The Warrior Diet is based on the assumption that your body has evolved the ability to control and to manipulate itself very well under stress.
It’s creator Ori Hofmekler describes The Warrior Diet a type of intermittent fasting diet. It involves extended periods of fasting and short periods of feasting.
In simple terms, The Warrior Diet revolves around daily cycles of “undereating” throughout the day and “overeating” at night.
The idea behind The Warrior Diet is pretty simple. According to its creator, a daily cycle of under eating throughout the day and overeating at night activates a human evolutionary instinct for survival. For 10-18 hours a day, you are supposed to consume no more than just a light snack consisting of raw fruit and vegetables, or a light protein food like yogurt. You should also be exercising during the fasting period, followed by eating one large meal at night.
During the “under eating” or fasting phase of The Warrior Diet the Sympathetic Nervous System’s (SNS) fight or flight reaction to stress kicks in. This results in your body having greater energy demands and ultimately burning fat to meet this demand. During this phase the body is forced to use stored fat as a source of energy. Fat is the most energy-dense nutrient and your body’s primary energy source.
This is followed by the “overeating” or feasting phase, which takes places at night. This is supposed to maximizes the Parasympathetic Nervous System’s (PNS) recuperation effect on your body. The “overeating” will promote calming down, digestion and maximize utilization of nutrients for repair and growth. These fasting/feasting cycles stimulate the production of cellular molecules such as Cyclic AMP or GMP. This stimulate hormone synthesis and fat burning during the day, as well as protein synthesis and growth during the night, respectively.
“The warrior diet is a stricter type of intermittent fasting. Alternating between 20 hours of undereating and 4 hours of unlimited intake. Experts worry this diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies and warn that it is inappropriate for many groups (like athletes or pregnant women).”
— Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH
Key points of The Warrior Diet
- It involves 18-20 hours of fasting or undereating, where you can eat 2-3 meals of vegetables, low Glycemic Index fruit (like berries & apples) and light protein snacks (like yogurt, a serving of Whey Protein or BCAA’s).
- Followed by a 4 to 6 hour feasting or overfeeding phase, where you can eat as much as you like, as long as it’s not junk food. You should give priority to protein-rich foods, with some nice carbohydrates to stabilize your insulin levels. Quality protein sources include lean meats, cheese and eggs.
Do’s and Don’ts of The Warrior Diet
- You should avoid processed foods.
- Stick to organic foods. Ordinary supermarket produce and dairy products can contain estrogens and other hormones.
- Cut back on your consumption of foods that are wrapped or bottled in plastic containers, particularly soft plastics. Do not store food in plastic containers at home. Plastic fibers contain “estrogenic chemicals that are dangerous to our health.” For more tips check out our article on Clean Eating.
- Minimize your alcohol consumption because alcohol compromises the liver’s ability to rid your body of estrogens.
- Cycle between high fat and high carbohydrate days in order to maximize the body’s fat burning during exercise.
To summarize, if your goal is an elite-level bodybuilding physique, then The Warrior Diet is most likely not going to achieve that for you. On the other hand, if you want to build a lean and powerful physique this diet might just be the perfect fit.
This article first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on 3rd July, 2020.