Diet & Nutrition

The Sirtfood Diet: The weight loss plan that gives chocolate and red wine the big thumbs up

Followed by the likes of Adele and Pippa Middleton, the diet’s creators claim eating foods rich in sirtuins are the key to preventing disease and losing fat.

By Anya Truong-George
When Grammy Award-winning singer Adele revealed her incredible 40kg weight loss at the beginning of the year, those ready to welcome 2020 with new health and fitness goals were eager to find out just what her secret was.
Along with a newfound love for Reformer Pilates, the 31-year-old also followed a Sirtfood eating plan, and when we discovered it included chocolate and red wine in its list of 'approved' foods, we'd be lying if we said it didn't pique our interest.
While the keto diet re-wired how many of us think about fat with its high-fat eating plan that gained a cult following with its rapid weight loss claims, could the Sirtfood diet change how we feel about common 'treat' foods like red wine and chocolate?
To find out if the Sirtfood diet is actually all about we spoke to nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge from A Healthy View, who gave us a rundown on the pros and cons of the eating regime.

What is the Sirtfood Diet?

Red wine is just one of the foods on the Sirtfood approved list. (Image: Getty)
Created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, the Sirtfood Diet is the latest diet craze to sweep the world by storm, with its creators claiming it works to turn on your body's "skinny gene".
The diet is a two-pronged approach and focuses on increasing the body's intake of sirtuin-rich foods as well as calorie restriction.
Sirtuins are a group of seven proteins which protect cells in our body from dying or becoming inflamed through illness, explains nutritionist Michele, adding research has also found the proteins can help regulate your metabolism, increase muscle and burn fat.
Sirtfoods are also particularly rich in polyphenols, says Michele, which are micronutrients packed with antioxidants which have been found to improve digestion and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

What a Sirtfood eating regime looks like

To begin the diet, participants are expected to follow a two-week plan which includes reducing your calorie intake and consuming 'Sirtfood green juices'.
"For the first week you restrict your [calorie] intake to 1000 calories which includes consuming three sirtfood green juices and one sirtfood-rich meal a day," Michele shares.
"The following week you up your intake to 1500 calories a day and consume two sirtfood-rich meals and two green juices."
Long-term there is no specific diet, but an eating plan high in sirtfoods is encouraged along with incorporating the diet's signature green juices.
The diet's creators claim the diet will lead to rapid weight loss while maintaining muscle and mass and protecting you from chronic disease.

The top Sirtfoods

Some of the top foods you'll want to add into your diet include the following:
  • Buckwheat
  • Capers
  • Celery
  • Chilli
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Green Tea – ideally matcha
  • Kale
  • Lovage
  • Medjool Dates
  • Parsley
  • Red Chicory
  • Red Onion
  • Red Wine
  • Rocket
  • Soy
  • Strawberries
  • Turmeric
  • Walnuts

The Sirtfood Green Juice

A component of the diet is consuming the 'signature sirtfoods green juice'. (Image: Getty)
Wondering what that 'Signature Sirtfood Green Juice' entails? Here's the recipe.
Ingredients:
Serves one
  • 2 large handfuls (75g) kale
  • a large handful (30g) rocket
  • a very small handful (5g) flat-leaf parsley
  • a very small handful (5g) lovage leaves (optional)
  • 2–3 large stalks (150g) green celery, including its leaves
  • ½ medium green apple
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ level tsp matcha green tea

A nutritionist's final thoughts on the Sirtfood diet

Michele says it's no surprise that people may see rapid weight loss if they're restricting their calorie intake, particularly during that first week of the diet, but says she's very wary about encouraging people to count calories.
She does, however, see a huge benefit in increasing your intake of sirtuin-rich foods, saying any diet rich in wholefoods without added sugars will be beneficial for your health.
She adds, "Sirtfoods activate fat burning, but also promote muscle growth, maintenance and repair. Eating food naturally rich in sirtuin activators may be healthier, more effective – and cheaper – alternative to polyphenol supplements."
So there you have it. While the Sirtfood diet has the right idea in encouraging the increase of whole foods we should consume, its encouragement of calorie counting isn't necessarily the healthiest approach you could take when it comes to your wellness journey.
Focusing on eating a balanced, sirtfood-rich diet and incorporating regular movement into your day is always a great step towards a fitter, healthier you.
The Ministry of Health recommends talking to your GP before undertaking any major changes to your diet.