The Warrior Diet ,which is an advanced or strict form of intermittent fasting, is a way of eating that cycles long periods of low dietary intake with a short period of overeating. It was presented as an effective means of weight loss and improving energy levels and mental health.
However, some health professionals claim that this method of fasting is beyond reason and not essential.
What is the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior Diet was created in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, an ex-member of the Israeli Special Forces, This has been transformed into physical fitness and nutrition.
This diet is considered one type of periodic fasting, a generic term for dietary habits that include periods of low calorie intake during a given period.
The Warrior Diet is based on how ancient warriors eat, that ate very little during the day, then feasted at night.
According to its founder, it was created to “improve our way of eating, feeling, doing and watching” stressing the body with a reduced consumption of calories, thus activating the «survival trend».
It should be pointed out that Ori Hofmekler himself agrees may the Warrior Diet rest on his own thoughts and observations, Not so much about science.
People who follow this diet eat in very small amounts for 20 hours per day, then take as much food as you want at night.
During the 20 hours of fasting, small quantities of milk products, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables and sufficient non-alcoholic beverages are recommended.
After 20 hours, people will necessarily be able to eat any type of food they want within four hours of the supercharging phase.
However, unprocessed, healthy, nutritious and organically produced foods should be preferred.
To get started, you should follow a first three-week plan divided into phases that will be detailed later in this article.
Supporters of Warrior Diet assert that this way of eating burns fat, improves concentration, increases energy levels and leads to cell repair.
Does it have benefits?
Warrior Diet has no research to support his precise methods, but periodic fasting does.
While the Warrior diet is slightly more extreme than others, the most common forms of periodic fasting such as the 16:8 method (fasting for 16 hours, then eating for another 8 hours), this is typically a more rigorous method.
Because of this, we could proclaim that the benefits linked to intermittent fasting are also applicable in the Warrior Diet.
It may aid weight loss
Various methods of intermittent fasting, including 20-hour fasting cycles, have been linked to weight loss.
A study that looked a lot like the Warrior’s Diet (fasting for 20 hours), found that people eating more than four hours at night have lost more weight than Those who have consumed the same amount of calories during the day.
What’s more, those who ate once a day showed a noticeable reduction in their body fat and increased muscle mass (1).
A current review of six studies found that different ways to fast intermittently, ranging from 3 to 12 months, were more effective to promote weight loss than any food obstruction.
However, the review found that there were no notable differences in weight loss among individuals using intermittent fasting or continued calorie restriction (normal dieting), This means that calorie restriction without fasting was equally efficient (2).
In addition, although the reduction in calorie intake is the most frequent outcome of the Warrior diet, Some people who follow this pattern of consumption may technically consume too many calories during the four-hour period of overeating and experience weight gain.
Fasting may improve brain health
Warrior diet is promoted as a way to improve brain health.
Intermittent fasting has proven useful for regulating inflammatory pathways that affect cerebral function.
For instance, animal studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting reduces inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), that can negatively influence memory and learning (3).
But research in this area is incomplete and more human studies are needed to discover the benefits of intermittent fasting on brain health.
It may decrease inflammation
Research has shown that intermittent fasting can be an effective way to reduce inflammation in your body.
A survey of 34 healthy men found that the 16:8 intermittent fasting method reduces levels of TNF-α and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), that support inflammatory behaviour.
Another 50-person study found that those who fast for the Muslim feast of Ramadan had significantly reduced levels of inflammatory markers like IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine, compared to individuals that do not evolve in fasting (8).
Fasting may improve blood sugar control
Some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help regulate blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.
A study of 10 people with type 2 diabetes found that a fast target of 18 to 20 hours per day results in a significant decrease in body weight. and significantly improved fasting and blood glucose control after eating (9).
However, another recent study found that intermittent fasting increased the risk of hypoglycemia (decreased blood sugar), even taking smaller doses of hypoglycemic drugs (10).
Although lowering blood glucose safely is beneficial, Low blood sugar can be dangerous and can lead to serious problems (11).
Because of this, diabetics who want to fast intermittently should first make an appointment with their doctor.
Potential downfalls of the Warrior Diet
Even with the potential benefits of the Warrior Diet, This way of eating has a number of disadvantages.
It may be difficult for some people to stick to
One of the clearest restrictions of the Warrior diet is that it limits the time you can eat enough food in four hours.
This can be difficult to track, especially when you participate in regular social activities such as going to breakfast or lunch.
While some people can feel good using very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, Others may find that this way of eating does not suit their way of life.
It’s inappropriate for many people
Warrior diet is not a dietary method that Everyone should be practicing.
This type of intermittent fasting is inappropriate for many individuals, including:
- Pregnant and breast-feeding women.
- People suffering from certain diseases such as type 1 diabetes, heart failure and certain cancers.
- Extreme athletes
- Persons who have an eating disorder or a history of an eating disorder.
- People who don’t have weight.
Some women can practice intermittent fasting with no adverse effects. However, some people may have irritating side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, irregular menstruation, and reproductive complications.
It could lead to disordered eating
Warrior diet focuses on over-eating, which may be problematic for many people.
While Ori Hofmekler argues that you need to stop eating “when you feel satisfied,” Maybe it’s not the right way to eat for everybody.
