Nutrition / Food

What Is the Warrior Diet and Is It Right for Me?

A complete breakdown of the newest trend in dieting, the Warrior Diet.

The newest craze in dieting takes us back to our early roots, to the period when we were hunters and gatherers. This diet is known as the Warrior Diet.

Just as our primitive ancestors would hunt all day and eat their large meals at night, the Warrior Diet reflects this practice by fasting throughout the day and consuming all of our calories at night.

We chatted with Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and CEO of the NAMED program (Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking) on all the details behind the Warrior Diet, plus whether or not it’s worth trying.

The Background

The Warrior Diet was created back in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, a former Israeli Defense member.

Unlike other diets created by measurements of science and nutrition background, the Warrior Diet was one made from observation and opinion, based upon Hofmekler’s service in the military and the lifestyle that he and his colleagues had to follow to maintain physical fitness.

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The main principle is under-eating during the day and overeating at night.

The Do’s and Don’ts

Like every diet, the Warrior Diet has its own set of rules and guidelines. The first, is avoiding all processed foods.

Additionally, the Warrior Diet has a particular set of parameters around when to eat and when not to eat, which means that individuals on the diet should be fasting around twenty hours of the day and only consuming one large meal at night.

According to Dr. Kantor,  meals should be based upon healthy fats and large amounts of protein (this is our favorite), along with a generous portion of vegetables.

There’s no need to count calories while on the Warrior Diet, if following the suggested menu.

Logistics Behind Intermittent Fasting

The Warrior Diet bases its whole ideology behind intermittent fasting.

“This way of eating has many health benefits” says Dr. Kantor. When individuals eat all day, their levels of insulin in the body will rise and fall.

With the presence on insulin, there’s no way for the body to learn how to use its own stored fat reserve for energy and fuel.

People who tend to snack on mini meals throughout the day are more likely to have headaches, low blood sugar, and intense hunger cravings.

“These symptoms are a result of training the body to use the food as a fuel source, as opposed to its own fat stores” explains Dr. Kantor.

According to Dr. Kantor, the list of positive benefits from intermittent fasting are quite extensive. They include increased longevity, increased insulin regulation, stronger resistance to stress, improved satiety, benefits of endogenous hormone production, and increased mental clarity.

In addition to these benefits, The NeuroChem Journal released a study that linked intermittent fasting to improving memory, learning, and cognitive functions in distressed individuals.

So, intermittent fasting not only gives us positive results in our waistline, but also in our mental health.

Starting the Warrior Diet

The Warrior Diet is not one to start overnight, or to begin cold turkey.

The idea of introducing fasting into our diets on a daily basis can be dangerous, if started all at once.

To ease yourself into the Warrior Diet, it’s suggested to take the diet day by day. Initially you should start fasting one day of the week, or remove one meal everyday from the week.

This will eventually allow your body to train itself, and rely on your fat storage for fuel, rather than the food you consume on a daily basis.

The diet also asks that individuals participate in a workout during the day, while they’re fasting.

To ease your body into this routine, start off slow and gradually build up your body’s exercise routine. It’s important to be aware of your body’s responses to working out on the Warrior Diet.

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Some individuals have admitted to feeling dizzy or becoming light headed.

Concerns Behind The Warrior Diet

One of the biggest concerns behind the Warrior Diet, is the fact that the diet has you exercising without the presence of food.

Some say that training on an empty stomach can cause muscle wasting, defeating the purpose of working out. Some also argue that performance can decline by not eating around a workout.

According to Dr. Kantor, none of these statements are necessarily true. They are even less so prevalent if individuals on the diet are well adapted to a healthy eating strategy, which includes consuming high quality and natural proteins, healthy fats, and fibrous carbohydrates.

Overall everyone’s bodies are different, and varying diets and eating habits affect everyone in varying ways.

While the Warrior Diet may be one that you wish to incorporate into your everyday lifestyle, it may be beneficial to talk to your doctor or nutritionist to see if this diet is one that is right for you.

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