Are you searching for a diet that works for you? You’re not alone. Have you heard of the warrior diet? We have all the info you could ever want on it. Check it out to see if it’s right for you.
Are you being hard on yourself as it relates to your diet?
If so, and you plan on embracing the warrior diet, you might want to get ready to toss out a lot of what you think you know about diet and food. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating small, frequent meals throughout the course of your day is the best and healthiest way to go.
Well, the warrior diet took all of those thoughts and oft-heeded advice and tossed it on its head.
The warrior diet fashions itself after a lifestyle and feeding regimen that would likely seem more familiar to ancient cave dwellers than it does to most of us in 2017. Even so, it’s been making waves in the health and dietary community since it was first reintroduced back in the 1990s.
But is it right for you?
Let’s take a look at this plan and uncover everything you need to know about the warrior diet, so you can see if it has a place in your routine.
This Is The Basic Premise Of The Warrior Diet
If all old-school knowledge tells us the same things about the way we should diet, exercise and fuel our bodies, then you can think of the warrior diet as the one that preaches the exact opposite.
To explain the basic premise of the warrior diet, in a nutshell, you need to consider intermittent fasting. The concept is that rather than continually grazing and snacking throughout the day, as many dietary experts and plans have advised, you should press pause on your eating, and give your body a break.
Depending on your goals and individual factors, this could mean a window of no eating anywhere from 8 to 20 hours long. This time is designed to let your digestive system take a break, rather than continually churning along.
The idea behind the warrior diet is similar, though more extreme. Ever heard of the phrase:
Survival of the fittest?
This diet, which was created by Ori Hofmekler, takes to heart that idea that to not just survive, but also thrive, our bodies need to be somewhat under the gun.
Experts have claimed that our ancient counterparts would never continually graze throughout the day, as we’ve grown accustomed to doing now. Instead, they were forced to survive on just one meal a day. In an evolutionary sense then, the case has been made that human beings are genetically programmed to only eat once per day and that a return to this eating style is a return to eating in the way nature intended.
If you choose to follow this diet, that means not eating or underrating for 20 out of the 24 hours in the day.
Proponents of the plan point to ancient man as an example of just how well this can work. By putting your body under stress, fans of the diet claims it strengthens your system from the inside out, and results in a stronger, more resilient body, all from eating just one meal a day.
Ancient men would typically fast throughout the day, or at least have access to very little food. They would follow this up by more or less binging on a large feast at night, the result of that day’s hunt.
Beyond just when you eat, or don’t, as the case may be with this diet, the plan also suggests what you should be eating. In essence, it preaches a diet low or completely devoid of processed foods. Instead, it suggests that you should think like an ancient man, and eat foods that he would have recognized.
What can you expect to get from this plan?
In a nutshell, the warrior diet promises a body that’s better able to burn fat. In theory, you should also expect an increase in energy and a leaner and meaner frame. In a deeper sense, the warrior diet can even increase your lifespan by boosting the health and longevity of all of your organs, improving insulin sensitivity and helping you to live a longer and healthier life.
How The The Warrior Diet Works
While the plan might seem simple enough in premise, the diet isn’t simply something where you don’t eat all day and then binge eat at night. Without the proper structure and guidance, this idea could easily go awry and do you more harm than good. To make it clear: No one is advocating starving yourself all day just to binge on takeout late into the night.
First things first, it’s vital that you don’t read this article and then just go into this diet plan cold turkey. If, like most of us, you’ve been used to eating multiple meals throughout the day your entire life, suddenly launching into a lifestyle of caloric deprivation and extreme intermittent fasting could easily throw your body into a tailspin. You could end up being lightheaded, dizzy and suffer from other serious health issues.
Don’t run the risks.
After you’ve consulted with your doctor and it’s been determined the warrior diet is something you can safely try, you should ease into it by doing a couple of days a week of controlled fasting. For instance, you could choose to skip breakfast a couple days and then eat as you normally would the rest of the time. Once you’ve mastered that step, and given your body time to acclimate to the sudden drop in calories, you can add in skipping lunch.
Watch to see how you adjust.
If you’re thinking this sounds too extreme, don’t panic yet. The warrior diet doesn’t preach completely abstaining from food. You’ll still be eating. But, you’ll just be eating less than you’re used to. This isn’t a complete fast, just under-eating.
We’ll outline the exact foods the plan prescribes, but whenever you eat throughout the day, and whatever you eat, the creator of the plan stresses that intuition is key. In other words, it’s vital that you listen to your body’s natural survival instincts.
The entire plan is built upon the assumption that by numbing out our body’s natural rhythm, ignoring it completely in favor of eating all day long, we’re cheating ourselves of longevity and health. Your day will be broken into two main phases: Daytime and nighttime feeding.
