With the appearance of Adele’s dramatic body transformation (being thought to be in the excess 40 lbs in a year alone), has come immense interest in the diet reportedly behind it, The Sirtfood Diet.
Having dealt with numerous enquiries about Adele’s diet from clients’ currently undertaking our highly effective and evidence-based weight management program, I have decided to provide a fresh and evidence-based outlook on it.
In this blog post, we’ll be going through:
- The proposed benefits of Adele’s diet
- An example of Adele’s diet plan
- The research behind Adele’s diet
- Our conclusion regarding the Sirtfood diet
The proposed benefits of Adele’s diet
The Sirtfood Diet is thought to jumpstart your metabolism, enhance anti-ageing properties and reduce inflammation. It was launched via a recipe book in 2016 designed by two UK-based Nutritionists.
The way Adele’s diet is proposed to enhance weight loss is through its impact on sirtuin levels which the authors promote to turn on the “skinny gene”.
But what exactly are sirtuins besides being explanatory of the name “The Sirtfood Diet”?
Well, they are a subset of plant-based proteins found in certain foods that are rich in a type of phytonutrient called polyphenols. The idea is that these polyphenols (or sirtfoods) will increase your body’s ability to burn fat, suppress appetite in addition to boosting your metabolism, subsequently resulting in enhanced weight loss.
Examples of these foods include:
- Citrus fruits
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
- Medjool dates
- Green tea
- Olive oil
- Red onion
Interestingly, the Sirtfood diet is thought to work similarly to intermittent fasting as fasting is also a method that increases sirtuins.
However, another promoted benefit of Adele’s diet is that it will not include the expected downsides of fasting diets like grumpiness, muscle loss and hunger (Zhu, Yan, Gius, & Vassilopoulos, 2013).
Now that we know what the Sirtfood diet is and the suggested benefits, what exactly does the diet plan entail?
An example of Adele’s diet plan
Well there are two phases of Adele’s diet plan to be adhered to over three weeks and daily exercise is also recommended on the diet:
Like most restrictive diets, the first phase may be challenging and is not recommended for people with underlying health conditions.
Phase one of the diet is a week’s duration. Over the first 3 days, your calories are restricted to 1,000 calories per day and you are recommended to consume 3 sirtfood green juice drinks alongside a sirtfood meal like chicken and kale, for example.
The rest of the week then, from day four to day 7, you are advised to have an additional meal and increase your daily calories from 1000 to 1500.
Now following the first phase of one week, the second phase lasts two weeks. Here, the calories are further increased to between 1500 and 1800 of your choosing while you are advised to have three meals, one with green juice, and two with sirtfood snack.
After phases one and two are complete following the three weeks, there is no long-term set plan. You are simply encouraged to eat a balanced diet rich in Sirtfoods alongside regular green juices.
To read our blog about fad diets, please follow the link here.
The research behind Adele’s diet
Now, what does the research say regarding the Sirtfood diet?
Well currently, most of the research on the sirtuin effects from dietary restriction has been conducted in worm or mice studies.
Some research, like the 2018 study done by Abdellatif, Sedej, Carmona-Gutierrez, Madeo and Kroemer on mice suggest that sirtuins may help prevent age-related decline.
Another paper by Zhou, Tang and Chen (2018) indicates that sirtuins may help prevent insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. But again, this was based on animal studies.
There have been no long-term human studies to determine whether eating a diet rich in sirtfoods has any meaningful health benefits, let alone for sustained weight loss.
In fact, the only research seemingly complete involving human participants on this diet was done by the creators of it.
In their week-long pilot study, the creators took 39 individuals from their gym and placed them on the diet for one week in combination with an exercise plan to perform daily. At the end of that week, participants are said to have lost 7 pounds (or 3.2 kg).
Although this may sound intriguing, this study’s results appear not to have been published anywhere else besides their recipe book without any form of validation by legitimate researchers, which suggests these results to be less than transparent at best.
Additionally, quick weight loss like this is never long-lasting and this study did not follow the individuals after the first week to check for weight regain.
Moreover, guys, cutting down to 1,000 calories per day alongside exercising will always result in weight loss regardless of any potential sirtuin effects. There is no evidence indicating that the foods in the diet will trigger the genes as advertised either.
To read our blog about the immune system and ways you can improve it, please follow the link here.
Our conclusion regarding the Sirtfood diet
So in conclusion guys, there are indeed some positives to be obtained from the diet, outside short-term weight loss, such as consuming more polyphenol-rich foods that are good sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.
However, adequate amounts of micronutrients and fibre can already be obtained from a well-balanced eating plan and the weight loss achieved from the Sirtfood diet will most likely be short-lived.
The reason for this is because, in the first week of calorie restriction, only about one-third of the weight loss comes from fat, while the other two-thirds come from water, muscle and glycogen (which is the storage form of energy in your muscles and liver).
Therefore, when the water and glycogen stores are replenished when you go back to a regular eating pattern (which is likely due to the restriction) the weight loss will rebound. Unfortunately, guys, this calorie restriction will also lower your metabolism resulting in less energy available each day.
Moreover, as noted, there is no scientific evidence for weight loss behind the diet and rapid weight loss can actually increase the risk of gallstones and amenorrhoea (missing menstrual periods) not to mention side effects of the calorie restriction such as headaches.
We can still add these Sirtfoods to our diet without excessive calorie restriction within the Sirtfood diet. The best diet for weight loss is one that meets your nutrient requirements, promotes health and well-being, and that you can stick with long-term.
So you’re likely better off following a healthy diet you know you can stick to consistently (or a more scientifically-proven option, like the Mediterranean diet), exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.
If you would like to avail of our highly effective and evidence-based weight management program, please contact us here.
Abdellatif, M., Sedej, S., Carmona-Gutierrez, D., Madeo, F., & Kroemer, G. (2018). Autophagy in CARDIOVASCULAR AGING. Circulation Research, 123(7), 803-824. doi:10.1161/circresaha.118.312208
Zhou, S., Tang, X., & Chen, H. (2018). Sirtuins and insulin resistance. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00748
Zhu, Y., Yan, Y., Gius, D. R., & Vassilopoulos, A. (2013). Metabolic regulation of Sirtuins upon fasting and the implication for cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology, 25(6), 630-636. doi:10.1097/01.cco.0000432527.49984.a3