We know you’re a warrior in many ways. Life is hard, but you’re on the right track if you are reading this article because we’re going to tell you all about the warrior diet!
- What is the warrior diet?
- Does the warrior diet involve fasting?
- Should I consult my doctor before trying it?
- Will the warrior diet help me lose weight?
- What other benefits does the warrior diet offer?
We’re going to answer all the questions above and more in this blog post, where we talk about the pros and cons of the warrior diet. Let’s start with what the Warrior diet is.
The Warrior Diet
The Warrior diet was introduced back in 2001 by a man named Ori Hofmekler. Ori was serving with the Israeli Special Forces. He based this diet on his observations of life as a soldier combined with studying the warrior societies of Sparta and Rome. Ori believes that humans naturally consumed food in a very different way before the industrial revolution. He also believes that this type of lifestyle can help you regain energy and lose weight. Good news is you don’t have to go out into the woods and hunt down your dinner. There’s no hunting involved!
The warrior diet means that you fast or intake very few calories throughout the day and then have a big meal at dinner time. You’re also expected to work out a bunch during the day whenever you’re not eating. As Ori Hofmekler explains, it’s called the “warrior” diet because it’s loosely modeled after the lifestyle of an ancient warrior. They would likely eat very little during the day when out hunting and reap the rewards of their hard work at night by feasting on whatever they captured. Plus, there would’ve been a lot of movement and physically demanding work during the day, too, which is where the working out aspect comes into play.
Let’s dig in a little deeper.
The Warrior Diet Requires Fasting
It can be seen as a pro or con, depending on your opinion of fasting. Fasting is a popular weight-loss method used by health-conscious individuals committed to a strict, healthy lifestyle. You go for a predetermined amount of time without eating to reduce your overall calorie intake during the day.
Many health benefits are linked to fasting, including weight loss, significant benefits for insulin resistance, reduction in blood sugar levels, oxidative stress and inflammation, and many more. If you are already used to fasting, the warrior diet might work for you.
The warrior diet claims that it will improve the way you feel, perform, and look by stressing your body with reduced food intake, which kicks in your survival instincts. However, this particular claim is solely based on the experiences of the creator of this diet, Ori Hofmekler, and not based on any scientific evidence.
Not to mention, this fasting period is not for the faint-hearted.
The diet encourages people to consume a tiny amount of food for 20 hours. During this period, you can only consume foods like hard-boiled eggs, raw fruits, vegetables, and tons of water.
The Warrior Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
Fasting and losing weight go hand in hand, and the Warrior diet is an extreme form of fasting. If you go 20 hours a day only consuming a tiny amount of food, you’ll likely shed some pounds.
One study that had participants fast for 20 hours (just like the warrior diet recommends) found that people who ate larger meals in the night experienced more weight loss than those who ingested the same amount of calories throughout the day. Those who ate only one meal per day showed signs of significantly reduced fat mass and greater muscle mass. 
Another study also said that fasting is much more effective at promoting weight loss than nothing at all. But this same study also found that those who reduced calorie intake during the day and those who chose to fast had no significant weight loss differences. 
The critical thing to keep track of is the calories are eaten rather than the amount of time passed without consuming calories.
The Warrior Diet Can Help With Inflammation
Inflammation is one bad word when it comes to your health. Inflammation caused by oxidative stress increases the risk of many diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Studies show that fasting is an effective way to reduce inflammation in the body and lower these risks. Since the warrior diet is a ramped-up form of fasting, this would ring true for this diet. 
The Warrior Diet Might Improve Brain Health
Fasting has been shown to improve brain function, so the warrior diet might be able to do the same. One animal study found that fasting reduced inflammation, as we discussed in our last point, which reduces brain markers that negatively affect memory and learning and might also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. 
It’s Not Science-Based
While we just discussed many health benefits of fasting, the warrior diet itself isn’t based on science. It’s based on the experiences of the founder, Ori Hofmekler, which is some cause for alarm.
If this diet works for you, that’s a bonus, but it won’t work for everyone.
It’s Not Great For Diabetes Patients
This diet can mess with your blood sugar levels. Sure, it can bring them down, but depending on what you’re eating throughout the day, it can cause them to spike, especially if you’re binging on a massive meal at the end of the day.  
When you’re hungry, it’s hard to make good food choices, which brings us to the next con.
You Might Binge On Unhealthy Foods
While the warrior diet encourages you to eat unprocessed foods when you’re starving, what do you usually reach for? Something fast and easy, right? If it’s not fast food, it’s something you can make in a hurry. If you haven’t eaten all day, you’re likely to binge on all sorts of high-fat and high-calorie foods. It’s much easier to make healthy choices when you can properly plan your meals that include lots of vegetables that leave you feeling satisfied rather than stuffed.
This diet is super extreme, and sticking to it, will be difficult. You’re limited to just a four-hour window in which you can eat. If your friends are all going out for a meal or any meal, you’ll be expected only to drink water the whole time. Since you can only eat in the late hours of the evening, this diet doesn’t fit well with most lifestyles.
You Might Gain Weight
If you fall off the wagon, which is likely since this diet is tough to stick to, you might gain weight. Your body will go into crisis mode if you’re not giving it what it needs. Going more than 10 hours without eating will change how your body works and will ultimately slow down your metabolism to conserve energy and calories. When and if you stop following this diet, your body will need time to recover, and if you start eating three meals a day again, you’re likely to gain more weight back. Your body might also gain weight differently than before.
It Could Encourage Disordered Eating
The warrior diet puts the person under a lot of stress to under eat, and then overeat all in the same day. Although the inventor of this diet would have us believe that we can all stop eating when we feel full, that isn’t always the case, and it puts many of us at risk of binge eating. It can then lead to feelings of regret, shame, and can negatively impact your well-being.
The Side Effects
We know you’re strong, resourceful, and your own version of a warrior, but let’s face it, no actual warriors are running around these days. The only warrior you should be concerned about is the yoga pose.
We have modern conveniences, and this kind of diet doesn’t fit into most lifestyles. Not to mention the side effects like dizziness, low energy, anxiety, insomnia, extreme hunger, irritability, weight gain and more. 
Like we mentioned before, this diet is not based on science but rather on someone’s experiences. It’s also extremely hard to get all your proper nutrients and vitamins in one or two meals.