And, it’s not just when and what you eat, but how you combine foods will matter.
The Daily Warrior Plan
You’ll start your day on the warrior diet quite differently than you might be used to. Gone will be the days of rolling out of bed and chowing down right away on a big breakfast of eggs, sausage, cereal or pancakes.
Starting in the morning, and continuing for the first 10 to 18 hours of your day, you’ll be fueling your body, but scarcely. Fresh fruits, veggies and other light options like yogurt, kefir, clean, lean proteins and lots of water make up your menu.
In order to avoid too much depletion, you’ll be eating often, every few hours, and drinking plenty of water. In fact, some people avoid all solid foods and opt to only drink water during the daytime feeding time. But, this is definitely going to result in more extreme hunger pains and can cause lightheadedness and low blood sugar, so it’s generally not recommended unless you get cleared by a doctor first.
If any of this is sounding intimidating, remember that us modern Americans are really the first group to shy away from hunger. Almost all other groups of people throughout history have experienced and even purposely allowed themselves to feel hungry at least once throughout the day. If you’re going throughout most days eating so often you never feel hungry, you are depriving your body of a very natural and beneficial biological process.
During the overeating phase, which is comprised of the latter 14 hours in the day, you’re allowed to indulge and treat yourself to as much food as you want, given that it’s the right types of food, of course. Don’t eat till you’re stuffed. Instead, listen to your body and fuel it.
Stop when you’re satisfied.
If calorie counting has long been the bane of your existence, or you still believe that it’s necessary to be trim and healthy, you should be relieved to hear there’s no place for numbers in the warrior diet.
Simply listen to your instincts and your body will tell you what it needs.
During this phase, you should be fueling up with meats, poultry, fish, veggies and whole grains. You can even eat this jumbo meal right before bedtime, as the act of eating all of this food after a day of deprivation will mean your digestive system will be kicked into overdrive. This process, initiated by the parasympathetic nervous system, will slow your body down and prep it for a good night’s sleep.
Here Are The Rules
If eating 100% according to your intuition sounds a little too loosey goosey for your liking, then never fear.
Even the creators of the plan, proponents of listening to your body’s natural rhythm and getting back in touch with your intuition, recognize that the modern person will need some structure. To help with this, there are some basic rules to ensure you are fueling your body with high-quality foods and getting the most of what the plan has to offer.
Here are a few rules to take note of to maximize the fat-burning, muscle building and lifespan-increasing perks of the warrior diet plan:
- Avoid all processed foods. They have no place in a healthy diet.
- Whenever you can, reach for organic options for your produce.
- Hydrate with water – lots of it. Go easy on the booze. It stifles your liver’s natural ability to flush out the body.
- Just as you should avoid processed foods or alcohol, you’ll want to steer clear of sugar and sugar alcohols. They’re virtually toxins in the body.
- Go for variety, incorporating as many tastes, textures, aromas and colors as you possibly can get in each meal for the max nutrients and minerals.
- Also off limits are any GMO foods and synthetic vitamins and antioxidants. You don’t need it. Why? You’ll be getting the real deal from the foods you eat.
- Start with your more subtle tasting foods, like veggies, salads, and proteins, wrapping up with your carbs and fats later in the meal.
As with any diet plan that bucks the norm, the warrior diet has been no stranger to its share of controversy and raised eyebrows.
Ultimately, no diet plan is a one-size fits all routine. Factors such as existing conditions, medical issues, age, health and fitness goals all must be taken into consideration before you overhaul the way you eat.
One main concern about the plan is a general lack of medical research backing up its effectiveness. Of course, other concerns are that you’ll be left so hungry throughout the day that you’re far more likely to binge when you do eat. Furthermore, if you’re not choosing your foods wisely enough, the one meal per day regimen might not be nutrient rich enough to get your body all that it needs.
If you feel it’s right for you and decide to give the warrior diet a shot, know you’ll be restoring your body to a lifestyle more in touch with your natural instincts.
Lastly, just like you can’t outwork a bad diet, you also can’t slack on the sweat sessions and expect to reap the full benefits of this plan.
The warrior diet also prescribes an approach to fitness of whole body workouts, short but intense, and pushing through your workouts even when fatigued. It’s meant to mimic what an ancient warrior would have been subjected to. So embrace your inner ancient warrior. Get lean and mean the old school style and see what a return to ancient ways can do for your modern-day health.
By Emmy Schneider-Green
Latest posts by Terry (see all)
- How Important Are Net Carbs For Building Huge Muscle? - Apr 28, 2017
- The Matt Damon Workout Explained - Apr 27, 2017
- Watercress – Benefits And The Best Way To Consume It - Apr 26, 2017