So, the Sirtfood Diet – a diet where you can eat chocolate and drink wine but have the ability to “lose 7lbs in 7 days”! – another faddy diet or is there some truth in their slogan? Well, since I returned to the UK, I seem to have packed on a few extra kilos – now whether that’s down to my advancing years, or the fact that I’m comfort eating as I sit in front of the computer dreaming about being back in Melbourne I’m not sure, but either way, I set about to uncover the pros and cons of this diet and whether it really works…

What are Sirtfoods?

Sirtfoods are a group of foods that contain naturally-occurring compounds called polyphenols, which activate sirtuins in the body. Sirtuins are a class of proteins that are important for regulating biological pathways which affect our health and weight. By activating the sirtuins your body will start to clear out cellular waste and burn fat, resulting in a “more energetic, leaner and healthier you.” – say nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, who have developed this diet after rigorous scientific research.

Typically, when people lose weight not only will they lose fat but also muscle. According to Goggins and Matten, Sirtfoods are not only able to activate fat burning but they also promote muscle growth, maintenance and repair, meaning you can lose fat but without losing those beautifully toned muscles you’ve worked so hard to achieve. In trials of the Sirtfood Diet, participants allegedly lost an average of 7lbs in one week. They also reported increased energy, clearer skin, feeling more alert and better sleep.

Some of the top Sirtfoods are kale, rocket, parsley, red onions, strawberries, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, cocoa (yey!), curry spices, green tea and coffee. Others include buckwheat, capers, celery, chilli, medjool dates, red chicory, red wine (yey!), soy and turmeric. But, before you start munching your way through all of the above, there is a way in which they need to be consumed in order to kick start the process, which is where I came unstuck :-0

The Diet Plan

The diet has two phases. The first phase is known as the “hyper-success phase”, but I prefer to call it the ‘starvation phase’ because the first three days involve restricting your calorie intake to a maximum of 1000 per day :-0  Whilst two of your meals for these first three days are Sirtfood-rich green juices, the other is one of their delicious Sirtfood-rich meals. However, by the time it came to the meal, I was about ready to chew my own arm off I was that hungry, so their claim that Sirtfoods have a natural satiating effect did not entirely ring true in my case!

Days four to seven see your calorie intake increase to a maximum of 1500 per day (woohoo!), comprising of two Sirtfood green juices and two Sirtfood-rich meals. Eh voila, by the end of the seven days, it is alleged that you can expect to lose an average of 7lbs (3.2kg).

Phase two which is the 14-day maintenance phase, involves not so much calorie counting, but more Sirtfood loading by way of their simple to make and super tasty recipes. As well as the three balanced Sirtfood-rich meals per day, you also have one of their Sirtfood green juices (yum!)

What did I think?

Well I stumbled on day two and may have eaten a piece of toast or three to supplement my green juice and continued like that for the rest of the week. I can’t say exactly how much weight I lost, as I don’t possess any scales, so I tend to go by how my clothes fit. I did lose a couple of pounds I’m sure and my stomach was definitely flatter over those first few days, but in order to keep it off, you have to commit to phase two. After that, it’s up to you but the advice given is that you can repeat the fasting phase periodically for a “fat-loss boost”, but you should always try to incorporate some of the Sirtfoods into every meal in order to maintain a “leaner, healthier and more energetic you.” Whilst I haven’t committed to another one of their ‘fasting’ phases, I have eaten meals that contain Sirtfoods pretty much since I commenced the diet but seem to have put weight on, as opposed to losing it, so I’m not entirely convinced of it’s efficacy on the weight loss front. Perhaps that’s more about the amount of chocolate and wine I’ve been consuming (damn you Lindt 85%!) :-0 However, the meals are incredibly delicious and varied, despite the use of similar ingredients in each recipe. I don’t know if I have felt any more energetic or healthier either, but I’d like to think that I wasn’t exactly unhealthy before I started so I’m probably not a good gauge in that respect…

Summary

So, perhaps if I tried the fasting phase again and gave it a proper crack, I might be more successful but I fear that my love of actually ‘eating’ food as opposed to sipping it through a stripey straw may mean I come unstuck again, so perhaps not… However, if this type of diet appeals to you, then knock yourself out, as even if you can’t stick to the fasting phase, Sirtfoods in general are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, which can only be a good thing right?

Soya long…

🙂