Sirtuins (SIRTs) are signaling proteins that take part in metabolism regulation. These compounds are believed to slow down aging and decrease inflammation in the body.
A Sirtfood diet is a nutritional approach that involves ingesting sirtfoods and restricting calorie intake to promote the production of sirtuins by the body. Creators of this diet plan claim that it helps activate your “skinny genes.” In addition, they state that following the Sirtfood diet will lead to fast weight loss while keeping muscle mass and providing protection from chronic diseases. There is, however, a need for more research to support these claims.
The Sirtfood diet is a three weeks plan divided into two phases. It involves eating sirtuins-rich foods and limiting the number of consumed calories.
The Stirfood diet begins with a week-long first phase. You limit your calorie intake and drink plenty of green juice during this time. A typical daily meal plan during the first three days includes three green juices and one meal from the book of recipes, adding up to 1000 calories per day. From day four to day seven, the number of calories increases to 1500 per day, and you eat two green juices and two sirtuin-rich meals from the recipe book.
This phase helps you to kick-start the weight loss. Creators of the Sirtfood diet state that during the first week, you can lose 7 pounds (or 3.2 kg).
You spend the last two weeks of the Sirtfood diet in phase two (maintenance phase). You can eat three sirtuin-rich meals and a green juice (one) in a day during this period. Unlike phase one, there is no specific calorie restriction in phase two. Nevertheless, you continue gradually lose weight.
After the end of this three-week diet plan, it is advisable to continue including sirtfood into your meals and drink green juice on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can repeat the two-phase cycle before modifying this nutritional approach into a new lifestyle.
The following is the list of sirtfoods that should become the basis of your meals:
- bird’s eye chili
- red chicory
- Medjool dates
- citrus fruits
- fatty fish
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine
- green tea (especially matcha green tea)
- dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
Individuals who fall in one or more of the listed below categories should avoid the Sirtfood diet:
- people with diabetes
- women who are trying to conceive
- pregnant or breastfeeding women
- people experiencing protein-wasting states
- people with chronic conditions
- people with clinically significant renal, cardiac, hepatic, psychiatric, or cerebrovascular diseases
It is worth mentioning that even if these conditions don’t relate to you, you should consult your doctor before starting the Sirtfood diet.
How to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies
The Sirtfood diet doesn’t restrict specific food groups. However, it significantly limits the number of calories you can eat daily. Therefore, following this nutritional approach, you can develop a deficiency in some of the essential nutrients. Nutrients at risk include vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B-9 (folate), vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and iron. To ensure that your body receives adequate amounts of these molecules, add some of the following foods to your diet:
- vitamin A (retinol): leafy greens, red bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, milk, eggs, cod liver oil, fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout), beef liver;
- vitamin B-9 (folate): leafy greens, asparagus, beets, avocado, papaya, citrus fruits, bananas, whole grains, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, beans, lentils, peas, seafood, eggs;
- vitamin B-12: clams, fish (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines), beef, beef liver and kidneys, eggs, milk, dairy products, fortified yeast;
- vitamin C: citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, cruciferous vegetables, potatoes, kale, parsley, broccoli;
- vitamin D: egg yolk, cod liver oil, fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring), mushrooms;
- vitamin E: nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts), sunflower seeds, avocado, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, hazelnut oil, red bell pepper, spinach, asparagus, mango, kiwifruit, fish (salmon, trout);
- calcium: milk, dairy products, fish (salmon, sardines), tofu, beans, lentils, edamame, winter squash, leafy greens, rhubarb, almonds, seeds (chia, sesame, poppy), figs;
- iron: dark chocolate, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, legumes, tofu, red meat, organ meats, turkey, fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel), shellfish;
It may be challenging to ingest enough of these nutrients, especially when limiting calories. Taking supplements is an alternative way to ensure that you fulfill your body’s requirements for the listed vitamins and minerals. You can discuss possible supplements you may need with your doctor.
Tips on improving your dieting experience
As was stated above, one of the components of the Stirfood diet is a green juice that you should drink every day. You will need a juicer to make it since the blender won’t work for this. The recipe for the green juice is pretty simple. You will need:
- kale – 2.5 ounces (75 grams)
- rocket – 1 ounce (30 grams)
- celery – 2 sticks
- parsley – 5 grams
- ginger (raw) – 0.5 inches (1 cm)
- lemon juice – from half a lemon
- 1/2 of green apple
- matcha green tea – 1/2 tsp
Combine and juice kale, rocket, celery, parsley, ginger, and an apple. Then, squeeze half a lemon in the obtained juice. Next, pour a small amount of the juice into the glass and stir in the matcha green tea. Finally, add the rest of the juice to the glass, and the juice is ready to drink.
The Sirtfood diet promotes eating sirtuin-rich foods that can be a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, this nutritional approach restricts calorie intake, especially in the first three days. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adult females should receive 1600-2400 calories daily, and males should receive 2000-3000 calories daily. Therefore, eating only 1000 calories per day is unsustainable and can cause unwanted symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, nausea, etc.
It should be mentioned that rapid weight loss due to a severe calorie restriction most often leads to weight regaining after the end of the diet.
In addition, the preparation of the green juice requires blender and food scales. Moreover, some of the sirtfoods can be more expensive than the typical food products. Therefore, it may cause unnecessary expenses and make the diet costly.
You can read about the Mediterranean and Nordic diets if you want to follow a health-promoting balanced diet. However, we advise consulting a doctor before beginning to follow any nutritional approach.
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