amongst celebrities. The creators claim that it helps you lose seven pounds in seven days while allowing you to continue eating your favorite foods and giving you energy. How? By activating the sirtuin genes in the body.
What Is the Sirtfood Diet?
The Sirtfood Diet is a three-week-long, low-calorie weight loss program created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten.
It focuses on consuming certain foods that contain a group of polyphenols (plant chemicals that improve health and treat disease) called sirtuin activators.
Sirtuin activators activate the sirtuin genes in the body, which the creators of the diet call “skinny genes.” These sirtuin activators essentially mimic the effects of fasting and calorie restriction on the sirtuin genes.
The foods that sirtuin activators are found in are called sirtfoods, hence the Sirtfood Diet.
The diet uses a combination of fasting and consuming sirtfood-rich foods and draws on the diets of Blue Zone populations.
Blue Zones are regions where the populations have a low rate of chronic disease and tend to live longer on average. These populations are located in five geographical areas: Icaria (Greece), Ogliastra (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Nicola Peninsula (Costa Rica), and The Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Loma (USA),
People who live in Blue Zones are among the healthiest globally, live to old age, and consume high levels of polyphenols.
How Sirtfood Diet Works
The Sirtfood Diet is relatively simple, and it only focuses on consuming an abundance of sirtfood-rich meals and one week of extreme calorie restriction.
According to the official Sirtfood Diet book, the top 20 sirtfoods are:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Matcha green tea
- Medjool dates
- Red endive
- Red onion
- Red wine
- Soy products
Even though 85 percent dark chocolate, coffee, and red wine are permitted on the diet, these should be limited. Avoid refined flours, processed foods, and added sugars. Keep your drinks limited to water and green tea.
Although exercise is not a featured component of the Sirtfood Diet plan, experts highly recommend that exercise for weight loss and overall health.
The Diet Plan
There are two phases of the Sirtfood Diet meal plan:
This initial phase lasts for seven days and is split into two parts.
Days one to three: Each day, you’ll consume
- Three sirtfood green juices
- One full meal containing sirtfoods
- 1,000 calories
- 15 to 20 grams of dark chocolate, if desired
Days four to seven: Each day, you’ll consume
- Two sirtfood green juices
- Two full meals containing sirtfoods
- 1,500 calories
- 15 to 20 grams of dark chocolate, if desired
This phase lasts for 14 days and helps you lose weight steadily.
Each day, you’ll consume
- One sirtfood green juice
- Three full, balanced meals containing sirtfoods
Once complete, you’re encouraged to continue “sirtifying” your foods as much as possible by substituting ingredients and drinking your daily green juice.
There isn’t an established official Sirtfood Diet subscription or membership program.
You’ll need to purchase certain foods and ingredients yourself and prepare your sirtfood-rich meals, so the cost will depend on many factors.
However, as a starting point, it’s recommended to purchase and read the Official Sirtfood Diet book written by the diet creators Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. The book is approximately $20.
Dos and Don’ts
Do repeat either or both diet phases if you fall off track. Try not to feel disheartened, as the creators state that it’s okay to start again.
Do invest in a juicer if you don’t have one, as you’ll be using it every day to make the sirtfood green juice.
Don’t limit your calories in the second phase. Unlike the very low-calorie guidelines in the first week, the second phase is designed for maintenance and steady weight and fat loss.
Don’t overconsume coffee, chocolate, and red wine. Although these foods are allowed on the Sirtfood Diet, moderation is important, so stick to broader caffeine and alcohol guidelines.
Sample Diet Plan
The official Sirtfood website has recipes you can use to form the basis of your meals. Remember, the amount of green juice and whole sirtfood meals you’ll eat depends on your diet phase.
Sirtfood Green Juice: Kale, arugula, parsley, celery stalks, green apple, fresh ginger, lemon, matcha green tea powder
Sirtfood Bites: Walnuts, dark chocolate, Medjool dates, cocoa powder, turmeric, extra virgin olive oil, vanilla extract
Strawberry Buckwheat Tabbouleh: Buckwheat, ground turmeric, avocado, tomato, red onion, Medjool dates, capers, parsley, strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, arugula
Miso-Marinated Baked Cod with Stir-Fried Greens and Sesame: Miso, mirin, extra virgin olive oil, a skinless cod filet, red onion, celery, cloves, chili, fresh ginger, green beans, kale, sesame seeds, parsley, tamari, buckwheat, ground turmeric
Sirt Super Salad: Arugula, endive leaves, smoked salmon, avocado, celery, red onion, walnuts, capers, Medjool date, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, parsley
Health Benefits and Drawbacks of the Sirtfood Diet
The creators of the Sirtfood Diet claim that it helps to retain or increase muscle mass, improve memory, sleep and skin, help control blood sugar, decrease your risk of chronic disease, and prevent aging. However, not all claims have been backed by science, and there have been no studies on the Sirtfood Diet itself.
One study looked at the effects of sirtuins on slowing down the aging process and found that they may be good anti-aging targets due to their role in DNA repair, controlling inflammation, and antioxidative defense.
Aspects of the Asian and Mediterranean diets, which contain sirtuin-activating foods like soy, red wine, and turmeric, are thought to be beneficial for preventing chronic disease, improving health, and contributing to healthy aging, but future research is still needed.
Safe calorie restriction, like what is used in the Sirtfood Diet, safe calorie restriction is also thought to increase life expectancy through the effects of sirtuins in skeletal and cardiac muscle by reducing inflammation, increasing insulin sensitivity, and increasing muscle mass function.
Rapid Weight Loss
Safe weight loss is usually defined as one to two pounds per week. However, the Sirtfood Diet claims to help you lose seven pounds in seven days, which is a direct result of an extremely low caloric intake (1000 to 1500 calories), which may be unsafe for you, depending on your circumstances.
Price of Foods Rich in Sirtuins
Although you can make your Sirtfood Diet budget-friendly, some of the suggested foods can be expensive, such as matcha, an essential component of your daily green juice.
You Need to Be Independent
Unlike other diet programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, the Sirtfood Diet creators do not offer memberships, subscriptions, or personal coaching.
The Bottom Line: Is the Sirtfood Diet a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?
Although consuming sirtuin-rich foods are great for your overall health, the Sirtfood Diet is very calorie-restrictive. This is not a sustainable long-term solution for fat loss for many people, even if you do lose seven pounds in seven days.
Meagan Morris is the editor in chief of Celebribody. She's veteran health and wellness editor with over 15 years of experience. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Yahoo Health, Cosmopolitan, SELF, and Women's Health, among others. She spends most of her time writing, but her favorite part of the day is spent under a barbell doing squats.