The Warrior Diet may lead to bulimia and purging behaviours, especially in people at risk of eating disorders.
Eating large quantities of food can also lead to feelings of regret and shame, which can have a negative impact on mental health and body image.
It could lead to negative side effects
Warrior diet can lead to side effects, some of which may be serious and dangerous.
There may be side effects (14):
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Reduced energy
- Hormonal imbalance
- Weight gain
- Sleep disturbance
- Extreme appetite
In addition, many health professionals claim that people will not get enough nutrients by practising an intermittent fasting plan such as the warrior diet.
However, while he is in good health, high-nutrient foods are preferred and calorie needs are satisfied, Nutrient needs can be met by carefully choosing your dietary choices when you are on the Warrior diet.
How to follow the Warrior Diet
Hofmekler suggests that anyone starting a warrior diet should follow a three-week plan, in three phases, to “enhance the capacity of the body to use fat for energy.”
Phase I (week one): “Detox”
- Eat small amounts for 20 hours throughout the day using vegetable juices, soups, dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese), hard-boiled eggs and raw fruits and vegetables.
- During the four hours of the overeating season, eat a salad with oil and vinegar, followed by a huge or several meals of vegetable protein l (beans), whole grains without wheat, small quantities of cheese and cooked veggies.
- Coffee, tea, water and small quantities of milk can be taken during the day.
Phase II (week two): “High fat”
- Eat a small meal for 20 hours throughout the day with vegetable juice, clear stock, dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese), hard-boiled eggs and raw fruits and vegetables.
- During the 4-hour supper period, enjoy a salad with oil and dressing, followed by lean animal protein, cooked vegetables and at least a handful of nuts.
- Grains and starches are not consumed in Stage II.
Phase III (week three): “Concluding fat loss”
This phase takes place during periods of high consumption of carbohydrates and proteins.
- 1 to 2 days with high levels of carbohydrates.
- 1 to 2 days rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- 1 to 2 days with high levels of carbohydrates.
- 1 to 2 days rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
High carb days include:
- Eat a small meal for 20 hours during the day with vegetable juice, plain stock, dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese), hard-boiled eggs and raw fruits and vegetables.
- During the 4-hour supercharging period, take a salad with oil and vinegar, followed by cooked vegetables, small amounts of animal protein and a major carb such as corn, potatoes, pasta and barley or oats.
High Protein & Low Carbohydrate Days:
- Enjoy a small meal for 20 hours during the day with vegetable juice, clear broth, milk products (yogurt, cottage cheese), hard-boiled eggs and raw fruits and vegetables.
- While overeating for 4 hours in the evening, take a salad with oil and vinaigrette, followed by 8 to 16 oz (227 to 454 grams) of animal protein with one side of cooked unprotected vegetables.
- Although cereals or starches should not be consumed during Phase III of supercharging, a small quantity of fresh tropical fruit may be consumed as dessert.
Hofmekler suggests that once diet people have completed all three phases, they should take them back from the beginning.
However, instead of going through the whole cycle again, you can also give up the initial stages and usually follow the small diet guidelines for 20 hours on low-calorie foods, Follow-up with healthy, high-protein meals to the satisfaction of the overeating phase.
Note that the amount of service on the Warrior diet is undefined and there is no defined caloric restriction.
Hofmekler suggests taking a multi-vitamin daily at the same time as other supplements like probiotics and amino acids under this dietary plan.
Dieters are also encouraged to combine with the implementation, including strength training and speed, in their regular routines to sustain fat loss and hydrate with enough water throughout the day.
What to eat and what to avoid
Although people on a diet are allowed to eat all the foods they love, whole, nutritious and organic foods are preferable, while processed foods, preservatives, added sugars and artificial sweeteners or other unhealthy and high-calorie products should be avoided.
Small amounts of food are eaten during the undereating period.
- Fruits: grapes, pineapple, Apples, bananas, kiwi,oranges mango, etc.
- Vegetable juices: Beet, carrot, cucumber celery, etc.
- Broth: Chicken, beef, etc.
- Raw vegetables: Greens, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc.
- Condiments: Little amounts of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
- Protein: Hard-boiled or poached eggs
- Beverages: Water, seltzer, coffee, tea, coconut milk etc.
Foods you can eat during the overeating phase:
- Cooked vegetables: Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli greens, etc.
- Proteins: Chicken, steak, fish, turkey, eggs, etc.
- Starches: Beans, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Grains: Oats, quinoa, pasta, wheat barley, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Fats: Nuts, olive oil, avocados etc.
Foods that should be avoided:
- Fast food
- Fried foods
- Cookies and cakes
- Processed meats (lunch meats, bacon)
- Packaged foods
- Some kind of sweet drinks like fruit juice and soda
- Refined carbohydrates
- Artificial sweeteners
Warrior diet is a type of periodic fasting program, which cycles 20 hours of very few calories consumed with four-hour periods of overeating.
While there is some research promoting the advantages of this particular type of fasting, Intermittent fasting in general has been associated with some of the benefits of weight loss for brain health.
While some people can thrive on the warrior diet, others may think that this is too difficult to follow.
Furthermore, this way of eating is not suited to many people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and children.
Although the warrior diet can benefit some people, the proven and just way to eat healthy, increased exercise and calorie restriction is something that anyone can follow.