Find out what is the warrior diet, the pros and cons, what you can eat and more about this different eating lifestyle.
The warrior diet was created by Ori Hofmekler, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. In 2001, he published a book titled The Warrior Diet – Switch On Your Biological Powerhouse – For Explosive Strength, High Energy and a Leaner, Harder Body.
Since then, people across the globe have been keen to understand the ins and out of this up-and-coming diet. BOXROX has comprised all the necessary information you need to decide if it is something you want to do.
Just know this diet is considered inappropriate for children, pregnant people, people with diabetes or heart failure, extreme athletes, and people with eating disorders or underweight.
What Is The Warrior Diet?
The diet is considered a type of intermittent fasting, in which you restrict the time you are allowed to eat. The most common intermittent fastings are 12 hours or 16 hours without consuming any calories each day. Hofmekler’s diet takes this approach to the next level.
The warrior diet restricts your eating window to only 4 hours. During the day, for 20 hours, you are expected to consume little to no calories and for a period of four hours you can, essentially, eat as much as you want.
According to Ori Hofmekler himself, this diet is not based on any science, but rather on his own beliefs and the idea that warriors in ancient times would eat little during the day and feast at night.
What Can You Eat On The Warrior Diet
During the underrating phase (20-hour window of fasting) you are allowed small portions of:
- Dairy: milk, yoghurt
- Hard-boiled or poached eggs
- Raw vegetables: mushrooms, onions, carrots, leafy greens
- Fruits: mango, kiwi, peach, apple, banana
- vegetable juices
- Beverages: water, coffee, tea
During the 4-hour window in which you can as much as you would like, these are the foods Hofmekler recommends:
- Cooked vegetables
- Protein: chicken, steak, fish, eggs, lentils
- Starches: potatoes, corn, beans
- Dairy: milk, cheese
- Grains: pasta, bread, quinoa, oats
- Fats: nuts, olive oil
Although you are allowed to eat as much as you want in those 4 hours, there are still some foods you must avoid:
- Fast food
- Fried food
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sweetened drinks like fruit juice and soda
- Processed meats (bacon)
- Refined carbohydrate
- Candy, cookies and cake
You are also encouraged to drink more water than the usual 8 glasses per day.
What Is The Purpose Of The Warrior Diet?
The creator of the diet, as the title of his book suggests, believes this eating habit will help people lose weight and build muscle at the same time. Is that true?
A big problem is the lack of research focusing on the warrior diet. There are many studies on intermittent fasting, but those are usually targeted at people doing an 8-hour fasting window and not 20 hours. And intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss.
One study published in 2007 mimicked a 20-hour fasting window in which people were allowed only one meal a day. It concluded that people who ate meals over a 4-hour period in the evening experienced more weight loss than those who consumed the same amount of calories in meals throughout the day.
Another study, published in The American Journal Clinical Nutrition, saw similar findings in which people who ate all of their calories in a 4-hour window lost more weight than participants who consumed the same amount of calories throughout the day.
However, another review of six different studies came to the opposite conclusion. People doing intermittent fasting saw no significant weight loss difference compared to those who were dieting normally, meaning that calories in and calories out, at the end of the day, is what dictates if you lose weight or not.
What is Caloric Deficit and How Much Is It Safe?
How Much Weight Can You Lost With The Warrior Diet?
Although there is little study on the warrior diet, it is safe to assume that most people would follow this eating plan to lose weight, but how much can you actually lose with it?
The same study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that participants following the warrior diet lost between 3-5 pounds of body fat in 8 weeks and also gained muscle. They also experienced an increase in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, which increases the chances of heart disease.
How Long Should You Do The Warrior Diet?
As many fitness coaches and nutritionists will tell you, the word diet is usually not associated with something healthy. A diet, in most cases, means something with finality, that once you achieve your goal you can go back to eating however you were before. And that is the part some experts despise.
In essence, most diets should be healthy and pleasurable enough that you can maintain that eating habit for the rest of your life, thus extinguishing the idea of “diet” and just making it your eating preference.
How long should you do the warrior diet? If you can maintain it for years, then do it for years, as long as you feel healthy. If you are looking for a crash diet to lose weight and are considering the warrior diet, we recommend talking to a professional nutritionist or your doctor about it before embarking on this journey.
The creator of the diet, Ori Hofmekler, divided the diet into three weeks phases (detox, high fat, and fat loss) and then repeating weeks 2 and 3 again (high fat and fat loss). It is important to note that studies on this diet have not made participants follow this eating pattern for longer than 8 weeks.
Pros and Cons
As we mentioned before, there is little research on the warrior diet, but there is plenty of research on intermittent fasting. So take these pros and cons of this diet with a pinch of salt (pun intended).
- Weight loss
- Improve brain activity
- Blood sugar control increased
- Decrease inflammation
- Possible anti-ageing effects
- Lack of studies
- Difficult to follow
- Unnecessary for most people
- May lead to binge eating
- Hunger and food cravings
- Headaches and dizziness
Conclusion – Is The Warrior Diet For You?
If you managed to read everything and still think you want to give it a go, then the warrior diet could be for you.
Personally, I have tried it years ago and maintained an extreme version of it for 2 weeks (I only ate broccoli, chicken and blueberries during a 4-hour window period) and it turned out ok.
However, as mentioned before, the diet is not for everyone – children, pregnant people, diabetics, people with heart diseases, underweight or eating disorders.
The warrior diet is an extreme version of intermittent fasting. If you have never done any form of diet before, we recommend not beginning with this one. If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting either, it is easy to begin with something easier to follow such as the 16/8 fasting period.
Read More: Your Guide to Dieting: 4 Popular Diets, Research, Benefits and Considerations